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WORK IN PROGRESS: Tau Empire

Hey all. It’s the front half of the week again… That means I’ve gotta wait another few days before I can spend an entire day hobbying again. Maybe I should take a personal day…

Anyways, this past weekend had some exciting moments. The Tau Empire pre-orders just hit the Games Workshop website. I already ordered my codex. I haven’t pre-ordered any of the models yet because I wanna see how the army book fairs before I go investing in new plastic — but we all know I’m gonna break down at some point…

I’m excited about the new models and getting Tau back on the table. The bombers will probably be one of my first additions. I didn’t like them at first, but top views of the kit quickly changed my mind. I think they look awesome. I like the old throwback bomber look.

The Broadsides will probably be an early addition as well. I love the fact that GW bulked up the model considerably. It looks more menacing now. With the size increase, I have a feeling that they may not be taken in squads anymore. I have a feeling that they are going to be single-model heavy choices in the new codex. But I could be wrong…

The XV104 Riptides are a NICE model for someone with a basement full of Gundams. Although I am not sure the model will be entirely effective on the tabletop, I plan to own a couple. They remind me — and everyone else I’m sure — of the Grey Knights Dreadknight. The Riptide seems like a menacing mech that is the ultimate mobile weapons platform.

On the characters side, Longstrike looks quite dynamic as a single model. An upgrade model, he helps out the Hamerheads, I believe. Who doesn’t want more killy in a Hammerhead?

With the new models added to the old models I already had, the hard part starts. I am working on incorporating new tools into my arsenal and I am pushing myself to create new artistic expressions. One such expression exists with my new Tau color scheme.

Though I have painted green with my Orks army, this Tau army poses a whole new challenge. The first challenge is exploring an entire color palette for an entire army. This isn’t like Necrons or Iron Warriors. The whole army is not going to be a main color with weathering to add interest, such as with the Iron Warriors. This is taking completely different units and making them feel like a cohesive whole. Different base colors that require different highlight colors, but make it feel like they all belong on the battlefield together.

I thumbed through one of my color combination books and found something I liked. It had a decent base and highlight color with a nice supplemental color and extreme detail color. A mint green, I decided, would be the base, with a dark grey as my supplemental color. My sept color will be an extreme orange-yellow and a dark blueish green will be that splash of color here and there.

XV-25 Stealth Team

Being that the stealth suits are one of my favorites and have enough places to experiment with the entire color range, I went in and airbrushed the base over a black prime and brushed in the supplemental colors. I still have some more wok to do, but after about 20-30 minutes, this is what I have:

tauStealthXV25001

tauStealthXV25002

I liked the results, so I went ahead and threw on The Hobbit and finished off the unit. I must say that I feel like I made some good progress. Unfortunately, I have NO idea what happened in the Hobbit because I could not hear the dialogue over the sound of the air compressor…

I started experimenting with where to put the other colors — the grey, the teal and the other shades. I added black to one of the models and kind of liked it, but I think I’m leaning more towards a dark grey instead of black. Maybe something like Eshin Grey from Games Workshop.

tauStealthXV25005

Tau Piranha

With the general color scheme settled on the XV-25 suits, I wanted to move on to another unit and get is experimented on. So I settled on the Tau Piranha. I have 3 models that have been painted and repainted multiple times, so they are kind of at the end of their experimentation stage. I’m probably 1 or 2 re-primes away from filling in the details. But I’ll push forward.

I started with a black primer, then put Eshin Grey over top of that. I like how dark the color is. And over top of the flat black primer, it maintains its flatness. After the Eshin, I drew a simple pattern that I borrowed from the How to Paint Tanks book from GW. I taped up the pattern and airbrushed my green color from my XV-25 suits.

I LIKE it. Unfortunately, my tape job sucked and the pattern doesn’t line up together. But I plan to possibly re-prime it and start over again…

tauPiranha001

tauPiranha002

Fire Warriors

Here’s where I ran into a snag. I wanted the Fire Warriors to be darker than the Stealth Suits, but now I feel like they look like leaf people… I’m not happy with how this color works with the warriors. I started off a couple of steps darker than the Stealth Suits on the armor. Then I think I went too dark on the cloth. It’s not looking like I had in my head, so I need to make some adjustments and figure out how to work the color scheme.

tauVarious001

I have a bunch of these models to complete, so I don’t want anything overly complicated, but I still want it to be nice and coordinate with the rest of the army. I may step it down and go to the lighter end. Maybe something lighter than the Stealth suits. Then I think I can get away with a similar scheme to the Piranhas for my bombers, XV9 suits, Broadsides and Riptides — by focusing on the darker colors.

Stay tuned. Much more to come. Including a battle report from an upcoming 40K campaign.

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