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Monday, February 2, 2015

"Commissioned Tyranids"?!?

Hey there my friends! I hope the warp finds you and yours well today (or if Father Nurgle has blessed you with a seasonal cold, even better). I'm back with another installment of Chaos Corner. As you can no doubt see by the title, I have something completely (totally) different this time...

Commissioned work. That is something I never thought I'd do. I will admit, my painting skills have come a long, long way since I started the hobby. Currently, I turn out solid, consistent models. Sometimes I impress myself. However, I see the works of others (in person and online) and I just KNOW I will never be that good of a painter- light sourcing, fine details, drawings, etc. I have seen models that I think are practically works of art!

I know I don't have the skill to attain that. As it stands now, I paint models to a good tabletop standard. My opponents have always said they are happy to fight me, as my models are nicely painted, which is the best praise I can get. I just won't win any painting awards. *

*(I did win an award once at a tournament for "Best Looking Army". It was my Plague Marines. And it wasn't "Best Painted"... I won largely due to my conversions and heavily fluff-themed look).

As my readers my know, I have recently introduced my friend Brian to the game, and he has taken to playing like a fish to water (he likes to play but will never build his own army, I suspect). Well, one day he tells me his friend is going to be opening up a gaming-type store. He wants to include video gaming (on premises, like an arcade), but also some more traditional types of games, card games, and even- yes, war gaming. Brian had told him about Warhammer and the plethora of other games (like Star Wars, Warmachine, etc). So, the pair got the idea that they could set up a display case for some of these things. I think you know where this is going, don't you?

So, as a result, I was commissioned by Brian and his friend to paint up the Deathstorm box. My "fee" was to keep the campaign book inside...  I was excited, as I have never really painted Tyranids before. I did a couple of 'Nid corpses for my Ultramarines, but I copied Pete's paint scheme of red skin and grey carapace. So, what would I do?

I knew that I wanted a snow theme base- after all, it is winter out there. I wanted a paint scheme that could both compliment and contrast with that. I also wanted to play around with painting techniques that I don't normally use on a regular basis. But, whatever I did, I wanted them to look striking in the display case. They don't have to be masterpieces, but they should be at a tabletop standard (which is usually what I shoot for).

First, I sprayed them white- which is highly unusual for me (I start everything with black undercoat). That gave me the already white snow base, but it would also allow me to do something  else I wouldn't normally do- to do washes over the white.

I washed the bodies head to toe in Seripham Sepia. It got into the recesses quite well, and it turned the model this  yellow brown color- I lifted this technique from the ubiquitous How To Paint Citadel Miniatures guide (but I had never done it before). I did go a little heavier than the guide seems to suggest- I wanted them to look a little dirty, molted, with skin imperfections and dirt from crawling around semi-digested biomass all day... I then used some Earthshade in the cracks, joints, etc, just to show more depth.

The carapace and claws had to both reflect the cold winter base, but also contrast with the skin. So, I based it Kantor Blue, then layered on Altdorf Blue. Then I used a rather liberal Drakenhof wash. Once it dried, I highlighted with Altdorf, and used Temple Guard for the edge highlight. Thus, the carapace is both a cold blue (for winter) and a great contrast with their light flesh.

 The teeth, naturally, were painted white. The eyes were layered Yriel, then Flash Gitz yellow. Speaking of yellow, I used the yellow wash to do the whip and some of the "wires" attached to the weapons. I washed the guns with the blue, trying to show that they are organically grown from the same cellular matter as the carapaces. The tongues I washed with crimson wash. To the Carnifex I added Nurle slime (for the toxin sacs, etc).

So, that's pretty much the story. I painted my first Tyranids, with a technique I don't use too often, and on commission (which I never do). I must say that briefly I felt the urge to buy more 'Nids for my own, but one look from my wife dispelled that temptation- she may have gotten me the Sector Imperialis, but I shouldn't push my luck *. Truth is, Chaos is still my true hobby horse, with Dark Eldar in there too. It was fun to paint up the Nids though.

*(Is it so wrong that I would love to paint a Tervigon in my colors? And maybe even a Mawloc? Is it really so wrong? Sadly, my wife thought it was wrong lol ;-)

I'll be working on the Blood Angels side of Deathstorm in the coming weeks, while alternately working on my own stuff (they will not be needed for the display case until May/June, so I have time).

Until next time... stay chaotic, my friends.


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