They're totally different to any of the other factions. If nothing else the absence of anything even resembling a vehicle is appealing. All of the other races are anthropomorphic be they robot people, fish people or pointy eared people. I suppose Daemons aren't very human but I've said before that I'm really not a fan. Tyranids offer me a chance to try something completely different. What's put me off in the past is, to be honest, their mediocre rules. When they have been competitive it's been through mono-builds where certain units must be taken to succeed. Most recently it was a pile of FMCs and that just didn't appeal to me.
The new edition has opened up some possibilities though. I'm not naive enough to think I won't gravitate towards the stronger units but I do think there's a wider range of viable builds than there has been before.
Anyway, long story short, when I picked up my 8th edition rulebook I also bought a Tyranid Swarm and Start Collecting box. I'd toyed with the idea of just buying Scott's army from him but, whilst he's done an excellent job of the Leviathan scheme, I just don't feel any sense of ownership. I'd much rather paint up my own army whilst using his to get used to how they play.
This brought me to a decision: what colour scheme should I go with? Of the established Hive Fleets I think Leviathan probably is my favourite and I've already ruled that out. None of the others really appeal. That means something new. Part of the reason I don't want to paint Leviathan is I'm going to be painting up more Drukhari/Dark Eldar soon and they'll be purple. That made me look at my collection:
- Wolves - blue/grey
- T'au - blue/grey (what was I thinking? - suppose at the time white would've been difficult without an airbrush)
- Orks - red (bits of yellow)
- Dark Angels - green/light stone
- Imperial Knights - orange (and would paint Ryza Ad Mech if it came to it)
So what's left? I don't have any yellow armies but I've recently started painting my BB Orcs yellow. Can't imagine doing a full 40K army. Don't have any totally black armies but then there's Ravenwing to consider in my DA. That basically leaves pink!
I've long been a believer that Tyranids look best with carapace in a darker colour than flesh but in the spirit of trying something new I decided to do the opposite. I built up a hormagaunt from the swam box to try some ideas out on:
This was my first attempt. What you see here is Mechanicus Standard Grey, Nuln Oil and a Dawnstone Drybrush. The carapace gets Screamer Pink, Pink Horror, Emperor's Children and then a thick outline of Fulgrim Pink (Edge paint). The claws are then painted back in with Abaddon Black and an 'Ardcoat finish.
I wasn't quite happy though so I built up a second gaunt. This time I tried out drybrushing before the wash to avoid it looking as powdery. I also went for a line highlight of Fulgrim Pink:
I still felt it needed more though so I added a blue highlight to the claws before applying the 'Ardcoat. I also took the opportunity to paint in the teeth and tongue. I went with blue for the tongue too.
I like the blue on the claws but I'm considering changing the tongue to bright green. The reason being it'll look better on some of the larger monsters when it comes to doing tentacles and gaping maws. I finished off the second model with basing to see how the scheme looks:
Apologies for the poor picture but I think you get the idea. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. There's still a couple of issues though. My aim was to come up with a scheme that didn't take much effort so I could get through all the gaunts pretty quickly. The Mechanicus Standard Grey can be applied with an airbrush (or possibly a can of the stuff) and then it's just drybrush and wash for the skin. The panels are a bit of a pain because they take three different pinks to build up from the black. The line highlights definitely look neater but they're time consuming and I'll get sick of them pretty quickly when I'm painting the 80 gaunts you get in the swarm box. Maybe feathering the colour will work better. Paint the panels up to Pink Horror then do feathered highlights of Emperor's Children and Fulgrim Pink.
Finally, I need to decide how the weapons will be painted on both the termagants and the bigger monsters. Therefore I've built and sprayed a couple of termagants (1 devourer, 1 fleshborer). That'll give me a good opportunity to test more ideas out.
It may seem pretty excessive to spend so much time testing things out but I want to get this scheme right from the start so I'm not halfway through painting my army when I decide I don't like it. Once the termagants are complete I'll try out the Carnifex from the swarm box to test the scheme on a bigger monster. The key is to find a scheme I like the look of but is also quick and easy to paint.
There's a reason I've not been blogging much recently. I've done plenty of hobby. I also filled all of the gaunt bases with basing beads:
This will hopefully prevent the falling forwards that the gaunts are wont to do. I've also built up this little fella:
I'm hoping to get him basecoated with the airbrush tomorrow (well today when you read this). By working on several projects at once, I'm not as likely to get burnt out on any one of them. I'll also be returning to my scenery (yeah, yeah, I know).
Right, that'll do for today. I'll post again once I've made more progress.