The Astra Militarum codex added a new transport option, the chibi-tastic Taurox. Both the model and the rules were received with mixed feeling from the online community, as I am sure most of you are aware. It is not as survivable as the Chimera but it is cheaper, re-rolls for difficult terrain, and comes with a twin-linked autocannon. I think it’s a great option for my Rebel Grot infantry squads. If I really want to keep them mobile I can deploy them in transports. Otherwise I can deploy on foot and use the Taurox as mobile fire support or a cheap scoring unit with objective secured!
I don’t completely hate the Taurox model but I’m not much of a fan either. It does have potential and I’ve seen some nice half-track or wheeled conversions floating around online. However, since I’m scratch building most of the models for my Rebel Grot army anyway I don’t really have to worry about how the official kit looks! I decided to build a template for my own Rebel Grot Taurox variant. While I’m not tied to the official aesthetic I do want something that will play as much like the actual kit as possible so I went digging around online and managed to find some basic measurements and side by side comparison to other transports. Starting with that basic box I started designing a half-track to fit inside it.
The Taurox has two fire points and an access point on each side plus and access point at the rear so I made sure to incorporate these features. I also left a place for the autocannon turret on top. After some playing around I had the first version of the template ready for a test build:
It’s not bad but I felt the engine compartment looked a little too short. I had planned to stick the wheels on without fenders or anything but I decided that wasn’t going to work for me. As I built this I also noticed a few places where the template could be better designed to aid assembly. So I went back to the template, made some adjustments, and built Mark 2.
I am much happier with this design. I was planning to buy some wheels for the front but after mulling it over I decided to go with steel tires instead, similar to the ones on the old Armorcast Battlewagon model. I haven’t designed a turret yet but I’m planning to go with something similar to the one on my Devil Dog. Here it is with that turret to approximate the profile of the finished design:
I am going to start with this basic turret shape but open up one side a bit to make room for the twin-autocannon. I might also reverse the turret so that the guns are toward the middle of the vehicle instead of hanging over one side. In either case I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with an asymmetrical turret rather than centering the guns or putting one on each side.
Here are a couple of shots to show how it compares to the Chimera:
From what I’ve seen in the codex and online I think I’ve got the proportions pretty close to the GW model but I won’t know for sure until I get a chance to compare my Taurox to an actual one. In any case I think I’m close enough to go with it as is. I still have a lot of detail to add, some of which is already in the template and some of which I’ll add when I design the template. I also have a few more changes to incorporate. I plan to move the side access hatch forward to match the GW model more closely. I might also skip the front doors and assume the crew uses the same entry points as the passengers.
So the Rebel Grots are getting a new ride! I think the Taurox is a nice option to have in addition to the Chimera. What are your thoughts on the Taurox as a transport option, and as a model? What do you think of my replacement model?