Painting Tau : Urban Scheme
The following details a method, in my particular style, for painting Tau Empire forces in an Urban Scheme.
The first article covered the ‘Classic’ desert scheme GW devised in the original codex. This version is my own method for a dark, grey urban scheme. 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 :
- Citadel Black Spray Undercoat (or similar)
- Vallejo Model Colour : German Cam Beige 103
- Vallejo Model Colour : German Cam Medium Brown 145
- Vallejo Model Colour : Stone Grey 104
- Vallejo Model Colour : Dark Grey 994
- Vallejo Model Colour : Basalt Grey 162
- Vallejo Model Colour : Black 169 (Matte finish)
- Citadel Codex Grey
- Citadel Blazing Orange
- Citadel Liche Purple
- Citadel Tentacle Pink
Brushes Used :
- Size 2 (Slim Tank Brush GW), Size 00 and 0 (Fine Detail and Detail Brushes GW)
The Steps :
This is a very dull tone scheme, so expect the colours to blend to a subtle point. While I cannot assure you of an exact match the following describes how I go about applying the colours.
Firstly I was tired of mixing shades to make a good urban scheme. So shopping around I found a ‘family’ of complimentary colours in the Vallejo range. I do the combat fatigues first, armor second;
After a black spray undercoat, I clean the models then set down a layer of German Cam. Brown. Then I mix 50:50 of that with German Cam. Beige. This is the next step, with broad application over the folds etc. This is followed by German Cam. Beige only as a highlight, then sharply highlighted with Stone Grey.
[Advanced step:] I then I mix Black/German Cam Brown & Beige in a 33/33/33 style mix. This is slightly watered down then carefully brushed into recesses as a shadow colour.
The armor is very straight forward. Dark Grey basecoat, Basalt grey and Dark Grey 50:50 mix, then Basalt grey edge highlights. For characters I then do very fine edge highlighting with Citadel Codex Grey.
[Advanced Step] I often wash a very watered down Vallejo Black, then do the Basalt Grey edge highlights. This often leaves no reason to complete with Codex Grey. However, the wash can darken drastically if you misjudge the amount of water. I usually mix 6 drops to one of Black.
The details; I use Citadel Blazing orange for marking, applied in two coats. One slightly watered down, the second only watered down for better consistency. This double application causes no paint build up and really makes the orange Pop! off the grey. I also do a very watered down stroke of black through all the creases in the armor plates to define them more. Take your time and the results are much sharper.
I use Citadel Liche Purple and Tentacle Pink for the gems and lenses. Complete these with your own ‘gem’ painting technique.
Hope this guide helps in your painting!