The last bonus round is here, and I have another submission. I can't believe it! I have managed to submit something to all of the bonus rounds! It's a little thing, but I'm pretty chuffed about that.
Enough blather, and on to the figure. This is a "Tau Gunslinger" from GW's 40k setting. The figure itself is not from GW, however, but rather from a company called "Wargame Exclusive". These are found on EBay, and are also available from their website. Many of their offerings are comically alluring female versions of 40k tropes (i.e. naked female Tau with a rail gun) but they have one or two sculpts scattered among the male panderings which I found to be interesting. This "Gunslinger" was one of them.
In the 40k setting the Tau are kind of stand-offish, smug twerps who believe in the "greater good". They serve as something of an aspirational foil to the brutal-dictatorship-is-the-only-path-to-survival of the Imperium of Man. But they also come across as a bunch of social democrats with rail guns, and I secretly enjoy it when they get brutalized in a close assault by some hideous 40k faction.
When the Tau were initially released so many years ago, I was a keen early adopter and I still have a dusty old force of them sitting on my shelf. Like, really dusty, as in, cough-after-moving them dusty. They must be 12 years old. In that time, GW has issued many new versions of the models, and continuously improved the firepower of the Tau to the point that, together with the Eldar, they have essentially broken the game. In this context, my desire to play the Tau is limited to making my friend Dallas upset while they blow away his Space Marines. Even that has its limits. They don't see the table much.
But when I saw this figure I was immediately intrigued. While the rest of the Tau are driving around in their smug, self-centered space-Priuses and attending air-caste-sponsored meetings about how to limit the carbon footprint of their power armour deployments, this guy seems like an over-the-top, I'll-get-in-your-face-and-blow-you-away type. His twin blasters, his cape, and certain devil-may-care demeanor appealed to me. He probably eats steak. Greater good steak, but still steak. In fact, I expect he has his own steakhouse - "Greater Steak For The Greater Good".
So this is the first Tau figure I have painted in like 12 years. It was kinda fun!
The quality of the casting was very good, and I loved the sculpt. The base, with a little chunk of Tau themed ruin on it, was right up to my limit of preference for clutter (a personal tic - I hate bases that compete with the figures) but overall it was a lovely little character product. His cape seemed especially dramatic, and I tried to make it pop in contrast to his basic armour and the muted colours of the body suit and hand blasters.
|"Make my greater good day..."|
Why is he a gambler or risk taker? Well, for a race that has embraced power armour, he'll settle for a cape and a point blank showdown with his twin blasters. All he needs is confidence in his quick draw. Considering the things running around in the universe of the grimly dark 40k far future, that seems a risky enough gamble for me...