Painting Tau : Classic Scheme
The following details a method, in my particular style, for painting Tau Empire forces in the classic GW scheme.
This first article covers the ‘Classic’ desert scheme GW devised in the original codex. This version is lighter and uses less dark line work for definition. The following graphics suggest the optimum places to highlight as your confidence grows in doing close in details.
Things to remember :
- Keep a clean mixing slate
- Rinse your brushes every so often as the paint tends to build up on the brush
- Do not apply your paint heavily, let it dry and come back to it another time. This yields smoother results than piled on paint.
- Sometimes a larger brush is better, as more hairs are stiffening the fine tip when you are trying to be careful.
- Lastly, practice practice practice. I was terrible when I began, I actually started with poster paints on some Fantasy orcs! We all learn, and usually best from our friends in painting groups. You can talk all kinds of nonsense whilst completing a force on a rainy day with snacks.
Paints Used :
- White Spray Undercoat
- Vermin Brown
- Vomit Brown
- Scorched Earth Brown
- Beastial Brown
- Bronzed Flesh
- Bleached Bone
- Chaos Black
- Codex Grey
Brushes Used :
- Size 2 (Slim Tank Brush GW), Size 00 and 0 (Fine Detail and Detail Brushes GW)
The Steps :
I begin with a White basecoat, drying time, then apply a Vermin Brown undercoat to all the armor areas using the larger brush(2). Then ever so slightly watered down Vomit Brown for a couple of layers on armored areas using the Detail brush(0).
Using the 00 Fine Detail Brush, I then highlight with Bronzed Flesh/Vomit Brown (50:50) mix. Sharp edge highlights are done with Bronzed flesh and Bleached Bone mix. All recesses I carefully readdress with watered down Vermin Brown, to cover up any mistakes when applying the highlights and Vomit Brown. Often I leave the combat fatigues until later, so as I can go about armoured areas and clean up the edges with a crisp dark finish.
In saying that, the combat fatigues are under coated with Chaos Black & Scorched Brown mix (50:50), then highlighted broadly with Scorched Brown, then sharply with Beastial Brown. All using the Detail Brush (0)
Black details are completed with Chaos Black directly, then Chaos Black and Codex Grey highlight mix (80:20). This is very subtle and only visible in person as often my digital camera blends the subtle hues.
The following two images show the edge highlights, smooth Vomit Brown and the combat fatigues simple highlighting:
My style of Classic Tau have pouches which are undercoated with Dark Angels Green/Catachan Green mix (50/50), highlighted with Catachan Green then a Cammo Green edging.
All the markings are painted twice, with watered down Skull White. Makes for a smoother finish. Keep them simple at first then build up your confidence over a whole fire team and then go to town on your Shas’Ui.
Hope this guide helps in your painting!