In response to my last post, I've taken the advice of some of the FLGS folks (Thor, who commented on the post, is one of those).
I've boxed up all of the sprues I have for Nids, and put them away temporarily. I cleared my desk of all Nid projects except the Tyrant, five Genestealers I already built, and one Hormagaunt. Now, I'm working on a way to batch paint five Troop models at once.
In the past, I've pondered how to properly mount the thin-legged/thin-ankled Nid gribblies. Genestealers have a single, small foot print that I can drill into very carefully and insert a thin pin for mounting. But, with a thin pin I'm concerned that it will spin in whatever holder I'm using. I don't have enough old Dremel chucks to hold five models securely! I'm thinking that I'll use wine corks instead. I've used them in the past for Marine parts, but found that the natural corks tend to not hold pins securely for very long. The soft natural fibers tend to expand as the pin shifts, slowly allowing it to spin.
I've got one synthetic cork I'm going to try out, and see how that goes. But, I'm also going to try mounting the pin at an angle, instead of straight down. Here's a quick MS Paint illustration:
I figure this should be enough to keep the pin from spinning around in the cork. I should be able to simply remove and reuse the pins from the models without removing them from the corks for each succession of five models.
Due to the wobbly nature of corks, I also need a place to hold them. I've got scrap wood in the garage, and the wife just bought me a new table saw for Father's Day. I figure I can rip a 2x4 down to about a foot long, and use a 1" boring bit to punch some holes in it. Set the corks in the holes, and it should be good to go. Much better than the hanging rig I made from a paint stirrer and some eyelets.
Some progress was made on the Tyrant this weekend. I got his shading wash applied, so I can move on to layer painting now. I'll have to get out my Paint Book, as I can't remember the succession of blends I used for the rest of his body. The Paint Book is just a big, blank book I got ages ago on sale at Borders. I've only used three pages of the 100+ it has, but it has helped immensely in my painting work. I jot down the recipes I use for certain things, like Scout Camo Cloaks or Tyranid skin. I also use it for standard measurements like Rhino top hatches, side doors, etc.
The Genestealers need to have the slotta tabs removed from their feet in order to have pins put in, and also some small gaps filled where their heads meet their necks. Stealers are a weird model. Tons of posability in arms, absolutely none in body, legs, and head.
The Hormagaunt also needs to have the slotta tab removed, as I simply can't think of a way to base an already-painted model. I'm extremely paranoid about getting basing paint or material on the already-painted Nid. I'm thinking that I can cut the slotta off, and then put a pin in between the Gaunt's legs. That way I can complete the base, and then just use the pin to attach him to it. Less ankle and leg breakage down the road as well. If I paint the pin black and hide it a little with some foliage or grass, it should be ok. It would also allow me to recenter the model on the base. Hormas are notoriously front heavy models that tip like crazy. I'll probably also cast up some of my base weights to keep them from falling over.
I think the small batch plan will help me stay motivated with Nids. The Tyrant really has gummed up the works, being such a major project. I'll still be picking away at him, but also attempting to churn out Troops models at the same time.
How do you Nid players store your models, though? Marines are easy, as they have very limited pose ranges and everything fits nicely in standard square tray slots. Genestealers and Hormagaunts, or any other spiky, taloned Nid is going to be a bitch to store. If the storage slot is too small, claws and talons snag on foam and ruin paint or break edges. Too large of a space, and they bounce around and get damaged. What are you folks doing for your Nid models? How about big baddies like Tervigons and Mawlocs?