Luke got in touch with us by using our contact form, enquiring about a Tau force that he wanted building and painting. After accepting the quote that we sent through, Luke then provided us with the models. This Tau Empire project included an Ethereal, a Breacher Team, an XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Team and three XV104 Riptides. Luke wanted to have tactical flexibility with his Riptides so we magnetised the main weapon options. This gives Luke the option to swap out his weapon options depending on what enemy his Tau force will be facing on the battlefield.
TAU EMPIRE ETHEREAL
The first model that we painted for the project was the Tau Empire Ethereal. The Ethereal is an important and central model to the Tau force, giving out his buffing abilities to nearby friendly units. The Ethereal model from the Tau Empire start collecting box set isn’t really that poseable, so we used the standard pose. Luke wanted his Tau force to resemble one of the Forge World Tau Empire colour schemes using the white armour with red accents. This colour scheme really stands out using the strong red that contrasts with the white armour which then in turn contrasts with the dark base.
The Ethereal looks very regal with his flowing robe upon his hover drone which makes him a taller than the rest of the infantry around him, making him stand out from the ranks as he floats at almost the same height as an XV8 Crisis Suit. The Tau text on the Ethereal’s robe is free-handed on, using Khorne Red and then neatened up with Ceramite White to give a crisp appearance. The Ethereal is the only model in this Tau force that has his flesh showing too, adding to the models significance in the army.
TAU EMPIRE BREACHER TEAM
The next unit we painted was the Breacher Team. We’re really pleased with how these came out as they make a great looking bodyguard for the Ethereal should any enemy come too close. The white and red colour scheme follows over to the Breacher Team well as their armour is quite segmented. We used the red to accent the shoulder pads and some plates on their leg armour to break up the white. To give the models some contrast we also gave the Breacher Team blue helmet lenses with a slight glow around them. These blue lenses compliment the red shoulder pads and the clean white armour.
We put the Breachers on darker urban style bases so that the models pop. We also added some static grass tufts so that the bases have some realism to them which also gives the models more depth. The colour around the bases is Dryad Bark, this helps keep the bases muted in colour and helps keep the attention on the Breachers themselves.
We added some light battle/weathering damage by applying thin lines of Gorthor Brown to the white armour to help give another level of realism to the Breachers. The weathering is quite subtle but it gives a great effect which helps pronounce the edges of the Breachers’ armour. The Breacher Shas’ui is distinguished by his red helmet antenna, fully red shoulder pad and the Bonding Knife on his hip.
TAU EMPIRE XV8 CRISIS BATTLESUIT TEAM
The next unit on the painting desk was the XV8 Crisis Battlesuits. Luke wanted the Crisis Suits to have Fusion Blasters and the Shas’vre to have two Plasma Rifles, which we added a glow around to make them look like they were ready to fire into the oncming enemy. The white and red colour scheme also works really well on these XV8 Crisis Suits too, due to their sharp angles and multiple armoured plates. The Shas’vre is distinguished by his red helmet and the Bonding Knife on his left leg.
Because the Crisis Battlesuits are on larger bases, we added some small rocks to make them more interesting and to give them more depth along with the static grass tufts. The weathering/damage effect was also used on these battlesuits along with glowing blue lens effect on their helmets. These effects are easy to create and add that extra level of depth and detail to the models that give them a more realistic appearance.
Although Crisis Suits are one of the more mobile Tau Empire units they look great in a static gun-line army as shown in the pictures below. The Gun Drones and Marker Drones accompanying the Battlesuits are painted with a red rim around the edge and the main armour painted white with the sept mark in red. The lenses underneath the rims and the lenses on the Marker Drones are painted with the same blue as the Breachers and Battlesuits, keeping the colour scheme consistent.
TAU EMPIRE XV104 RIPTIDES
The majority of the time taken on Luke’s Tau project was spent painting the three XV104 Riptides. These Riptides have their main weapon options magnetised and all of the secondary weapon options slot into the grooves on their jetpacks. If you’d like to know how to magnetise a Riptide’s main weapon options just click here! The link will take you to another Tau Empire project we completed that shows you step by step of how to magnetise the main weapons. Magnetising the weapons on a Riptide is a great idea as you get more use out of your model and you can change the weapon option based on the enemy that you’re facing.
Riptides are great models and are quite poseable as their legs and arms have joints, giving you options to put them in multiple positions. These three Riptides have differing poses to make them look unique and dynamic in style. All of the Riptides are Shas’vres which is why they all have red helmets and armour plates, distinguishing their rank within the Tau fire caste.
For the Riptide’s bases, we added some larger stones and then asked which armies Luke faced on a regular basis. Luke replied with Dark Angels, so we added some Dark Angel Space Marine helmets to the bases to give them a narrative that was related to the armies that Luke has battled against. Again, we added the static green grass tufts to keep the look of the bases consistent with the rest of the units in the Tau force. All of the Sept Marks that appear on the Riptides is free-handed on to the armour with Khorne Red and then neatened up with Ceramite White to keep the look of them crisp and clean.
The three Riptides look great when they’re placed next to the rest of the Tau force as they look like the towering bodyguard for the small Ethereal in the middle of the army. The Riptides provide a huge amount of long ranged firepower to any Tau Empire force and are resilient enough to take a good few hits from some of the most dangerous firepower such as Lascannons and Meltaguns thanks to their tough armour and Shield Generators.
Here's what Luke said about our service
“Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to Ben and the Deathhammer40k team for the amazing Tau Empire army they have produced for me!
I came across Deathhammer40k after following them on Instagram and straight away loved their style of painting and once I found out they accepted commissions I had to get some models painted by them.
I originally asked for a quote on three Riptides then later added the ‘start collecting box’ to bulk out the army a bit more. This was the first time I had enquired about a commission so wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very impressed with the quote and the overall service that was provided by Ben.
He kept me updated throughout the whole process via email with pictures of the work that had been completed and advice with the army build options too.
So again, thank you very much to Ben and the team and I would highly recommend their service, I will definitely be getting them to add to my new army in the near future!”
Below you can see how Luke’s Tau Empire force looks on the battlefield. The dark bases suit the table perfectly which allows the models to pop due to their contrasting white and red armour. Our favourite unit from the force would be the XV8 Crisis Battlesuits as they offer a dynamic look and feel to the army thanks to their poses and glowing weapons. An amry in a similar colour scheme will always look great in an urban setting due to the high contrasting colours.
We’d like to thank Luke for his support and giving us the opportunity to paint these awesome models in such a great crisp and clean colour scheme. We hope Luke has a great time using these models on the battlefield as well as having them in his collection. May their firepower bring death to all that oppose the Greater Good! As Aun’va says “It saddens me greatly that we must take arms against the peoples of the galaxy. By their deaths, they deny themselves the liberation that is only to be found in total surrender to the Greater Good.”
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