How to paint Tau bases

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In a previous article, I showed you how to create custom bases for your Warhammer 40,000 Tau army,where we used a GSW textured rolling pins to create them. In this second part, we will see how to paint step by step these great bases.

I’ll show you 2 ways to paint these bases. Firstly a very fast technique and then another slightly more elaborate way,so that you can see different possibilities.

Let’s Start!


First we will print the custom base in black. This time I used surface primer black.

Fast way

We’ll start with the fast technique. We’ll paint the whole base using Neutral Grey.

Once it is painted, we will only apply different washes on it,creating different types of dirt and quick weathering effects. Here you can see an example where I have used different washes(black wash, umber wash, sepia wash and green wash).

Once dry, we will make a dry brush using Cold Grey, and then StoneWall Grey in the corners, to create more contrast.

To finish these bases, we can reapply other washes more lightly (in this example, umber wash, sepia wash and green wash). And we’d have the T’au bases finished!

Very easy, isn’t it?

More elaborate technique

Now we will see another way to paint these bases,which will be somewhat more elaborate, but also much more fun and attractive. The idea for this type of bases was obtained from a very interesting video by James Wappel. If you have any doubts about how I apply colors, you can watch that video to get an idea, although I have decided to use bluish colors instead of the greens that he uses in the video.

In all this process, I will use 3 colors (Magic Blue, Sky Blue and White),which I will apply individually at each step. In addition, I will mix all of them with a little Blue Fluor color.

For this task I recommend using a wet palette, as we will be using different colors and mixing them with the Fluor. In my case I use the Wet Palette from RedGrassGames.

We’ll start by painting the nooks and crannies of the stand with Magic Blue (which as I said earlier, we’ll mix with a little Blue Fluor).

This process is easier than you might think,since you can paint quickly without worrying too much about not getting out, because once you’ve painted an area of the base (if the paint is properly diluted, thats why I recommend using a wet palette), you can swipe over and you will remove all the excess paint, so the color will stay inside the nooks and crannies.

Here we see the result once this first color is applied.

We will continue with the process, this time applying Sky Blue (mixing with a little blue fluor). We will perform exactly the same as in the previous step, but painting a smaller area, since our goal will be to make a lighting effect, like the ground emanating some kind of power.

To end with this effect, we will apply White with a pinch of Blue Fluor. This time we will focus on applying it in the most central nooks and crannies (or in the area where we have chosen that will emanate a high brightness from our base).

It is more than likely that in these steps, we have come out of the nooks and crannies, or as we passed the finger to remove the paint, it did not look as good as we would like. Therefore, now will be the time to use pure black to tweak some imperfections:

To finish the painting process, we will apply a dry brush of Cold Grey and later StoneWall Grey,in the same way that I explained in the «quick technique» of this tutorial.

And here we have the painting of these custom bases finished:

Base completion

Now we just need to place those custom rocks in our circular bases. First of all, I have placed some cork bits to simulate some small stones.

Afterwards, I glue them on circular bases of Games Workshop, and applied Brown Earth. Alternatively, you can also use PVA glue, sand, and then paint it.

You can also see that I have added some pieces of cork or rubber,which will simulate small stones. We paint the stones, first in black, then Gray, we apply a wash and then a dry brush using a light gray.

Now, it’s time to apply some Static Grass Flock. To do this, we will apply some PVA glue diluted with water, as we can see below:

For the grass, I’ve made a mix of realistic green Static Grass Flock and dark green Static Grass Flock from Green Stuff World.

Once its dry, remove the excess with a thick brush, and this will be the result:

To finish with this base, let’s give it an extra touch by adding some tufts and leafs.

As you can see below, I’ve added the following GSW products:

Grass TUFTS – Realistic green


Leaf Litter – Spring Green

Finally, the edges of the base will be painted with German C. Black Brown.

And following these steps, we have the base finished. Here are some photos with the result:

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