Eitherway the model looks awesome and a lot bulkier than it's predecessor. It's certainly on a bigger base! The question is will anyone replace their existing models with one? Personally I'm not sold. Yeah I like the model but there are other things to spend my cash on than replacing stuff I already have. I could understand the DE players replacing their stuff as the updated models were in a different league to the old ones but these models aren't all that dissimilar to the old Tau range. Granted they look to be more posable but otherwise its the same aesthetic.
A couple of the broadside shots we've already seen show some loadouts that aren't catered for with the old kits but I'm sure some imaginative conversion work will sort those out.
Really though, the main thing for me is how they play. I'm sure everyone will be watching these closely as with Tau being allied with everyone (pretty much), there'll be a lot of people prepared to shell out for a few kits to boost their existing armies with some fishface allies.
The weaponry looks pretty good. I'm hoping the burst cannon became S6 though else it's not going to give us much. The funky quad gun thing on the back of the model in this picture is intriguing but let's hope it isn't another rift cannon flop!
The latests shots show us some of the upgrade models that we'll be able to add to our squads. At the moment there seems to be a fire warrior shas'ui, pathfinder guy and tank commander. All of which are nice models but frankly aren't hard to convert. The tank kits already come with a spotter which makes an excellent commander stand-in. The pathfinder guy will certainly be able to be cobbled together from the pathfinder kit, as will the fire warrior (who looks a little bit chubby to me - bit of a beer gut!).
The interesting thing will, again, be what they bring to their squads. The rules look pretty interesting so far. As some people on Advanced Tau Tactica (where these pictures come from) have pointed out, the pictures we've seen so far reveal some new weapons. One of the pathfinders is holding what looks like an ion weapon of some kind. It would be cool to see a whole range of ion and rail weapons to match the pulse variants. Here's hoping.
There's long been murmurings that GW control their rumours a lot better than they let you think. It's interesting that we get another wave of pictures at the same time GW put a teaser video on their site.....