OK, so “army” might be a bit generous. Collection, I guess. I haven’t posted in quite a while because I haven’t painted anything in quite a while, and to be honest I don’t even feel that bad about it. But I’ve been promising I’d do a post about these T’au since the blog started, so I finally dug them out and threw them in front of a camera to put an end to the blog silence.
The WordPress photo viewer is funny sometimes, so if you want to see the photos in full screen zoomable mode, right click them and open them in their own window/tab.
It’s a pretty teeny collection as far as it goes, because we never really got into 40k before Soul Wars came along and sucked us head first into Age of Sigmar. I’ve not even got the Codex for these guys, but I’d say they just scrape over the 1000 mark; that Stormsurge is worth his weight in points. These guys have been either on a shelf or in a box for years and have yet to roll a single die in anger, save for a few of the warriors taking a brief foray into Kill Team.
First up is the Coldstar Commander. He used to have a name, but I’ve long since forgotten it. Poor chap doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment at all.
I think he was the first model I did for the army. The Commander battle suit is easily the most badass model in the T’au range, and at one stage I was tempted to make all my crisis suits out of these guys. Maybe one day I’ll do The Eight in my own scheme.
I’ll waste no time getting to the main attraction. The Stormsurge is an absolute unit of a model. I’ve never painted anything this big, and I doubt I will again. Don’t get me wrong, I think he looks effing sweet, but this brute took upwards of 80 hours to paint. So many edges to weather and highlight. So many lenses.
Painting all the little panels in the cockpit was fun though, and they’re a nice little hidden detail that I like to take a peek at every now and then. The model has plenty of other pointy doodads and inscrutable sci-fi bits to find too. I didn’t intend for the gun to be positionable and I’d originally glued it in the upright position, but it broke off while it was in the box so I guess it moves now… Still, useful for getting the camera in the right place.
Next up is Red Team. Five Breachers in a Devilfish. The internet tells me that squads of five is the way but that seems kind of squishy to me. Whatevs. You’ll notice that I’ve mixed together bits from Breachers, Fire Warriors and Pathfinders to make these guys. I wanted the infantry to look like they each customise their own gear, so you’ll see little differences in armour plates and helmets and so on across the army.
You might have seen some of these guys in my older posts as they’re some of my original Kill Team members. It should be pretty obvious that I pinched the idea for the infantry colour scheme from clone troopers. Who remembers Republic Commando for the original Xbox? That game was the shit.
The guy in the middle is one of my favourites from the whole army. I stole the idea for his helmet from Halo: Reach or Modern Warfare 2 or something. I like to say he’s a Tyrannic War veteran. He’s seen things no T’au should ever see and he’s got a few screws loose. Here’s one for you: How many Tyrannic War veterans does it take to screw in a light bulb? … You wouldn’t know. You weren’t there, man.
I think the Devilfish looks super sharp, and it’s one of the nicest tanks in 40k in my humble opinion. For some dumb reason I picked Celestra Grey as my army colour, so I couldn’t even just spray this thing white and paint the other bits on top. Had to spend hours getting a really smooth base coat with a tank brush because I’m too stubborn to use an airbrush. I put smart missiles on it because they were rad in 7th edition, but now apparently drones are way better.
If there’s a Red Team, then there’s gotta be a Blue Team. Five Fire Warriors with pulse carbines and a glowy wall for them to hide behind. Pulse rifles were probably a smarter choice, but pulse carbines look better. These guys were part of the second batch, so they didn’t get as much love in the conversion department, but they still got individual markings painted on…
…apart from the FNG with the markerlight. He’s new to the team, hasn’t had a chance to earn his stripes yet. Too bad he wasn’t with them in Grenada.
To round out the infantry I’ve got five pathfinders and a Firesight Marksman (that’s what they’re called, right?). Like the Red Team, these guys got a bunch of little conversions to individualise them. I added extra lenses and antennae and things to their helmets and mixed up their accent colours to give them the vibe of a squad of elite hand-picked troops.
They also get this floating donut to toodle around in. It’s the closest thing 40k has to a flying saucer so far, seeing as GW stubbornly refuse to make one for the Ad Mech, which is a no-brainer in my opinion.
The Firesight Marksman just hangs out at the back and gives out speeding tickets or whatever it is he does. I can’t remember his rules any more. I’ve got a feeling I was going to park him in a Droneport or a Gunrig.
Next up is a squad of 4 drones. Drones is drones, innit. Nothing too exciting to see here. I was going to give them some individual markings, but then I didn’t. If we get around to Kill Team I might come back and personalise them a bit more.
I do love drones though. They look like flying dustbin lids which makes them adorable, and you can zoom them around and go “pew pew pew”. I might just make a Kill Team full of drones. That’ll show those stupid humans.
And last but not least we have this lone ranger. The new Crisis suit kit is pretty damn nice, if still not quite as good as the commander. I’ve got his two squad mates built but unpainted somewhere between mine and Aaron’s houses, but for now he’s a one T’au operation.
I’ve not really talked about my painting process, so I’ll say a few words now. Rather than highlighting the Celestra Grey armour, I used watered down Rhinox Hide to stipple along the edges where a highlight would normally be to create the effect of the paint wearing off on the raised edges. I also used this same technique to paint on some very fine scrapes and spots on the armour. Less is more, and they build up quickly. I don’t use a sponge because a paintbrush gives you more control. The coloured markings were painted on in whatever colour I liked the look of, and then I went back over it with Celestra Grey to chip it the same way as on the white.
And that’s the lot. To finish off I’ve got a final group shot and some close ups of the original Kill Team members.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I had a lot of fun taking them. To anyone interested in the process, the photography took about 4 hours, and the editing another 4. Whole lotta focus stacking. Quite a bit of work, but it’s a good excuse to avoid painting for another month!
Till next time.