Luke’s Tau Barracuda AX-5-2

In the name of the Greater Good, Air-marshal Luke brings you todays bulletin on painting the Tau Barracuda AX-5-2…

After being tempted by the Tau Empire for some time now I thought why not shove temptation to one side and jump eyes closed feet first into a new project. Once I learned the new Barracuda was soon to be available I knew this would be the kit to drag me (willingly that is) into first Tau project. Needless to say in the true hobby butterfly way I got hold of the kit before even thinking how I was going to build and paint it.

Researching Tau colour schemes, I finally settled on a cammo style finish, but what colours and how to apply it? After hours of painting videos and blog tutorials I landed on a tiger stripe detail and dark urban colours. I?d not seen many of these styles about so I thought it would be something different.

With the pattern and colours set I just needed to get on with construction. Building not being my favourite part of the hobby, and certainly not my strongest skill, I was surprised how easy the kit went together.  I part built the kit to make it a little easier for painting in my scheme and primed the model in chaos black which would later be the base layer for the tiger stripes. Leaving all of the weapons and removable armour plates separate I could easily airbrush these in a mix of Leadbelcher and Eshin Grey to make a darker metal tone. Once dry I then washed the parts with Agrax Earthshade gloss to give a slightly greasy and weathered look for an urban warzone, and later sponged in random spats of Runefang Steel for chipping.

With all of the metal components complete I moved onto the under belly of the aircraft. Starting with a pre-highlight I used Ulthuan Grey to airbrush all of the armour panels leaving the line detail in black, this would give the next layer a natural highlight leaving the recesses in a darker shade of the base layer. Giving the whole underside an even thin layer of Macragge Blue would stand as a great base coat for layering up with Fenrisian Grey, focusing again on the centre sections of the armour panels and a thin layer over the recesses allowed for a great worn paint look. A final highlight of Ulthuan Grey on the raised edges and curved armour adds the final pop for the classic war plane sky blue camo.

With the underside of the barracuda safe from enemies silly enough to be standing around looking vacantly into the sky hoping for that pot-shot with a krak missile I could begin work on the tiger stripes.

Using a stencil, I sprayed the top hull using the Mechanicus Standard Grey spray, and then Eshin Grey was applied by airbrush all over the top side of the model, ensuring all of the paint was applied directly from the top down. Applying it this way would give a blended edge from the top hull to the sky blue camo underneath.

Again painting all metal parts on the main hull in the mix I made earlier I then picked out a few armour details in Averland Sunset to break up the dark tones and add a contrasting colour.

Using some classics techniques from the Imperial Armour Model Master Class books, I sponged a mix of Rhinox Hide and Abbadon Black onto raised areas for battle damage and chipping, and then again with Runefang Steel. This gave the model a great weathered tone representing countless flight missions for the greater good

This was a great model to paint and I really enjoyed using stencils for the first time, so much so I?m on with my next Tau project already!

Posted by Luke

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