Tau of War

Posted: August 11, 2018 in 40k
Tags: , ,

These have been a very, very long time in coming. I got my first Tau models at about the time I was graduating high school. At the time, I tried emulating the color scheme showcased in the first (at the time, only) Tau codex. I loved the way that it looked both colorful and suitably military at the same time. But once I’d got as far in as some Stealth Suits, a unit of Fire Warriors and a Hammerhead Gunship, I’d had enough. The orange-y Vomit Brown proved a massive pain to get suitable coverage with, and each figure had to be blacklined with ink and painstakingly edge-highlighted.

I then embarked on a literally decade-long quest to find a new color scheme, one that would satisfy my three (nearly mutually exclusive) goals: colorful, at least vaguely military, and quick and easy to paint. This journey had uncountable false ends and pauses – I’m honestly not sure exactly how many fire warriors were sacrificed to paint scheme tests. As new products came on the market, I pursued each as a possible solution. Quickshade, new primers, various washes. A couple times I thought to put my foot down and settle for what I had found, in some cases getting as far in as a couple units done, but the question would still gnaw away at the back of my mind.

Until finally, at long last, I saw a great beacon shining out from the shelves of paint. I beheld a can of Zandri Dust spray paint, and it was good.

It is colorful, but still a suitable military camouflage. The bottled paint and the spray match beautifully, making touchups simple. By thinning my usual Strong Tone wash with Lamian Medium, I can shade it effectively. It contrasts well with my favorite Vallejo Burned Red accent color and high-tech, bright blue lenses.

And so, here is the final beginning of my collection of Tau. Even though it may wait in between other projects, even though I may never paint everything I’ve collected, even though I may never play an actual game with it, I know that at last my journey is at an end.

The first coat of paint I put on this Crisis suit was in 2005.

I wanted the edge highlighting to be fairly subtle, so I went back with the Zandri Dust after the wash step. It stands out a bit more IRL, but it’s not as clear in these pictures.

I quite like the pose of the Ethereal, but the hover drone was a bit much. Clipping out letters from the transfer sheet and applying them all to his tabard was a pain, but I’m pleased with the final result.

I’ve always preferred the look of the original metal XV-15 stealthsuits (and I have two units of them – one still bare metal, and one finished long ago in my original scheme) but these were cheap to pick up used. They’ll be accompanied by a gaggle of Marker Drones.

DEATH FRISBEES. If these guys work, why isn’t the whole Tau army just drones? Stop fighting the unspeakable monsters and skull-covered zealots yourself and just send the robots.

Like with the stealthsuits, I prefer the original Broadside. I did, however, swap his ordinary Crisis suit head for the one from the newer Broadside kit (bits trades are awesome!)

Thanks for reading!

-Chris

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