Usually, when you start a new army, it is with an air of excitement as you start on that long, long road of treading new ground and figuring out how to actually paint things.
Sometimes, it does not work out.
So it was when I started putting together a Tau army. I had this ‘brilliant; idea that being high-tech and ‘clean’ in appearance, Tau might not need highlighting or shading if approached the right way. This was not without precedence, as a chap at the local club had done something similar and his force worked very well.
The basic idea was that the models get painted in their base colours, then all the panel gaps would be lined with, I kid you not, a felt pen. Sounded, quick, easy, and the results could be good.
Instead, I got this;
Now, a number of problems with these models, of which the pinkness is just one.
Lining with a felt pen is not a quick process (or, at least, was not the ‘quick and easy job I can do while watching the TV’ that I had predicted). It takes a sod of a long time.
Another issue is that while it kinda/sorta works on vehicles, the process is a pain in the rear end on the tiny panels found on the infantry (drones not too bad) and, in the end, you still have to go over the model with paint once more to tidy up any errors made with the pen.
Finally, I tried a multitude of ‘artists’ pens, and never found any that was consistent – I fully acknowledge this was more likely down to my own technique, or lack of, but the lines would sometimes ‘peter out’ half way along a panel gap, with the ink just not taking to the paint.
Still, I think the grey was a good choice to go with the pink, so I got that right at least.
After this, I did go through a phase of thinking that a Halo-inspired colour scheme was the way to go, basically olive green, and there was a Tau model in Visions lately that followed this idea – but I had just started my Catachans and, frankly, I have enough olive green to last me quite a while.
I think I have finally settled on doing Tau in a colour scheme that matches the one I used on my Eldar Crimson Hunter Exarch (the lead fighter below);
This follows a very similar idea and gives that ‘clean’ appearance Tau should have – basically bone/cream without any shading, and using the Magic Goop (with a brush) along the panel lines. This inevitably needs going back over with the cream tidy the lines up, but this was not a great hassle on the Exarch. The black and red work well as the secondary and tertiary colours (not sure which way round they should be yet).
However, the Tau are very much on the back burner now – got enough on my hands with Catachans, High Elves, possible Harlequins and, frankly, I am more likely to start on the few Flesh Tearers I have tucked away than the Tau.
But at least I know what i will be doing with them when I finally get the Tau itch once more.