Tau Color Schemes (ideas and guide)


Tau have a wide range of color schemes that allow Warhammer 40k players to personalize their armies and make them stand out on the battlefield. Tau have a unique aesthetic that emphasizes clean lines and minimalist design, with a focus on advanced technology and sleek armor.

As such, choosing the right color scheme can greatly enhance the overall look of a Tau army and make it a formidable opponent on the tabletop.

Warhammer 40K Tau Culture and Colors

The Tau are one of the most technologically advanced factions in Warhammer 40K, hailing from a distant star system known as the Tau Empire. They have a rigid caste system that governs their society, with each caste having a specific role to play. 

The Ethereals, the highest caste in Tau society, are revered as living gods and serve as the moral compass for the entire empire. They espouse the Greater Good philosophy, which seeks to bring order and prosperity to the galaxy through peaceful means.

On the other hand, the Tau color schemes are an integral part of their culture, representing different castes and ideologies. 

The most common color used in Tau armor is a light blue-green, which represents the Fire Caste.

It is responsible for the military might of the Tau Empire, and as such, they have the most prominent role on the battlefield.

Other prominent colors used in Tau armor include white, which represents the Air Caste (responsible for the Tau’s air force), and yellow, which represents the Earth Caste (responsible for engineering and technology). Each color has its own symbolism and meaning, making the Tau color schemes an essential part of their visual identity.

Important color scheme Fact to Consider When Painting 40K Tau Miniatures

Tau color schemes operate differently than most other armies.

The one important color is the Sept Color. This color ties the army together. Some examples of the Sept color include; White, Red, and Grey. 

Beyond the Sept Color, Tau usually has a 2 color uniform scheme. The first color is what the majority of the suit or armor is painted, the second is a darker color painted on sporadic armor sections to bring depth to the model. 

In certain schemes, the sept color is also used as the secondary color. Uniforms may vary within a Sept. An army’s Stealth Suits may have a dark blue uniform suited for stealth in their cities, while crisis suit teams may have red armor for use on Iron rich planets. 

Also, mini painters paint their Tau armies to fit the environment they are in. Hence, with each character and the terrain you create, you can expect variations among the units.

Popular Color Schemes for this faction

When painting 40K Tau armies, the good news is that you always find multiple color schemes to choose from. Some of them include:

  1. White Armor – Desert Tan, White paint, Scrofulous Brown, and White again to create scratches. 
  2. Weapons – Panzer dark Grey and Cold Grey for weathering and edge highlight
  3. Weathering – Smokey Ink (stipple it), Desert yellow, and German Red Brown
Borkan Fire Warrior
Au’taal Fire Warrior

With 40K Tau, You Can Choose Your Prefered Color Scheme

The best part of painting the 40K Tau army is that you can paint Tau however you want Just think about what terrain (desert, forest, ice) you want to see them.

 Remember, it’s your army and the paint you use should appeal to you the most. 

Are there Different Possible Color Schemes for 40K Tau?

When painting Warhammer 40K Tau miniatures, there are numerous color schemes you can choose from. 

However, some of the most popular ones include the classic Tau color scheme (light blue-green armor with white and yellow accents), the Farsight Enclave (red armor with black and silver accents), and the Sa’cea Sept (dark blue armor with white and red accents).

How to Paint White Armor on 40K Tau

Typically you need 4 main colors

  • Pick a main color, whatever you want
  • Look on the color wheel, and pick a color from the opposite side to work as your secondary.
  • Look on the color wheel for colors near your secondary, and pick two of these as tertiary colors.

Then again, it’s not as simple as it sounds. If you want to paint white armor on your 40K Tau cow Commander miniatures, here’s a step that works pretty well for me. 

Tau Empire Commander

Step 1: Get an Even Mid-Tone for the White Paint

First things first, apply grey seer spray all over the miniature. It is a great mid-tone paint that helps you get a nice solid white finish easily. 

Step 2: Paint the Basecoat Colors

Here, we use Abdon Black on all the areas you want to be black, Dawnstone on some armor panels, and Corax white all over the white surface. Try not to go over any area twice when the paint is still drying to prevent unwanted textures. Then. Apply another two to three layers after the paint dries. 

Step 3: Add textures

Here, we use Corthor Brown in all the recesses and around details to create depth, Corax White to tidy up around the edges painted brown, and Baneblade Brown mixed with Lahmian Medium for glazing effect. 

 Then, we use Whitescabs and Administratum for the highlight, Ulthaun Grey, Eshin Grey, and Dawnstone for the edge highlight. 

Tau Empire Commander
Tau Devilfish

Tips and Tricks for Painting this Faction

Tau is no harder to paint than any other models; however, the colors used in most box art (white and yellow) are the two colors most entry-level painters might find challenging to paint well.

As a beginner painter, you can certainly paint a Tau army. But I recommend choosing a paint scheme that doesn’t use white or yellow. Red can look quite good on Tau, as Farsight colors, and red is much easier to paint. I also think that teal looks quite good on Tau.

As you get started, focus on basic techniques like shading, dry brushing, panel lining, and edge highlighting. Also, check out some tutorials on YouTube to help make the process easier. 


40K Tau armies are essential parts of the Warhammer intricate universe, providing players with a rich and diverse world to explore.

While their color scheme may range from light blue to red, pink, and Dark blue, what matters with this faction is that the color you pick is a color that suits your taste.

Tau is very versatile when it comes to its colors. So, pick a color you love best and start painting!