Tau Auxiliaries, the Naga'la and Shea'VesaCompiled by Shas'El Tael
The following gives you a run through on how I constructed auxiliary figures for my Cadre years ago. There has been a continued interest in these models since they featured on my website, ATT and White Dwarf (Australia and Canada). Ultimately, long has it been justified to put together a project run through. ATT veterans know how notorious I am for showcasing an idea, then the next photo it is painted. So, enough talk, onwards to the miniatures!
A strongly built, animorphic humanoid feline race. You can find their history here
(NB to be finished
), for those inclined to incorporate personalised rules and RPG background.The Parts ListSelect a Beastman Gor head
Imperial Guard Cadian chest + arms
Beastman Gor lower leg sections
Beastman Gor pony tail (serves as tail for shea'shi)
Two Imperial Lasguns, Cadian Range.Firstly the head :
Select one of several head pieces from the current Beastmen plastic sprue. I've checked the latest 2010 edition and noted the ones I used before are still part of the set. You can see them highlighted here:
Remove the extraneous details (though for some, retain the pleated pony tail), then carve into the plastic to create a spilt in the upper lip. Overall you want to clean away any major details to leave what you see here, then carefully fill in the cranial area with Greenstuff. Adding some Greenstuff to the upper lip may be necessary to clean the incision made there also. Overall, craft the cranium to match the bulk of the Gor head, but since this will be covered with Greenstuffed hair, it is merely base. You are aiming to provide the shape underneath essentially. The Legs
Following on from this, time to work on the legs. Here I remove the shin portion, below the knee plate, from the tau legs (any set will do, to vary postures). Drilling a hole in each part and inserting a co-joining metal pin to fasten the parts, affix the shins of the Gor plastics to the upper legs. Be careful to point them in the direction of the upper legs to avoid odd gaits. Using a small amount of Greenstuff, cover and smooth out the join, even remodel the pants about the upper shins if you wish. I usually add the pony tail "tail" at this point, bonded with plastic glue to create a seamless meld just under the lower back posterior plating.
When you have placed these on the base, use some greenstuff to model the padded paws and their toes. You can be as simple or as detailed as you wish here. The images provided are a guide to show how I went about it. Allowing the greenstuff to cure for 30mins (provides a hard edge) then pressing the detail into the Greenstuff working downward toward the toenails.The Body
Right, those elements done, onward to the less fussy upper body. Here you add two Cadian lasgun muzzles to the back, about the small box shape there. These act as the heat vents for the furry chest underneath, part of their 'Lore'. The cadian arms remain untouched, the only interesting part is blending the pulse rifle into the lasgun stock which you can see how I achieved this in the photos. Additionally, I usually add the head piece to the torso at this point and work on their mane. In some cases I have long upper hair tied back, with cropped temples, or an overall head of hair tied back with some loose strands to emphasise the look.
Once all put together you should have a result similar to this, albeit with a pose and added parts of your choosing :
The Naga were a curious project, for I had even long before they were produced, created an initial sauroid concept shown here next to the eventual result years later :
The above is a Phraxxian, with energy staff Stargate
style. The use of a sixth edition Warhammer Lizardmen Cold One eventually led to the production of the Naga'la. You can find their history here
, for those inclined to incorporate personalised rules and RPG background.The Parts ListSixth Edition Saurus Head Piece (eBay is your friend)
Current Edition Lizardman Cold One body
Tau Pulse Rifle/Cabrine
Space Marine Torso pieces
Space Marine Backpack
Tau Target Lock Battlesuit piece
Quarter circle bevelled styrene rod 1.5mm
Tubular rod 0.5mm
Utilising a sixth edition Warhammer Cold One head, you only need to sculpt a cranial section due to the rearward plug that fitted into the original model's shoulders. Once you have this shaped to your liking, you are essentially done. At this point you can add a small dot over an ear to serve as a aural comm unit. Later you attach a dorsal boom, using the Quarter circle rod, fashioned flat at the tip to fit the scalp, with a small disc cutting of the 0.5 tubular rod as a finishing nob to the comm boom. (Shown below in final pictures
This is somewhat more involved. Bond the Space Marine torso together, shave off the backpack connector details and in general smoothen the appearance of the parts. Cut the Tau Target Lock piece at the halfway point of it's shape, then fit the rear part against the squared off back section, blending with Greenstuff to clean the join. Bore out the centre of the front piece, then into this hole place a carefully carved out Pulse Rifle 'Cog' into this point. You add vents to the rear section by removing two of the vents from the Space Marine backpack to complete the rear details. The Pulse Blaster
Lore wise, the Naga have a predilection to open sight weapons. Only a few of their number are able to utilise the more complex targeting systems of a Pulse Rifle. Modelling this however is a little more difficult. Firstly, remove the barrels of the Kroot Rifle at the point shown, to this you blend two Pulse Carbine/Rifle casings. These casing have opposing detail removed to be bound together to create a more boxy weapon casing. This blended together is attached to the much broader section of the Kroot Rifle. The below example is a freestanding example, but this technique can be used on Kroot Right arms that already hold the stock of a Kroot Rifle. In finishing, I cut two small discs from the 0.5mm styrene tubeular rod to act as the Pulse Blaster muzzles, as is seen on Tau hand weapons. (not added here, but seen in later images) Completing the Naga
In finishing the model, you need cut the current edition Cold One torso at the mid-drift, clean away spikes if you wish and lower into place the recently complete torso. I usually add some Greenstuff inside the Torso to mold better to the lower body. The Kroot arms are then shaved of spike details, more often than not I cut away the wrists and use current edition Cold One bracer details between the forearm and Pulse Blaster holding Kroot hand for additional detail. One last bit of Greenstuff work is modelling the left hand to clasp the Pulse Blaster, this is mostly done by wrapping a small blob of Greenstuff from the wrist, then about the casing. leave for 30mins then indent this to create the three fingers and claws as you wish. You can also at this point, see how I attached and shaped the styrene rod to become the dorsal cranium boom (which Lore wise, covers their delicate and expressive crest). I sometimes even add current edition Cold One shoulder armor to further acknowledge their primitive fashions.
Do enjoy your modelling and please post the results on ATT! Overall I hope this answers any question you have. If not feel free to comment below or send me a Private Message.Further aliens created by the hobby community can be found in the Auxiliary Resource here.Por'Ui T'olku Ma'tyr has kindly created a JPEG of the entire tutorial and the latter sculpting ribbons discussion, you can download his ATT hosted file here.- Shas'El Tael.