I’ve waited a long time for this.
The description Corvus Belli sent to their distributors is probably the best summation why:
“The Gūijiă, the most versatile and heavier TAG of Yu Jing, has been redesigned and re-sculpted. This new box replace the previously released. With its huge sword and MULTI HMG, the Gūijiă is the personified nightmare of any soldier: a powerful war machine perfectly adapted to any combat situation.”
The official unit bio is also a bit of fun but we’ll get to that later. For now it’s suffice to say that it’s clearly the meanest thing on two legs since Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Javier G. Ureña’s outstanding sculpt certainly looks the part. Whilst he only has the second deadliest gun available to Yu Jing, he’s faster than everything we have but the Aragoto and Sù-Jiàn (in mobility form) and wins the prize for “most durable” with his ARM value of 8 and 3 structure points.
As for the model himself, the first thing I and many others noticed is that the Gūijiă is a big guy. Heavy too. I probably used a foot of paper-clip pinning him together. Some advice for people about to assemble their first one, if I had a chance to do over I would probably leave his sword hand and gun off the model for painting purposes. That said, absolutely drill and fit the pins for his wrist before attaching the arms to the model!
He’s huge, that means huge painting. With his extremely detailed servo-muscle system, with has crisp detailing on every segment of every strand, each casting a shadow, this beast drank a lot of primer, and I spent hours chasing up T-1000 effects with the brush after I gave up with the Chaos Black spray. Most of the surface of the model is painted with a metallic effect, which is very messy using my method, so I resolved to do it first, then the orange. I quickly found it was hard to judge what parts are meant to be orange just by looking at the model, and frustratingly had to keep returning to studio painter Angel Giraldez’ blog post to view it from many angles. The solution was to base coat the orange panels first, then do the metal, despite how fouled the orange panels would become with my haphazard dry brushing. Ideally I would have done the metal as I did on the Yanhuo, but I kind of rushed it on account of wanting to see it finished. Check out the comments section of that post to see how I should have done it. Once I had finished with the inner workings, the orange was predictably done the same way I have been doing it from the start of this blog.
The sword is a focal point of the model yet I had no precedent for how I was going to paint it, so I nervously winged it. The base colour of the blade is Citadel Mechrite Red. This paint no longer exists but I hear Khorne Red, or Vallejo Heavy Red are good matches. I then picked out the edges in Ceramite White (not sure if I got a bad one or if this paint just kills brushes like it’s its job). I then mixed Baal Red and a tiny bit of Liche purple into a rich wash that I then panted the blade with. The cross-guard is my most successful attempt at non-metallic metal painting to date. The colour sequence was Abaddon Black, Snakebite Leather, Bubonic Brown then Vallejo Ivory. Each layer covered successively less, painting from most elevated to most depressed.
As for the effects of the sword on Impudent Pano, this was a problem because I had to figure out how to paint PanO blue with the colours I had. I ended up mixing Citadel Regal Blue with Enchanted Blue, then worked in more and more white for subsequent layers. The scorch effect is Abaddon Black, Orange Brown and Cavalry Brown.
Now this is the first time in a while since I got a new Chinese troop profile, so it’s time for some language! We’ll start with the name.
The character 龟/Gūi is a catch all character for turtles and tortoises. It is pronounced “Gway”. The character itself is a pictogram of one of those animals.
The character 甲/jiă denotes armour. This pictogram is a stylized depiction of the scutes on a Testudine carapace/plastron and if you look closely you’ll see it is incorporated into the turtle pictogram – neat! Jiă is quite easy to pronounce but a bit difficult to explain. Lets try “jya”, as one syllable. The Chinese ‘j’ sound isn’t exactly our ‘j’ sound either, a kind of hybrid with ‘ch’.
Unfortunately an error crept into the unit emblem when it was redesigned for third edition. If you look at the top banner, the character after 龟/Gūi is different from 甲/jiă. This character, 家/jiā, is also spelled ‘jia’ using a keyboard input so it is likely the result of a typographical error. It means depending on usage, “home” and “family”. The correct 甲/jiă character features prominently in the centre of the emblem. The third character, 队/duì denotes a team, corps or squadron. Guijia ‘Squadrons’ and Wu Ming Assault ‘Corps’ both use 队 for the last word.
Now Corvus Belli did go out of their way to include some nice Chinese mythological references in the official unit bio, so I thought it might be fun to look at it. I’ve embedded some Wikipedia links into the bio to help make sense of some of the Chinese words.
“The Sì Líng Squads are a prestigious unit, a source of pride for their military prowess in service of the nation. The Guijia machines of the State Cavalry are the best warfare tools devised by man to this day.
In days of yore, incorporation into an elite unit was a matter of lineage or rank, but not in the reality of Yu Jing where, thanks to Imperial socialism, only the best can join the best units, regardless of their birth. An aptitude testing programme carried out in middle schools selects young people with the potential to serve the State from the higher echelons of the military.
Once vetted, they are relocated to training centers, where veteran soldiers prepare and evaluate them. After a final selection, only the most promising, regardless of their social origin, receive the reward of joining the best Yu Jing units. […] Piloting a Guijia, the most advanced light war machine, product of our superior technology, a soldier can traverse the most gruesome killzone unscathed and help Yu Jing fulfil its destiny […] Sì Líng Regiments on planet Yutang, like those mythical creatures, are spread across the four points of the compass to defend the land. The Qílín (Unicorn) Regiment is deployed in the continental West […] The Fènghuáng (Phoenix) Regiment protects the fertile South. […] The Gui-Xian (Immortal Turtle) Regiment covers the North, our cultural bastion. […] And the Lóng (Dragon) Regiment defends the industrious East and our beloved capital. […] Sì Líng Regiments were responsible for many of our glorious victories during the NeoColonial Wars […] Comrade-subject, your children might become heroes of the Yu Jing StateEmpire. Your unsung efforts are the foundation of our socialist-Imperial society…”
-Excerpts from Ministry of Information propaganda broadcast.