Friday, March 11, 2011

Tyranids Incoming: Preliminary Thoughts, Paint Scheme and Planning Purchases. Bonus: Lots of Useful Links!

I wanted to share with you all some of my thoughts and plans on building my future Tyranid army.  I will be going over some of my general thoughts, a possible paint scheme, how I plan on building my lists, how I plan on playing them, and how I will be buying the army to spend the least amount of money possible on it.  I have also been working on a modeling tutorial that I wanted to have posted by now but it's taking much longer than I had anticipated, so here's something to entertain you until then.

I know I already used this one before but I like it, it's appropriate to the post, and I want to show off my 1337 Photoshop skills of adding text to a picture.  I R guud at Fotoshopz!

The delay is partially due to the fact that I'm doing it all in one big chunk instead of completing one piece just for demonstration, partially due to a slight case of "I'm too tired to hobby today, I haven't had a good night's sleep in a week," and partially due to a sudden craving for playing Borderlands again, in that order.  I have several hobby articles and tutorials planned out and just waiting for me to find the time to get stuff done, so bear with me.  Good stuff is coming, I promise.

Part I: General Thoughts and Paint Scheme

As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to build a Nids army so I can have an alternative to the current CSM Blandwagon.  I really like the idea of a null deployment list and I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to the insect/dinosaur/WTF IS THAT hybrids.  Unlike zombies who just want to eat your brains, Tyranids are not very reasonable.  They will eat your brains, your eyes, and every scrap of organic life on every planet in your galaxy and beyond... and I like that.  I've drawn inspiration from tactics articles on 3++ is the new black, hyv3mynd's blog Synaps3, and Dezmord's Hive Fleet Apophis.  I really like the metallic color of the carapaces in hyv3mynd's army, but I am leaning more towards blue than the green he uses.  I want something that looks more like this:

Blue bug, Miskolc, Hungary
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: In the forest

I was originally thinking of a bone color for most of the body, but then what color would I paint the talons, boneswords, and other weapons to make them stand out?  Instead, I opted to use a black color for the body and use the bone color on the weapons, claws, teeth, and any other bony bits.  After I decided the main colors, I took a look at Dezmord's amazingly painted Nids (seriously, go check out his thread, it's really good.)  He uses a primarily black carapace with blue underneath, which is the opposite of what I had done, but I got the idea for the secondary colors from him after seeing how well the blue skin and purple fleshy bits worked together.  To finish off the color scheme, I consulted SandWyrm's Color Theory - Part III from The Back 40K.  SandWyrm has written an immensely helpful set of posts on color theory which can be found in the Color Theory Archive.  But, back to the paint scheme.  I consulted his modern color hue wheel and roughly charted where my 3 current colors fell on the wheel.  Black is a neutral color while the blue carapace and orange-ish bone color would form a Complementary Harmony.  The addition of the purple could throw things off a bit, but I noticed that green is complementary to purple, and if I combined all four of them I could form a Tetrad of colors.  It's not something that is found very often in minis and it could be difficult to make it work well, but I'm feeling ambitious!  Worst case is I keep the main blue and bone colors and change the minor colors to work better.

So, here is my current plan for the paint job.  I will be using several of the same techniques that I used to paint my Chaos Marines.

  • Prime with black gesso
  • Black body underneath using black wash over gray base
  • Metallic blue carapace
  • Bone weapons, claws, etc using sepia wash over ivory base
  • Various exposed flesh bits, tongues, etc will be purple
  • Eyes and other various bits will be green
  • I will probably use a glossy varnish to give them a nice slimy feel, or mix and match with the purple/fleshy parts and carapace being glossy and the bone and black skin being more matte.

Source:  The Internet.  My paint scheme is completely original!  *Tries to look innocent*
I'll try to test out the color scheme sometime soon but I will need to aquire some purple paint and figure out how I want to make my metallic blue color.  I tested out a few recipes and had some fairly decent results using a Liquitex Iridescent Medium combined with the Rowney Blue ink I use to mix my washes.  Once I figure out the exact formula I want to use, I'll mix up a batch of it so I'll have plenty for my army.

Part II: Plannning my Purchases to Maximize Savings

When I was buying my Chaos army I did not plan my purchases nearly as well as I could have.  I just didn't know everything back then that I do now.  I don't use a lot of my CSM stuff because I just have way more models than I can fit in a list without a gratuitously high point limit.  I want to plan out exactly what I will want to use for my first list and then slowly expand from there.  First I will go over the types of units that I am considering for my army and then I will explain how I plan on obtaining them.

  • HQ: Hive Tyrant /w Wings - absolutely essential for the Hive Commander improved reserve rolls.
  • Elite: Zoanthropes in spore pods - not always reliable but useful in a drop list for tank busting power and templates of MEQ death.
  • Elite: Ymargl Genestealers - killy death that leaps out of terrain
  • Elite: Doom of Malantai - This just looks like a fun unit to use and can wreak havoc with a little luck/skill
  • Elite: Deathleaper - Another fun unit that can play mind games with my opponent
  • Troops: Termagants /w deathspitters in spore pod - drops in and lays out a metric buttload of shots
  • Troops: Tervigon - can outflank due to Hive Tyrant's ability and poop out lots of troops
  • Troops: Hormagaunts - another option for outflanking
  • Troops: Genestealers - killy death that can infiltrate or outflank
  • Fast Attack: Gargoyles - can deep strike due to being jump infantry and can screen the Tyrant
  • Fast Attack: Spore Mine Cluster - can do interesting things to force your opponent to deploy where you want them to.  Not often used, but they could be fun and useful.
  • Heavy Support: Trygons - deep striking combat monsters that are a serious threat.  

As usual with Tyranid lists, the Elites section is chock full of options.  Carnifexes with brainleech devourers or screamer killer fexes with bio-plasma in pods can be effective choices for this type of list as well but are more expensive than Trygons and I just decided that I prefer Trygons for this list.  I might change my mind in the future, but time will tell.  There are other choices that I could take such as warriors or shrikes and a number of other things but as I said before, I don't want to get bogged down with too much stuff right away.  As amazing as they are, I don't plan on using any Hive Guard either.

Borowed from 3++ is the new black.  You should check them out, they have lots of great Tyranid and other tactics articles over there.

Now, on to my plans for buying.  One thing I did right with Chaos is buying battleforce boxes and making use of everything in it.  The Tyranid Battleforce does not exactly come packed with optimal units for a null deployment list, but I can still make full use of them by converting some of the contents.  The Termagants and Hormagaunts are both on my list of possible units.  In addition, with the use of magnets I can swap out arms for normal/deathspitter Termagants or even use some Termagant arms on Hormagaunt bodies for counts-as Termagants that the Tervigon spawns.  It's not uncommon to use warriors as a base for Zoanthrope conversions, saving the expense of buying all those metal models.  The genestealers can be used as normal or Ymargl stealers, or maybe even a broodlord with some conversion work.  The ripper swarms don't really have a place in my list but I'm confident that I could whip up a spore mine cluster conversion so they don't go to waste and so I don't have to order the spore mines direct from GW.  Using these methods will allow me to utilize every single model in 2 battleforces to make up a large part of my army and save a considerable amount of money.

For the Hive Tyrant I will buy the kit, but I will wait on that because there are rumors floating around that a new Tyrant kit will be released later this year and will include the option for wings.  There is also a possibility for a metal Doom of Malantai but I have other options for that as well including a conversion like this one by Easternheretic or buying an older edition out of print Zoanthrope on Ebay.  For the Deathleaper I am pretty much stuck with the metal model but I can handle one metal model.  It's 6-9 Zoanthropes/Obliterators or similar situations that would break the bank for me.  The Tervigon would likely be converted from a carnifex kit unless a Tervigon kit is released as well.  I will likely use outflanking Hormagaunts to begin with and hold off on the Tervigon until later.  For the spore pods, I found this tutorial that looks pretty easy and much cheaper than paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 for an unofficial model.  That just leaves Gargoyles and Trygons, which I will simply have to buy the kits for.  Buying all these models will still be a considerable chunk of change, but will be a huge savings over buying everything straight from GW.  I could go into comparing prices to find the best deals, but Frugal Dave already covered that topic very well in his recent post about shopping around.

As you probably noticed, I've done a little renovating around here and added a spiffy new banner.  I think the place looks a lot better now.  If you have any comments, questions, or feedback on any of the topics in this post or on the blog in general please feel free to speak your mind.  I promise I won't bite... hard.  I'll start doing more modeling and conversion posts up soon since this is primarily a modeling blog after all.  I'll still post updates on the progress of my armies, but I want more real actual meaty content, not just me showing off my mediocre painting skills.  Catch you on the flip side.

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