Fusion Blades Conversion

November 16, 2015 ·

The Farsight Enclaves signature systems are very expensive and often have very limited scope. Some are just downright unreliable. But to a conversion addict, they are one of the best parts of the supplement! Here is my finished representation of the Fusion Blades:

Fusion Blades

This peculiar but deadly innovation was created at the request of the third Commander Brightsword. They are, in appearance, heavily modified fusion blasters, but in truth, they are miracles of science. When the firing impulse is sustained, each weapon can fire a constant stream of energy that blazes from the muzzle of the gun like a blade of pure light. They consume an incredible amount of energy, however, and are prone to shorting out in the midst of battle.

At a cool 50 points, this signature system is about as expensive as a piece of wargear comes. It is also primarily a close combat weapon, and takes up two whole system slots on your Commander's battlesuit. These downsides mean that it is pretty much written off as a waste of precious points. However, the concept of it is too amazing to pass up, and many Tau players find a way to fit it into their lists just for the cool factor.
I've written up a summary of why I think the Fusion Blades are a great piece of kit HERE
Like most relic wargear there isn't an actual piece of model kit to represent this. The best you can make out, according to the Supplement, is that it actually looks just like a pair of Fusion Blasters. That is lame. Like many Fusion Blade lovers, I took it upon myself to convert my own model representation.

Prototype Stage

In this stage, I was doing the initial kitbashing and trying out different angles, gribblies, users, etc. I opted for a simple, compact design which was essentially two  Fusion Blasters melded into one weapon, but without looking like two Fusion Blasters glued together.
This model was my original user, but I switched him out for a more dynamic model that looked the part of a commander better.
This is some of the 'secret ingredient' in the Fusion Blades. The user should look nimble, quick, and stripped down so that he can operate more freely in close combat. This suit was heavily modified to look more mobile without adding tons of external thrusters that would be a hindrance in close combat.
After a bit of staring at him, I decided to rotate the Fusion Blaster so that the orientation of the 'blade' would not be perpendicular to the ground. For what I had in mind, this was a necessary change. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the change, but you'll see it in the later pictures.

Constructing the Blade

It became obvious early on in my games, that the super dynamic charging pose and the huge Fusion weapon did not incite the fear or respect that it should have. I told people that he was carrying a super awesome close combat weapon, but people just shrugged their shoulders and dismissed it: "Looks like a gun to me, and Tau suck in close combat."
I was disappointed. My style actually put me into close combat often. People needed to fear the Fusion! So I set about finishing the conversion as I had envisioned.
The basic shape is wire and layered plasticard.
This was my first attempt at sculping fire, and I was doing it without my proper sculpting tools, so I was not overly pleased with how it turned out, but it seemed to work out ok.
Liberal amounts of Liquid Green Stuff. Sanded/rubbed down smooth.

If you can't tell, what I had envisioned was a sword of fire, swirling around to a point. It didn't really turn out that way, but oh well.

Painting the Blade

This was easier, though I did have to start over. Here was my first try:
I tried to make a sort of 'dark fire' or 'black fire' color scheme. It didn't really turn out, and I decided to stick to regular flame color. I could have gone with blue flames, like on my Y'vahra base, but I had modeled most of my Fusion weaponry with the orange fire effect instead of blue, so this fit with my army anyways.
I simply started with base white and worked my way out from the originating points which would be the 'hottest'.

Finished

Here are some finished photos. 

I made a second blade, without the sculpted flames, just in case. I actually prefer the flaming one, even if I can recognize how novice the sculpting was.
The goal was to make a weapon that looked like it could do some serious damage on the battlefield. Unfortunately, in my latest tournament, I only managed to use the blades once. I got into combat with a mini Thunderwolf star and killed an Iron Priest on a wolf. After that, the game ended before my commander and the Wolf Lord were able to finish their duel. The blades did, however, get a lot of attention and scared opponents into focusing fire on my commander. 

Thanks for reading! I hope this inspires more Fusion Blades conversions. And I sincerely hope that the new Mont'ka book due in early 2016 doesn't invalidate my favorite piece of signature wargear!

3 comments:

Nick Thrower said...
November 16, 2015 at 6:45 AM  

Looks very cool, shame you didn't get to finish off that fight!

Reave said...
November 17, 2015 at 3:45 PM  

Ah, everyone's favorite Tau psychopath - Brightsword! The conversion looks amazing.

Skyler Hoeft said...
November 18, 2015 at 8:55 AM  

Honestly, since it was during my opponent's turn, I would probably have been able to Hit and Run out of combat (VRT) and shoot him off the table during my turn.
My shield drone was still alive, duking it out with a different Thunderwolf, so I had a 66% chance of successfully disengaging.

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