Friday, September 04, 2015

Tau Update Progress - Piranha Sept Markings

Well, with the mini-tournament tomorrow I can safely say I've failed in my target of getting my Tau army updated in time. When I started this little project my piranhas were in various states of painted. One wasn't far off, another was painted in a totally different colour scheme and the third wasn't painted at all. Their drones were only painted on the top surface and none of the pilots were painted. Here's how they look now:


As you can see I've managed to make a lot of progress with them. They've all had the base colours of greys, blue and metal. They've also had all of the panel lines painted in black before transfers were applied followed by freehanded numbering and sept markings. The drones have been given sept markings to match the squad so that once they detach you can tell where they originated.

I'm pretty pleased with how the sept markings turned out. I originally just had them on the panel in front of the cockpit but I then decided to repeat them on the sides of the fuselage too. In hindsight they'd have probably looked better on the top at the back but I'm happy with my freehand efforts nonetheless.


The only transfers I applied in the end were the Tau symbols on either side the tail. The numbering was of mixed success. I started out using the individual number transfers from the sheet but these just wouldn't stick and kept falling off despite my efforts. I therefore decided just to paint them on. For those of you not au fait with the Tau numbering system they're numbered 23, 24 and 25. The problem with freehanding the numbers was that I didn't keep very good control of the size of them. They're probably best on "25" which was the last one I painted and I think I'd gotten the hang of it by then. Perhaps I'll go back at some point and redo the other two to match.


The only thing they need now is the sept markings repeating on the pilots, highlighting, weathering on the engines and then some matt varnish. I've decided I don't want to heavily weather them just yet. Mainly because I'm not confident doing it and I don't want to ruin all my hard work making them look neat.

Sadly I didn't get the Devilfish or Fire Warrior sept markings finished in time but that'd probably only be an evening's work some time in the future. Anyway, we're playing the mini tournament tomorrow so I should probably head to bed. If you're down at WHW for any reason (most likely Council of War) feel free to pop over and say hello.

Here's a rundown of the armies tomorrow:

  • Me - Tau Empire (obviously)
  • Matt - Chaos
  • Jamie - Dark Angels
  • Scott - Tyranids
Should be great fun and it'll be nice to play three games of 40K if nothing else. Oh and gawk at all the dioramas!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Tau Update Project - Devilfish Transfers

Thanks to a typically rainy bank holiday I was able to make some further progress with my Tau. With the panel lines done I decided that I should apply the transfers to my Devilfish before deciding where the sept markings should go and how large I should make them. The idea being that this way I'll avoid putting sept markings where I want transfers and vice versa.

I was torn between putting the Tau symbol on the nose or on the doors. I felt that both was too much but frankly I'm not sure what else you're meant to do with those large Tau symbols on the transfer sheet. Certainly some people seem to stick the large one on the nose but it didn't quite sit right with me. Instead I opted to put one on each of the three doors as I liked how the symbol on the blue background looked.


For the nose I decided to go with the numbers in Tau language as vehicle designations. By my reckoning they read 320, 321, and 322 but feel free to correct me! With hindsight I should've probably put 320 on the Ethereal's 'fish but it's a bit late to change it now. Anyway, the sheet gives you large numbers and a pair of corresponding smaller numbers. When you look through the codex these appear to go just above the side doors. That's all well and good for the ochre colour scheme but when I tried it with mine you could barely see them. I therefore went for the light grey panel on each engine and I think it worked out nicely.


The last little detail was the multicoloured symbols on the left hand side of the fuselage just between the vent and the funny bump thing. There are six different types of these so I'll have three on devilfish, two on hammerheads/skyrays and one on the bomber. I struggled to find much use for the other transfers on the sheet. Obviously a big chunk of them are sept specific and whilst I'd have loved to go for a different sept the classic Tau symbol is on all of my fire warriors so I thought it would look odd. The rest of the transfers are sept markings (no good as mine will be orange) or random bits of Tau text. Someone over on ATT has translated them all but the main problem was that they're all in black which doesn't show up well on my scheme. I actually put the Y'Tau ones on the engines but no-one will ever notice so I don't know why I bothered!

Anyway, with so much hobby time I was also able to start and finish the panel lines on my hammerheads and I'm halfway through the piranhas too. I'd like to get that finished today and then make a start on sept markings. If I cant get the markings done I'll be happy that I've done most of what I wanted to do for Saturday. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Panel Lines! (Try to contain your excitement)

Not the most thrilling subject ever but it represents progress on my Tau update project. Let's remind everyone again that we're talking about models that I've had for a while that I (stupidly) painted before I owned an airbrush. They're not the neatest assembly jobs either. Nevertheless I'm making great progress in tidying them up and making them look at least passable.

The next stage in this drive for improvement was to paint in the panel lines. I'm doing this in black to really make the gaps stand out and also because black covers a multitude of sins. The first models to get this treatment were the Devilfish. I heavily thinned Abaddon Black with some acrylic flow improver and used a detail brush to hit the gaps. Inevitably there were some areas where things got slightly messy so I went back with the original colours (or close in the case of the dark grey) and tidied things up.


Let's be realistic it's not a monumental difference but I think when you compare it to the
Hammerheads, which have yet to receive this treatment, there's a noticeable improvement. The Hammerheads will get this treatment next, closely followed by the piranhas and the Sunshark. The Sunshark needs some more work in other areas too but I can get them at the same time. I think I'll just stick to doing this on the vehicles (and their drones) for now as the suits will take a lot of time for minimal difference.

Devilfish in foreground pre-panelgapping


The next stage once the panels are done is going to be transfers. I know this is skipping a few steps really but I want to get an idea of how they'll look when finished and give me an idea of where best to put the sept markings. As I've said I'm going to give the Devilfish sept markings matching their squads so that there's some coherency. Not only that but I think the transfers will make a more significant difference than the line highlights will. They'll also take significantly less time to achieve!

Whilst doing these lines I've noted a few little details that I'll need to come back to at some point e.g. the targeting lens on the burst cannon and the cockpit windscreen. Anyway, this is probably the best hobby stint I've put in for a long time so I'm hoping I can keep up the momentum.

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