Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sa'cea Tau - Tau Empire Battlesuits

One of the great things about running a Tau Empire Blog for Warhammer 40k is receiving all the communications from far-flung outposts of the Tau Empire. The Sa'Cea Sept steeped in knowledge of urban warfare, bloodied from long months of battling the Gue'la Insurgency on the colony of Ta'Essar. Dennis Duszynski has submitted these excellent photos to Tau of War. His painting skills are top-notch and he was even able to spend some time to tell us about the urban bases he's made and the sept markings that are near-flawless.

What I did for the base was really simple.  The concrete slab is just a piece of Styrofoam cut to a regular thickness to represent a fallen piece of building debris.  I cut it's sides irregularly to make it look like debris, and then coated the sides with watered down elmer's glue followed by dusting the glue with play sand to create the rougher concrete edge.  I also coated the top with thinned elmer's glue to smooth it out and help create a more "finished" look.  Incidentally,  don't bother buying that Games-Workshop sand tub.  You can buy a 45 pound bag of play sand at Lowes for less than 5$.  I have enough sand now to make my own beach.   So back to the concrete.  I then painted the entire piece codex grey, and gave it a darker wash of codex grey mixed with chaos black, then I drybrushed it with fortress grey.  easy.  The rebar are just paper clips cut and pushed into the sides of the styrofoam after coating the inserted end with elmer's glue to help them stay in the Styrofoam.  Make sure that the rebar sticking out of both sides of the concrete is lined up.  I used a multi tool's needle nose pliers to bend up the edges of the rebar to make them look like they've been torn away from a structure.  I painted the rebar bolt gun metal, the made a wash of scab red and vermin brown to make the rust, then I washed it over the rebar and onto where the rebar touches the concrete and dribbled it down the sides of the slab.  I wanted it to look like rain water had washed some of the rust from the rebar down the sides of the slab.  The rest of the debris are just small cut pieces of styrofoam and model railyard ballast stone and sand, which all got painted similarly to the slab, and placed to look like they broke away from the slab, when it hit the ground.
    The entire process is actually very fast to produce. 

How do you paint your sept markings?  Yours always look good too.  Do you just eye-ball them?  
I have eye-balled mine, but  I try to either start with a circle and mark off the 4 poles on it's edge, so I have reference points to make the details inside the circle look balanced.  I have also tried buying a circle template from office max for like 4$ and making a circle on a piece of painter's tape or masking tape, cutting out the circle, then making the 4 pole marks (compass directions)  on the tape.  The template helps by showing where the poles are.  Then I can paint a perfect circle onto the model.  For the linear markings, I eyeball half of them, but I try to mask one side of a line with tape, so I have a way, like a straight edge of making the initial line straight. 
Whatever you've done, it works. I thought those were transfers at first glance. 

I am really curious why people pick the septs that they model.  Why did you pick Sa'Cea
I really like your paint scheme.  I am utterly sick of desert scheme tau.  Your scheme seems somewhat WW2-esque.  It reminds me of our soldiers' uniforms.  Green and Khaki.  My Choice of Sa'Cea was about not painting desert tau, and also I figure that most of the warfare in M41 would have to be urban, and since Sa'Cea were the tau's urban specialists,  that made my mind up for me.

Great models and great poses as well. I cannot wait to see more of your work, Dennis. How about sending a group shot once you've completed your army? 

Happy Hunting, Shas'la!

-Old Shatter Hands


Kroxitau said...

Nice models!

I am more of a player than a gamer and I am always jealous to see so many awesomely painted models. I hope some day I will get better, practice makes perfect.

Any tips or hints on how to maintain focus or techniques that make the process seem to go faster? (particularly with painting firewarriors)


Old Shatter Hands said...

I've got a tip. Get yourself a color primer from Army painter. Spray your models one color (say red). then paint their helmets and guns a different color (yellow?). Then wash with badab black. you're done! Requires like NO skill pretty much and actually doesn't look bad at all.

Wadmaasi said...

The Stealthsuits look spectacular. Sa'cea is my favorite of the regularly-published color schemes, and something about the large amounts of black on the Stealthsuit underpinnings has always made that dark blue pop. Combine that with XV25s not being as blocky as XV8s and I'm ready to swoon.

Kroxitau said...

Alrighty, I have a doubles tournament this weekend to play and then post, but after that I am totally doing your idea and will post the pics.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Army Painter's Color Primers are the schiznit. I use leather brown as a base for my Tau.

Cobalt Cannon said...

I am not a fast painter either when I put that much detail into a model. Fast=rushed=sloppy It took me about a week to paint that Shas'el working a little every day. Speed comes with practice naturally, and as you paint more and try to add more details and new techniques to your models, you will increase your painting speed as these tasks become repetetive for you. By the time you paint your 6th fire warrior, you will notice that it isn't taking you as long to do it.

OSH's tip is great for someone who plays and doesn't have the patience for a lot of painting. I suggest in addition, that after you have done a fast table-ready paint job, and are playing and having fun, that you handle your modles by their bases to keep them as free from your body oils as you can, and over time, addd more details. Your army will still be usable, and look better every time you play. Start after your basecoat and wash, like OSH suggested, next drybrush your armor a lighter shade to create quick highlights. Play a game, then next add some simple sept markings. Play another game and then paint the cloth on your firewarrior's a different shade from the armor. Then another time, add your gem and optics effects to your models. Progress your painting at your own preferred pace.

The best tip I can give for any starting painter is,.. Have the right tools for the job. Buying the GWS paint brush set sped my painting up to double speed. Good brushes, good paint, a cheap pallet and two plastic cups of filtered water with a drop of dish soap in them (and stirred). Flat toothpicks for stiring and mixing paint, paper towels, and any templates you want to use should be added to the list.


Grajo said...

Very nice army, Sa´Cea is one of my preferred septs.

A good tip for a starting painter is... ¡¡paint it black!!.
Prime, one dark grey drybrush and a little highlight with a lighter grey (or another drybrush if you are kinda lazy :) ).
Of course... inks don´t work with black :D... except it ends too grey, in wich case a badab black wash can be pretty useful.

Eish said...

Hi all,

I have just started with the whole war hammer game and I have chosen Tau as my army, but I am struggling to find a decent painting guide the Sa'cea Tau paint scheme. Any help would be great thanks.

Old Shatter Hands said...


I am not the expert in paint tutorials but I could try to help. How long have you been painting miniatures? How much experience do you have? How many miniatures have you painted? What kind of paints are you using?

Eish said...

Hey OSH,

I have just started with this hobby, I haven't painted a thing, I am using Citidel paints and brushes. I have started using a the GW fire warrior painting guide and using an educated guess as to what paints I should be using at each stage.
The colours I have got are shadow grey, space wolf grey, fortress grey, asurmen blue, burnished gold, shining gold, scab red, mithril silver, chaos black and solar orange. Brushes I have standard, fine and large dry brush.

I have just finished painting 6 fire warriors and a prianah. Looking at the fire warriors I have missed a step, so any help you can give is great.

On a sperate note this blog is ace I get a lot of info and some cool tactics. Played 4 games and lost but thats cool still having fun ;)

Tim said...

@Glad to heat it Eish. Good luck in future games...oh are there any pics of your models online?

Eish said...

Visit a photo in Eishpal Singh Mattu's 30/12/2011.