Crisis of faith. Red blood?

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Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#1 » Aug 11 2017 08:02

I personally have not read the book but reviews online have stated that "Commander farsight painted his battlesuit red because of all the Tau blood split on the battlefield."

So is GW or whoever is in charge of writing lore committing to Tau's blood being red?

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Kakapo42
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#2 » Aug 11 2017 08:18

Ahh the Tau blood debate, an argument as old as time itself.

GW has sent... mixed messages in the past, and it's likely there is no centralised stance on certain background details like the colour of Tau blood. Phil Kelly, however, seems to have committed to red Tau blood in his writings. In fairness he is not totally without precedent - he is correct in that the original Codex: Tau does mention red Tau blood at one point, though it's a very quick and subtle reference and one would not at all be at fault for missing it (it took me no less than three passes over the passage that contains it before I spotted it).

However, the general consensus on ATT is quite the opposite - most here recognise Tau blood to be blue, based on other background sources and scientific reasoning (it is very possible to get blue blood in an animal if it uses copper compounds to store oxygen instead of iron ones - the Octopus is a real life example of this), and because it helps make the Tau more alien instead of just being blue humans with no noses.

Personally it's all up to you to decide for yourself which one you go with. Background is as much your hobby as gaming or modelling is.

As for the origin of Farsight's red and grey colour scheme... the in universe option again has some options (the out-of-universe reason is likely that the 'Evy Metal painter who was in charge of painting the Studio example of Farsight for the codex thought it would look cool). Going by Phil Kelly, it's a symbolic gesture, but under the Blue Tau Blood camp it can just as easily be seen as camouflage. Arkunasha, the site of one of Farsight's most famous victories, has always been described as an oxide desert, which if comprised of iron-based oxides would look something like the surface of Mars in real life - in other words the ideal environment for red camouflage. Personally I go with this option, since it fits the nature of the Tau as pragmatists much better - leave the silly sentimental blood honour heraldry stuff for the Space Marines I say. :P

Again though, some people quite enjoy the more spiritual side of the Tau that's been introduced in recent years, so ultimately it's down to you to decide for yourself. There might even be a third option out there somewhere.
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Panzer
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#3 » Aug 11 2017 08:37

I personally T'au blood is red as well.
Blue and red both got used in past official fluff but we know that Farsighted decided to have his Battlesuit red to honor the fallen T'au(that has nothing to do with Kelly) and while it nowhere says that it's because of their blood it is just too fitting.

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Overheal
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#4 » Aug 11 2017 09:53

I see two ways to go about this, because in my gut - the Truthiness is, T'au blood is blue.

1) Farsight used the red blood of Orks to paint his army as revenge for the T'au blood shed.

2) T'au are colorblind and that's why we have questionably meager Ballistic Skill. Farsight sees red, "we" see red, but in reality, FSE have a blue color scheme.

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Kael'yn
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#5 » Aug 11 2017 10:58

Overheal wrote:2) T'au are colorblind and that's why we have questionably meager Ballistic Skill. Farsight sees red, "we" see red, but in reality, FSE have a blue color scheme

The optical option to validate both hypothesis could be one, but AFAIK, they are difficult to setup without a complete color blindness (because green is between blue and red in visible light spectrum) or a complex sensitivity with a protein which is both sensible to blue and red and another only green...

I have a chemical option to explain the problem: maybe the Tau blood that run in bodies is blue, but when out of the body and oxidized in the air, it became red. So Tau could have blue blood but when the blood is spilled and let for some time on air, it became reddish. Copper has two oxidization like iron and these two oxidization states have also two different "colors" potential.

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Arka0415
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#6 » Aug 11 2017 11:08

Kael'yn wrote:I have a chemical option to explain the problem: maybe the Tau blood that run in bodies is blue, but when out of the body and oxidized in the air, it became red. So Tau could have blue blood but when the blood is spilled and let for some time on air, it became reddish. Copper has two oxidization like iron and these two oxidization states have also two different "colors" potential.

I could be totally wrong here, but I figure that Tau seem to live on planets that humans find habitable, so they must also breathe oxygen and thus have red or reddish blood. Or something like that.

I've always painted my Tau blood red for that reason, and for the fact that blue skin and blue blood doesn't look good aesthetically- it's hard to tell if a model is bleeding! I know that some players argue that Orks have green blood, but again it doesn't look good on the model as it's hard to tell the difference between Ork skin and Ork blood.

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thezanji
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#7 » Aug 11 2017 11:24

in the book fire warrior, which I love, they mention that tau blood is blue-purple, and in a battlefield you could see splatter of red and blue after tau fight the humans.

kelly did explain that in the past the blue blood was used, but in illustrations it didn't feel right, so they changed it.

I personally like that tau have different blood color, however it is true, the color red do looks better visually to represent blood.

our main pain is Farsight, he is the most popular character, in the game he is never seen, (I play him often) however in the background he is the most important, and changing the background changes him as well, and I hope they do it well.

I'm looking forward to read that novel.

Cheers!

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TauMan
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#8 » Aug 11 2017 01:28

WHOA! Not this again? :-?

Arka0415 wrote:I could be totally wrong here, but I figure that Tau seem to live on planets that humans find habitable, so they must also breathe oxygen and thus have red or reddish blood. Or something like that.

The question of the colour of Tau blood has been thoroughly research and debated, as has Tau eyesight. Clink on this link Tau: Ageing and Physical Appearance:, and scroll down to Tael's post of October 17th, 2006 and view his graphic on how cooper based blood can carry oxygen. This of course explains how their blood would be blue. Here's a video: The Blue Blood Horseshoe Crab

Overheal wrote:2) T'au are colorblind and that's why we have questionably meager Ballistic Skill. Farsight sees red, "we" see red, but in reality, FSE have a blue color scheme.

Tau see in the both the ultraviolet and infrared spectrum; which means they see "more" colours than humans do. Where we would see just green, the would see an additional two or three shades of green. And the fact that they see in the infrared means they can see in the dark. PS The ballistic skill of the average Tau Fire Warrior is the same as that of an Imperial Guardsman, so it's not meager, it's just not the superhuman skill of a Space Marine.

Arka0415 wrote:I've always painted my Tau blood red for that reason, and for the fact that blue skin and blue blood doesn't look good aesthetically- it's hard to tell if a model is bleeding! I know that some players argue that Orks have green blood, but again it doesn't look good on the model as it's hard to tell the difference between Ork skin and Ork blood.

**Sigh** Tau blood is blue, and Ork blood is green. I have the WD issue where the 'Eavy Metal painter decided to change Ork blood to red because, "It's easier to do and shows up better".

Which means he publicly admitted to his lack of talent, creativity, and imagination.

The important thing is not to let a GW "modeling choice" decide the lore; which is what Phil Kelly and Company have done.

Speaking of which, as to painting Tau blood it would depend entirely on what colour you painted the skin. Some people give Tau a grey skin colour (ala the Dawn of War video game); while others of course paint Tau skin blue. If you go with grey skin, then the blood would be a light blue (like the horseshoe crab's blood); but if you go with blue skin, then the blood would be dark blue for contrast. The last choice is what I've done in the past for Tau blood.

The TauMan
PS Think of all the cultural significance if Tau blood were blue.
  • Blue is the colour of life
  • Blue is the colour of love
  • Blood blue skies
  • Blood blue flowers
  • "When the earth and the sky are of one colour, then the gods have turned their backs on the people."
    -- ancient Tau proverb.
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Gragagrogog
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#9 » Aug 11 2017 02:00

Arka0415 wrote:I could be totally wrong here, but I figure that Tau seem to live on planets that humans find habitable, so they must also breathe oxygen and thus have red or reddish blood. Or something like that.


You are totally wrong here. The hemoglobin is just one protein molecule capable of carrying oxygen, and from what I've heard, the 1 iron atom could be replaced with few other elements and work mostly the same without any other changes in the molecule. And we have other examples of proteins with the same function on earth, like Hemocyanin and Hemerythrin (and there's also Myoglobin, which is in muscle tissue as oxygen storage, it isn't normally in our blood).

In an evolution process, when something like this evolves, it gives a species tremendous advantage, it can be so great that basically every other species in food-chain vicinity will die out. It doesn't mean it can evolve only one way on different planets (or even a single one) though.

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AnonAmbientLight
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#10 » Aug 12 2017 02:45

Is the blood in this picture red or blue.
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PeeJ
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#11 » Aug 17 2017 06:24

TauMan wrote: his graphic on how cooper based blood can carry oxygen. This of course explains how their blood would be blue. Here's a video: The Blue Blood Horseshoe Crab


I find this very interesting, (also a little confusing) as copper, when it bonds with oxygen generally takes on a Black or Red colouration. Perhaps in the video the blood is blue due to the crabs being dead and their blood not being oxygenated, I don't know, I'm not a marine biologist, but as I say, interesting.

It also means that, technically, a case could be made for their blood being Blue, Red, or even Black if you wanted. Although only Blue and Red are supported in the lore, and the Red seems to be the favoured of those and slowly ret-conning away the blue now.

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Kakapo42
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#12 » Aug 17 2017 06:36

PeeJ wrote:
I find this very interesting, (also a little confusing) as copper, when it bonds with oxygen generally takes on a Black or Red colouration. Perhaps in the video the blood is blue due to the crabs being dead and their blood not being oxygenated, I don't know, I'm not a marine biologist, but as I say, interesting.


It's not just horseshoe crabs, like I mentioned earlier octopus blood is also blue (and quite thick) as it uses the same copper-based compound, hemocyanin. Apparently it's more efficient than hemoglobin (the iron-based compound that makes mammal blood red) in cold or low-oxygen environments, and unlike hemoglobin is dissolved directly into the blood plasma rather than being carried in cells, in case anyone wants to get extra technical with blue Tau blood.
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Kael'yn
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#13 » Aug 17 2017 06:52

Color does have few relations with the metal atom in there: Green Chlorophyl has a magnesium inside and magnesium salts and compound are usually colorless for example.

PeeJ
Shas'La
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#14 » Aug 21 2017 04:16

Kakapo42 wrote:
PeeJ wrote: Apparently it's more efficient than hemoglobin (the iron-based compound that makes mammal blood red) in cold or low-oxygen environments,


That doesn't sound great for the Tau then, being planes-dwellers from what has always sounded like a temperate/relatively warm climate (which the original Tau colour-scheme/box art seemed to imply was at least partially desert). Could contribute to why they suck in H2H, they have really bad cardio fitness ;)

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Kakapo42
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Re: Crisis of faith. Red blood?

Post#15 » Aug 21 2017 04:40

PeeJ wrote:
Kakapo42 wrote:
That doesn't sound great for the Tau then, being planes-dwellers from what has always sounded like a temperate/relatively warm climate (which the original Tau colour-scheme/box art seemed to imply was at least partially desert). Could contribute to why they suck in H2H, they have really bad cardio fitness ;)


I don't think the Tau artwork (or the GW studio display tables/backdrop used in the Tau army photographs, which also had an arid theme) has ever explicitly been a depiction of T'au, but it has always been described as a predominately desert/Savannah world nonetheless. That said, the aforementioned physiological properties are only applicable to Haemocyanin, and it's possible that Tau blood uses a different, alien copper-based compound that's better suited for high-oxygen hot environments. Having evolved on an entirely different planet it's not entirely implausible that they may use a different set of chemicals in their phisiology (indeed, blue copper-based blood could be the norm for life-forms on T'au).
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