Sunday, 12 April 2015

Tyranids: Venomthrope, Neurothrope & Zoanthrope

Apologies for the blog weirdness last week; I've been experimenting with scheduling posts and something went very wrong! Those posts will feature shortly on the blog, but I've yet to finish some of those projects...

So, a Venomthrope, Neurothrope and Zoanthrope walk into a bar...

I've been so busy with other interests recently, that I've been unable to accept commissions. I'm not the sort of commission painter who likes to mess about with a client's expectations; I'd rather say no outright than take years to get a project done. However, a very good client of mine asked for a few models to add to his Tyrannic army - the largest commission I did last year - and the idea of revisiting this very interesting scheme was appealing! So I agreed to paint up a few models for the army, and today finished the first batch.

These models are form GW's newest plastic Venomthrope box. It's a really nice kit, capable of making several variations on the basic 'thrope chassis.

Let's start with the Venomthrope...

This is a much-needed revision of the older Finecast model. The Venomthrope was never a good candidate for resin, and the various flash lines, tabs and other assorted resinous peculiarities made the old version hard work. I painted up three last year, and the comparison between the old and new kit is very revealing.

Here are the older models:

From the new kit, next is the Zoanthrope. I've painted several of these in metal and resin, and the plastic kit is much nicer. The resin version had a real problem with sagging and being unstable on the base (the solution is, or was, to use brass or metal rods). This plastic version has all of the detail of the previous incarnation, and is much easier to assemble!

Finally, we have a new addition to the Tyrannic fleet: the Neurothrope. He's a generic version of the Doom of Malantai (oh, how we grieved his passing!) and represents something of royalty to the hive mind. A great little model and very detailed; there are some interesting spine parts on the back, and the head crest reminds me of the Alien Queen.

I painted these models in the same scheme as the rest of my client's army, but added more extreme highlights to the crest and spine of this model. I figured that he is something a bit special; perhaps this being reflected in the extreme patterning on his carapace and spine.

Bases are all from the excellent Secret Weapon range. I highly recommend them!

Another shot of the back of the model. The brain seems better sculpted on the plastic kit. I glossed these areas, and also used a turquoise glaze to add some pulsing effects.

So what's next? Some Forgeword goodness for the Tyranids will be coming soon. Next week I'll hopefully have some Judge Dredd pieces done.


  1. Hi! What colour are you using.. looks really great =)

    1. Hi glad that you like the 'thropes! I take it that you mean on the carapace markings? Those colours are:

      1. wide feathering with Macragge Blue;
      2. narrower feathering with a mix of Macragge Blue and Lothern Blue;
      3. narrower still with Lutheran Blue
      4. Lothern Blue alone;
      5. Very narrow edging with Fenrisian Grey.

      Let me know if you want to know about any other colours!

    2. Yes, the feathering looks awesome and really gives the model a distinct look. But I was also curious on the basic colors.. the whole model blends together very well.. I like that you don't see a straight line between the carapace and the body.. It just blends together beautifully.

      Cheers from Sweden ;)

    3. Ah okay, got it...

      I started these models by spraying them with Army Painter Desert Yellow (very similar to GW's Tallarn Sand) over a black primer. The base coat goes over the whole model, even the carapace. The process is then:

      1. Wash with Agrax Earthshade over whole model (careful not to let it pool);
      2. Very watered down highlight with Tallarn San/Bleached Bone;
      2. Bleached Bone highlights;
      3. Very thin wash with Seraphim Sepia.

      The carapace is feathered with the same highlight colours as before, then the patterns are blocked out with Abaddon Black. I then did the feathering with the blues as described before.

      There are other minor touches as well:

      1. Teeth picked out with Mechanicus Standard Grey, then again with Ceramite White;
      2. Tongues and fleshy areas are based with Bugman's Glow, layered with Cadian Fleshtone and then highlighted with Kislev Flesh;
      3. Any "wet" areas are then given a thin coat of gloss varnish (brain areas, some of the toxin sacs etc);
      4. With a very fine brush, I added speckling and freckles to some of the skin areas (mainly where the skin meets the carapace).

      Hope that helps - but again, if you need more just let me know