Thursday, December 2, 2010

My lazy Tyranid Prime conversion, Part 4... Finished!

Part 1


I've made a Tyranid Prime conversion using a Warrior, a special base, a large Scything Talon flipped around to be a Bonesword, and a Trygon headpiece converted into a large shield that is a 'counts-as' Lashwhip.

And now it's done!  Behold:

My large sword and shield are not compensating for anything! Shut up!
I'd love to hear any constructive criticism.  Or praise.  Especially praise.

But how do I feel about it?  Jump!

Overall, I'm pleased.  Partly because of the fact that my HQ's done now and I could conceivably play a small game if I wanted to.

I'm also still happy with the way the bonesword/lashshield coversion turned out.  I like the blended green 'crystalline' bonesword.  I like that he's bulky enough to stand out in a unit of warriors.

What don't I like?

While I love the green highlight parts, and am thankful to Ghoulio at Legio Minimus for giving me the idea, I think I went a smidge overboard here.  Specifically, the green tube going into the gun.  I think I'm going to change it to purple to match the rest of my warriors, as I think there's too much colour going on on that gun with the green thrown in, and it looks a bit NASCAR.  Thoughts?

This is my right side, as opposed to my wrong one.

I also still need to do something about that base.  On that topic, I was surprised by how much extra work the base was, given that it didn't add that much to the model.  In future, I would probably stick to modelling a base or just using the smaller bits from the basing kit, such as the severed marine head.  Which you know is getting painted as a Space Wolf.  It wasn't until I got the static grass and bloodstain on there that I stopped considering ripping the model off the base entirely.

I'm also not really crazy about how the Deathspitter looks.  My two possibilities are:

1) Put in Scything Talons and make him CC focused (probably best idea).  Take them off a hormagaunt so that they fit in nicely, or use the small Warrior ones if those look too small.

2) Put in Scy Tals permanently, and use a Ravener chest-mounted Deathspitter (god knows I wouldn't put one on a Ravener..).  This will probably be what I do for the next Prime, if I make another one.  Keeps my options nice and open.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

I can see why someone thought that would make a good Tyrant Guard, the shield wall concept is there.
What did I learn?

Well, a couple things.

Dheneb Stone is better in every way than Bleached Bone.  All the foundation paints are pretty nice to work with, and bleached bone is such a pain.  Unless you desperately need that slightly more yellowish, buttery colour, I'd recommend doing all bony things in Dheneb Stone.

I find that they even give a similar result in the end.  Here's a picture of my Prime, done with Dheneb Stone on the carapace, and two Warriors, done with Bleached Bone:

Pictured: The Society for the Prevention of Krak Missile Spam

Those decorative bases in the bases kit are a pain in the astronomican.

The resin is very hard and difficult to cut.  I broke my knife and the base trying to trim the bottom.  Add to this that plastic cement doesn't work on them, and that there really isn't a very good way to glue the model on because it's so textured (suppose I could pin it?).  also, the fact that it doesn't quite fit on the 40mm base... or the 60mm base... and it's not quite 40mm... My god.  I realize most people would just use the base with nothing under it, and be thankful that their model was slightly shorter and could thus get cover easier, I wanted a bit of a boost to put him over my other Warriors.

Less is more.

Accent colours are good for accents, but putting them all over the place can make it look like an elementary school painting.

Using washes for the exoskeleton is THE BUSINESS.

I'm not a great painter, but just using successive coloured washes over a white base-coat for the exoskeleton give a richness and depth of shading, with perfectly smooth blending that I couldn't accomplish on my own.

On top of that, it is SUPER fast way to paint your critters for a horde army.  I can knock out squads of hormagaunts or termagants in an evening doing this, and I might be the world's slowest painter.

Originally I was going to give away the Orks that came with Assault on Black Reach.  Now I'm going to experiment and see if you can do the same thing with green washes for Ork Flesh.

Then I'm going to give them away.

Anyways, that's it for this series.  Hope it was enjoyable and informative, and in future I promise to try and make articles about conversions smaller... by not posting as I work on it, but rather when it's finished.

UP NEXT:  Non-Tyranid Interlude!  Followed by more Tyranid Unit Reviews!


Paddy O'Lantern, the Irish Jig-Dancing Hormagaunt, makes a tearful confessional on his problem drinking!


  1. The shield idea is fantastic--it looks great, and I s'pose it doesn't cost anything if you already have a Trygon. Thanks for the inspiration there!

    Otherwise, I dont' think you've overdone the accent colors. Sure, alone he looks a little busy, but in the squad, he blends in nicely, while still being abundantly clear that he's the leader. I think you've done a great job on him.

    The only part of the model I'm not feeling is the "bonesword." While I applaud the clever use of the bit, it still just looks too big to me. I could see it being a good technique for a MC, but on the prime, it just looks a tad too large.

  2. Thanks for the input! I actually agree with you about the sword -- it's a bit big. I'm not overly concerned about that, though, because I'll be trading it for the Bonesword that comes with the Hive Tyrant (which is a bit smaller, IIRC), and making 3 more like that to stick on the Tyrant to convert it to a Swarmlord. Hopefully that should even things out a bit.

  3. Have you looked into the third party makers of boneswords? Paulson games makes some amazing renditions relatively cheaply (if you can excuse the link):

  4. You're more than welcome to link to your own content on here, as I enjoy and refer to your work, and I hope you don't mind me doing the same in the comments section on your site.

    I appreciate the suggestion! Those look really good. I think I'm going to keep that in mind because I'm leaning toward converting up a unit of shrikes with either dual bonesword or BS/LW. If I do place an order, I may do a replacement at that time across the whole army. I will stick with the black/green colouring for it though, as I am just so pleased with how that turned out.