Monday, March 4, 2013

Iron Man Themed Tau Commission Update: I am Iron Van!

Old School here with an update to the Iron Man Tau Commission in which my client plans to have a full Tau army painted up in the famous Stark Industries color scheme. That being said, this totals his armory to seven fully painted vehicles and really clears my plate as it frees me up to finish the last of the suits and move into the final stages of the project.

These tanks were painted using the same Red Primer + Three shades of red airbrushed on to create depth and highlights. From there the same Iyandan Daksun, Ultramarines Blue, Ice Blue ect as the rest of the army was used as well. The tanks also received a sponge treatment of leadbelcher for some weathering to help break up the similar paint, show some battle wear and of course because it looks cool.

What really doesn't look cool is this photo. I still am trying to take photos of red models despite my camera hating them. It's almost a joke now how bad it is at taking photos of red stuff.

All joking aside though, this is pretty exciting as I know my client was waiting to unleash some shrouded tanks upon his opponents (hopefully I will be one of them soon!). The next installment will likely include six stealth suits, three crisis suits and a metric butt-ton of drones (which are actually finished).


  1. Without divulging trade secrets, can you either explain, or direct me to a tutorial on this sponge/weathering technique? My Tau vehicles are too "clean" and need some weathering or something..

    1. Hey Yancy, I can't access most of the forums from the PC I am on right now, but I can tell you that there are a plethora of Sponge Weathering tuts out there. The method can really be a one, two or three part process, but the initial application is simple.

      Find a peice of foam. I like to use the little sticks of foam that come from army transport trays.

      Tear the foam so you have a nice nub to work with that has a semi-even side (this will give you a nice pattern later).

      Now find the color you want to weather with. In the models displayed here, I just used leadbelcher because the client was looking for a basic paint job and this creates the effect without getting further into the steps.

      Once you have the color, dip the semi-even end of the foam stick into the paint lightly, then take a paper towel and dab it until it is almost dry (just like dry brushing).

      Now, go to the edges and forward facing areas of the model (anywhere that is likely to get weathered. For vehicles it is generally going to be the front parts and edges as they get hit with debris or pass through the atmosphere ect.)

      This will create the basic effect of sponge weathering. If you take a look at my crons, you will see that I used a two step, which is where I sponged on Mournfang Brown to create a rust effect (or maybe the crons just have a layer of brown under the yellow, lol). I then went in with a small brush and just hit the center of the brown areas with a scraping pattern of chainmail to make it look like the metal was scraped and the paint came off.

      You can go even further by highlighting the edges of the sponge effect. For instance, if I would have done it with the crons (which I didn't), I would have used an even brighter yellow on select edges to highlight and add an impression of layered texture.

      All in all, you can get as in depth with it as you'd like, but it all starts with a little foam and some basic drybrush mentality. Hopefully this helps. Later, I will try to dig up a good tutorial on line if you haven't found one.

  2. Wow, they look very nice.
    Mine look very similar, although a bit more 'gothy' ;-)

  3. Thanks for the feedback.. I'll be sure to give that a go. I've plenty of pluck foam bits I've been saving for no reason what so ever other than the fact that I paid for them and thus wanted to use them for something...