Sunday, 16 February 2014

Hivefleet Behemoth: Tyranid Haruspex

Codex: Tyranids was released a few weeks back, and the dust has begun to settle. Some commentators have moved away from the initial criticisms of the book, but I remain stalwart that this is a serious step backwards for the Tyranids...

However, I was impressed with the new Haruspex model and when I saw it I immediately wanted to get one. Several weeks of delay from my regular miniatures supplier, and it finally arrived last week. I got started, and set most of my hobby time over the past ten days or so working on it.

The Haruspex is certainly one of the larger Tyranid beasts, not as bulky as the Tervigon but much larger than a Tyrant or Carnifex. It'll look suitably imposing on the battlefield.

I painted this miniature in the same colour scheme as my existing army (see my analysis of the Codex for my decision to keep my old army!), and overall I think that the Behemoth scheme fits this beast well.

First impressions on this plastic kit were actually mixed... The model is formidable, yes, and goes together nicely, but there are virtually no extras in the entire kit. As it retails for £44, I was disappointed by this. Yes, it does make an Exocrine as well, but if I only want to make a Haruspex, then these parts are wasted! This is a real weakness in GW's current policy of making "dual build" kits, in my view - you end up with a pile of potentially wasted parts, which you have to pay for in the box price. I would have liked to see some adrenal glans, some extra spikes, etc - the older plastic Tyranid kits came with these parts, but the current thinking seems to be moving away from these optional extras.

Secondly, the detailing is quite "shallow". This has always been a problem with 'Nid plastics, but is quite pronounced on this model. Don't get me wrong, I do like it - but differentiating a claw or talon from surrounding flesh wasn't easy. The box picture shows some exquisite blending on the claws (going from bone white through to deep purples), but for most hobbyists this is going to be too difficult to achieve.

All that said, the mouth has a lot of nice detailing going on. The head and claws are the only parts that differentiate the Exocrine from the Haruspex, so it would probably be possible to attached magnets and interchange the parts. I was surprised by the limited differences between the beasts!

The red was achieved simply and effectively:

1. Spray entire model with Mephiston Red (use masking tape to cover black carapace and claws);
2. Wash red areas with Carroburg Crimson (this is such a nice deep red wash!);
3. Use a "wet" dry brush to pick out detail on flesh areas, with Evil Sunz Scarlet;
4. Use same method but very lightly applied, with Will Rider Red (be careful not to overdo this, as Rider Red is very orange);
5. Apply a careful and controlled glaze with Bloodletter, drawing all colours together;
6. Apply Nuln Oil to skin "vents".

This could also be achieved by careful brush application, but I always think that organic tones on 'Nids look nice dry brushed. The actual red is a bit deeper than it appears in these photos - red is quite a tough colour to effectively photograph with my set-up!

I found an interesting use for Nihilakh Oxide! The vents in the carapace armour received a thin layer, which I think worked nicely as well. I am usually stumped as to how to paint these, so I might go back over my old monstrous creatures and do the same.

The mouth received a coat of Vallejo Water Effects - left to dry overnight - then the tongue and some inner teeth were painted with a thin layer of gloss varnish.

So, all in all a nice plastic kit and a good addition to the Tyranid range.

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