Tau Concept

As many of you may know I’ve been playing Tau as my second army. After a few games I think they are an army I’d like to pursue (being completely different from my chaos wolves) and as such I’ve kinda started thinking about how I want to model the army.

When I purchased everything I was originally very interested in the look of the Tau vehicles and the modeling possibilities of the Tau crisis suits… Looking online and researching others attempts at converting have left me with a sorta sour taste in my mouth… I don’t really like most of it. The suits are hideous and all but the most intensive conversions still result in crappy looking suits (there are a couple that I have liked but they look very difficult and very breakable… I like armies with a bit of durability to them). I like the look of the vehicles (and still do) however due to their very unique shape its pretty hard to convert them without just gluing on random pieces or swapping an engine here/cutting off a wing there. So I’ve started looking at alternative models and ways to convert. Ultimately, I plan on having an army with a very different look. Its going to be human in nature (think mercenaries) but some Tau technology thrown in to tie it down.

So the major pieces which form the army:

Crisis Suits, Broadsides, Firewarriors, Pathfinders, Kroot, Piranhas, Devilfishes, & Hammerheads

Crisis Suits – There are two considerations for how to model crisis suits. 1) They ignore terrain for movement and 2) they’re essentially gun platforms. Essentially I need something I can mount a weapon to and some way to explain how it’s ignoring terrain. What about this:

Author Unknown

Yup, an ATV. I’m thinking of replacing the bolters with my weapon hardpoints and modeling a roll-cage which on top would house the 3rd hard point. The acronym ATV means ‘all terrain vehicle’ which just screams the ability to ignore terrain for movement purposes and due to the size of the bikes it would be perfect to mount on the same medium base that crisis suits are on.

Currently I’m planning on running “fire-knifes” as my suit configuration which consists of a missile pod (Str 7 AP 4, assault 2 36”) and a plasma rifle (STR 6, AP 2 rapid fire 24” – remember suits are relentless as well). For weapons I’m thinking of cutting an Autocannon’s barrel down a bit to represent the missile pod and the decreased range and then simply just using a plasma gun for the rifle. Obviously for my HQ ‘suit’ I would trick out the ATV a bit more, maybe use a SM scout body instead of a guard body, etc etc.

Broadsides – Although similar to the suits in size, they are not jet pack infantry and come with a 2+ save. Basically I need something a bit more armoured and less moveable.


So I was thinking of using these. I would chop off the legs and add some sort of thruster to the bottom and mount it on a steel rod. Basically it would be able to move (Advanced Stabilization System – A.S.S) but ponderously (slow and purposeful). This model falls apart a bit when you look at it in CC as its a 2+ with Str 5. I don’t think people will care much (you just got my broadsides in combat) but I’ll probably add another guardsman to the base with a power fist or something to represent the weight of attack).

Firewarriors – Currently in the Tau book Firewarriors are taken in minimum sized squads to basically turn their ride into a scoring bunker. I don’t want to spend a lot of effort on these guys only to have them spill out once or twice a game… That being said I want to continue with the converted army idea so I’ve come up with a drone army. The basic Tau drone converted with the proper weaponry for a Firewarrior (pulse rifle). Not only is this easy to paint/convert it will help solidify the “Tau-ness” of the army (mercenaries with lent technology).

Pathfinders – More drones, this time probably the Forgeworld Marker Drone.


Obviously I’ll need to cut it up a bit and add a pulse carbine but no matter. I’ll probably also have a guardsmen in the unit with some sort of controller. The central brain if you will.

Kroot – I’m kinda stuck on these guys at the moment. I’m thinking about a unit of catachan guardsmen with shotguns to represent these guys. Sort of the loners of the army. Use dogs as the kroot hounds. Not sure yet, recommendations welcome.

Piranha – I really like the look of the piranha. I’ll probably use the same model but have a guardsman driving it. I’m also thinking of making the second passenger a drone ala Star Wars. Finally I’ll probably attach another set of wings to give it an X-Wing type look. Should be pretty neat when its all done.

Devilfishes & Hammerheads –



So as you can see the one I’m going to use as a hammerhead has a large turret on top as well as 6 wheels – it sorta lends itself to being a heavier vehicle. I’ll need to convert the gun to be a railgun and add some missile launcher somewhere for the SMS (easily done) and then add some technology doodads to represent disruption pods and AV13. Essentially this hammerhead sacrifices transport space for a bigger gun and a more powerful disruption pod. The one I am planning on using as a devilfish has a smaller gun mounted on top (burst cannon) and I’ll also need to convert up the SMS. The biggest thing is that the back of the vehicle has more of a close compartment type of look. With a little plasticard I can make it look completely enclosed and able to house 6 tiny gun drones (think “Star Wars” or “I, robot” drone vehicle).

So that’s the basic premise. None of its all too hard to do but I think it will be a visually striking army like nothing anyone’s seen before. It’ll be a lot of fun to build and paint as there’s a lot of detail required to pull off each unit. Obviously this is a long waaay out as I plan on having 2000 points painted for my Red Corsairs before starting anything else… I’m also thinking about picking up a chaos warhound titan to round out my Corsairs to 3000 points.

Comments/Suggestions are very much welcomed. What do you think of the idea? Cool or Not?


About Crimzzen

Plays X Wing! (And sometimes Warmachine...)
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5 Responses to Tau Concept

  1. Farmer_geddon says:

    I love the idea in principle… From a gaming point of view, I would request that basing and miniature size is somewhere in the ballpark of the real tau models. Your ATVs could be going all All Terrain, jumping or ramping or wheelying (is that a real word?), something to give them a profile akin to a crisis suit.
    The oversize dune buggies from forge-world are fantastic, but a hell of a lot smaller than a devilfish chasis.
    Either way I think you’ll end up with a cracking looking army. Reminds me of a WD ruleset back in early 4th ed using humans with tau tech. SM scouts were modelled with pulse rifles.

    • Crimzzen says:

      Hmmm… I didn’t realize that the dune buggies are smaller than a devilfish chassis. I mean ultimately though it isn’t a problem on the devilfish/hammerheads though, EVERYONE takes the 5pt upgrade which gives them a 4+ cover save so arguing that the actual devilfish is larger and therefor wouldn’t get a cover save is moot. For LoS issues, well I have problems getting a rhino completely out of LoS most of the time, I imagine it’ll be the same with these. Ultimately if someone calls me on it where I’ve managed to JUST barely get out of LoS but a real devilfish wouldn’t, I’ll stick with my 4+ cover save.

      The crisis suit (ATVs) will be modified to be approximately the same size (with the roll cage and doodads on top) and on the same base.

      Thanks for the input though, you’ve given me stuff to consider!

  2. Wesley says:

    Cool idea! Its very unique and I can already see the ATV’s running around going off jumps. It would be a very cool army to have.

    Only worry I would have is with all the “counts as” hate now adays your definitely stretching the limits of some people who think that all armies need to be Blue Ultramarines.

    Just my thoughts

    • Crimzzen says:

      Yeah, I really don’t care about “counts as” hate. I’d rather have a unique looking army rather than right out of the box. I mean its Tau, no one can argue that I’m playing ‘count as’ because of competitive reasons!

      Although I do think that maybe I should stick to more of the same sized models… I don’t know that the Elysian buggies are gonna cut it…

    • Crimzzen says:

      Yeah, I really don’t care about “counts as” hate. I’d rather have a unique looking army rather than right out of the box. I mean its Tau, no one can argue that I’m playing ‘count as’ because of competitive reasons!

      Although I do think that maybe I should stick to more of the same sized models… I don’t know that the Elysian buggies are gonna cut it…

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