At Warhammer World there were lots of fantastic Tau models in the display cabinets.
The Tau (or T’au) are a young, humanoid and technologically-advanced intelligent race native to the Eastern Fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy who are fighting to expand their interstellar empire and extend a philosophical concept they call the “Greater Good”.
The Manta, more formally known as the Manta Missile Destroyer, is a super-heavy Tau spacecraft that is also the Tau Empire’s closest equivalent to the Imperium of Man’s Titans and Ork Gargants. It is well-armoured for use in frontline combat and can deliver massive amounts of firepower to the battlefield to help support Tau ground forces during a frontal assault against entrenched enemy positions.
A TX4 Piranha is a type of lightly armoured combat scout skimmer used by the Tau Fire Caste – a mobile weapons platform that is capable of great speed and manoeuvrability. Using its jet-thrusters and anti-gravitic engine, a Piranha is a fast moving craft that is extremely hard for a foe to hit, its twin crew well able to hug the terrain and make the best use of any cover. Furthermore, a Piranha’s weaponry allows it to punch well above its own weight, either using its Burst Cannon to slaughter enemy infantry, or using a Fusion Blaster to blow apart battle tanks many times its own size. Along with a nose-mounted main armament, a Piranha carries two Gun Drones — either retained on the vehicle to add firepower, or detached into AI (Artificial Intelligence) mode to perform some other mission. When operating as lone hunters, Piranhas are dangerous enough, but it is when they are fielded in teams that they become truly lethal.
The T’au XV104 Riptide is the pinnacle of the Earth caste’s battlesuit development. It stands twice as tall as the XV8 Crisis suit, but its movements are more like those of its smaller cousins than the mechanical stiffness displayed by Imperial walkers with their crude servo-motors.
The Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunship is a specialised variant of the Hammerhead that replaces its turret gun with an array of deadly seeker missiles.
I’ve enjoyed painting my Aeronautica Imperialis models and even I am impressed that I have managed to build, undercoat and paint them in a relatively short timeframe. I did my Valkyrie Assault Carrier in a week! I would usually take a few years to paint them (if at all….).
I started to think about which models I would get next, and that got me thinking what we have seen that still needs to be released and also what could be released in the future and what I would like to see in the future as well.
Some of these are obviously core Games Workshop releases, some could be plastic kits and I think others might be Forge World models or upgrades to plastic kits.
Forge World have released some kits for Adeptus Titanicus, such as weapon upgrades, new titans and scenery. I would like to think that they would do something similar for Aeronautica Imperialis.
What I might get next?
So, there are now quite a few released models for Aeronautica Imperialis, Ork, Imperial and now T’au aircraft. I bought Wings of Vengeance, so I already have Ork Dakkajets, Fighta Bommerz as well as Imperial Thunderbolts and Marauders. I also bought a box of Valkyrie Assault Carriers.I was lucky enough to find a box of Ground Assets recently, so I have those as well.
The obvious answer for me is a pair of Grot Bommerz. I do like the concept of these, though I am not a big fan of the actual models, but Orks is Orks, so they are next on my shopping list.
A finished and painted Tau Manta at Warhammer World.
The Manta measures 630mm/25 inches long and has a wingspan of 860mm/34 inches! Weighing in at 12.5 kilos/28 pounds, it weighs six times as much as a Thunderhawk Gunship.
This is one big model. I was never sure how you could use it in games, the weight must make it challenging to use in tabletop games.
I certainly don’t have the funds to buy one, and no time to build and paint one. As it comes with two Devilfish, two Hammerheads, eight Battlesuits and six Gun Drones, I don’t think I would even have the time to build and paint those.
Bring back the Epic version, well bring back a version for Adeptus Titanicus.