The Kroot are undeniably the main strength of the Tau Empire. They are the sharp knife, the lightning attack, the brutal edge when any world is unable or unwilling to see the benefit of the Greater Good.
But the Kroot not only serve the Tau, they are mercenaries for many a master. One such master, according to the Tau Empire Codex are Eldar pirates.
This sparked my mind into thinking; what they would look like, how would they fight, would their equipment be different?
The idea of Kroot boarding a vessel in search for plunder and the bloodbath that would ensue seemed so interesting and different from the disciplined way they would be encouraged to behave in Tau forces...
Kroot conversion Theory
One of the first ideas I had was to shorten the normal Kroot rifle for boarding actions. The look reminds me of some of the WWII Russian submachine guns and is present on all the Kroot Eldar pirates.
The Captain and his Crew
From the eye patch to the Dark Elf sword in the thick low slung belt - this guy was always going to be over the top!
You'll notice the Captain wears Imperial Guard/ Planetary Defence Force armour loosely draped over his head - more loot, but somewhat more practical.
He also wears a Dark Eldar shin and knee armour piece. This crew have see their share of action!
He also has some repurposed goggles, adding to the Steampunk vibe, on the top of his head... it's doubtful they would even fit his eyes!
Initially I was going to use the brilliant Victoria Miniatures Goggles and Gas Mask Set, but decided on my own simple version.
I see this Kroot as younger and without much loot yet, the goggles and Dark Eldar dagger being his most prized possessions.
I can imagine his skulking through the corridors of a boarded vessel, or watching over prisoners cowering in the bridge, or maybe just walking through the breached hull - calm as can be, ready to kill, loot and plunder any and all who stand in his way!
This is my first experience painting and modelling Kroot, and it's not just any dirty Tau-loving Kroot - these guys are experienced fighters, mercenaries who have fought with honour in wars and now fight for loot in the service of the Eldar pirate fleets.
It's safe to say I love pretty much everything about these Kroot models - apart from the limited poses (can we have some better multi-part Kroot please?) but don't expect these to look like the normal dust-dwellers you so often see.
These guys have traversed the stars... and fed on it's meat!