The other day I was doing more brainstorming after thinking it might be neat to do a Hive Fleet Behemoth army, so I'd have both sides of the Battle for Macragge. The problem there is that I hate the color scheme of Behemoth. It's overly cartoonish, and I've not really seen any nicely painted examples. Plenty of spray-n-dip paint jobs, though.
During my Google ramblings, I stumbled across this link. It's a review of the Forgeworld Masterclass for a Hive Tyrant. Apparently, Forgeworld does or did run day-long classes for locals who want to learn and use new techniques. Wish I lived in Nottingham, UK!
I was inspired by the review, and decided I had to do a more "realistic" job on my potential Nids. I started searching for cool looking real world bugs to emulate. I found lots of shiny beetles and striped wasps that were interesting, but most everyone does Tyranids in flashy colors.
While walking on the beach a while ago, I noticed the standard carpet of dead crab bodies amongst the seaweed. Then it hit me...Tyranids aren't like bugs, they're like crustaceans! Crabs are scavengers, carrion eaters, and beach cleaners. The scour the beach of biomass!
I started looking at possible colorations of different real world crab species. There are all kinds of neat ones out there, but I settled on one that's common here in Maine: the European Green Crab. It's an invasive species that's currently destroying several Maine fisheries and coastal habitats. Little green Tyranids!
Here are some shots of real Green Crabs (via Google):
Lots of great possibilities for Tyranid models there.
So, I've decided to start working on some Nids, and I'll call them Hive Fleet Karkinos. Karkinos is the mythical crab represented by the constellation Cancer. He annoyed Hercules during his fight with the Lernaean Hydra. I'm sure someone else out there has used the name, but nothing inspired by mythology is unique anymore ;).
It's important to note that this won't be a "second army" for quite a while. I'm going to put out models only after testing a ton of techniques, and building each model very carefully. I'm thinking that these guys will be my painting competition models. Something I can carefully repose, sculpt, and modify before applying a great paint job.
To that end, I have several things on my new to-do list:
- Lay hands on some Tyranid carapace bits to practice on. I'm thinking Carnifex back plates or Warrior extended carapace parts. Something cheap and easy to get.
- Look into artist inks. I'm thinking that overlays of inks over light paint applied on white primer might get the effect I want. GW washes might work as well.
- Decide if I want the "wet look" or not. Should parts of the models be slick and glossy, or all flat?
- Research tutorials on making drool effects. Nothing scarier than a big monster with acid drool, right? I remember seeing one done with fly fishing line.
- Plan a 500-1000 point army list. This is a low priority, really. This project is more about awesome models, and less about winning army lists. But I should have something playable at the very least.
- Decide if I want to use all new,plastic/Finecast kits, or if I want to venture backward into Second Edition metals. I'm leaning very heavily to plastics, as the old edition metals will probably not be able to hold up the paint jobs like the fine detail of new kits. 2E Nids are charming, but very soft and very round.
- Stay calm and remember that this is a side project. I am still working diligently on my Ultramarines, but they are the "simple, clean, easy" army. These Tyranids are a high-level project I should be in no rush to complete.