Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Problem with Painting Genestealers - Advice Needed!

Well somehow it's been over a month since I posted. I've been trying to change my order of priority when it comes to my free time. It used to be that hobby work came after blogging but I've tried to paint when I've got spare time instead of blog. Less content for you guys but it does mean that I should hopefully have some painting progress to share with you soon. What I have managed to do is get the gaming garage tidied up so I can get the airbrush set up. That's allowed me to prime and basecoat my entire army for DT3 in the Mechanicus Standard Grey I'm using for the flesh. It's the first time I've used the airbrush for priming and I'm never going back! I got through a whole pot of Vallejo black primer but considering I can buy 4-5 pots for the price of a can of Chaos Black Spray I'm sold.

Anyway, onto the point of the post, Genestealers. So far I've painted a test Termagant and Hormagaunt and then a set of Ripper Swarms. I'm now having to decide how to apply my scheme to larger models. I'm dreading the big monsters, particular the wings of the Tyrants but for now I'm painting the 'stealers. Thus far I've done the drybrush and wash on the whole model so I'm onto the pink stage. The big question is, how much pink is right? Allow me to explain.

I see genestealers as different to the other Tyranid creatures as they aren't directly affected by the will of the Hive Mind. I'm therefore happy for them to look different to the rest of my army but at least sharing enough of the scheme to tie them in. Take a look at the GW website though and you get this shot:

In my scheme, the white/pink bits would be grey/black with blue tinged black claws and a small pink flash of chitin on the head (purple on this model). Trouble is they'll look a little blank in comparison to the other creatures (see the test Hormagaunt below):

Having said that, the flash of pink on the head might be enough when combined with the bright green I'm painting the tongues. They'll certainly be great at striking from the shadows since they've pretty much shadows themselves! The other alternatives are to go down the route the Space Hulk 'stealers of Hive Fleet Hydra take:

That would mean pink heads for my 'stealers. I suspect that would be a bit much, particularly when combined with the pink hands/feet. Take the following from Garfy on Tale of Painters:
To me the pink is a bit too much here so I don't think it's really an option. The final option is to paint the top of the torso in pink. A bit like Garfy's above but with the rest of the body grey. Take a look at the following to see what I mean:

This way, the majority of the model appears grey in my scheme since they're mostly legs! The "carapace" on the top of the model would be pink (plus the bit on the top of the head). It's probably the most logical option as it follows the scheme of the gaunts/rippers pretty closely. It's difficult to know where to stop with the pink though as there aren't really clearly defined "plates" like on some of the other Tyranid creatures. For example, do I stop above the tail or carry on all the day to the coccyx (or whatever you want to call it)? The model below shows what I mean pretty well (except ignoring the extended carapace which I'm not a huge fan of):

Compare that to the red guy above and to Dave Weston's genestealers over on 40K Addict shown below:

Notice that Dave's done quite a mixture of different styles across his. It makes for easy differentiation between units and Ymgarls etc.

Well, I'm going to sleep on it but in the meantime I'd love to hear what you lot think I should do. Tomorrow I'll probably do a test model with just the spot pink on the head as that's going to be the easiest to achieve and won't need painting over like pink heads would if I don't like it. It's times like this that I wish I had any talent with Photoshop (or indeed owned a copy!) so I could test these things out without as much physical effort.

Anyway, comment below and let me know what you think I should do. Can't believe how quickly time's ticking away towards DT3 and I've still got a lot to do. There are still tickets available by the way........


  1. As infiltrating organisms, being mostly grey would probably be an evolutionary advantage. The pink flash on the forehead would tie them in to the main hive, although I would worry that it would be giving guardsmen a convenient aiming point :P

    The alternative of the back piece too would also work. I don't like the idea of the pink hands though, I think they'd end up looking like the pink and grey minstrel show...

  2. Thanks for the nod Alex. My first lot of Stealers were very plain, it would be like your suggestion of all grey with a pink chitin head crest. If I was you I'd do that, maybe build up to a 7nit of 20.

    Then if you want more I'd consider painting the backs pink to differentiate the units. You don't have to go crazy like I did, but despite the differences between those 31 stealers there are ways to lump them together in bigger broods.

    Sticking to mainly grey now is the simple choice to help progress. You can resolve the difficult choice of pink backs further down the line when you don't have DT3 coming up and the decision won't slow you down.

    1. Sage advice Dave. Getting them done is the priority now and just doing the head crests would certainly help with that. Then if I get the big beasts done in good time I can see how the stealers fit into the army and decide if they need more.

  3. Could always try a hint of pink across the backs or the major talons, fading back in to the blue tint, just to add a little extra pop without doing big blocks of colour. Perhaps a more subtle version of this fella, but on the claws not the carapace;

  4. I think the rear ribs/carapace pink, like the Hormagaunt, there is just less of it. Similar to my test scheme:

  5. Will probably end up that way but I think Dave's right. For now I should focus on getting them done. Will we see you at DT3?


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...