The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 09/10/17]

Post long term projects you have devised for your Tau or other hobby projects.
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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 22/07/14]

Post#73 » Jul 31 2014 04:06

With O'Vesa painted I've spent the last week making the rest of the 8, the only member I don't have made is Bravestorm. I have plans for him, but I'm just shy that one battle suit for the whole squad.

My main Tau force is a very sleek unfussy task force so I wanted my enclave units to stand out. I've added every bit of wargear to these guys (weapons are still magnetised for future proofing) making the units look very tooled up and over the top and a little bit ramshackled. I'm hoping the cobbled together look give them the look of a fringe element that have had to make do and have had the freedom to customize at will.

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I'll be getting to paint as soon as I've prettied up the bases a little and once they are done I'll post them in smaller groups to show off there individuality more.

I'm also not sure if I'm going to model the blades on Brightswords fusion blasters, but as the weapons are magnetised I can do it later once I have a design I'm happy with.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 31/07/14]

Post#74 » Aug 16 2014 03:17

I have finished up my Farsight Commander squad with just one more model to add at a later date (Commander Bravestorm). I have some cool ideas for his conversions but I'm yet to get hold of a model for him. I don't really want to buy three new suits as that'll leave me with a two man squad and a box of one seems like a bit of a rip. I'll have to wait until I find a good samaritan or a good ebay candidate before he gets added..... Poor Bravestorm!

I'll start off with a group shot then go down with individual shots of each member.

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Farsight him self.

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My personal Favourite Commander Brightsword.

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Sub-commander Torchstar.... I can't believe I didn't notice that the flamer on the left arm had twisted before taking and or posting up the image! It's ok all weapons in this team are magnetised it's just annoying I didn't catch it sooner!

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Next up is Shas'O Sha'vastos I enjoyed modelling the vectored retro-thrusters on his jet pack, but I feel I could have gotten a better finish with a bit more care.

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Shas'O Arra'kon has a little bit to much weaponry for my liking. He is quit imposing to look at though and breaks up the squads silhouette quite nicely.

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I wish I'd read Ob'lotai 9-0 bio before I'd glued him up as I'd not realised he was the AI controlled suit until it was to late! I had planned on a fully converted helm to make him look a bit more robot, but never mind.

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Last but not least the big fella him self O'Vesa.

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I know this is a long update but I'm sure it was worth at a least a quick skim.

Next time I should have one more Riptide (#4), Shadowsuns white armour upgrade and either a Sniper drone squad or an Ethereal.

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timb6ea
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 16/08/14]

Post#75 » Aug 19 2014 02:04

Awesome update! I really like the contrast/tie in between the 8 and the other parts of your army.
Will Flak'O for food.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 16/08/14]

Post#76 » Aug 21 2014 04:58

Thank you timb6ea. I really wanted to keep the enclave models in keeping with my army but still stand out. This seemed to be a good way around it, as I wanted to keep my armies pallet minimal. It's however little unfortunate that I'm now stuck with my Vespid looking like they are from the enclave and my stealth teams are going to have to go tan or end up suffering the same fate.

I've finished the last month of the tale of 4 gamers painting challenge I was in with Riptide number four, an ethereal and Shadowsun's white makeover.

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After painting Farsight black I had to go back and rework Shadowsun to be white (Like Brokensword told me to ages back) as the contrast of character as well as style fits well with the theme of my army.

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I am more than happy with the way this Ethereal has turned out. I was never a fan of this style of dress for our benevolent overlords but now I've got it done I really quite like it.

I am also the happy owner of a Riptide wing. Here are to boys ready for war!

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Vorkah
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 21/08/14]

Post#77 » Aug 21 2014 06:22

Your whole army looks amazing. I especially love farsight and the command team. I have 1 question for you: what material do you use for your bases? Is it bark or rock? No matter what, it looks great.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 21/08/14]

Post#78 » Aug 22 2014 04:40

Thank you Vorkah. The bases are old slate roofing tiles. I just smashed them up with a hammer and use pliers to manipulate them a little(when needed). It gives the model a nice bit of heft as well. The Riptides are are just super glued on with no pinning. I do carry them around by the model as well with no real worry about them falling off.

I'm not sure what I might do next I have Drones, Fire warriors, Kroot, pathfinders and stealth teams still in my to do pile. I may just take a few weeks off to relax a little.....



..... Or convert up Aun'Shi!

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 21/08/14]

Post#79 » Aug 27 2014 09:29

After looking at my last Ethereal model then back at Aun'Shi and Aun'Va I realised they had been rushed just a little too much! I've gone back to them and given them some much needed love. I'd still like to do a conversion on Aun'Shi to make him a little more dynamic but this will do for now.

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I can also see an end to my painting backlog, for my Tau at least! This next image marks the last of my assembled units. I have more left to do I have 2-4 squads of fire warriors but they are always a joy to paint. Most of my other units need me to source parts first.

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I wonder if I can get the entire army finished before the next Blood Angels codex hits?

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 27/08/14]

Post#80 » Sep 06 2014 03:28

My boys helped me take 1st place in a local escalation tournament and gained me a new trophy for the collection and a £50 gift voucher.... Money well spent!

I didn't take a LoW unit but with 3 Riptides and 9 broadsides I wasn't lacking in fire power. I got away with not having to face a transcendent C'tan by turn one-ing the Necron player in a mission that forced LoWs to come in from reserve! My next game on the top table was against a guy who had only got there by pure luck and had only played a few games since 3rd edition.... My last I faced an Imperial Knight for the first time the end of the first turn it only had one hull point and my opponents army was forced to flee it's wake in fear of the next turns inevitable explotion. It was a hard fought game in the end. I'm also really glad I didn't have to face the guy who came in second as he had a Revenant titan that would have ruined my day, lol!

Full write up to follow....
Last edited by Shas'O Darklighter on Sep 08 2014 08:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 27/08/14]

Post#81 » Sep 08 2014 08:31

The rules where one standard detachment with either one allied or a formation and a LoW could be an Imperial Knight counted as a battle brother for all armies. With the missions being from the Escalation book at two thousand points.

My list went through a few different design ideas one had next to nothing but fliers A Tiger-shark two Barracudas and a Sun-shark with my troops being minimal and in Devilfish. This didn't make it off paper I just couldn't see how it's would be balanced enough in all situations.

I then went for my standard four squads of twelve fire warriors backed up by an ethereal. I just love the fire power these guy put out! With the core of my army sorted I then went about putting in a much devastation as I could. I knew I'd need markerlights so put in two six man units of Pathfinders My first tested list had in a Tiger-shark AX-1-0 as I just could resist having a LoW unit and 3 Riptides.

The list looked solid and did win it's practice game but my enemy got far to close to my lines and if the Tiger-shark hadn't mad it on in turn two I'd have been in trouble. This was not at all what I wanted in a tournament. It's bad enough to include units with blast weapons that can scatter off target so having to worrying about reserves was out of the question!

I eventually swapped out the the 'Shark for three units of broadsides two with seeker missiles, rail and plasma rifles and one with high yield missile pods and smart missile systems all had Early warning overrides. One of my Riptides would join the two rail rifle broadside teams to form a fire base support cadre. This also (after some points adjusting) allowed me to tool up one fire warrior squad and my pathfinders with EMP grenades, for the just in case.

With my list finalised and play tested I was ready for action, although I was still untested against Knights and supper heavies.

The Approach of Doom
Round one had me up against a Necron player who had a a transcendent C'tan! After some brief panics about it being toughness nine! I got on with deployment this mission was a god send as all LoW had to start in reserve! In the first turn I stepped forwards and called a storm of fire just in case of assault retaliation and markerlit him up and killed almost all of his warriors (not quite enough to kill both units) my Riptides killed off his destroyers and flanking assault unit (not sure of there name). My smart missiles obliterated a lone wraith hiding out of sight in a ruin close to my lines then the rest of may army adjusted position. His turn only saw half a dozen troops dead. Then in my turn two shooting phase I wiped him off the board he was so disheartened that he didn't even bring on his eight hundred point C'Tan and conceded the game. The battle only took twenty minuets and had a 22-0 victory point finish in my favour.

Trampled Underfoot
Round two had me up on the top table against a guard player who hadn't played a game for years (until the week before) and had only got to the top table through shear luck, as none of them had read the victory conditions of the mission and realised you got a point for ever units still on the board at the end of play. He had a mass MSU troop list with a few tanks to back him up. A squadron of two battle tanks and a vanquisher with a torrent tank and basilisk. Lucky for me no LoW to destroy the objectives. I again won first turn and stopped all but his vanquisher from firing by taking the main weapon on his basilisk and killed a few troop in the blasts while my troops ran forward to better firing positions. His turn was very very bad nothing at all hit and the vanquishers shot that did hit a Riptide was saved by the shield on 5+..... The rest for the game went on like this turn two had him with all his tanks dead and his troops failing to hit a barn door. To give the guy his dues he kept playing and never gave up but round after round had my whittle him further and further down in the end he only had 6 troops left that where out of line of sight of the majority of my army when the game ended. Victory was again mine 11-0.

Ultimate Linebreaker
The last game of the day had me face my first Knight and LoW unit of the day! My opponents force was a Space wolf army with Grey knight allies and an Imperial knight as LoW. He had a big Thunder wolf squad lead by Lord, two long fang squads one with all lascannons one with all Plasma cannons and two 5 man grey hunter squads. His knight had a Libby with 5 man retinue (not sure what) and a dread knight with the flamer.... by this time (after dinner) word had spread about my armies prowess and my ability to use it. I had this guy beat before we'd even deployed! Both long fang squads where placed out of line of sight of my entire army and stayed like that the whole game! Only my Riptides and his Knight could see over most of the sight blocking terrain. For the third game in a row I got first turn! I took his Knight down to his last hull point in one round of shooting and it only survived that because of some epic shield saves it did how ever send the rest of his army running for the hills knowing it wasn't far off from exploding. His Dread knights shunt move took him close enough to almost flame and entire Fire warrior squad off the board and his Libby used terror to see off another squad (yes I failed even with a re-roll!). The battle was gruelling he was on damage control from turn one. His thunder wolves with a 3++ made a tough unit to crack they ended up in combat with the lord hammering a units of broadsides before being shot off the board in the next turn and a Riptide kicking the last one to death after three rounds of combat. After that I'd realised I hadn't been keeping track of the game turns and made a mad dash to his deployment zone almost to little to late.... the end result was a much closer game than I'd had all day with the final result being 5-3 in my favour.

The end gave me 17 Tournament points and 38 Victory points putting me 8 VP above second place that went to the Eldar Revenant player...... I'm so glad I didn't have to face that monster!

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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 27/08/14]

Post#82 » Sep 08 2014 09:50

Hey Darklighter

Awsome, battle report. Glad to hear you crushed it!

Shas'O Darklighter wrote:.... by this time (after dinner) word had spread about my armies prowess and my ability to use it.
Right on! Put the fear of the Tau into 'em :evil:




I'm really coming to enjoy your updates, your Cadre is looking awsome man! Any chance we could get a shot of the whole force again?

Also, I'm not sure if this was asked before but what is your setup for photographing your mini's (what camera your using & any special settings your using)

Thanks

- null

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 27/08/14]

Post#83 » Sep 08 2014 06:14

Thanks Null I'm glad you liked the report. I've not had much experience writing up my games before so I was a little hesitant to put it up at all.

I'd really like to put my whole force on a table and take picture but I don't know anyone that can lend me a board to use. At least not one that isn't terrible looking or that isn't the exact colour of my army! I am still looking out for one though and I may have to just make one as my winter project this year.

My photographic setup is really simple and not at all professional. I use a cheep Samsung S1075 (10.2 MP) It has a manual setting mode that is set like this;

Exposure time 1/60
F number 3
Exposure program Manual
ISO speed ratings 100
Image compression ratio 2
Exposure bias 0
Maximum lens aperture 2.971
Metering mode Central weight average
Light source Fluorescent
Flash Flash off
Lens focal length 6.3
Exposure mode Manual
White balance Auto WB
Digital zoom 1
Scene capture type Standard
Sharpness Normal

I get the best results with natural day light filling my room with the help of a daylight bulb to add a more directional light source. With this setting I get a fast enough shutter speed that I can hold the camera in hand and get a sharp image though for real close ups I'll set a timer and put it down just to make sure.

My space is arranged like so (These images where just taken with the auto function and are very raw but show my work area well).

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The models set up here are my third Kroot squad and as it's dark I'm not going to get the best results and it means I'll have to spend a little more time in post editing than I normally would when photographing during the day. Here is the image this set up captured in its in edited state.

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I'll then open the image up in the GIMP use the colour levels tool to sort out the white balance (if taken with the aid of daylight the work ends here). I will then if needed use the colour balance function to correct the image and on the odd occasion I'll have to adjust the hues slightly. That is very rare and it normally only happens when taking a photo at night, I'd usually just go back and take the Photo's again in better light before messing around this much. To bring you this in a timely fashion I pressed on.

This is the image after manipulation and a crop.
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I'll be taking proper pictures of this unit in the daylight later in the week so you can see the difference in the final images then.

Things I do that are not part of the image is I try to put something white just out of frame to help with the white balance in both pre and post image manipulation. I keep the focal light central and close this give me that fade-to-black outline look (most of the time it works). To get that I'll often have the light closer to the models than the camera and be just off to one side (or above/below) of the lamp to take the picture. I believe it's the ISO setting that gives me that slight film grain look and good low light.

I'm not very good with digital cameras I just try my best. I'm sure people who know more would look at my settings in horror! I'm happy with the images I put out and other people seem to be enjoying them, I think that's all that counts..... At least for now.

If there is anything I have missed please feel free to ask.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 27/08/14]

Post#84 » Sep 09 2014 05:00

I got time to do this sooner than I'd expected. Here is my third Kroot squad these guys have a lighter skin tone than the others (a change in paint brands) so I went a different direction with there tribal markings to make it seem like they are from a slight divergent shaper pack or at least one starting to split off from the parent pack.... Moving forward I may keep this theme up and do each new squad with different marking designs and a slight skin colour change. I have ideas for a subtle green tone and a grey colour that I may just have the shaper all grey with the rest of the squad mottled in areas to look like they are in mid change. We will have to see though as I have no immediate plans to by more Kroot.

For Null These are what the pictures look like when taken in the daytime, for the rest This is the newest addition to my army.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 09/09/14]

Post#85 » Sep 12 2014 05:15

It's time for a stealth update..... I know I should be pun-ished!

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These guys came together really quickly and I look forward to putting them to battle in the near future. Whilst I was on with these I got the tan layer put on 10 missile drones and 12 marker drones I'll be working on them next along with a sniper drone team. I'm in a bit of a hobby frenzy coming off the back of that tournament win.....

Tau'Va Baby!

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 12/09/14]

Post#86 » Sep 16 2014 05:58

Next up is some Drones.... Not very exciting but a fluffy edition to my army.

First up is a Sniper team that makes my army total of 4 of these bad boys and by far one of my favourite units.

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These guys are my broadside missile drone I'm not sure I'll ever pay the points on my broadisde teams for these but it's nice to have them anyway.

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Marker drones I'll have to make a Marker'O to baby sit these guys but should be a good investments in Apoc games regardless.
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I've not much left built to paint for my Tau at the moment. I have a few squads needing parts before they are complete and ready for paint and one or two one offs in my old army scheme (drone turret, Air caste pilots and a marker tower) and some un-built metal pathfinders and Fire Warriors. I should get long strike painted, but I'm after getting hold of a hammerhead turret just for him first as all my ready built ones are glued shut.....

I've just painted up a BA captain and I've gotten the bug to paint my Angels again. I'm not sure I have many more Tau updates for you guys in the near future. I'm feeling the urge to paint the town red!

For now I've still got a few Tau projects I'd like to finish up before going full metal jacket.

I know I have in the past thrown up the odd none Tau Project in this Blog, but I'm not sure if the balance went the other way this would be the place to post my progress. What do you guys think?

I should have a picture of the captain up tomorrow so you guys can see why I'm so enthused about playing with my Baals.

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 16/09/14]

Post#87 » Sep 17 2014 03:44

Here we go with the restart of my Blood Angels army. This model was made a while back and was inspired by a topic on Bolter n Chainsword many moons ago. You could make any character with any in print special rules, I got so carried away I made mine... The thread died before I got around to painting him though. Now a forum challenge on Age of Strife has me painting up HQ unit this month. As it's been none stop Tau from me people are getting sick of seeing the same scheme month after month and my scores are getting a little lower every month! So I thought why not pull this guys out for something a little different.

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The last image will be the one I submit for the challenge. The gold is a little on the red side in these images and isn't quite what it looks like in the flesh, but it's the best I can do for now. I've been messing around with the manual white balance on my camera, I may redo them before the deadline to see if I can getter a better likeness. I'll only try if I can get a day with better sunlight though as the weather has been pretty dismal lately.

I'm also still interested in peoples thoughts on what I should do moving forward with regards to updates. I've been putting together my last Tau units (I'll take pics once I've finished) and that'll leave me with 3 full fire warrior squads, 10 shield drones, 9 marker drones, 1 metal pathfinder team, 2 air caste pilots, Longstrike, 1 marker tower, and 1 drone turret.... Oh and 1 last Ethereal in need of conversion.

Now I'm running out of Tau models I'm feeling a little depressed. They have been such a large part of my free time of late that I'm almost not sure how I'll use the time once they are done.... Of course it'll be spent painting blood angels, but I still feel a sadness that this army project is close to an end.

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timb6ea
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 17/09/14]

Post#88 » Sep 17 2014 04:54

I for one would like to continue to see updates of your progress on either the Tau or BA (or anything else).
Will Flak'O for food.

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Cer'ine
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 17/09/14]

Post#89 » Sep 18 2014 12:54

I love most of what you've done.

The most jarring thing, however, is looking at how plastic the black-painted parts of the stealth-suits look. The gun bores in particular showcase the convex nature of the plastic as opposed to the hole that is supposed to be there.

It looks like you're using weathering instead of highlighting to show depth, and the majority of that is by darkening the model. Have you tried weathering brighter on the darker colours? As in, showing weathering by having brighter colour browns and greys (or even metallics) show up as the black paint is peeled away.

Perhaps, instead of black, you could start with a dark grey/brown if you were focused on weathering with dark colours. This would also help with the gun bores since you could actually show a contrast between the actual barrel and the empty interior.

Edit: Looking back at the rest of your models, switching out of black would be a massive amount of work; however, I also noticed that there doesn't seem to be any weathering at all on any of the black sections. Perhaps weathering brighter would add to your asthetic?
{[( )]}

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Shas'O Darklighter
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Re: The return of the Darklighter [WIP update 17/09/14]

Post#90 » Sep 19 2014 11:03

Cheers guys and thank you both for the feedback. I'd have put up pictures of my last remaining unpainted Tau force but I had an unscheduled stay in hospital (nothing serious). I've got a busy weekend ahead so it'll be next week before I get around to that I think...

@timb6er I'll give it a go with regards to posting up my BA stuff and see how interest goes. It'll be a few more weeks of yet before I get all out in to them though. So more Tau in the near future.

@ Cer'ine I do normally paint a gun barrels on my models in black which does show up against the dark grey quite well. I was batch painting these guys and that step must have escaped me... That said I can get lazy and just flat out leave things off just for time saving. I honestly can't remember with these. On such small models I don't usually highlight the black (dark grey) areas especially when they have a large contrast colour to distract from it. I guess with these though there is quite a bit more black! I will definitely think about it and have fiddle with some ideas to see if I can work something out that wouldn't require a total army repaint to apply effectively.

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