Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bending Tyranid Tails with a Heat Gun Part 2 : Converting a Unique Second Flying Hive Tyrant

Hey Guys,

Ron here, with some more plastic melting conversion goodness.  Flying Hive tyrants (flyrants) have dominated the HQ section for Tyranids since the fifth edition codex came out, and GW capitalized (albeit a bit late) on this demand with an amazing plastic kit.  However, if you plan on running two of these bad boys, the pose become a little stale.  Fear not!  With our knowledge from the first plastic bending article, and our trusty heat gun, we have a (relatively) quick fix.



So the pose we're going for here is the a tyrant who is pulling back and to the right (tail flies forward), rolling his left shoulder back to avoid incoming fire, while laying down a few shots of his own with that outstretched right arm.  A dynamic pose, without too much effort.  This conversion basically boils down to heating up the tail, bending it in the opposite direction, and placing a flying stem from a riptide kit into his torso.

So, whip out your heat gun and get to work.  Remember, the idea here is evenly applied heat.  You are working with a lot of plastic that all needs to bend fluidly to not crease/look unnatural.  So keep the gun moving, avoid detail, and be patient.  You will need to use a tool (I use the end of a paint brush) to bend the tail once the plastic becomes malleable.  Don't use your fingers!  Refer to the first heat gun bending tutorial for safety/more instructions.

Make sure the final resting spot for your tail bend allows the legs to attach! I recommend holding the legs up periodically to make sure you haven't created a scenario where the left leg won't go on.  You can always re-bend the tail if you run in to a problem, but it will save you some work if you get it right the first time.

With our tail bent, it's time for a little cosmetic surgery. Whip out the exacto knife and get rid of that mound on the bottom of the tail. 

Cutting around the detail on the spikes can be tricky - just go slow and cut small pieces at a time.  Depending on your putty comfort level, you can always just lop it off and re-scuplt a few points.  This tail here will need some minor putty work to fully smooth out, but you can see the general idea.  Slap some putty on, let it dry, and shave/file it down until it's smooth.    

  Next, I put a 3/16" magnet under the torso where I want the flying base to land.  You dont' have to magnetize the flying base, but I did so for ease of painting purposes.  I may remove the magnet in the future and permanently attach the model to the base.  Now throw that flying stand on the base and assemble your flyrant!




 And there you have it - a dynamically posed flyrant, who looks good (imo), is easily distinguishable from your other one, and didn't take much effort to do.  I hope you enjoyed this article!  Please leave your questions/comments below, I look forward to reading them!

-Ron

EDIT: Reposed the tail - wasn't too happy with the tail between the legs look.