One of the local stores is hosting Kill Team events which has me chomping at the bit to play in since I vastly prefer skirmish scale games. The smaller number of models means I can pay more attention to the conversion work and individualizing the models. Since the goal of Kill Team is for faster paced fun games vs larger competitive style play I wanted to experiment with stuff I wouldn't normally field. Which brings me to Vespid.
I've always been a bit of a Tau purist in that I'm not overly fond of the allied alien models, I think they cover a number of crucial roles within the army list but I really prefer the high tech look of the Tau race so I often convert Tau models that can be used as proxies in place of the allied aliens.
8-9 years ago I'd converted this model to serve as a Vespid, ultimately the plan was to make a couple of full units but it was hard to locate the parts in the quantity I'd need and there was a lot of work that went into the conversion so I only ended up making a total of 3 models. It was built using a jump pack from a xv-15 stealth suit and the wings are from a sniper drone. The gun barrel was made from a flight stand peg and some die punched styrene discs.
Once I learned how to cast models in resin I could have duplicated the parts but I would have had to take the conversions apart and strip the paint which I didn't want to do since they are still some of my favorite pieces that I've done so the idea of Vespid proxies have been sitting on the backburner in my mind for quite some time.
Kill Team prompted me to see what I could do with the concept and put some of my 3d skills and casting skills to use with an updated effort. Here's some of the WIP shots. The left most model is the original conversion, the middle is a photoshopped model with a to scale render, and the right is the same render with color added to match the original model.
With a bit more refinement the jump pack is pretty much finished and ready for printing. The center image has it's left pair of wings removed in order to show the packs' body details.
Then I needed something that'd look the part of the blaster so I've been working on a part that I can use to replace the front section of a rifle or blaster. I still need to add a few more details but this is a rough mock up for how it'd pair up.