Sickly shafts of sunlight pierced the vaults of the derelict Sector. Dwarfed by towering stanchions and silos, a band of tiny figures stalked furtively amidst the shadows.
Centuries of rust and ash carpeted the ruins and Shas’ui O’ran cringed, the oxide-crunch of his footsteps seeming to resound deafeningly the silence. The holo-dial on his biometric scanner span erratically and a constant static buzzed in his comms-antena. Something about the atmosphere of this dead Gue’la world had thrown his team’s equipment into disarray. And as the ancient buildings creaked and settled around him the T’au leader tried to convince himself that they were alone…
With the release of 8th edition Warhammer 40,000 last year I revisited project Shining Path, an army built around a T’au Infiltration Cadre. The concept of the army is to contrast the bright, idealistic modernity of the T’au against the ancient, industrial-gothic design of the Imperium. To that end I picked a striking yellow and black uniform for my T’au, symbolic of their optimistic, regimented nature. As a counterpoint I chose a rust-choked Sector Imperialis battlefield for their bases. Further to this I’ve used weathering powders and chipping to add damage the damage sustained to their armour by their hostile theatre of war.
Weathering was an important way for me to add narrative and ground the unit in their surroundings. However it also plays a more metaphorical role too. While the battle damage literally takes the shine off the T’au’s clean design aesthetic, it also represents war’s attrition on the morale of these naive Xenos.
I added squad markings to the helmets of the squad to designate them as members of Pathfinder Team Aurora. These are from the T’au Sept transfer sheet.
Shas’ui O’ran is the team leader. His rank is marked by the white shoulder pad, comms-antenna and ankle.
Pathfinder Team Aurora is accompanied by a Grav-Inhibitor Drone, Pulse Accelerator Drone and Recon Drone.
I really enjoyed telling a story with the Pathfinder team, expressed through the poses and basing. Narratively, Infitration Cadre Shining Path has been dispatched to explore a research and testing facility abandoned by the Adeptus Mechanicus on the backwater planetoid of Xerica. As the team stalks through the ruins, one scans for danger with his binoculars, another shelters behind a ventilation chimney to reload a magazine into her pulse carbine.
Here’s the railrifle sniper from my original prototype. I’ve rebased to 32mm as I think the larger bases look better, even for small figures like T’au infantry. This one bears different squad markings – seconded from the hot-shots of Pathfinder Team Confluence.
Come back soon for the next instalment of Shining Path for Showcase: Tau Tetra