A character profile and painting overview of Shas’vre Aur Sha’nor, AshmakerinaretroXV-88 Broadside Battlesuit
Aur is of the first generation born in the Farsight Enclaves on Vior’los. He came to maturity inundated with the recalled heroism of Commander Farsight and strove to live up to his living legend leading up to his trial by fire on Arthas Moloch. In the crucible of that battle, the T’au’s first true encounter with chaos, Shas’la Aur’s cadre held the line defending one of the Enclave’s exalted Etherial leaders. A horde of Bloodletters broke that line and butchered most of the cadre, including the Etherial.
In a fury filled with sorrow and rage Aur took a terrible toll on the “Molokites” Sniping them one after another with his pulse rifle, destroying ankles, knees and arms to slow the horrors down. Inspired by his example the survivors of his cadre rallied behind him and beat the demons back long enough to rescue their wounded and organize a fighting retreat. His Shas’ui noted his fury and aggression in the moment as well as his greater than normal accuracy. She would later quietly comment that his aim seemed “as if guided by an unseen hand.”
Of his surviving cadre, he scored the most kills that terrible day. Combined with the burning ash left behind by the slain he earned the name Ashmaker.
His career took off, earning accolades as a Pathfider sniper, a Firesight Marksman, and Hammerhead Gunner. He now pilots an old model XV-88 Broadside Battlesuit. His shoulder mounted suit-scale railguns, thought obsolete, are just as devastating as the more modern Heavy rail rifle under his control.
In Battle Ashmaker is quiet fury, rage fuelling his focus into every shot and critical hit. He disables his prey with surgical accuracy before delivering the killing blow, often a crushing stomp with his suit’s reinforced foot.
“For Tau, Battle is thunder and blood. I bring the thunder and blood pours like rain in my wake.” -Ashmaker
Model origin and customization
This model is an older version of the XV-88 Broadside battlesuit. It shares the same plastic torso, legs, and head as the XV-8 Crisis suit but comes with metal jumper covers, rail guns, feet, and missile arms. This makes the original model very top-heavy and fragile looking(it was!).
I replaced the lower half with 3D printed legs and feet from a proxy model, an original sculpt meant to look similar but different enough to avoid copyright, as well as shoulder pads to make it look more bulky and imposing.
For painting, first, I primed the model in black with a grey zenithol highlight and based it in Blood Angel’s Red contrast paint. I layered black into the calves, joints, backpack, and weapons. Then I added dark grey as an accent on the armor and rail guns. For the final base color I layered a light grey on the head and antenna.
For the red I mixed a medium red with a cream color to build a subtle gradient on the raised armor on the torso, shoulders, thighs, and weapon mount. I dry brushed a dark grey on the black portions to bring out the raised details and hard edges and again with a lighter pass of brighter grey for a simple but striking effect. I used the same grey to Edge highlight the weapon edges and layer another gradient into the armor accents. On the head I used a pure white to really make it pop.
For edge highlights I started with a brighter red on the most of the torso edges and the highest edges of the railgun, missile hands, shoulders and thighs. I went over the edges again with an orange, hitting the corners and peaks of the suit. I repeated this step with a light grey for the accents and more mechanical elements.
For the base I coated it in PVA glue and covered it in a mix of aquarium pebbles, small and medium grains of ballast and a leftover piece of Kill Tram Chalnath terrain. I primed it in black and coated it in Warp Lightning Contrast. I added some medium brown to add variety and dry brushed lighter greens for a highlight. The rubble was dry brushed in shades of grey and dotted with red oxide ink. The finishing touches were a trio of grass tufts and painting the rim of the base black.
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