Talisman of Arthas Moloch Conversion

November 18, 2015 ·

Googled 'Talisman'. There you go
Like the Fusion Blades, this is a Farsight Enclaves signature system. However, unlike the Fusion Blades, this one is very popular for its in-game uses instead of its modelling potential or awesome factor. It is also a great opportunity for modeling creativity, so check out how I modeled mine!

Talisman of Arthas Moloch

The artefact world of Arthas Moloch was little more than a devastated wasteland when the Farsight Expedition arrived. Yet they recovered a number of strange artefacts there, this hexagrammatic talisman among them. Farsight has seen first hand that the talisman protects the wearer and those around him from baleful energies, though neither he nor his advisors have the faintest idea how it works.

The Talisman is, in some ways, the polar opposite of the Fusion Blades. It's the cheapest FSE signature system (costs the same as a standard shield generator), it is a defensive piece of wargear, it doesn't occupy a support system slot, and it is foreign tech to the Fio caste.
It grants a 5+ invulnerable save and it allows friendly units within 12" of the bearer to deny the witch on a 4+. So you are essentially trading one point of invulnerable save for the psychic defense aura and an extra system slot.
Quite an interesting piece of wargear, especially to a faction that has no other anti-psyker capabilities. When your faction has generally low stats, you are particularly vulnerable to enemy psychic attacks. This wargear helps out more than you'd think; and has saved my Riptides more than once. It is also quite handy as a poor-man's shield generator when you don't have the room in your support systems.

Since I often take this piece of kit to complement my Fusion Blades, I decided it deserved representation on the model as well.

Prototype Stage

In this stage, I drew sketches (I won't post them here: too embarrassing). I tried different shapes and eventually settled on a triangular pyramid shape. The text reads "Hexagrammatic Talisman" but I stayed away from anything with six sides because it would make the talisman huge and 'Hexagrammatic' is a bit vague anyways. A Talisman could be many things, but since I wanted this to be sized appropriately for a battlesuit, it would have to be quite large. So I envisioned a large stone centrally placed in a temple to protect the inhabitants from warp energies, rather than a pendant worn by someone on their person.
Besides, this doesn't actually have to be THE Talisman. I'm sure there are lots of protective talismans like it in the universe.

Since Tau are always tinkering, I imagined them trying to 'harness' the protective energies and augmenting them with tech they already have: shield generators. In this way, I could show why it has a 5+ invulnerable save as well. So I decided I would embed the stone in a custom shield generator, similar to Farsight's but smaller.

So perhaps this particular talisman was found by my Escort Cadre, in a temple. However it doesn't provide the physical protection the original provides, and is a weaker talisman overall. So it is embedded in a stripped down Tau shield and amplified to produce the same effect. Tadaa! Fluff win.

Converting the Talisman

I started with Green Stuff. The shield was simply GS smoothed over a round piece of plasticard. The gemstone was a lump of GS edged and pulled into a pyramid shape using flat edges. I then cut out the center of the shield to match the talisman

I added the shield vanes to the shield, trying to imitate Farsight's shield a little bit.

I added the paneling to the shield using a cap I had on hand for the round portion and a razor for the rest. I used a scribing tool for paneling on the vanes.

I added a couple tiny GS balls to the vanes and let it sit overnight. After the GS was dry, I sanded it smooth. The stone actually rounded itself a little bit when it settled, so its surfaces had to be filed flat again to accentuate the corners.
I glued the stone in, added a magnet to the back, and I was finished! Not all that difficult really.

Painting the Talisman

Since this was a custom shield, I decided the shield would be entirely white (commander status). I went with a purple color for the gem since nothing else in my army had that color and it would be unique.
Unfortunately, I was in uncharted territory for a triangular gemstone. I did my best.

I could have gone back and made the color more vibrant, but I felt the subtle coloring worked well. Besides, it is lighter in person than the pictures show.

Finished Talisman of Arthas Moloch


Thanks for reading! I hope that this inspires some people to come up with their own unique versions of the Talisman. No doubt there are many such artefacts spread across Tau space and they would come in all kinds of shapes and sizes!


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