+ inload: Tau on the workbench +

+ Back from the brink +

+ Open fire! All weapons! +
+ Some armies – like an old Tau force that I was never pleased with – get sold on; though I often keep hold of a few favourites. After having fun putting some paint on Shas'la Cano'Be [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] the other day, I dug around and pulled out the remnants of a previous sale and have given them a rebasing job to freshen 'em up. +

+ Stealth suits seem to fit 32mm bases much more comfortably than the 40mm ones these were supplied with. It's entirely possible that the current box comes supplied with this size, of course! +

The white goo on the bases is acrylic texture paste. It'll give some light grittiness, and match the basing of my Death Guard [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], who regular readers will remember are set in the same campaign.  +

+ Something old, something new +

+ The old guard are joined by some of the lovely new Pathfinders. I've always liked the Tau infantry more than the suits, and the character and posing of the new/updated kits meant I couldn't resist. I'm very tempted to pick up a Breacher team, as the curved/angular details would echo the Crisis commander pictured below. 

+ Pictured here pre-priming, this Forgeworld suit (a mem-bank cascadefail means I can't remember the XV coding, I'm afraid) looks considerably more comfortable on a new oval base than the giant round one he was supplied with. +

+ Something borrowed? Something blue? +

+ The question now, of course, is how to paint them? I'd painted up a couple of test schemes over a decade ago – one is pictured below – but I'm still a bit hesitant about rolling it out. I'd very much appreciate any thoughts you have on the matter. +

+ Is there an unusual scheme you're dying to see on some Tau? +


  1. I think Tau look best in one of two modes. Either very realistic schemes, that are based on real world, or similar uniforms, OR in very bright high contrast "Anime" schemes.

    Consider then your Imperial Guard forces when you choose your Tau.

    For my own Tau, I went with a scheme based on WWII US Infantry.

    1. Yes, I think my gut instinct is to go with a fairly drab real-world scheme – but given the number of grimy, gritty models I've painted, perhaps it'd be worth the challenge to try something a bit brighter?

  2. Your work is usually inspiring!
    What about a digital camo ultramodern pattern? ;)

    1. Thank you – and coo, that's an idea. It'd be fun for a small number of models (perhaps a stealth team?)

  3. I don't like camo schemes on Tau as it pulls them away from scifi and grounds them too much. They are in a weird place- you dont want them looking like near future human forces and lavish heraldry doesn't suit them either. Bright colours make them look more eldar, deeper colours make them look more imperial.
    The traditional 'alien' colours are being staked out by the Orks and Nids- you brighten up either of those and they'll look like aspect warriors, you deepen them and you are back to guard camo and Imperial nobility.

    Tau get blue skin but don't show a lot of it- and when they do, you won't want it to get lost against the armour.

    You can push the bizarre alien colour combo like the mars attacks aliens but the models still have to be enjoyed by humans.

    Most of the successful schemes I've seen tend to be mostly neutral (the standard beige, whites, greys, creams, desaturated colours) with some strong accent to make them pop.

    The exception to the above notes on camo are 'digital camo'- which i think can be done well with tau. A high contrast two tone urban or iceworld camo in pixellated blocks could look very nice.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. It's certainly a delicate balance – I guess that's why GW used pastel and earthy tones for their early schemes.
      Either way, I'm looking forward to painting some Tau skintones.

  4. Great to see some fighters for the greater good!

    I agree with the Lasgunpacker – i went all WWII green on mine (http://fummelfinger.blogspot.com/p/tau.html) with white and orange accents, but after i painted one big ghostkeel in orange, i really like that look as well. So bright or military-brown/green. Something practical would indeed be more fitting for a race that has a short live span, and even values the life of their not super-enhanced regular soldiers...

    1. 'For the Greater Good! Try not to get shot! Or at least kill something before you do!' :D

      That's a gorgeous army you have there – everyone go check the link. I particularly like the snake-headed suit. Any background on him/her/it?

  5. Urban digicam? It’s modern and I’ve seen it done years ago on awardee to good effect. You could use Berlin Brigade colours if you wanted something that stood out more (so not very camo at all I guess!). Oh, and dispatch War Rocket Ajax... ;)

    1. Berlin Brigade? Off to google... Thanks for the heads-up!


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