Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

General discussions about the hobby side to Tau & 40K.
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seven324
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Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#1 » Sep 27 2017 09:40

I've only recently really got back into W40K but i noticed that with the Tau update a few years back, it seems like the hooves don't match up with how they were on the models before. I can't figure out if there's now a few different styles of hooves or if I'm just looking at them wrong.

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.

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Same with with the Firewarrior kit, pathfinders and the Ethereals that were released in the Tau 2nd wave from what i can tell. The Devilfish commander still has that sort of hoof.

With the updated kits though, the hooves on Firewarriors and Pathfinders seem to be comprised of more of a split hoof with 2 toes, they still have one large part but there's now a second toe next to that's much more noticeable and with more separation.
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However, then there's what the Fireblade has. He still has the split, but his are much more like toes, with them sticking out more and having even more separation between them. They seem to be covered more by skin as well.

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With Darkstrider his seem a bit different again, although not to the same degree as the Fireblades. They look a sharper, especially the back toe.

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The Ethereal on Drone seems to have them more sort of integrated with the rest, with them flatter and less noticeable.

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It's a bit hard to explain why they seem different, It's not so much the size of the hooves that is the problem, it's the general shape and how prominent they are. Am i just looking at them wrong? Have they actually changed? I can't really tell if some of the newer models are consistent with each other or not.

Mixing the old style hooves with models with the new ones seems like it would be a bit strange to me. If they were different castes it might not be a problem, but unless i've just been interpreting the hooves wrong that seems like a fairly substantial difference in how they're portrayed. Some of the newer art still seems to show the single hoof style as well. Obviously not every Tau would have hooves that are identical but some of them seem pretty different, especially the Fireblades.
Last edited by seven324 on Sep 27 2017 09:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Panzer
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#2 » Sep 27 2017 09:50

Well either GW decided to change it up a little bit (that's basically the point of updated models ^^) or you could simply treat it as different T'au having different features.
They come from a lot different planets so it wouldn't be too weird for them to have slightly different hooves. We already know that their skin color can be pretty different from other planets T'au at least (at times ranging from almost black to almost white).

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seven324
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#3 » Sep 27 2017 10:00

Panzer wrote:Well either GW decided to change it up a little bit (that's basically the point of updated models ^^) or you could simply treat it as different T'au having different features.
They come from a lot different planets so it wouldn't be too weird for them to have slightly different hooves. We already know that their skin color can be pretty different from other planets T'au at least (at times ranging from almost black to almost white).


Their skin colour varies that much? I've not heard about that before, where was that said?

I think skin colour variation is a bit less substantial of a difference than shape of their hooves/feet changing, though. It could be possible but i'd expect them to be fairly consistent and not vary that much.

Ricordis
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#4 » Sep 27 2017 12:52

You may add the Ethereals' Honour Guards to your list.
Their feet disgusted me that much I actually had to remodel them.

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Kael'yn
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#5 » Sep 27 2017 01:24

One of the first full pic with firewarriors show almost some ungulated feet (IIRC it was the first boxart):
Image
Others shows split hooves

I think that artists comissioned to do art are told that tau have "2 digit hooves with a dewclaw" without much more details.
The models however (the older FW models for example) shows no split hooves (compared to other split hooves from the GW range), so we can assume that the tau have hooves that have a smooth and large groove with a little skin between.

Maybe they have some armour to put on feet to protect their feet skin and the armour show difference compared to bare feet.

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El ZorDacK
Shas'Saal
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#6 » Sep 27 2017 03:15

Well, diferent body adaptations could be reasonable for a spacefaring species, anyway I think is just inconsistency bettwen diferent sculpt styles, and the skin colour variations is something I try to do with my models. Someone noticed the eye style changed lately? No more red eyes, but more human like with white & black

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TauMan
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#7 » Sep 27 2017 10:00

Look like it's time for another installment of "Ask an Old Fire Warrior!"

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"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.

The Mistake
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

Image

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:
ImageImage

Here's a close up view of the "heel spur".
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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.
Image


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!

TauMan
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!"
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

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Kakapo42
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#8 » Sep 27 2017 10:35

TauMan wrote: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!


Quick point of order, but while the artwork in the OP's post may not be GW artwork, it's certainly official - it's Forgeworld artwork from Imperial Armour Volume III: The Taros Campaign, and can be found on Page 81 opposite a description of common Firewarrior equipment.

That aside, many of the previous posters are correct in that there's never really been any consensus amongst the Powers That Be on exactly what Tau hooves should be like - some say camel style with distinct digits, others a large main hoof with a secondary conjoined digit and a dewclaw/spur thing on the ankle. I personally tend to go with the latter, because that's what the early 2000s classic Tau have and that's the version of the Tau I tend to go with.

I will however add that much of it is a matter of painting. A lot of the newer Tau models are painted with very visible bare hooves (and several studio examples of the original Firewarrior models were retroactively painted the same way), as opposed to the covered hooves most classic Tau models were painted with. I've painted some of the newer Pathfinder models with their hooves covered up by the undersuit like the original Tau infantry were painted (because all my Tau infantry are going to have their hooves enclosed in the undersuit, because running around with bare locomotive digits in an exoplanet environment that's also an active warzone is a stupid idea whether you have hooves or feet - who knows what kind of alien contaminants you might be exposing them to), and I can say that when they're all painted up in a dark undersuit colour the difference isn't really all that noticeable. Not to me at any rate.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

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TauMan
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Re: Are the hooves on Tau models inconsistent?

Post#9 » Sep 28 2017 02:49

It seems I'm being taken to the wood shed by another old fire warrior. :neutral: Mea culpa Kakapo42!

Kakapo42 wrote: Quick point of order, but while the artwork in the OP's post may not be GW artwork, it's certainly official - it's Forgeworld artwork from Imperial Armour Volume III: The Taros Campaign, and can be found on Page 81 opposite a description of common Firewarrior equipment.


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"Balderdash and tommyrot sir! Why can't you tell the difference between original FW artwork from GW artwork? And what's this about you chastising the lower ranks for ignorance of IP artwork? Why sir I've had better officers than you drummed out of the regiment for less? Grumble, grumble...By the way would care to join me for glass of sherry later on at the officers club?"

Image

"Don't mind if I do Colonel Kakapo!"

TauMan
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

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