Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hive Tyrant W.I.P

So I have liked Nids for a long time, in fact I have had an army of them for every codex, plus a Genestealer Cult Army back in the far of mists of time. This time around I had planned to only do a small army, this was spurred on by the fact that I was given a couple of unassembled plastic Carnifexes in trade for some work, which I added some forgeworld Stonecrusher parts to for "the look." I already had one done up as a Screamer Killer which I added to a resin base. He came up so far I think.

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The biggest thing I wanted was a ridiculously cool Hive Tyrant. I know alot of people like the metal one, and the way things are going there will be a plastic one eventually. But to me there are two things wrong with it.
Firstly it is a serious pain to assemble, my buddy Luke almost cries tears of blood when you ask him how much fun it was to assemble his. I do not want that pain.
Second, beside the awesome that is the Carnifex kit and the sweet that is the plastic Trygon the meat Tyrant is like a wee baby man, in fact it reminds me of Napoleon with his little man syndrome.

So my solution was in the words of my mate Red "freakin insane!"

Behold the first snaps of the WIP of my Hive Tyrant.

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Yes it did start life as a Trygon kit, I modified the head and added a few spikes here and there, the head-spike and tail spike are the smallest digging claws in the arms set, I used the nowmal Trygon tongue with the T-Prime head and tail pieces. I used the ball socket part of the central torso where it joins the hips and bulked out around the hex attachment end this with cheap filler epoxy ribbon before pinning on the tail and some armour plates shaved off the upper tail section of the original kit. I then did the green stuff details. I also used green stuff to fill in the previously hollow tail sections and blend this smoothly into the hips.

The arms are all magnetised, with the scything talons stock standard, and the custom heavy venom cannon you can see half sculpted. I have built it around a piece of aluminium pipe I found in the local hobby shop that is kind of egg shaped in cross section.

Here I am using a new sculpting medium I hadn't tried before from Privateer Press' P3 range. It is quite smooth and holds detail well. My one gripe is that if it is wet with water it will not, unlike greenstuff, stick to another bit of itself that is still un-set. In fact it is difficult to get it to stick to anything when wet, but as soon as there is no surface moisture it will stick to everything. (you, its packaging, the sculpting tool, the table, the random sprue on the desk...)
Once you get used to it is is however quite good. A little tip is to keep it in the freezer so it will come out of its packaging, to which it is otherwise inseparably stuck.

I have also started on the legs, and with nothing large enough on hand I am slowly sculpting the individual sections, which I will double using resin castings as per the hoof that is already done. the thighs will have to be completely sculpted however as there is no way to mirror them. As you can see I have used my spare standard Trygon head pieces as the thigh carapace.

I am thinking of maybe extending the back vents/spore chimneys (what the hell are those things anyhow?), but I am not committed to it until I see how well the legs balance the rest of the figure.

What is the biggest tip I can give about sculpting Nids?
To get nice smooth organic curves use a burnishing tool, one of the ones with a little ball on the end of it, or as pictured use my preferred tool. A length of brass rod with the end rounded and polished. Using it you can more easily smooth off large areas of organic flesh, add the little muscle striations where flesh meets carapace, do the little round indents that there are on nids and lastly easily sculpt the rib detail.

Also do the cross ribs one way first and then when these have set do the perpendicular bone detail. As this will prevent the making of a real mess. Finally add you circular flesh indentations after you have smoothed out the flesh section you are doing them on but before the sculpting medium sets as they will be a part of the surface rather than an addition, making them look more natural/organic.

How do I rate the P3 sculpting epoxy?
About 7/10 as it is pretty good but is a pain to get out of that package unless you keep it in the freezer, you can overlook the other parts as it hold detail nicely.

How do I rate the new Trygon kit?
8/10 It has pretty limited poses, but with magnets and patience you can set it up so you can alternate between your beasties of choice. In the end I love it so much bought two!

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