“Brave, loyal, and trustworthy, the Hac Tao are characterized by their soft and silent moves and are famous for playing very hard. The function of this well trained troop is the interdiction of enemy troops, causing as much damage as possible with their actions….”
…And boy do they look the part. Isn’t it funny that in a hobby of miniatures, it’s still the big ones that get people excited. I’m not gonna lie, I just love everything about the Hac Tao. His profile, his background, his sculpt, all of it. Even the name sounds cool. I know I say this about everything, but the Hac Tao is one of the units that got me into Infinity. Not this particular one of course, who only exploded onto the scene last month. That honour belongs to this classic.
Most people, including myself will tell you the HMG profile is the safer option though, and with the unexpected bonus of the Executive Order + HMG profile from N3, this holds truer than ever. He also scored a nanopulser and a points decrease. Needless to say this guy will be a huge boon to my state troops and nascent White Banner Sectorial Army.
The grey was a haphazard mix from a pool of Games Workshop Fortress Grey, Skull White and Chaos Black that I dragged the brush through a different way depending on if i was looking to lighten or darken an area. The orange is the usual combo of Vallejo Orange Brown and Scrofulous Brown. I reckon I will be tidying those lines for a couple of weeks though. The muscle fibres are Games Workshop Hawk Turquoise with gradually added Skull White.
Here is a close up of the effect, from when I did the concept limb to test out the scheme.
There are some peculiarities with the name “Hac Tao” that I wanted to talk about. The design team was very straight forward in explaining what they were going for with the unit name; The unit description on the old website reads:
“The name of the Hac Tao Special Intervention Unit means “Black Tao” or “Black Magic”…”
It’s confusing because “Hac Tao” isn’t really consistent with any current systems for romanising Chinese. A quick search through Google turned up only one use of the “Hac Tao” spelling that wasn’t in relation to Infinity, a page on Encyclopedia Mythica discussing Chinese black magic. The page was created in 1997 and last modified on 2004. Infinity kicked off in 2005 as far as I know so it could have been their source.
From all this we can be very clear that the first character is meant to be “黑“, which means black. In Cantonese, 黑 is usually romanised as “Hak” or “Haak”, which is much closer to “Hac” than the Mandarin “hēi”, pronounced similar to the “hey” you would use to get someone’s attention.
As for Tao, it’s clear from the unit’s description and the big Yin-Yang insignia that this refers to Taoism. “Tao” itself is an early romanisation of 道/Dào, literally meaning “the way”. That’s from mandarin however, if we want to be consistent, the Cantonese pronunciation of 道 is “Dou”, similar to the dough you’d use for making bread.
In summary, the mandarin name would be “Hēi Dào”, the Cantonese name would be “Hak Dou”. Probably best to stick to the Infinity International Standard Code (ISC), since everyone who has ever read the words “Hac Tao” pronounced it the same way anyway.
The unit logo also includes some Chinese characters to look at.
The bottom reads “玉京/Yu Jing“, as I am sure everyone knows by now. The top reads “特殊单位/Tèshū dānwèi“, which means “Special Unit”, in line with the unit’s full ISC, Hac Tao Special Unit.