James is a good friend of mine, you may know him as the Tyranid player that has beaten me time and time again in my own battle reports. He is a veteran hobbyist in every sense of the word, having been a massive fan of Wood Elves and Empire in Warhammer Fantasy Battles as well as having played pretty much every army going for 40k. After many years in the hobby he fell in love with Tyranids and hasn't even given mind to anything else. No new games or codexes have detracted from his one goal of having a massive Tyranid swarm of his own devising and the love for his army is clearly evident in how well thought out and painted his 'nids are.
The flare of thinking up ways to make an models stand out that lives in myself also lives in James. We both have a very like minded approach to our models, including always having flying bases based and not left clear, always thinking of little things that make a model feel more alive and interesting ways of interpreting how his minions would work in a real battle. Indeed many were the times that we both sat down pre/post battle or on our off days just talking about ideas we've had for our own armies. Many of those ideas have taking form in James's army as you will see in the rest of the post.
But it's not just the Termis that get the dynamic pose treatment. Take a look at these amazing Hormagaunts that were modelled to look like they were leaping out of the terrain straight for a killing blow.
Whilst we're on the subject of minion gribblies, here's some eye candy Spore Mines and Hive Guard.
|4 different kinds of spore mines fully painted|
The one thing that really strikes out with this model however is the two Gargoyles that come out from underneath the wings. When asking James why he did this, he told me the effect was two fold. It is an interesting take on representing 2 twin-linked devourers for his choice but also it reinforces the whole vision of Tyranids as a swarm. It's an amazingly simple idea that is both practical and visually pleasing.
Slime & Shadows
Of course James kept the slime theme going as he painted venomous looking poison on the tips of his Venomthrope's tentacles.
One of the swarm's more interesting models, in my honest opinion has got to be the Deathleaper. Keeping the whole insect vibe going James has painted it green to make it look like a praying mantis, but he didn't stop there. He strategically placed slate beneath Deathleaper's leg and blended the colours to look like it's blending in with the rock. A fantastic idea that is subtle on the battlefield but really adds some flavour.
|The full Deathleaper model|
So, what now?James's Tyranids are already sizeable and some may consider it "finished", but as a hobbyist myself I can safely say that an army is never "finished". With the release of the new Tyranid codex James has told me of his excitement of seeing how the army truly plays in 6th edition and has splashed out on some of the new models, including a Harpy and an Exocrine.
But before that all takes effect, James is also interesting in adding units he wouldn't consider most of the time to his army for the sake of fullness and also to give him a few new ways to play his army, new tactics to try out as it were.
Amongst the works in progress is the Swamlord, or as I like to call it "that nasty thing with 4 swords that keeps killing all my damned Immortals". It's getting a lick of paint at the moment. When asked "why is it orange?", James responded that in the insect world, the most dangerous of species wear the brightest and most vivid colours, and what is more dangerous than the Swarmlord?
Of course the Swarmlord isn't the only giant bad boy in the works. Check out this Trygon that has been modeled to look like it's bursting out of the ground.
Finally, no Tyranid swarm would be complete without some Genestealers. To keep with the dynamic look of the army James managed to get hold of the Space Hulk Genestealers which are being made 40k friendly.
Check out the Resolution Monitor!