Look like it's time for another installment of "Ask an Old Fire Warrior!"
"Ummgh **clears throat** Tarnation what the kinda fool hardy fiddle-faddle are they teaching at the fire caste academies these days? What you can't tell Tau hoof from a Knarloc claw? That there is plum...wait gotta be patient with the shas'saal there commander!
Alright let the o'l fire warrior set ya straight. Ummgh **clears throat** again."
"Well way back in 2001 when GW released the first Codex Tau
..." The old fire warrior pauses to lean back in his rocking chair, and then takes a swig of corn whiskey out of ceramic jug.
seven324 wrote:This was how they used to be; they had more of a single large hoof, with a split down the side or more like a large hoof with a smaller one but joined to the main part so it still looked like one single hoof. There was no skin visible on them.
Now there seven324
your first mistake was that first picture you posted was fan art, not "official" GW artwork; which means you started off on (pardon the pun) the wrong hoof! Here's original GW artwork from the first codex, Codex Tau Games Workshop 2001
This is the best copy I could fine and it's still a little dark, but you can see "two hooved toes and one claw/spur on the inside of the foot".
1). So all the other photos of models you posted aren't wrong, actually they're right...well sort of. You see GW never did make up their minds on how Tau feet were suppose to look. (More on this in a minute)
2). I think your confusion comes from a) fan art and b) the various suits that have un-tau like feet:
- XV-15 Stealthsuit
- XV-25 Stealthsuit
- XV-22 Shadowsun's special issue Stealthsuit
- XV-08 Farsight special issue Crisisbattle suit
All of these suits have the "split ox-hoof", double checked and none have the single "pony hoof" (although the Farsight Crisis Battlesuit looks like it might, it's still an "ox-hoof"). Something else you should remember: On these suits the "hooves" are really "boots", with the fire warrior slipping his hooved foot into the footwear of the particular suit he or she is wearing. They're not the actual "feet" of the pilot.So What Does a Tau Foot Look Like?
Well if you went by biological symmetry the Tau hands have: Four digits - three fingers and one thumb.
So then their feet should be: Four digits - three hooved toes and one spur/claw.
But the GW fire warrior models and the GW art shows two hooved toes and one spur?
Ah, but note the XV-15 models:
Here's a close up view of the "heel spur".
You can't see the hooves because of the XV-15's "boot" but the model shows not one spur, but two?! One at the inside of the foot and one at back, above the heel? UH?
But the XV-25 has only the one inside spur, which still makes no sense, as the fire warrior's spur would be inside the "boot", which would include the spur as well?
However when has GW ever been consistent on anything? Since they didn't or couldn't make up there minds the sculptures and artists seem to have pretty much gone there own way.
But here is one more piece of the puzzle, take a look at the feet of an XV-08 Crisis Battlesuit. Obviously these aren't the actual feet of the pilot, who is inside the cockpit (the torso of the suit); but looking at the feet can give you an idea of what Tau feet are suppose to look like.
As you can see: three toes without a spur (guess they only need those in the Farsight Enclaves?) And before anyone jumps the gun and tries to tell me the last "toe" is suppose the be "claw" it can't be, since it would then have to come off the "ankle" of the foot. So it's obviously another "toe".
One more piece of evidence, the feet of the XV-08 would seem to mimic those of an actual Tau, meaning that the battlesuit's feet actual "real and act" like real Tau feet. Therefore the Tau toes are able to spread out and are not "camel's feet". Go back to the artwork of the Pathfinder and you'll see the fire warrior has toes "open" like the XV-08's feet.
Confused? Welcome to the inconsistent lore, art, and weaponry of the T'au Empire!
But remember: Four digits - three hooved toes and one spur!
PS Next time I'll explain why it's a spur/claw and not a "dew claw".
PPS This old fire warrior has had too much corn whiskey tonight, and has to turn in for the evening. "Goodnight and bless the T'au Empire!"