Monday, February 20, 2012

Creating the Tau Battleforce - Step by step Part 4

Welcome to the 4th and final part of my short series on assembling and painting my Tau Battleforce.

For this last instalment I'll be focusing on how I went about completing the Devilfish APC.

Like the rest of the models in the Battleforce, I wanted to make the Devilfish 'look' like it had been in a battle at some stage and that means weathering.  My natural aesthetic leaning, where miniatures are concerned, is towards a 'lived-in' feel and where better to demonstrate that, than on a vehicle?  This article will talk about how I achieved the final look.

I think the Devilfish APC design complements the Tau forces very nicely and as with all the miniatures I painted for the Battleforce I wanted it to integrate well with the rest of the troops.  That meant sticking broadly to the same basic colour scheme introduced at the outset.

Have a look at the first part of this series If you'd like to get an idea of the original goals of the project and the process behind building and painting the Battleforce. There's also a comprehensive breakdown of the materials and Paints I used.

Assembly, Priming and Basecoating

The model went together pretty easily. I used superglue throughout except on the moving parts, namely the chin turret (containing the burst cannon), the drones and the engines.  The non-glued parts were kept separate from the main body in 'sub-assemblys' which would be added later.  For this project I chose not to use the flying base or paint the interior, so all hatches were glued shut.  It's a shame to hide the interior when GW have modelled it, so my next Tau project will have the hatches 'open-and-shut-able'.  That's another story...

Next, as with all the miniatures for this force I primed with Chaos Black and applied a basecoat with Army Painter - Skeleton Bone

Secondary colours and Weathering

Scorched Brown was applied to a couple of selected areas but I was conscious again not to overpower the primary colour so I just kept it to a couple of panels.  The engine nozzles were painted Chaos Black as were the pads on the landing feet and Burst cannon. to At this stage the model was still looking very 'clean'.   It was time do to do something about it...

With my largest was brush I applied a couple (note: I waited for the first one to dry before applying the second) of very generous washes of slightly thinned Devlan Mud which immediately produced a nice contrast and stopped the whole thing from feeling flat.  When that was dry I applied wash of Badab Black, concentrating on the panel lines, the engines and anywhere with large amounts of detail.  I really wanted to 'dirty up' the model and I was starting to get the look I wanted.

The next step was dry-brushing the entire model with Bleached Bone.  As you might expect, this worked really well on all the raised detail areas, particularly in the areas where the drones sit and up around the top hatch area.  It worked less well on the smooth areas of the model but I was still pleased with the overall result.  I applied another 'very' light dry brush of pure Skull White but only to the areas of raised detail which brought it out even more sharply.

Final weathering, as with the Battlesuits, was to gently rub pencil lead shavings onto the areas of the model painted with Chaos Black, to get that nice metallic sheen.

Finishing Up

To finish, I carefully lined all of the panel lines with bleached bone and applied Hawk Turquoise to view ports and buttons, with a highlight of Space Wolves Grey.


Although I probably had more fun building and painting the Devilfish than any other part of the Battleforce, I'm not entirely happy with the way it turned out.  It definitely looks weathered but in an 'untidy' way if that makes sense, so it's not quite what I imagined. However, I did learn a lot and the next one I do will be a lot better.  I plan to read up on how scale modellers build and paint their tanks and vehicles which I believe will help.

This is just the beginning

Many thanks for reading this and the other parts of this series.  If you've been following along, I hope this has helped or inspired you a little to get underway with your own project.

As my first 'volume' project I learnt a lot at each stage and although it was slow going at times I'm glad I pushed through and finished.  I'm very pleased with the result but I also know that I can achieve a better result next time around.  I've already started on my next Tau project which will be a 'lot' bigger.  More details on that in future posts so don't forget to subscribe if you want to see what I'm up to.

In the meantime you can read the first three parts of this series using the links below:

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