Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What old post am I proud of...?

by TheGraveMind

It's not the post with the most comments or views. It's my painting article. I recently went back to painting some tyranids, and man had I forgotten how fast and easy they are. Once you've painted something enough times, and have found a good method, there is little work to actually be done. While they are not fully finished, they are to table top and it didn't take me more than an hour each, a ravener and a Tyrant guard. But the post I want to show again is my step by step as I worked on some guants. I still show off that finished gaunt as one of my pride and joys.

The Gaunts go Marching
Let me start off by saying. I hate gaunts. I've never been a huge fan, I normally only take them to sit on an objective, and now I take them to get a tervigon as a troop choice. My loathing has only grown these past few days as I've attempted to paint my vast swarm of them.

With the release of the new codex and the amazingness that is the Trooper-pooper, I've had to redesign my termagant squad, and by redesign I mean create from scratch. My original termagants were converted into gargoyles, and all following gaunts were created with spine-fists, and now are obsolete with the new codex. So I had went out and bought two boxes of gaunts, along with the few unassembled I salvaged from by bitz boxes. I built them and primed them and then left them. I also de-converted eight of my gargoyles back into gaunts. This sits me at around 38 termagants, along with my 16 spinegaunts and 25+ hormagaunts.

Yes, this means I've been slowly painting 38 gaunts for the past three days. I've for some reason decided to actually do a good job on these models, and I've taken photos and left some in their stage by stage development to show you all how I paint my Tyranids.
After priming white, I add a watered layer of bleached bone to all of the exoskeleton. I try to make a good overlap onto the carapace to avoid any white spots at the borders. I then put a layer of ogryn flesh wash over it to darken it and add detail.

Then I make a 3:1 black/grey mix and apply that to the carapace. The reason I lighten the black is so it will take detail better and the badab black wash will show a little better. On this model I tried the new tyranid scheme of having a gun a different color. The green wash just didn't cut it for me, so I will not be doing that again.

Here I've added some fading and started painting the stripes. I took my earlier black and mixed it 50/50 with grey. I then added this watered layer to about half way up each carapace piece. I then took that grey and mixed it 50/50 with skull white. This is then painted on half way up the grey layer. The more layers painted on, the harder it is to notice the first layer. I also added a second layer of ogryn wash, to darken it a little bit more and add to the spots that I missed.

The final stage is this. I then add just skull white, and highlight the very edges of each carapace ridge. I also used a Delvan mud wash to darken the spiracles (breathing holes). A badab black went over the carapace to help fade the stripes and make it seem more natural. I added the green wash to the tongue and even took time to detail the teeth and the eyes. This is normally more detail than I would ever put into a gaunt, but decided to practice my painting and show what can be done. I then painted the base a dark brown and added a little grass.

I looked back at my original spinegaunts, and man have I improved since then.

It only took me two hours to layer and finish these four gaunts to have them lined up for this picture. I'd say that isn't too bad for how much detail I put into that final gaunt, but it's not something I ever want to do again.

Why you may ask? Because I have all of these to finish!

The worst part is I'm considering buying another box set, to push me up to 50 gaunts. The reason? I've been thinking about running two tervigons, and the internet says they average about 22 each. Those trooper-poopers are going to be using around 45 gaunts a game, so I need to be ready.


  1. I must ask, who is this lovely Arachnid at the beginning of the post?

  2. that's a Wolf spider with young on her back.

    it creeps me out a bit. Yes, I have seen one do that in nature. ok, in the barn on my parent's farm.

  3. Every freakin' time, a post about 'Nids, another picture of a real life nightmare to haunt my dreams.


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