Monday, February 6, 2012

Creating the Tau Battleforce - Step by step Part 2

Welcome to the second part of my short series on creating the Tau Battleforce.  You can see the first part here including the goal of the project and a list of paints, tools and materials.

The Kroot Carnivore Squad

I really like the Kroot Carnivore miniatures. The quality and sharpness of detail is far higher than the Fire Warriors in my opinion and a lot more thought seems to have gone into their design and realisation.

In fact I like them so much, they're the header picture for this blog!

In terms of design, the look of the Kroot is fantastic.  They are alien and familiar at the same time, taking references from the predator movies, native indians and dinosaurs, they are great looking models.  You could easily tell you were looking at a Kroot warrior just from the silhouette, a key component of good character design.

Now, in terms of how these great miniatures were assembled and painted, they follow almost exactly the same process as the Fire Warriors, detailed in the first part of this guide.  That was part of the idea in fact, to keep the force looking unified and coherent.  However, there are a couple of additional steps  to reflect different uniform, equipment and body type.

Secondary colours and wash

Just like the Fire warriors, the Kroot squad received a secondary colour of Scorched Brown applied in two thin coats.  This was applied to the jerkin, and equipment including the rifle stock, war gear and 'accoutrement' of each individual.  All of the metal parts like the rifle, knives and grenades, were painted Boltgun Metal.

After they were dry, all of the Scorched Brown and Boltgun Metal parts also received two slightly thinned but liberal washes of Badab Black to give depth, contrast and a kind of 'well-worn' look to the weapons and equipment.

A more selective wash of Badab Black was applied to the face (eyes and jaws in particular) and hands.  I was very keen to bring out as much detail as possible in these areas.


Thinned Bestial Brown was applied to the raised areas for all the Scorched Brown parts of the model. This was applied in 2 or 3 passes as it's fairly translucent on dark colours.

To accentuate that detail and to accentuate the amazing Kroot faces I highlighted with thinned Bleached Bone.  I applied this to the raised areas of the Kroots skin from head to toe. I paid special attention around the brow, the sinewy, boney jaw/cheekbone area and the chin.  The muscles on the arms and around the hands also benefit from a good highlight.

The claws and spines on the arms and legs were painted with thinned Skull White. The spines for the hair were dry-brushed Skull White then given a wash of Devlan Mud before applying another very light coat of thinned down Skull White to the shorter spines. Hawk turquoise was applied to alternate spines connecting to the skull to break up the predominantly brown colour and make the head a wall focal point of the model.  Hawk turquoise was also (very carefully) applied to the eyes and decorative parts of the rifle.

Finally, the 'tied' parts on some of the leather items, jacket and shoulder pad were picked out with Skull White to give them a sense of detail.

Conclusion of Part two

As you can hopefully tell I really enjoyed painting the Kroot, although they're kind of fiddly to put together and as it turned out, much more work than the Fire warriors to paint, I think the end result was well worth it.

To read the rest of this series:

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  1. Very nice work! I really like the subdued, naturalistic color scheme you've gone with for the Tau and Kroot. Looking forward to seeing more!

    1. Many thanks Mordian, hope to have some more on the go very soon. Btw - You have the dubious honour of being the very first to comment on my blog so congratulations and thanks. You've made my day!

  2. I'm very much enjoying the rough-and-tumble look to this army and paint scheme. They look like they are in the field and not fresh out of the factory. It especially plays well with the Kroot elements!

    And I've got to give you props for the Kroot...I just simply can't ever bring myself to paint them :P

    Looking forward to seeing more on this!

    - Tim

    1. Hi Tim, many thanks for your comments and for stopping by on my blog! I definitely like the feel of a 'weathered' army so I'll probably continue in that vein for my next project(s)