This is what the lot looked like a few days ago. This year, the Challenge really gave me the incentive to clear my "unpainted models" bin.
This is what the Incursion Force looks like today. According to the fluff, this is more or less what a Tau Manta, a landing spacecraft, would carry into battle. The basic palette is purple and dark grey. I wanted a combination of colors that would appeal to anyone, including my kids. Sophie's favorite color is, coincidentally, purple.
There are 26 drones in the force. One must be counted out for having been painted as a prototype before the Challenge. Additionally, 25% should be subtracted from the total for lack of groundwork, for a total of 94 points (93.75 rounded up).
Here are 43 Fire Warriors to form the core of the Incursion Force, armed with either Pulse Rifles or Pulse Carbines. One guy must be counted out, because I painted him before the challenge to test the color palette. So 210 points here.
These three characters to provide some guidance to the troops. An Ethereal flanked by two bosses (I won't bother you with the Tau jargon for their rank). The dude on the left sports a shoulder pad and and power pack taken from an Ultramarine, no doubt stained in battle with a good shot between the eyes, through the helmet. 15 points more.
Three warriors in XV25 stealth suits. I really like how these miniatures turned out. The overall dark grey evokes the current modern stealth planes and stealth ships, like the USS Zumwalt. Another 15 points.
Three aliens in XV8 Crisis Battlesuit with their respective arsenal. To my surprise, the weapons can be inserted quite easily (and stay there) in four slots, two on the arms and two on top of the jet pack. Because of their size and because of their extra weapons, I would like to claim these as "mounted", if the adjudicator agrees. So this is a potential 30 points.
Two Hammerhead gunships, two Devilfish troop carriers and two Piranha light skimmers complete the force. These six vehicles should rake in 90 points. The total should be 454 points, which should also count towards my tally for the "Sci-fi Challenge" I'm in with GregB, SeanS and KyleC.
Here is a close-up on one of the Hammerheads. Believe it or not, it's the first time I ever paint a 28mm vehicle. My attempt at weathering is still amateurish, and in order to improve I always pay close attention to posts from GregB, DallasE, KevinH, ByronM and DaveV from the "Fawcett Avenue Conscript" blog to see how they create their wonderful weathering effects.
On the daughter front, Sophie have these Shopkins she painted not long ago. Shopkins are the new craze among kids: for $5, you buy a little shopping basket with two random anthropomorphized consumer products in them. So you quickly get many doubles. Sophie decided that she would make her double shopkins different and unique by painting them. She prepared this little display to show the transformation. In my opinion, the chocolate covered cake looks much yummier in the new version (a green cake? Really?).
What is this? A points bomb from Sylvain? One that will trash us in the sci-fi painting race? A mon avi, ce n'est pas possible?!?! Oh well, I hear denial is a great state to visit. I guess I had better get painting tonight...
Great work on this Sylvain - you have quite a formidable strike force here for the Tau, and I can certainly imagine this group dropping from the sky in one of their huge Manta strike carriers (surely you can pick up one of those as well, right? :) and dishing out some serious abuse to the enemies of the "greater good". Lots of great effects here, and I particularly like the "stealth" suits - well done.
Weathering vehicles in larger scales is great fun. I think you have made an excellent initial effort here - I would suggest sponge-chipping as a next step for weathering future vehicles in this scale - although I always imagine the prissy Tau keeping their stuff pretty clean. After all - the greater good is tidy, no doubt. A solid 454 points Sylvain!
Also - bienvenue & bon travail Sophie! Great to see this addition to your entry! I've already been enjoying too much nice food over the holidays, but Sophie's improved chocolate cake will send me to the pantry to hunt around...