Paint Farsight Enclave Tau

Cast aside the Ethereals, terrorize Orks, and look awesome while doing it with this tutorial on how to paint Farsight Enclave!

How to Paint Farsight Enclave Tau

Yes, Farsight Enclave is usually all about them Crisis Suits, but the scheme is the same.  Plus, Breachers look awesome in red!


Unlike Blood Angels, we are looking for a deeper, darker red.

We start the red on a black base coat, and we will leave much of this black showing through our first coat of Mephiston Red.  Once we have a good transition from almost black in the recesses to Mephiton Red in the raised areas, highlight very lightly with Evil Sunz Scarlet.

You can stop here if you like the bright red.  Otherwise, shade the whole armor with Carroburg Crimson to add richness to the brighter parts.

Lastly, we highlight some of the armor’s edges with Evil Sunz Scarlet to make them look crisp.

Light Grey

Schemes vary between white and light grey for accent colors.  Because the overall look of the model is so dark, light grey contrasts just as much, and is easier to paint in a clean and fast way.

Start with a base coat of Celestra Grey.  Next apply a light and even coat of Nuln Oil on white details.  If you are free handing lines and markings, skip the Nuln Oil on those areas.

Next, highlight the whole area with Celestra Grey, leaving the Nuln Oil only in the recesses.

This effect of Grey-Black-Grey is very close to a pin wash, if you’re familiar with that.  This is kind of the long way around, but it is foolproof and easier to do with panel lines that are not super deep.

Next, we paint the edges with Ulthuan Grey, an off-white that will get the lines in the armor the cleanliness and add to the visual impact of these details.

Arguably, the official scheme to paint Farsight Enclave doesn’t have white helmets on Fire Warriors.  But because this scheme is designed for a whole army, it did not feel complete not showing a way of painting it.

That being said, they look really good with the white helmet.  I would have no shame calling them an home brew Sept.


Because the Farsight Enclave scheme is already bright and vibrant, we don’t want a super bright blue for the skin tone.

Instead, what we will do is start on a base coat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, and highlight that with Celestra Grey.  We will highlight this with Drakenhof Nightshade, which will give the skin a blue tone, without turning it super bright.

You can also check out this Vior’La article which has a completely different way of painting Tau skin that’s not too shiny.

Clothes & Extra Details

You could make a case for brown clothes and black details, but honestly, I like the simplicity of having both the details and clothes in black.

This also works great with the battle suits, as the exo skeleton looks better in black, and then it ties the whole army together.  If you want it brown, you can use the technique from this classic Tau scheme.

Our black is pretty straightforward, we highlight a black base coat with Dark Reaper.  If this is too blue for your taste, of if you go too heavy on the highlight, you can shade it with Nuln Oil.  This will tone down the blue from the Dark Reaper.

The other detail on Tau models are the orbs, which are traditionally painted in gold.  These are usually on the gun, chest and the suits’ reactor.  For this model, because we don’t have the fancy Enclave plates, we  also decided to paint the emblem in gold.

Start over a base coat of Retributor Armor, and shade with Agrax Earthshade.  Then, shade with Druchii Violet, painting only the recesses.  This will add a lot of depth to the gold, for very minimal effort.


For this scheme, you can use almost any color for the bases.  I would steer clear from green, because it clashes with the red.  The one we are using is a desert themed, that painted light brown and drybrushed bone color.

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