Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Painiting Hive Splinter Nostromo

Tooling about the inter-webs one day I came across a web site with some pictures I just loved. They were Tyranids made to look much closer to the Geiger biomechanical nightmares from wich the Tyranids sprung in the first place.
Now this picture clearly did not come from the web iste that was hosting it, it was an imperial guard website after all. So excited by the one picture I found I dove back into the web-soup to look for any other pictures or better still find the font website for these marvelous creatures. Imagine my delight and surprise when I not only found the source website, but that it contained well written tutorials describing how to sculpt AlienNid heads and how to paint the swarm!

This all co-incided with my slow drift away from my IG Army project. I was casting about for somthing new to do and I had found it. I would build an AlienNid army!
I have built a modest Tyranid army before called Hive Fleet Germanicus, which was a swarm army. It had very few Monstrous creatures in it. This time I was determined to have somthing a bit more balanced, Besides the prospect of painting another 200 Gaunts didn't really appeal. I will eventually get around to these sorts of numbers, but ths time I'll concentrate on the Big-Ones first and come back to the blocks of gribbles afterwards.

I follow the painting guide on the AilenNids website reaonably colsely but with a few variations to get the slick oily-green look the Aliens from the 1st movie had.

Chaos Black spray can
Chaos Black
Billeous Green
Space Wolves Grey
Mithril Silver
Windsor Newton Apple Green ink
Windsor Newton Black ink

Under Coat
Chaos Black spray can. Alway a good idea. It has better sticking power than straight acrylic on plastic.

Base Coat
Mix 1:1 Chaos Black and Billeous Green. Don't worry if this looks light in the pallette, it is the mid shade and will darken up once applied. This is applied in a 'wet' or heavy drybrush over the whole model, leaving the mjority of the model recesses black
I understand GW no-longer makes Billeous green. It is a very bright clean yellow shade green. Not sure what the modern equivalent is yet.

1st Highlight
Space Wolves Grey. A very light drybrush of Spacewolves grey came next. Technically a 'scrub' over the whole model. The idea is to pick out the extreme highlights only.

2nd Highlight
Mithril Silver. A very light drybrush of Mithril Silver came next. Technically a 'scrub' over the whole model. The idea is to pick out the extreme highlights only

With the Mithril Silver open do a heavy drybrush on the teeth, claws, talons, spines and hooves.

Touch up
I sometimes clean up any drybrushing that has too much coverage on flat planes by just re-painting with the basecoat mix.

1st Wash
6:1:6 mix Windsor Newton Apple Green ink: Windsor Newton Black ink: Water. Wash the whole model. The trick is to not darken up too much.

2nd Wash
1:1 Windsor Newton Apple Green ink: Water . Ofteh more than one layer here just to give the hint of green on the silver bits, tie all the layers in and give depth to the gloss sheen.

I sometimes clean up some of the extreme edges by edging with a flat brush and Mithril Silver. Too much of this at this stage can be overwhelming though. This is only to bring out the highest points again.

3rd Wash
Windsor Newton Black ink. A targeted wash to the extended head of the Nid.

And Rest!

This is best done in large productions of figures, applying each coat to the entire block at the same time. This technique can take as little as 2hrs to pump out 24 gaunts! Believe me if you paint horde armies this is very important!

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