Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post long term projects you have devised for your Tau or other hobby projects.
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Harkus959
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Posts: 131

Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#1 » Oct 23 2017 04:38

So, I've been collecting and playing Tau for quite a few years. I'm not sure when exactly I started collecting, but I know I switched over to Tau from Tyranids back in 4th ed.

Now, while I have been collecting, building, and playing for many years I haven't done much painting. I think I have 8 painted fire warriors, and one crisis suit. Now, painting has never been my favourite part of the hobby, I'm far more into the modelling and conversion aspects, and I have a host of minor conversions in my own army.

I love fiddling around to make each model just that little bit unique, and recently I've gotten slightly more ambitious with my kit-bashes and remodelling, still haven't tried using any green stuff yet though.

I've always wanted to paint my army, but I've just never got around to it, for a variety of reasons, and I've been playing with a basecoat black force for years. However, I have now decided to get my act together and start painting some models terribly so that I can work my way up to painting models well.

I'll post pics of my collection and terrain below, and I'll upload progress pics as I make my way through them. I'll work on more detailed shots for future posts, but at the moment, the all-black paint-scheme tends to make a lot of detail disappear. I'll be sure to sort that out as much as possible (and get a backdrop) for my unit-by-unit progress pics.

My full collection:
36 Fire Warriors
4 XV8 Battlesuits (2 standard XV8, one heavily converted to serve as a commander, one rather dilapidated, old-school broadside)
6 XV25 Stealthsuits
2 Marker Drones
2 Devilfish (2 Gun Drones each)
1 Railhead
18 Kroot Carnivores (I heavily converted to serve as a shaper, 7 kroot still unassembled)
I Riptide with Ion Accelerator
2 Shielded Missile Pods
12 Gun Drones (2 converted to carry missile pods to serve either as missile drones or DS8 support turrets)
2 Converted T'au infantry characters (Ethereal or Fireblade)

Image

Stealthsuits
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Kroot
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Terrain
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The full imgur gallery can be found here: https://imgur.com/a/wmvDx

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n1md4
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 181

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#2 » Oct 23 2017 07:54

Nice collection.

If you've just started painting, stick with it and you'll be pleasantly surprised with the initial progression of your skills.

Can you do a close up of one fire warrior to see the colour scheme?
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Harkus959
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#3 » Oct 23 2017 08:10

Thanks, yeah I was working on the stealth suits today and I was definitely finding it easier than I remembered.

I'll take a pic of the fire warriors and the XV8 tomorrow. Got a few pointers from the ATT photo guides that I'll definitely bear in mind.

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Harkus959
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Posts: 131

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#4 » Oct 24 2017 10:42

Alright, here's some unit specific pictures. Finished units first, then WIP pics. The paints I have to work with are Ultramarine Blue, Snotling Green, Bubonic Brown, Blood Red, and a black spray can. My pots of Chaos Black are finished, and I definitely need to restock and update.

Complete:

Fire Warriors
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XV8
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WIP:

XV25 Team
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XV8
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Commander XV8 Conversion
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Ironsky
Shas'La
Shas'La
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#5 » Oct 24 2017 12:24

This looks like a nicely started project! I like the terrain pieces you've put together. Any chance of a close up of your Kroot Shaper? s/he looks particularly interesting.

Looking forward to more!

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Harkus959
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Posts: 131

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#6 » Oct 24 2017 12:29

Ironsky wrote:This looks like a nicely started project! I like the terrain pieces you've put together. Any chance of a close up of your Kroot Shaper? s/he looks particularly interesting.

Looking forward to more!


Thanks!

Yeah, I'll upload some pics of the infantry conversions soon. I had a lot of fun with some of those Kroot and my two Tau infantry characters. I call them that because it's kind of ambiguous what they actually are: ethereal, fireblade, who knows.

I had a bunch of leftover Tyranid bits from an old force that I made extensive use of with the Kroot, and I got some old high elf bits from a friend that went into the Tau infantry.

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Harkus959
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Posts: 131

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#7 » Oct 24 2017 03:10

So, I've been toying with altering the colour scheme a tad before I get too much of the force painted, incorporating more black into the scheme.

Here's the current scheme:
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And here's what I'm considering swapping to:
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What do you guys think? I'm not sold on it yet, so feel free to share opinions without offending my personal taste :P

I like the slightly darker tone, just because blues that are too bright feel unrealistic in a war zone. PLus, everything starts basecoated black, so incorporating more of that in the overall paint job saves me time.

EDIT: Just realised it doesn't include more black, but rather more blue. The real difference is that it removes the brown from the model entirely. So, thoughts on brown?

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Panzer
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#8 » Oct 24 2017 03:46

Not a fan of combining those hues of red and blue so I can't say as much about it.
The second one is more "classic" when we talk about the color distribution, however I do like the black rifle so I'd probably go with the second one combined with the black rifle. The brown looks a bit odd though. Maybe go for a brushed metal look there or something.

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Arka0415
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#9 » Oct 24 2017 06:37

Harkus959 wrote:What do you guys think? I'm not sold on it yet, so feel free to share opinions without offending my personal taste :P

I like the slightly darker tone, just because blues that are too bright feel unrealistic in a war zone. PLus, everything starts basecoated black, so incorporating more of that in the overall paint job saves me time.

EDIT: Just realised it doesn't include more black, but rather more blue. The real difference is that it removes the brown from the model entirely. So, thoughts on brown?

I'd absolutely choose black over brown. Blue and red aren't complimentary colors, so there's already something a little off about the color balance on the model I feel. Adding brown wouldn't help, I think. So, definitely stick to black.

On the paint scheme itself, I'm not sure if you're finished or not, but adding a black or dark blue wash would do wonders for your models! Get it into the recessed areas, between armor plates, and into the panel lines. It'll add a sense of realism to the models- there's a reason they call it "liquid skill" after all! Also, using a wash too to darken the blue a bit would be good too- the darker you make the blue, the better the red will look.

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Harkus959
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#10 » Oct 24 2017 08:20

I was trying out washes with the stealth suits (inverted though, blue wash on black armour) and I am definitely liking it. Everything is going to get a dark wash as the current blue is much too bright, and it definitely clashes with the red. Darker looks better, and goes together better.

My options were limited by the paints I had left from my Tyranids (who were black and green) so the colours aren't ideal. I'll be sure to be a bit more discerning when I pick up my next batch, which will hopefully be soon.

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Arka0415
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#11 » Oct 24 2017 09:47

Harkus959 wrote:I was trying out washes with the stealth suits (inverted though, blue wash on black armour) and I am definitely liking it. Everything is going to get a dark wash as the current blue is much too bright, and it definitely clashes with the red. Darker looks better, and goes together better.

My options were limited by the paints I had left from my Tyranids (who were black and green) so the colours aren't ideal. I'll be sure to be a bit more discerning when I pick up my next batch, which will hopefully be soon.

Sounds like a plan! When you paint with a wash, try doing it twice. First, apply the wash only into the recesses and panel lines; then use your blue paint and a very small brush to touch up areas where the wash spilled a bit onto the regular armor. Second, apply the wash again, this time using a small amount over your whole model. This will prevent unsightly "pooling" of the wash on flat areas which can sometimes produce a mottled effect.

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Harkus959
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#12 » Oct 26 2017 08:08

Question:

I'm currently using the old "Ultramarine Blue" paint, now called Altdorf Guard Blue, and I'm wondering if I should keep painting with that and then give it a black wash afterwards to darken it, or if it would be better to switch over to a darker shade of blue like Kantor Blue, Drakenhof Nightshade, or the old "Midnight Blue" as the base colour.

Thoughts? Also, does anyone know what the old "Storm Blue", "Midnight Blue", and "Regal Blue" colours are now called? I can't find them on GW's conversion sheet (http://www.anticsonline.co.uk/l.aspx?k=1041558).

Thanks.

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Arka0415
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#13 » Oct 26 2017 10:49

Harkus959 wrote:I'm currently using the old "Ultramarine Blue" paint, now called Altdorf Guard Blue, and I'm wondering if I should keep painting with that and then give it a black wash afterwards to darken it, or if it would be better to switch over to a darker shade of blue like Kantor Blue, Drakenhof Nightshade, or the old "Midnight Blue" as the base colour.

I'd say to use the wash. A black wash will make the models darker (obviously) while a blue wash will give them a navy-er feel. Remember that Drakenhof Nightshade is a wash, not a paint. Do two layers of Drakenhof Nightshade over Altdorf Guard Blue (one layer in only the recesses, then one full layer) and you should get a a great, realistic blue color. If you use a dark base layer, the wash won't be as visible.

Harkus959 wrote:Does anyone know what the old "Storm Blue", "Midnight Blue", and "Regal Blue" colours are now called? I can't find them on GW's conversion sheet (http://www.anticsonline.co.uk/l.aspx?k=1041558).

Regal Blue became Kantor Blue. Storm Blue and Midnight Blue were discontinued in the Citadel range, but other companies make similar (if not identical) paints.

https://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Pain ... lity_Chart

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Harkus959
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#14 » Oct 26 2017 11:46

Yeah, I've been searching through a lot of charts like that. I'm probably going to be using vallejo, they're R11 less per pot, and I think the pots are 5ml larger too.

Thanks for the headsup about Drakenhof Nightshade being a wash, didn't know that.

I finished up with the crisis suit and XV25s today, just need to go back over them with a brush and some black to neaten up my missed brush strokes, but otherwise, they are done - with the paints I have available anyway.

I'll post pics of them, and of those infantry character conversions that I promised Ironsky earlier.

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Harkus959
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Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#15 » Oct 26 2017 03:54

Alright, here it is.

First up, the fruits of my labours:

Crisis Suit
Image
- I may paint some more armour panels on this guy black. I'm still fiddling around with my army scheme, but for now, he's painted up to match my other XV8 that I already completed. All in all though, I like him, and I'm quite pleased with what I achieved in one day.

Stealthsuits
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- These were just a matter of touching up the green lights in a little more detail, as well as lenses and sensor vanes getting some more green. I also added the red to the fusion blaster vents, barrels, and canister. It looks a little out of place now, but hopefully a black wash brings it together a bit more. They'll definitely need more attention later once I decide what panels will be what colour, but as it is they've got three different colours, and no grey plastic showing, so they're good enough for now.

Now, on to the conversions

Kroot Shaper:

Image

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This guy was one of the most involved conversion jobs I've done so far, on par with my-pseudo ethereal. I've used a lot of old Tyranid bits in his construction, mostly armour plates to beef him up, and a genestealer head for him to stand on. It helps to give him elevation, which, coupled with the larger model mass makes him easily identifiable. The gun was a lot of fun to do too; I cut off the back spike and attacked it to the top of the muzzle, adding a spare carnifex spike to the stock of the weapon.

In fluff, these guys have fought Tyranids quite a bit, and the Shaper (Elder Shaper Harkod) has made good use of their genetic material to help his kindred grow tougher, chitinous growths on their skin - represented by using some more spare chitin plates in place of the standard Kroot armour, you might be able to see it on a few of my other Kroot - as well as benefitting from increased reflexes thanks to genestealer DNA. Harkod's closest packmates were even allowed to sample selected tissue from a Carnifex they managed to bring down.

Kroot Knife-fighter:

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Surprisingly, the knives were the easy part of this conversion. It helps that the kroot have no discernible thumbs, and two fingers on each side of their hand, so a simple snip and rotate looks fine. I did have to cut the hand off of a gun arm to provide a right-hand mounting though, as the knives are all modelled in the left hands.

The real issue was getting the gun to stick on his back. Technically it just involved a dab of superglue, but making it look real was a pain. I had to clip away the bottom spines on his head since we haven't quite mastered 4-dimensional modelling yet. I also had to do a lot of bending and repositioning of the strap to get it to connect to the gun on both ends and bend realistically given where the weight would hang. I'm quite satisfied with how he turned out though, a truly melee Kroot.

Pseudo-Fireblade:

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The body for this guy came from the tank commander, I had two spares and no other bodies or legs leftover, so they formed the basis for both my characters. The spear and cape are from the fantasy high elf range, a friend of me gave me his old bits box.

Pseudo-Ethereal:

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So, another once based on a mix of tau and high elf parts. I cut the legs off from the tank comander at the waist and ankles, then filed down one of the robed elf archer torsos so that it would fit flat against my newly unnatached torso. I clipped off the elf's feet and glued on hooves too.

Both arms are elf parts, so the finger count is off, but I don't have the skills to fix that so I'm just ignoring it. The honour blade is a banner pole clipped short (spears were too thin) with a spear blade on the base, and a sword blade on the head, which has since snapped off, I need to reglue it.
The "shield generator" on his back is one of the support systems from the Riptide that I thought looked cool, and he has a bonding knife too.

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Ironsky
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 228

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#16 » Oct 29 2017 10:33

Ooh thanks for the close ups of conversions! The reversibility of Kroot hands is pretty useful!

Looking forward to more

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Harkus959
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Posts: 131

Re: Kel'var's Combined Arms Cadre

Post#17 » Oct 29 2017 03:41

So I've been fiddling around with some templates, tweaking my paint scheme, and I've been thinking of swapping out the red for green as it seems to clash less with the black and blue.

That said, I'm not always a great judge of what goes together well, so any input you artistic people have is most welcome. I've got a template of each colour scheme for fire warriors, tanks, and XV8s that I'll post below and you guys can say what you think.

I know Bolter and Chainsword has an army painter, but it has very set blocks of colour. This template lets you subdivide things a bit more, such as multiple panels on the gun, etc.

I also made blank transparencies for each of these, as I could only find filled-in versions of them online, so I had to wipe clean. I can post them here, but I don't know what the ATT policy is on templates like this, nor do I know the original source/artist.

So, here are the templates, red and green variety.

Tank:
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Fire Warrior:
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Battlesuit:
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