Hi folks, bit of a change of direction this week. I've got a commission for three Tau Broadside suits that I've made a start on. As a means of testing the colour scheme I started with the drones that will accompany them. Then thought... why should they not have a feature all of their own?
I've always been rather fond of the Tau drones. They speak to the high technology and more "modern" tactics of the Tau compared to the rather 40's and 50's approach beloved of the Imperium. For me, more than the suits, more than the tanks it is the drones that define the Tau as an army. So I was happy to be giving these some love.
The client has chosen a very missile heavy Broadside squad with seeker missiles attached so has wisely opted for a markerlight drone to accompany each one. The scheme for these are the classic sandy-Tau. This starts, oddly enough with a lot of black. Most of the machines and suits are actually painted black with just the armour panels in the distinct Sept schemes. Black, drybrushed grey with a black wash covers this nicely. Then we move on to the sand, I'm not fond of the very, very bright sand colour that the studio use, shocking news to regular readers I am sure. Instead I kept it more to the XV-88 Base-paint end of the spectrum. My Tau Sand therefore is XV-88, a highlight mix of XV-88 and Tau Light Ochre and then Pure Tau Light Ochre.
A word on panel lines, they are very important to the look of the tau army. They are also a swine to paint neatly. There are a bunch of different ways ranging from the simple (just leave the base colour in the cracks, tricky to keep neat), through the complex (use an enamel paint to darken the panel lines and then use odourless turps to remove the excess) but my preferred method is to use very, very carefully applied washes. Agrax Earthshade, thinned a little is painted into the lines cleaning up any overspill with a clean damp brush as you go. Best way in my opinion.
I'll talk in more detail about painting when we get into broadsides but I felt that the little dudes needed some love too. Until next time folks