Tag Archives: Tau Empire


So, I’ve been slowly grinding away at some Fire Warriors with what little painting time I seem to have nowadays.  Most of this time has been cycling through different arrangements of turquoise, trying to get something worked up that I’m happy with.

Somewhere along the way, I remembered that I painted up this Demigryph using a turquoise that I was exceedingly pleased with, so I checked my notes, and included it as one of the test schemes. 

That got me this guy:

Tau FW Turquoise

I’m pretty happy with the result (especially after settling on a better approach to the Fire Caste symbol).

So, I basically redid all of the other in-progress Fire Warriors: another basecoat, more turquoise, etc.  This process has felt interminable: not enough time to paint, going back over stuff I’d already painted, too many minis (7) in the batch, etc, etc.  But I was blessed with some time Friday so I knuckled down and powered through the bastards: washing them before turning in Friday night.

Then, Saturday morning, I realized I used the wrong wash.  I pulled my mix from some notes I’d kept… but not the right notes.

This is what I’m talking about:


It’s noticeably more blue and not-at-all green here. I assure you, the difference is even more significant to the naked eye.

So, that’s the last, what, month? down the drain. I could repaint these guys, but given that most of them already have two full coats of paint on them, a third isn’t going to do them any favors… nevermind the psychological difficulty involved in painting them again.

So, I’m shoving these guys to the back of the table.  I’ll probably finish them at some point (they’re, like, 75% there) and maybe use them as test models for weathering or something. Blargh.

Wednesday Workbench / Tau!

A day late, sure, but it’s got to be Wednesday somewhere, right?  (What do you mean that’s not how it works?)

2013-06-12 07.26.00

Sigmar help me, I’ve actually done some painting.  Not a lot, but given how the past month’s been: I’ll take what I can get.

There’s been quite a bit of faffing around with the exact paint color scheme I want to use on my Tau 2.0. I’m still not sure that I’m in love with it, but it’s definitely Good Enough.

2013-06-12 07.26.31

2013-06-12 07.26.35

Here’s a finished, final model: all he needs is some static grass on the base and varnishing.  Sean P. will likely be happy to note that, in the end, I went with Dragonforge’s Lost Empires bases. In the end, it came down to variety, and thinking I could get the effect I wanted.  It’s turned out okay, I think.

2013-06-12 07.27.43

The only thing I’m unhappy with is the Fire Caste symbol.  Previously, I’d painted it black-on-white, and I don’t think it ever looked good. The slightest imperfection in getting lines straight and shapes even stood out. I did some quick alternative color mockups below: the second from the left might have hastily been done in Gimp, but it’s not too far from what black-on-white actually looks like. :/

Tau Symbols

The more I think about it, the more I like the rightmost one. I think I’m going to give that a spin before I hit the model with varnish.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to make good, quick progress with these guys.

Wednesday(ish) Workbench

1-2013-05-23 15.31.49

Progress proceeds (slowly) on the Tau. As you can see, I’ve got some Fire Warriors basecoated, and I’m starting in on a final test model.  I’ve put together some Pathfinders, and I’m starting in on a… I dunno. Either a Hammerhead or a Sky Ray. Both, I suppose.

2-2013-05-23 15.31.55

What I’m doing here is something I’ve wanted to do ever since deciding to revisit my Tau a few years ago: smoothing out the sides of my tanks. Devilfish carry troops, yes, but how many hatches does a Hammerhead or Sky Ray need?

Or so my thinking goes.

Instead of putting the hatches on, I’m filling the space with some 2mm plasticard (not as smoothly cut as I’d have liked) with the gaps filled in with greenstuff and the whole mess sanded super-smooth.  It feels perfectly smooth, but we’ll see what it looks like when it’s been primed.

I’m probably going to do some plasticard stuff to the back of the tank when it’s assembled. That smooth space might work on the sides, but I’m not crazy about it on the back.

Anyway, we’ll see if it works out or not next week, I expect.

Wednesday Workbench

Wednesday Workbench 20310515

I still have a blog and hobby, right?

Nothing fancy here, just some color tests as I try to adapt my old color scheme to something a little more involved than “just make sure everything is covered.”

The base is about where I want it; there’s a wash to apply to the red dirt, but it’s the same setup that I used on my Orks.

The model’s not a done deal, but it’s what I used to work through exactly what colors (besides “grey” and “turquoise”) I’m using.  If you look at this and then look at the above model and squint, though, that’s kinda sorta what the finished product will look like.

State of the (Future) Greater Good

So: Tau.  I’ve been thinking about them.
I’ve taken some folks’ advice and juggled the lists around a bit.  
(lists go here)

So, assuming that’s what I run at 1,500 points… what do I need to buy to put it on the table?

Surprisingly, kind of a lot.

My plastic Tau infantry is all fully painted.  I’ve never had much success stripping plastic.  So, I’d have to buy the Fire Warriors and Kroot from scratch.    I’ve got an unreasonable number of unpainted, but assembled Crisis Suits… which would be great except my plans call for heavy conversion of the XV8s.  So, them, too.  I’ve got a primed Hammerhead I could use… except I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I put it together… so it looks okay, but not great.  Plus, I have notions of not putting the doors on them and having smooth sides instead of hatches on the tank that has no transport capacity.  I need more Broadsides, and have decided to go with the Forgeworld ones because they’re much nicer and cost something like $2-$3 more than GW ones.

What do I have?  A ton of XV15 suits, which I like just as much as XV25 suits… maybe a smidge more.  I’ve got a couple of metal Pathfinders, but not enough.  I might just convert them from Fire Warriors.  I’ve certainly done it before.  I’ve got a primed Devilfish I might or might not use: conversion’s not necessary here.

I also have the resin, ready to go.  So, that’s the Barracuda and the Remora Drones.

The current plan is to put them all on Dragonforge Lost Empires bases.

Because my brain works like that, I’ve dumped all of this into a spreadsheet that tells me all of this (if I don’t reuse the Hammerhead and Devilfish), I’m looking at ~$350.  Ouch.  I mean, armies aren’t cheap, and I’m certainly at peace with that, but that’s kind of a steep ticket for an army I already have.

What does this mean?

I’m going to tinker with paint schemes.  I’ve got a a mini assembled and ready to go for this.  

If and when I get something I like the look of, I’ll assemble and paint the Forgeworld stuff and play with what I have: most of it the existing stuff.  If I decide I like things, I’ll probably slowly replace units.  It’ll be unit by unit… I just can’t swallow dropping that much on a new army I already have, you know?
So, this will be something approached in the long-term.  NOT a buy-it-all-at-once, paint it over 3 months project.
On thing I am excited about is that I’m talking to the awesome Thomas Wynn about the feasibility of cutting out some alternative sept symbols.  I’d like to replace all of the T’au symbols with symbols from Elsy’eir symbols:
You can see an attempt at doing this with greenstuff on the mini above.  If that isn’t proof that I’ll have to do this with plasticard and not greenstuff, I don’t know what is.

First Stab a Tau Lists

So, here are some first cuts at some Tau Empire lists. I’ve been following The Tau of War for kind of a long time.  While I haven’t feverishly analyzed his lists, I’d like to think that a few things that maybe sunk in:

  • Fire Warriors are for objective holding, not for leveraging 30″ Pulse Rifle shots.  They belong in Devilfish that stay off the table as long as possible.  Small squads, good.  Big squads, wasteful.
  • Shas’el w/ Targeting Arrays are almost as good as Shas’o but cost 15 points less.
  • Shield Drones are good for Broadsides.  Gun Drones are almost as good, and are cheaper for everything else.

… that sort of thing.

I’ve taken some quick stabs at 1,000 point and 1,500 point lists; I don’t have any illusions about them being great, or even good… but they’re a starting point.

The 1,000 point list, in particular, seems awful… light to me.  10 Kroot, 5 Suits, 2 vehicles and some stuff that hides off the table as long as possible skeeves the crap out of me.  It’d probably be worth converting that Hammerhead into more Kroot or Stealthsuits or something.

Shas’el – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, HW Multi-tracker, Targeting Array

Crisis Team x2 – Missile Pod x2, Flamer x2

Fire Warriors x8
– Devilfish – D. Pod
Fire Warriors x8
– Devilfish – D. Pod
Kroot x10

Fast Attack
Piranha x1 – Fusion Blaster, D. Pod, Flechette Discharger

Heavy Support
Broadsides x2 – Targeting Array x2
Hammerhead – Railgun, SMS, D. Pod, Decoy Launchers

The 1,500 list just stacks on top of that.  Doubles down on the Shas’el, adds a small Stealth Team, upgrades the Broadsides a smidge and adds the Barracuda.

Why the Barracuda?  It’s IA, not codex, and points-heavy, I know.  Really, I’m throwing it in there ’cause I want motivation to finish putting the thing together and paint it.  I expect a few games after putting it on the table, it’ll be replaced with Pathfinders, another Piranha, and more suits of some sort.

Shas’el – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, HW Multi-tracker, Targeting Array
Shas’el – Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, HW Multi-tracker, Targeting Array

Crisis Team x3 – TL Missile Pod x3, Flamer x3, Team Leader w/ Bonding Knife
Stealth Team x3

Fire Warriors x8
– Devilfish – D. Pod
Fire Warriors x8
– Devilfish – D. Pod
Kroot x10

Fast Attack
Piranha x1 – Fusion Blaster, D. Pod, Flechette Discharger

Heavy Support
Broadsides x2 – Targeting Array x2, Team Leader w/ HW Drone Controller, Shield Drones x2
Hammerhead – Railgun, SMS, D. Pod, Decoy Launchers

Any thoughts?

(No clue on the source of the Fire Warrior image.  Clearly w/o permission.)

Considering the Greater Good

One of my friends, as I’ve mentioned, is starting to sip the 40K Kool-Aid, and is considering buying into the game.  Another friend, likely motivated at least a little bit by said Kool-Aid sipping, is finally taking a long-postponed plunge into the game (the high quality and low price point of the Wargames Factory Shock Troopers probably didn’t hurt, either).  I’ll be walking them through how to play the game and letting them get a feel for the armies they’re interested in tomorrow night.

It’s got me thinking about how nice it’ll be for them to progress in the game at roughly the same pace.  It’s also got me thinking that this is a great opportunity to start a new army; one I can grow at the same pace theirs do.  I don’t need another army, though, and I’m not altogether sure I want one.  I’m only just now really getting to the point where I can cut loose with my Daemons.

At the same time, I’m thinking about the upcoming Forge World Friendly tournament, where players will be encouraged to put as much FW resin on the table as their hearts desire.  I’ll be running, not playing in the event, but that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about FW resin… and when I think about FW resin, I think Tau.

The Tau Empire was my first 40K army.  I’d only bought into it because I figured I’d get tired of painting Skaven.  I made the switch to Dark Angels about a year later, then 5th came out, and I’ve never really come back to the Tau.  I’ve never figured out how to play them in 5th though, to be fair, I’ve never really tried.

It’s a shame, too, because my Tau aren’t fully painted, and I’ve got some cool stuff just waiting to hit the table.  It’s kind of criminal that I’ve got a shoebox with a Barracuda, Remora Drones and Shas’o R’myr just… sitting, unassembled, in it.

Plus, I’ve come a really, really long way in terms of my painting skill.  When I started painting my Tau, I hadn’t really done any miniature painting in nearly ten years.  I’m much better, now.

See what I mean?  It’d be nice to revisit the army.

Right now, I’m telling myself that the Tau would be a better match up against my friends’ new armies.  Certainly better than the Daemons, which are a quirky army before to zero in on filling it with nothing but things that scream, “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD.”  That, and starting small will help me relearn the army.  I can’t sit down and write a 2,000 point list for them; I just can’t.  A 1,000 point list, though, is kinda doable and growing it to 1,500 shouldn’t be too hard.

So, for the next little bit, while I wrap up Sternguard and get my Khornate conversions for non-Khornate models lined up (still need to post about Tzeentch), I’m going to be doing some thinking about what a small Tau Empire list might look like.  I do know that any list will see a lot of that resin.

So, who knows?

(Tau Pathfinder image is by slipgatecentral.  Used w/o permission.)

Kroot Hounds

I’m trading off some stuff to help Chris build some neat Kroot Hounds and Fenrisian Wolves.   Talking about it made me think about my Kroot Hound conversions that I’ve started but never quite finished… and definitely never posted to this blog (since I did them probably over a year and a half ago).  So, here they are!

The bodies are skinks with their heads sawn off.  Kroot heads.  Dinky skink hands have been replaced with huge and menacing genestealer claws.  The end result are kooky and ferocious looking pygmy kroot.  Rar!