Picture Friday: I'm a Zebra?

I sat down last evening, determined to make visible progress on the Hive Tyrant. In the last couple weeks, I was content to slap a single coat of thinned paint on the carapace per night and call it good. Not so last evening. I wanted visible results!

So, i plonked down and spent an hour and a half putting two coats of a 2:1 mix of Faded Khaki and Stained Ivory as my first "streak layer." I have to interject here and say "thank goodness I blogged this process before," because I'd forgotten at what point I'd started streak colors on the claws! I was able to go back in blog posts and find where I'd talked about it. I keep a paint recipe book, but I'd forgotten to annotate where I switched from full carapace work to streaking.

Here's the results:
One of the things I struggled with was how much of each plate to apply streaking to. GW does only a little on the very edges. I've seen others who streak the whole thing. I decided to go for about a 70% coverage, working downward. The plates on his talons are actually a little higher percentage, but I felt less might be better on these large plates in order to still allow you to see the base color.

I think it's a good start, though there are some too-thick strokes in certain spots. Thankfully, the technique is forgiving in the early stages. Those overlarge strokes will be broken up by the next layers of color, which get progressively thinner and shorter.

I'm hoping to have plenty of time at night for the next three days to keep pushing forward on this guy. I think once I get past the carapace, things will absolutely fly by, as all I'll have left are the claws/hooves, purple flesh, and then cleanup. I have some spots of brown on the green I need to fix. Then comes basing, which I'm dreading. I know what I want it to look like, but can't see in my mind how I'm going to pull it off.

I think I spotted a cork bottle of wine in the grocery bag yesterday, so hopefully my fifth Genestealer will have something to stand on soon. I can't decide how to paint them, though. There are two main schools of Genestealer painting, it seems. One paints the core of the body in the army's carapace armor color, and the other paints it int he flesh color, with almost no armor plating color at all. You either end up with a monochrome Genestealer like GW's current website examples, or two-tone Genestealers like GW uses for the Space Hulk painted examples or the third edition box.

I like the two-tone look because it's more interesting from a visual standpoint. But, I dislike it for two reasons: it lacks continuity with the rest of the army and it takes longer to paint.

Every other Nid model in the range has clear delineations between flesh and chitin. Genestealers do not. The only plating on them is on some of the heads. To me, painting non-plated parts of a Genestealer the same color as the plated parts of other models is a little jarring.

Of course, the monochrome version is a little boring, as they all just blend into one mass. It is MUCH quicker and simpler to paint, though. In the end, I think it's all about what you can pull of with either technique. My leaning is towards monochrome, as there's no armor on them (because the scuttle around in crawlspaces and air ducts), and I think I might be able to make them pop with the small spots of purple and ivory on flesh and talons.

On the Marine front, still no painting progress. That poor Sternguard trooper is just sitting and waiting. I will have to finish him and his last compatriot before I move on to anything else. This new book might push me toward drop pods, instead of bikes, but we'll see.


  1. That carapace looks great--but it looks like the progress is slow. How many layers do you have to build up until you'll be happy to call it a finished product? I can't imagine painting an entire 'nid force like that (I did Nids with dipping myself as I wanted a painted force I could play while I worked on the Ultras).

    On the topic of 'stealers, I've always liked the two-tone variety because that's what they looked like back in the original days when I started playing. You could go an altogether different route though and paint them to resemble insects. I've seen people paint up carnificies like poisonous spiders and they were amazing (I even copied them back in the day, but have long since parted with those models).

    Still, something more like camoflague (http://livingwithinsects.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/buckeye-001.jpg)--in this case perhaps looking more like space hulk walls (maybe Gieger-esque). Or gaudy and colorful to serve as a warning to others (http://www.afpmb.org/pubs/Field_Guide/Images/originals/Fig.%207.jpg)?

    1. I di two thin coats of each layer. Start to finish is ten different layers on the armor plating. Only four are streaking layers. I know it's not at all efficient, but I have this OCD need to finish all my models the same way.

      I'd started out wanting to paint my Nids like green grabs, but I spent too much time hemming and hawing over colors and technique, so I just went with what felt right.

  2. He's looking good. When it comes to streaking, as I do it a fair amount for flesh on Daemons or organic armor, you don't want precision. Organic things may have a scheme but rarely ever is it precise. A wider streak here, a slightly lighter or darker done there, it's all part of the process of having something that looks organic as opposed to painted organic.

    I know you weren't really complaining about it and know it will blend into the process but just giving some affirmation I suppose :) The same can be said of your layer build up. Don't worry about being perfect and fitting the brighter colors inside the previous layer lines.

    Following suit, do whatever you want on the Stealers. They don't need to be the exact identical paint job as the rest of your army. I personally like having units that have a variation to them. They stand out on their own, it adds some diversity to the look of the army and it breaks up the monotony of painting the same old thing. You've done enough of the same thing model to model with Marines, don't force yourself into that again.

    1. Thanks.
      I think I'm going to go with all green on the Genestealers. I'll add enouugh toxin sacs and such to make the purple bits break up the green.