View Full Version : Pictures of my Tau Combat Patrol (WIP)

15-12-2005, 15:48
I've fairly recently busted open my Tau Battleforce Boxed set, and I'm slowly but steadily working my way through assembling, converting, and painting figures for a small Combat Patrol of Fire Warriors, Kroot, Gun Drones, and a Crisis Suit as part of a Combat Patrol painting competition over on the Relic Painting & Army Displays Forum.

I decided to paint them as being from the Vior'la Sept, as the concept of "fiery-tempered" seasoned warriors appealed to me. From that end, I decided to aim for a "fiery" and "molten" color scheme. I've kept the bases somewhat generic so they match consistently, and also that I've got a bunch of troops to paint.

Here's my test figure, and I'd appreciate suggestions and comments on the scheme, as it's what I intend to use (in greater or lesser degrees) on the rest of the patrol:

As mentioned, I was aiming for a "molten" appearance to the armor. Background-wise, given that the color scheme doesn't lend itself to camouflage or "blending into the scenery" very well, I decided to go with an ultra-bright color for the Tau iconography on the shoulder pad and Pulse Rifle. My thinking is that the Tau, given their bright armor scheme and their motivation to preserve Tau lives as much as possible, would likely try to draw the fire of the enemy to areas where it is more likely to do less harm - the thick armor of the shoulder pad and the end of their rifles farthest removed from their person.

15-12-2005, 15:57
Looks good to me. Any pics of the scheem on other models?

15-12-2005, 16:02
just to re-iterate what i'd said on CMON, in case you hadn't seen it...

The quality of paint is excellent. A complete patrol painted to this standard would be lovely. However, by using a red under-suit and red armor, and red highlighting on the gun (unless that's a trick of the light)... the whole thing is rather a bit monotone. Even with the bright colors it still comes off feeling drab. I think a little extra contrast could help it out a bit.

15-12-2005, 16:41
Keep the Monotone, Super Hot! Love it!

15-12-2005, 18:14
I gotta agree, I like it the way it is too. Very original, nice to see Tau not painted like they are on the way to Desert Storm.:p

15-12-2005, 19:39
The paint scheme itself I really like, but since you're keeping the bases fairly simple (and close to the same color as the model), the figure gets lost on it.

Perhaps you could paint the terrain on the base in a contrasting colour (I'm thinking maybe a blue-green?) to make the figure "pop" off the base?

I guess I've never looked that closely at a Fire Warrior before, but I just noticed their lower legs and feet are bare - maybe you should paint their bare skin in a brighter colour to offset all the redness you've got going on their armour and equipment.

15-12-2005, 19:44
I must say I like it. I think that it could use a little more contrast but I think that you have some good rational for the color scheme. If it were me I would keep it the same way that you have it.

PS: Thats cool that you live in Detroit. I live in Birmingham, MI. I didn't think that there was any one on this board that was in Michigan.

15-12-2005, 20:36
Not enough contrast? The armor is a yellow red and the under suit has a blue tint to the red. Subtle? yes. Well done? yes. I wouldn't change a thing on the model. The base however..... I don't know. It surely doesn't take away from the model. I didn't even notice it until it was pointed out. That might be the problem, not sure.

15-12-2005, 20:42
i really like the cool scheme it's original and stands out. I look forward to seeing more figures

Regards Oldbury

16-12-2005, 01:56
Thanks for all the compliments and comments so far! The undersuit actually has several glazes/washes on it of blackish/crimson - I don't really want to go any darker on it otherwise it'll be approaching the rifle in hue. I decided to try something different with this guy, so yes, the rifle does have red-tinged edge highlights. I'm still working on getting the other figures prepped and glued, and I've been doing conversions on the Kroot Warriors all the way along thus far, so work has been slow (and my painting time has been kinda limited to begin with lately, anyways.)

Any pics of the scheme on other models?I'm thinking I'll be doing the Crisis suit in a similar fashion to the Fire Warriors. Not sure about the Gun Drones - either the armor/undersuit colors, or the armor/rifle colors... haven't decided either way.

As for the Kroot - that's an easy one! This here's the first figure I pulled out most of the stops on in trying new techniques right when I got back into painting in February. I'm thinking I'll probably go one step higher in highlighting, and add tattoos and/or spots... essentially this is it, though:

I also sharpened up the pictures of the Fire Warrior I previously posted, so the edge effects and the highlights on the undersuit are a bit more distinct now. (I'm waiting for these revised pics to go up on CMoN, as well.)

16-12-2005, 06:09
I guess I've never looked that closely at a Fire Warrior before, but I just noticed their lower legs and feet are bare - maybe you should paint their bare skin in a brighter colour to offset all the redness you've got going on their armour and equipment.

Actually those are boots, if you look close you can see buckles. The hooves are bare though, and I agree, they probably ought be done in a more "natural" tone (red or black). But hey, each to his own.

16-12-2005, 06:40
My only concern is that the Kroot don't have a color tie-in to the Fire Warrior you posted. Maybe the spots could be in the matching red?

16-12-2005, 15:06
Actually those are boots, if you look close you can see buckles. The hooves are bare though, and I agree, they probably ought be done in a more "natural" tone (red or black). But hey, each to his own.I'd never really looked at Tau feet much, except to notice that they had cloven hooves (which is kinda cool) until I started prepping these guys prior to priming. They have a "wrap" of sorts around their shins/ankles below where the undersuit pants end, as there's a "lip" to delineate it and it goes all the way around the lower leg below the knee. There are two round "buckle"-esque fasteners, and on the rest of the troops I'm painting them the same red scheme as the armor. For the feet themselves, there's a little "lip" marking the delineation between the shin wrap and the hooves/dewclaw. I've painted the hooves and dewclaw in a black to match the rifle for simplicity's sake, and it looks to me like they would be bare, as there's no wrinkles or folds on the hooves/dewclaw as you'd expect if they were hard shoes covering their actual feet.

Why they'd be going completely barefoot is beyond me, but it can't be any worse, I guess, than the "shoot me here" lack of helmets consistent across ranking troops in SM armies.

My only concern is that the Kroot don't have a color tie-in to the Fire Warrior you posted. Maybe the spots could be in the matching red?Yeah, I can see where you're coming from. I painted the Kroot Hound maybe 10 months ago now? (Dunno, but I'm going by when I dated the tutorial on my website.) This was quite a while back before I even broke open the Battleforce Box to wonder what the hell I was going to do with it. I'm thinking I'll leave spots a blackish-green, maybe tattoos in a dark crimson color on the Kroot themselves...

How's about painting the leathers in a color to match the dark blood/burgundy color of the undersuit on the FW's? Anyone think that'd look good? Right now, the leathers are a darker shade of (I believe) Bestial Brown/1st Edition Snakebite Leather.

16-12-2005, 15:42
I wouldn't get too worried about the bases being too similar to the colour scheme. This tells me the quartermaster issued the right camo scheme battle dress for their environment! Would be cool to see them in a barren volcanic environment. Great job. Love the firewarriors.

16-12-2005, 17:26
They both look great, I love the way they look, both fairly unusual colour schemes, and although the firewarrior's all red scheme has drawbacks too, it's very well painted.

Keep up the good work,


17-12-2005, 01:39
Doing the straps, vests, etc. in the dark burgundy would work I think. I'm not too sure how much of it is present on the regular Kroot (been ages since I've had a good look at them) but definitely a good way to work in the familiar color.

17-12-2005, 09:12
I like both colour schemes you are using the firewarrior's colour scheme seems to reflect its name, i can't wait to see the whole army.

21-12-2005, 13:49
Here are pictures of the 2nd Fire Warrior. I changed my painting style a little working on this guy, and the "molten" edge highlighting is a little more "stark." I also slightly adjusted the way I painted the Tau icons on the shoulder armor/rifle barrel, and I think they show a bit more contrast across the surface.

I'd really appreciate commentary on what's working and what's not on the 1st as compared to the 2nd. Given the painting style I'm doing for these guys, their patterning theoretically will/could be different for each figure. The colors are pretty much accurate for both - there's some things I like about #2 and some things I like about #1. I'll be back-adjusting as I go along, and (obviously) the base on #2 and a few other details still need to be taken care of.

Fire Warrior Mark II:

Fire Warrior Mark I:

I'd appreciate comments on what works and what doesn't - I'm thinking the rifle needs a hair more blatant highlighting for starters, as currently there's a blended edge of deep red, but it's fairly subtle... any preference as to light effects, armor highlights, icon contrasts, etc.?

Comments, suggestions, and criticisms greatly appreciated!

21-12-2005, 14:43
I would say overall, that I'm a bigger fan of the first model, than the second. The bright green gemming, and the glowy highlights are just too much for me. However it does seem to keep the model from looking so bland. Perhaps with some of the characteristic mismatched armor plates in the same black used on the first riffle? Of course, I think that could go equally well with either one.

21-12-2005, 14:49
Have to agree - the first is a lot better than the second. Good paintjobs on both, but the second's highlights are way too strong, and as Kotobuki says, the bright green gems are simply too much. I'd definitely stick with the way you've painted the first one, with much more subtle highlights rather than extreme highlighting.

21-12-2005, 15:33
Me too, the first is superior to the second, the colours work better, the extreme highlighting in the second one just looks a bit off.

But the gems however, I love, they're fantastcially painted, and look like nice additions to the overall model, they add a bit of bling, really complimenting the reds and yellows.

Please don't change them.


21-12-2005, 15:40
The first looks a lot better than the second I would consider the first to have lighthighlighting so the second is definetly too bright.

21-12-2005, 22:52
Just tone down the highlight will a little glazing and I think youll be fine.

21-12-2005, 23:07
people are so critical.

I think they look ace.
The gems look excellent, very well executed.

about the lack of contrast, not everything in the realm of colour is contrast, there's also a thing called "harmony". Overall I think the paintjob does the whole "fiery tempered fire warriors" theme justice. Although, I would give the undersuit (pants and sleeves) a darker wash, that doesn't steal the reddish tone, but rather helps define where armour stops and cloth begins.

um.. ye. the gems are contrast enough.

all the above is MHO.

22-11-2006, 00:36
Sorry for the quasi-necromancy, but looking back through my old subscriptions I realized I never posted any additional pictures of how the color scheme works as a coherent group along with the accompanying Gun Drones and such:


22-11-2006, 01:18
I love them. They look great.

22-11-2006, 07:18
Is it just the angle or are those drones bigger than normal? I thought they were the forgeworld heavy drones until I saw the carbines.

Amazing paint job so far. Looking forward to seeing more *cough*kroot*cough*

22-11-2006, 10:12
(edit: whoops forgot to read the next two pages :p)

I second the above two posts. The first one is just more subtle. Although the second one is far from bad :)

The base also seems to fit the colour scheme very well.

22-11-2006, 11:26
Splendid models you´ve got there. Ace paintjob :)

23-11-2006, 02:57
The middle drone looks like it's brighter then the others, is that on the model or a trick of the light

13-04-2007, 15:08
The middle drone looks like it's brighter then the others, is that on the model or a trick of the lightThe one gun drone is brighter and worked up to Blood Red w/ orange/yellow highlights whereas due to time constraints I only painted the other two to a highlighted "maroon" color.

Having taken the Academy classes at a local GW Hobby Center, I've gotten back into painting up my Tau and while it's still nowhere near a combat patrol, I'd ideally like to keep on trucking (albeit a little faster, maybe). For the sake of topicality, here's a WIP pic of my most recent project:


I'm still going for the same magma-esque armor pattern, but this time I'm trying a basecoat of Blood Red Spray Paint and then working everything else over that. I'm going to paint him pattern-wise as kinda a larger Fire Warrior - there's some areas that haven't been touched at all yet, like the feet and the jetpack thrusters. I'm not set on the exact layout of the colors, but I do plan on including the primary 3: bright red, maroon, and reddish-black, with the same yellow Sept symbols for distraction/enemy aim redirection purposes.

de Selby
13-04-2007, 15:50
I also think you should stick with the subtler scheme on the first firewarrior. The (middle) drone looks ace, and the battlesuit will I'm sure look ace.

On the subject of the feet, I think it makes sense that creatures with hooves wouldn't need boots. But they might wear horseshoes...

13-04-2007, 16:33
Good job, would like to see more :)

13-04-2007, 18:35
these are cool, i don't usually like tau but i'm prepared to make the exception here :D (no offence to all the people over the years who have give tau great paintjobs, your skill and dedication is an inspiration to us all)

13-04-2007, 19:00
Basically after doing the GW Academy classes to get a feel for other aspects of 4th Ed. 40K besides painting, I've been in a "get 'em done" mode with these guys that have been collecting dust for a while. (Haven't actually played the game since around 2nd Ed. and now I've got army lists and all kinds of fun stuff!) I posted a group shot in my blog of sorts over in the Relicnews P&M Forum, may as well post it here so you guys can see about where I'm coming from now - I'm trying to do all the FW's in various "shooty" action poses (and the Kroot thus far are in "close combat" action poses.)


As for the Crisis suit, I don't think I mentioned it (and it's not so obvious from the front view here) but he's been significantly repositioned. His right arm has been cut w/ a styrene spacer replacing the upper arm joint. His right leg has been cut off below the knee and shifted back along the joint so he's got his knee bent up (although I was trying to avoid a "Superman pose" and with the forward angle from the pinning to the base through the foot, I think it's not too bad. Kinda hard to tell ('cause they're covered up by spray paint) but all the weapon mounts are magnetized as well, and pretty much everything on the sprue can be placed just about wherever they need to go on the figure.

16-04-2007, 22:15
Here's the latest bunch of Fire Warriors that were partially painted in the last pic and are nearly finished now:

I'd appreciate any/all feedback, as I'm wanting to get this squad painted as well as I can to possibly enter 'em in the painting competition going on at the local GW hobby center this weekend. It's also my first stab at Tau skin, so comments and/or suggestions would definitely be appreciated there, too...

Kasrkin 666
17-04-2007, 03:36
Sexy! Lovin' the red.


17-04-2007, 14:10
Indeed :chrome: It's a really cool scheme and the red is just great!

06-05-2007, 19:41
This is a group shot of the Fire Warrior team I entered in the Citadel Celebration painting competition at my local GW Hobby Center - the ones from above are all finished, in other words, and I finally got them back out of the display case along with my Genestealer Patriarch.


Thanks for all the comments!

Some Muppet
06-05-2007, 22:12
looking nice, you should make a log

07-05-2007, 11:54
Nice work. And yes, you should make a project log :)