Friday, December 4, 2009

Secrets of the Fio'La: Tau XV8 Conversions

Old Shatter Hands is one of my favorite conversions. He was built about a year ago or more with heavy inspiration from Shas'el Tael from out the Advanced Tau Tactica Forums.

I wanted the same look and feel of his conversions but I also wanted my own ideas on there too. So I took what Tael did and put my own spin on it. One thing I knew my commander had to have was big hands, not exaggerated ones, but noticeable.

Let's start there. I clipped off the fingers from two powerfists: the standard space marine assault squad one and the now old spacewolf powerfist. I had to clip them off so the three fingers came off in one piece, so I ended up cutting down past the knuckle. The thumbs came off as well. Then I had to fill in the XV8 hand with some greenstuff for a solid base to get the fingers on. I glued them in and I had my shatter hands. It's a little fidgety but you can do it. I also think necron destroyer hands can work as well.

Now for his customized Plasma rifle. I added some detail from a Necron Guass Flayer rifle. I just did a little shaving here and there to get it to fit right. I stuck on the side of the plasma rifle and it looks hot!

The leg has been up-armored by adding a Necron shoulder pad to the shin and a Space Marine Dreadnought power-plant casing to the thigh. This piece might sound hard to get but it is available for purchase alone at the Warstore for 5 bucks.

The helmet isn't very difficult to do but it looks great. I cut down a XV8 target lock and glued to his face, then I green stuffed the join to make it seamless. The detail on his cheeks were from Tau Drone aerials. This gives the model a heftier head, more fitting of an XV8 suit than the smallish standard head.

There are other little details here and there that I added. I basically look for little things on guns and weapons that can be used to add more detail to the XV8 model, which in my opinion, needs a serious update due to its lack of good detail.

Next time we'll look at Sidestriker. Enjoy!


HuronBH said...

Nice work, it is an inspiring conversion with a great paint job.

Pete W said...

And it looks even better in person. The base is particularly stunning too.

Also, OSH has a custom missile pod that uses a hunter killer from an imperial vehicle. It looks good and helps set him just slightly apart from the bodyguards

Dhinanta said...

So I really like the idea of giving them(XV8s) real hands, a bit o' extra armour, and bulking up the head. I've seen a lot of variations on the general buliking up, but I feel like I'm stealing something in taking the hands...

I mean, he's Old Shatter Hands with hands made from power fists. It's too perfect. What else has hand/fingers that might work? I can't really think of any, but I haven't been playing nearly long enough to really know all the models.

The Plasma Rifle also looks pretty perfect. I didn't really feel like XV8s were missing detailing until you pointed out the little things that look like they should have been there in the first place. All together he really does make an awesome, unique looking commander.

The Brotha said...

That was a nice write up. he looks marvelous. I like your attention to detail. I wish i had the time and patience to paint like that.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Dhinanta, besides pwerfists, I can't think of anything that has appropriately sized fingers. You can copy what I did no problem. That's why I posted it. I copied Shas'El Tael on a lot of stuff. That's just the way it goes.

Dhinanta Aloke said...

So I'm not sure where the right place is for this, but I can't find a way to PM and everyone I'm interested in letting know about it seems to congregate here.

I started a blog the other day, inspired by (Sholto, Old Shatter Hands, and Adam). I'm mostly looking for feedback because my play is mildly limited to against my roommate and his opinions are very...simple or non-existent...that sounds bad, he's bad at describing why he feels one way or another and bad at offering alternatives.

The only thing there that's really interesting, I think, so far are these Tau Tank Traps I'm trying to make. I would really appreciate you guys checking it out and letting me know what you think :)

Old Shatter Hands said...

Woah, I didn't even know about your blog. Are you a member of the fromthewarp bloggers group? It helps get you out there. I think I might need to add you to my list of great links.

Dhinanta Aloke said...

I saw you mention that to someone else, but I can't figure out how to join a group...or is it like a send them an e-mail thing?

It's only been around for like a week, there wasn't even anything on it until today really.

Pearlygates said...

OSH, Perfect timing on showing your conversions! I've just bought 'another' Tau battleforce boxset to try and do some XV9 converions.

What I would really like to know is how you cut up and stuck on the jetpacks on the other conversions like your Teal conversion!

I'll be using your 'Dreadnought' leg covering idea along with cutting up a stealth suit torso to use as a 'collar' addition aswell as the 'central column' jetpack.

I'll use Adam's flamer canister idea on the chest and his head conversions.

Hands down you have by far the best Tau painted army i've seen, and that's including the standard GW Tau army. Even up close, the paint detail is flawless.

And thanks btw for doing a gallery on your army! Clearly from all the comments, we all love your work!

Old Shatter Hands said...

Thanks Pearly more to come soon. Did you check out my showcase video on Youtube?

The jet-pack mod is tough. You really need a little saw to do it well. And steady hands. If you're going for the collar like on Tael's stuff you need to make it join into one jet, not like on Sidestriker where it is still two jets just next to each other. Hard to explain. I'll do a post of sidestriker soon and you can see what I mean.

Pearlygates said...

Cheers OSH;

I'm in no rush to build them yet as I need to order/buy some Broadside feet and I'll prob add the Dreadnought casing at a later date too.

I was thinking of using a saw myself, though there is an area on the thruster's intake-vents that looks like I'll have to cut through, but I guess that area will be hidden behind the suit's back.

What did you use/do to fill the gap between the body and the jetpack??

I've not seen your video yet, I'll hunt it down soon enough.

Played my 3rd game with XV9's; they are a definate MUST!!!!

Thanks again for your help OSH.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Yeah, the gap between the new jetpack and body must be filled in with some plastic-card. There is one gap that I fill with intakes from space marine back-packs. check out this link for more ideas:

Shas'El Tael is a god among shas'la.