Anybody who has built a moderately sized Tau army is bound to have spare Battlesuit weapons, Drones and maybe even Devilsfish weaponry. Well, if you have seen the Imperial Armour Apocalypse and Taros Campaign books you may have noticed some little extra's for the Tau...namely Sensor Towers, Heavy Drones and Technical Drones.
I am going to show you how to create a Sensor Tower from some of your spare Tau bits...dead easy, and great for objective markers.
Components and Tools
you will need a shield generator
for the sensor dome, a Devilfish Burst Cannon
for the extendable portion of the tower and four flamers
for the base, you will also require a 40mm base.
Snips, a modeling knife and some glue are all you need for this job.
Note: For plastic models I always use liquid poly (plasticweld)...its almost like water in consistency and is excellent for gluing polystyrene based plastics as it melts the top layer of the bonding surface. There are varying strengths of this stuff available, some more aggressive than others so it's worth testing on a bit of sprue beforehand if you have never used it. You will also need an old brush for applying it (don't expect to use it for painting afterwards though ). Always ensure you have plenty of ventilation whilst using these solvents.
1.) Start by carefully removing the fuel cells from the four flamers. Keep them safe...you will need them later.
2.) Now remove the ignitors from the four flamers...don't throw these away...I will show you a neat use for them later!
3.) Make a small reference mark on the centre of the base with your knife or a spot of white paint.
4.) Dab some glue on the arm spigots of two flamers (the bit that normally locates the weapon on the battlesuits arm)
5.) Press them together and leave for a few moments to bond. Place some glue on the rear of the flamers then, using the reference mark you made on the base, place the flamers on the base with the mark central to the flamers in both horizontal and vertical planes.
6.) Leave the two flamers to set a little then add a 3rd flamer at right angles to the exisitng two.
7.) Repeat the process with the last flamer. Make sure that the flamers are all perpendicular to the base and look symmetrical when viewed from above.
8.) Leaving the base to dry, take the Burst Cannon and saw off the barrels below the collar. Place some fine grade abrasive paper on a firm flat surface and, using a circular motion, lightly sand the cut area flat. Cut off the barrel tips on the opposite end and repeat the sanding process.
9.) Snip off the spiggot on the bottom of the Shield Generator; apply glue to the bottom of the Shield Generator and narrow end of the Burst cannon barrels then press together and leave to dry...making sure the Shield Generator is central.
10.) The base should be up to being handled now so snip off the muzzle of each flamer then gently sand the ends flat.
11.) Apply glue in between each of the flamers then stick each of the fuel cells (the bits you cut off in step one) in between the gaps with the 'cut' ends facing inwards. View the model from above to make sure the cells are at 45 degrees to the flamers and are all symmetrical.
12.) Apply glue to the tops of the flamers and the bottom of the Burst Cannon and fit together, making sure the Burst cannon barrels are in-line with the flamers and that the two parts are as centrally aligned as possible.
13.) Admire your handywork and leave to dry. Of course to get the best out of your creation you will need to clean up any mould lines and undercoat nicely before painting.
Remember those ignitors you cut off the flamers...you can use them to modify your battlesuit heads for a bit of diversity.
With a little bit of tweaking you can also create some of the Drones featured in the IA Taros Campaign and the IA Apocalypse books.
DX-4 Technical Drone & Shield Drone
Heavy Gun Drone & Heavy Gun Drone with Markerlight