Sunday, August 23, 2015

Progress Report: Tau Refresh

Well this post was meant to come in the middle of last week but I've been struggling to find the time to post. That's actually a good thing as I've been using what free time I do have to get some paint on my Tau. Here's a reminder of what I wanted to accomplish before our mini tournament on September 5th:

  • Magnetise the Piranha weapons (they currently have fusion blasters glued in but I want to use burst cannons in this list)
  • Paint the Piranhas (I already gave them a quick spray of basecoat)
  • Base the Piranhas
  • Paint all the drones (they're part painted at the minute but I'd like to finish them)
  • Tidy joins/mouldlines (I've had these models awhile and I wasn't that fastidious back then)
  • Sept markings
  • Squad markings (it can get difficult to tell the fire warrior squads apart)
  • Panel lines on the the vehicles
  • Highlights on everything
  • Transfers
  • Improved basing
So far I've managed to magnetise the Piranha weapons, paint the Piranhas and started work on the drones. To be honest this is the bare minimum I needed to get done. Once the drones are out of the way I'll have everything at least with the main base colours on (blue, light grey, dark grey and metal). I'd also like to get the sept and squad markings done. The rest would be a nice bonus but we'll see how I get on. I can already feel my inner hobby butterfly wanting to flit to another project!

Anyway, here's some shots of the piranhas so far. The pilots aren't glued in at the moment as this will allow me to work on their control consoles sometime soon. 

I think they look pretty decent and as you can see from the army shot above they fit in beautifully with the rest of the army. Clearly I need to get their bases done but that's not a big job. I'd hope to have it done tonight in fact. 

I really like the Piranha model. It's a shame that it's taken this long for me to get them painted up and onto the table top for some games. They're actually a great unit for the points. For the minimal amount you pay for them you get 8 S5 shots per skimmer and of course the option to detach the drones to target two separate units. They're excellent as crowd control units and their speed is much needed for Tau who often struggle to cover ground in objective games. 

Anyway, the other little job I managed to knock off the list was to get the mouldlines on the tank engines cleaned off. They're still not perfect but they're a lot better than they were. Remember this is an army I've had since not long after I got back into 40K. They were assembled at a time when I didn't know how to trim them properly. For the most part they'd also been painted with Tau Sept Ochre as I intended them to be in the traditional T'au sept scheme.

My main concern at the moment is that they don't really "pop". I hate that term but I can't think of a better one. What I mean though is that, whilst they certainly have a military scheme they don't really stand out. I intend to make the sept markings in bright orange which will help and the addition of transfers will bring them up a bit but I think they need something more. I'm toying with the idea of swapping the blue for red or changing the light grey for white. Both of which would take quite a bit of time. Any suggestions?


  1. Its a lot of good clean work in a short time man and you should be pleased!

    Personally, I think the blue is maybe a bit "off" and a contrasty colour would work better in its place if youre seeking a bright pop.,, but I think i'd leave the paint scheme intact and instead provide pop by weathering the sh*t out of them, introduce grime, streaking, chipping, soot and some corrosion colours and really make them feel like theyve been on campaign a while.

    but thats just me :)

    1. Even shorter time when you consider I've only had a couple of hours on 3-4 nights.They need the black in the panel gaps to look a lot neater.

      You're right, the blue isn't quite right. I think that's more to do with the light grey being a bit bluey. Ultimately I don't have the time to completely revamp the colour scheme.

      I'm torn on the weathering. On the one hand I think they'd benefit from it but I also like the clean apperance for Tau. That and I've never really done much weathering.

    2. I never weathered my Tau collection either, for the same reason. I think some bold sept markings will add the pop you are looking far. I particularly like the idea of orange sept markings, I think it will play off the blue and gold nicely.

  2. I think the color scheme is fine. I think the key problem you're struggling with is that blue and grey don't bring that much contrast to the table on their own. The best way for you to increase contrast with your time budget will probably be highlighting and shading. Bringing some highlights up to white and shadows to black will give the scheme more punch or pop etc.

  3. Apart from highlighting amd shading, which will help the colours stand out alot more, the orange sept markings would be great eye catchers and add that bit of interest you are looking for on them. Great progress though :)

  4. Great work - I would be really pleased with that, as I couldn't get going with Tau at all. As far as getting the paint job to pop, orange Tau numbering on the vehicle noses would give a Formula 1 vibe. Plus you have them on a grey table. This means the urban camo works. On an ice or desert board they would stand out a lot more.

  5. Looking great! The scheme is great, and very clean!


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