Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Painting: Tyranid Flying Hive Tyrant

In updating my Hive Fleet, I was told in no uncertain terms that a Flyrant was just about a must have. Considering how good the kit looked, I didn't put up too much of an argument against the idea of buying two sets. I assembled the first one with magnetized arms and wings as a flyrant, and am pretty happy with the result, although the magnets are just strong enough to hold the wings, even with some pinning help, but more on that after the jump.

In assembling the model, I wanted to magnetize the arms and wings, partly so I could add options later, and partly for ease of transport; that wingspan, while visually appealing, would make it a bit of a nightmare to transport in one piece. I used two magnets in each wing, plus one in the socket, to try to get some added strength, but even so, the wings wouldn't hold, partly because they would spin. To prevent the rotation, I inserted a pin in the wing arm, just behind the ball socket which would be hidden by where the arm overlaps onto the torso. It was still a little tenuous, but it held.

From there, the next step was to model some twin linked devourers for his weapons. I really didn't like the idea of simply slapping some regular devourers on there, but I also wasn't a huge fan of the Tyrannofex Fleshborer Hive route, in part because they seem to add too much bulk to an already bulky model that was supposed to fly. Looking through my bits, one of my goals was to have matching arms on each side of the body, which presented a problem for most of the monstrous creature ranged weapons. In the end, I settled on the largest set of Mawloc claws as the best fit size-wise.

From there, I made the devourer itself a little bigger by simply putting two together to make a mirror top and bottom. For the arms, after slicing off the talons themselves with a dremel and looking at the angle, I decided to flip the hands upside down:

I have pretty horrendous green-stuffing skills, and I honestly liked how they had turned out, so I decided to go with them as-is.

 With my parts assembled as much as I wanted at this point, it was on to painting. Having more or less established my scheme and methods on the Tervigon, I was mostly on autopilot for the carapace, doing a bit of feathering and blending across about 4 shades of red.

 The next step was the body itself. This more or less went the same as before (Black > Incubi Darkness > increasing amounts of Jade Green). However, when I got to the wings, I decided to try something a little more ambitious than simply layering the paints up. I noticed that the model had some great texture and depth in lines across each membrane. I decided to take a shot at tracing these lines and building up the highlights in a striated pattern.

I started with a liberal coat on Incubi Darkness in lines across the wing. As I added Jade Green, I made thinner lines on the edges of the thick lines of the darker shade.

With each layer, I made the lines thinner and worked up, making the lines parallel more than overlapping, essentially edging the previous line with the lighter shade. Eventually, this (extremely time-consuming) process resulted in this:

I was a little worried for a while that it wouldn't turn out all that well, but in the end, I was very happy with both this effect and the look of the entire model.


  1. Great work on the wings. Shows me exactly what I need to do for my Dark Eldar Grotesques.

    1. Thank you! I am now very intrigued to see how the method is applied to Grotesques.

  2. So you used Termagant devourers? Do you think the same effect could be pulled off without a dremel? The "hands" look pretty natural to me!

    1. Yes, I used two termagant devourers stuck together. I honestly think the dremel might have been a bit of overkill and I could have gotten the same effect with a sharp exacto-knife and some patience. I just used a clipper for the devourers themselves, but I needed a way to make an even cut to flip the hands. My clippers usually wedge one side of the cut and weren't big enough for me to be comfortable with them on the claw itself since it has that triangular rather than flat shape.