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Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"
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Old 12 Mar 2008, 14:57   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Default Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

So, I'm putting together a Tau army and I'm looking for some help in keeping my army interesting. Some of the other armies (Orks, Imperials and Marines come to mind) have plenty of opportunity to add real character. I don't find the Tau are quite as flexible outside of paint scheme.

That brings me to my second problem. I chose a fairly standard paint scheme, so I'm hard pressed to make my army feel less generic. I don't feel like stripping my models and starting over either.

So I'm looking for what clever tricks some people have done to add some life to their Tau. What tricks have you used to breath life to your army and make your Tau unique? Odd paint apps? Customs? Something else?

As for my own (pictures soon I hope), I'm working with a color scheme that consists of Tausept Ocre and Hawk Turquoise with some Bleached Bone here and there. My 'fish has a camo pattern up the center that consists of a strange but (in my oppinion) neat looking pattern of white, ice blue and turquoise that would make you think of a winter camo pattern.

The biggest deviations from the norm come from "happy accidents". First, my stealth units. They are painted primarily turquoise and black. I got carried away and decided to give the turquoise a light drybrushing with gunmetal. The effect was very nice. It gave them a metallic paint look and at a glance you'd swear that I had used a metallic paint to begin with. The black was then heavily drybrushed with gunmetal to give the upper legs and other parts the look fo being made from steel. It was an experiment, and the result was really nice.

I also have two gun drones that suffered from a primer mishap. In order to cover my blunder, I made them look like they were sneaking around in disguise. I put some flock (dirt and grass) on the tops of them, and stuck a tuft of long grass around the base of their sensor spine. The effect was both very comical and surprisingly neat.

Anyone else? Ideas to make your Tau interesting or happy accidents that resulted in some very nice units?
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Old 12 Mar 2008, 16:15   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

The generic look and feel of Tau armies was what put me off them for so long and is probably part of the reason I haven't felt a strong desire to go to town on painting them.

However, once I had a range of units to choose from and had familiarised myself with the list that feeling faded away. You can make some very characterful armies using Tau, but I can see your point of view... they do look quite bland at first glance. I would say work on some neat conversions to make it more interesting. I haven't really done this but a friend of mine has some really neat looking battlesuits that are fairly simply converted.

As for your stealth Drones... that's just awesome! I love my "free" drones, they always seem to have some impact on a game and are generally underestimated by my opponent's... giving them a sneaky scheme is quite neat!
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Old 12 Mar 2008, 19:08   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

I'm painting my army in 5 color woodland camo: catachan base with camo, scorpian and gobbo greens, alongside graveyard earth and black.

They're hard to find, sometimes. And sincem y suits have bright orange exhaust ports, there's a joke about my "redneck" tau.
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Old 12 Mar 2008, 20:23   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

Make a character out of a squad's team leader. In my case, this meant giving him a ceremonial, not-for-combat-at-all chainsword (gifted to him as a mark of respect by the Gue'Vesa), and adding a pulse pistol.
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Old 13 Mar 2008, 15:42   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

I've never thought of Tau as a boring or bland army to paint. I like the sleek and simple Tau look. When I get tired of it I work on my kroot. And then there's vespids too, and not to mention Stealth Suits. I've seen some amazing things done with the paint job on Stealth Suits.
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Old 13 Mar 2008, 16:00   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

I quite enjoy picking my army's sept, my commanders history, why he earned his titles etc.
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Old 13 Mar 2008, 19:02   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

Hey Zero,

What I've done to keep my army interesting is I have;
* Tried to limit all squads other then firewarriors to 1 so there's lots of variety in my FOC.
* Added a backstory i.e. my cadre hail from the Vior'la sept but were left behind on a random planet as all forces were told to retreat 'for the greater good' but were too far from manta transport to make it, so alot of my suits look battle damaged and highly customised as they have to use alot of what they find and salvage it.

Thats it really, apart from auxilaries, I find having a squad of vespid, kroot and gue'la make the army really interesting.

Hope this helps
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Old 14 Mar 2008, 03:49   #8 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

I like the uniform, sleek, clean look. Then again, I also add samurai flags to the back of them (or I will if I could get the stuff and time.)

And I have a gue'vesa army to customize so ja...
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Old 14 Mar 2008, 19:03   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Warrior
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

For my kroot, I was thinking about giving them a very native american feel -- from skin tone, to markings and what have you.

As for the Tau themselves, there are some great ideas here. I really like the idea of giving backstories to your army and to the troops themselves. I had a primer mishap early on where I must have sprayed too much primer, and the "dust" that linkered settled on some of the models giving them a very gritty look. I thought I'd roll with it. I even made my FW leader look like he had some bad scarring on the side of his face.

So you've all convinced me that there are plenty of options to explore

I'm tempted to pick up some Orks too just to give me a change of pace now and then.
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Old 14 Mar 2008, 20:44   #10 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Keeping my Tau Army interesting, and "happy accidents"

Just because the tau look is standardised, doesn't mean that you can't make the individuals stand out a little. I have drawn on the hunter backgrounds of my firewarrriors and put individual trophy markings on the armour. team leaders are easy to customise if you take the unhelmeted head, as you have a spare helmeted head to work with. he could be carrying it in hand, have it on a belt, backpack etc. you can also do tattoos, scars etc.

I find the sameyness of the army scheme makes these little tweaks stand out even more.
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