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Thread: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

  1. #1
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Latest Update 21/02/15

    So here is the full army brought list as it currently stands as well as a quick links to each unit in this log. The goal is to have everything following as red. I am determined not to start another army, and god knows I want one until everything is red!

    Red = Completed
    Yellow = Painted but in need of a varnish and a based.
    Blue = Brought and built and awaiting a paint job.
    White = Brought but not built.

    HQ: Swarmlord
    HQ: Winged Hive Tyrant
    HQ: Winged Hive Tyrant
    HQ: Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon
    HQ: Hive Tyrant with Lash Whip & Bonesword
    HQ: Malanthrope
    HQ: Tyranid Prime Lash Whip & Bonesword; Rending Claws
    HQ: Tervigon with Crushing CLaws
    HQ: Tervigon with Crushing CLaws

    HQ: Tervigon with Crushing CLaws
    : 3 Tyrant Guard Brood
    : 3 Tyrant Guard Brood
    : 3 Tyrant Guard Brood
    Elite: Deathleaper
    Elite: The Doom of Malan'tai
    Elite: 3 Hive Guard Brood
    Elite: 3 Hive Guard Brood
    Elite: 3 Lictor Brood
    Elite: 3 Pyrovore Brood
    Elite: 3 Venomthrope Brood
    Elite: 10 Ymgarl Genestealer Brood
    Elite: 3 Zoanthrope Brood
    Elite: 3 Zoanthrope Brood
    Elite: 3 Zoanthrope Brood
    Troops: 11 Genestealer Brood with Broodlord.
    Troops: 12 Genestealer Brood
    Troops: 12 Genestealer Brood

    Troops: 12 Genestealer Brood
    Troops: 12 Genestealer Brood
    Troops: 20 Genestealer Brood
    Troops: 20 Genestealer Brood

    Troops: 26 Hormagaunt Brood
    Troops: 16 Hormagaunt Brood
    Troops: 9 Ripper Swarm Brood
    Troops: 9 Ripper Swarm Brood
    Troops: 9 Ripper Swarm Brood

    Troops: 4 Ripper Swarm Brood
    Troops: 16 Termagant Brood
    Troops: 16 Termagant Brood

    Troops: 16 Termagant Brood with spinefists
    Troops: 16 Termagant Brood
    Troops: Tyranid Warrior Brood 6 Tyranid Warrior Brood, (Deathspitter) 1 Tyranid Warrior (Venom Cannon)
    Troops: Tyranid Warrior Brood 6 Tyranid Warrior Brood, (Deathspitter) 1 Tyranid Warrior (Venom Cannon)
    Troops: Tyranid Warrior Brood 6 Tyranid Warrior Brood,(Deathspitter) 1 Tyranid Warrior (Venom Cannon)
    Troops: Tyranid Warrior Brood 5 Tyranid Warrior Brood, (Rending Claws) 1 Tyranid Warrior (Barbed Strangler Rending Claws)

    Fast Attack: Hive Crone
    Fast Attack: 25 Gargoyle Brood

    Fast Attack: 25 Gargoyle Brood
    Fast Attack: 3 Meiotic Spore
    Fast Attack: 3 Meiotic Spore
    Fast Attack: 3 Meiotic Spore

    Fast Attack: 5 Ravener Brood including Red Terror
    Fast Attack: 5 Ravener Brood
    Fast Attack: 6 Ravener Brood, (Rending Claws; Spinefists)
    Fast Attack: 9 Sky-slasher Swarm Brood
    Fast Attack: 9 Tyranid Shrike Brood, 315 pts (Spinefists)
    Heavy Support: 3 Biovore Brood
    Heavy Support: 2 Carnifex Brood
    Heavy Support: 2 Carnifex Brood

    Heavy Support: 1 Carnifex,(Crushing Claws; Twin-linked Deathspitter x1; Frag Spines; Regeneration)
    Heavy Support: 2 Carnifex Brood, Stranglethorn Cannon; Regeneration)

    Heavy Support: Stone Crusher Carnifex
    Heavy Support: 1 Carnifex, (TL Devourer w/Brainleech Worms x2; Frag Spines)
    Heavy Support: Carnifex (Heavy Venom Cannon; Regeneration)

    Heavy Support: Mawloc
    Heavy Support: Old One Eye
    Heavy Support: Trygon Prime
    Heavy Support: Trygon
    Heavy Support: Trygon
    Heavy Support: Exocrine
    : Capillary Tower
    : Spore Chimney

    : Harridan (IA)
    Heavy Support: Barbed Hierodule
    Heavy Support: Scythed Hierodule

    Heavy Support: Hierophant Bio-titan






    And now here is how the log began.





    So here we go. My very own painting Log.

    First I will begin with a bit of a background to why I am doing this. I began gaming way back in the early 1990's when I was a wee nipper of 8/9 years old. I started gaming by playing Space Crusade, then moving on to Space Hulk and finally Warhammer 40K -Rouge Trader (That is how long I have been gaming). My best mate (Silent Smoke) and I would often be found almost every weekend together gaming with one another. My first true army was Space Wolves, but slowly as time went on and 40K changed editions from a small skirmish force through to a full blown army game, the wolves expanding to a peak of say 100-200 marines of various chapters. (At one time I could command 40 terminators and 5 dreadnoughts alone). With both of us having a vast marine army, games soon got quite dull, so we both moved onto different armies, I loved the alien feel of Tyranids, and Silent smoke was drawn to the big guns of the imperial guard.

    However unlike my mate, my army was never fully painted. A few special characters and tanks would be, but most would be still bare metal. I never had the time/impetus to do it. It always annoyed me, but the bare reality of hundreds of marines to paint was too daunting to begin. Also with my mates high standard (good enough to get a job in the local games workshop) of painting, my table top standard never seemed good enough to match it.

    However I digress. Today after a 4 year gap from gaming (life/Uni got in the way dam it) I am slowly returning to the game. I am determined to have a fully painted army, as I will soon be moving to a new home town and a new home in which I plan to have for the first time a fully dedicated gaming room, big enough I home to have a new gaming table and display units for the army. Also I will be in need of new opponents and will seek out the local gaming club, and I do not want to join with a ‘metal/plastic army’ still

    After seeing far far too many marine armies throughout the years, and with a bits box of tyranids still occupying space under my bed, and with a personal opinion that the Tyranid warriors are the best plastics Games Workshop has ever done I have decided that this will be army.

    I have always been a power gamer (and by power I mean sheer size of the army – not tooled to win every game – I personally cant stand people like this, Warhammer is a game, not winning/life dependant) I fully intend to amass an army of at least 10,000, and depending on finance eventually large enough to field a bio-titan or two.

    I am currently selling off all the unpainted marines on ebay to raise funding for the new tyranid army. (Silent smoke – already has two Baneblades and I am in need of hitting power in my army to fight back.) Please support this effort by checking out my items for sale (Note to mods if this self promotion is not allowed Sorry please alert me and I will remove)

    Now with this in mind and what has gone forth before I wanted to have a very simple and easy painting scheme. I have ranked the alien films as probably my favourite of all time and wanted to base my army on the idea of almost pure black xenos. I also felt this would be a unusual scheme (not red/blue/green as warp shadows gallery seem to indicate) Also to me it seems a bit of a natural scheme to me, predatory creatures that are in a almost black environment (i.e. what space effectively is) are normally always pure black to give them natural camouflage. (However I am just taking the colours from the aliens – not the alien bulbous head as I don’t think it suits the tyranid range, and love what GW have done with them)

    However the human in me, realised that black models on green/black bases would be very dark & dull, however being previously a space wolves collector (who fluff indicates seem to be from a snow bound planet) decided that snow/artic would be a good theme to run with as well as providing a contrasting base to highlight the black of the model. (I plan to have a themed gaming table built around this theme when I move in summer so will be including the development of that in my log)

    Anyhow I tried a few test models and got a bit of feed back from you lot over on this small log. The general consensious was that my highlighting was too harsh (as always digital images never portray how they appear in real life) I took this criticisms on and tried highlighting with codex grey before moving on the skull white, however I quite like the harshness of it, and more importantly to me it is a very quick/easy and effective scheme and have decided to settle on it.

    So why am I setting up this log? Really I want to use it as a motivation tool. I know that if I just slowly painted the army, I would soon get bored with it, and just paint all the exciting things, and not bother with the rank and file men (nids?) and I feel that on lurking and reading all the other project logs on warseer, the encouragement of you guys will hopefully spur me on to having a army I can be proud off. Note : I tried setting up a gallery a few years back whilst at Uni, however it didnt really work and I was using a slightly different colour scheme. I originally wanted black skin and bone carapace - however found this frustrating as I was not a good enough painter to pull it off, as well as it being far too slow to paint the models in that scheme for me to really getting upwards of 200 models painted.

    So enough with the twittering and lets begin!

    I will begin with showing you, what I have amassed so far. I have currently have two halves to the army – the metal box and the plastic box. From this I am able to field approx 1500 – 2000 points. My intention for the painting and modeling of the army is to have the early foundation force (IE what I currently have) to be purely made up of the current 4th edition models) however as time goes on I will slowly begin to model my own unique designs and conversions so that slowly the army will develop a truly unique theme. However what that will be at this time I can not foretell.





    Lets begin with my test models and an indication of what my colour scheme is.

  2. #2
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Ok. So I have had some time to sit down and try a few test models. To see if I can develop a scheme that I like.



    I am using old 3rd? edition models that I have in my bits box so that I don't ruin the fantastic new plastics. So far I have just done to models that you guys can have a look at.

    The models as you can see start of being sprayed with chaos black.

    Then I paint over them with chaos black to ensure that I dont miss anywhere.


    Then I gave it a rough drybrush white, and paint the teeth pure sky white, and then the eyes blood red.

    I have tried two other things here, the tongue on the genstealer is green and I have inked areas of the gun on the gaunt.





    I have just done a quick coat of skull white on the base to get an idea of the contrast. I plan of course of base the models properly once I have developed my scheme and start painting battlefield troops.

  3. #3
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    As advised following comments that the 'high lighting' too harsh, I went out to GW and brought Codex Grey. Now I tried this as the base highlight with then a bit of pure skull white over key areas.

    I also went and brought some Gloss varnish to give the men (aliens??) an organic wet appearance. I have also invested in some GW sand and snow flock as I was firmly settled on having the white bases.

    I was happy how the human sized creatures where turning out in the black scheme, however I was worried about the larger creatures. And with the intention to eventually have some truly huge Tyranids being fielded at a later date, I felt that the pure black would look dull and would leave me little room to expand on the details.

    Reading through my fluff books, Tyrands claws are always noted of having diamond hard claws and with the monsterous creatures having the ability to smash themselves through armour like paper, I decided to show this ability by painting the tips of their claws pure white, but I wanted to have the claws blended from black to white.

    I tried this the warriors bone sword, and for now relativly happy with the result. I know you can clearly see the lines of colour but it is the effect I am after, this is a technique I hope I can perfect over time. Another thing I will change is start the colour blending lower down the sword/claw etc. So that the stop 1/6 is pure white, rather than just the tip. My attempt can be best seen in this photo.



    The white amount I want can be kinda seen in this out of focus photo here.



    This picture really shows off how glossy and wet the models appear in real life.

    Well here is a group picture of what I have painted so far, as well as test on one of the 4th edition gaunts to ensure that I was happy with the result before I begin on my first full brood.




    I am aiming to do 12 basic models a week done, or 3 monster creates or 1 giant/character.

    I also want to improve my photographic skills so I can get better photos to show you all my troops, any hints or tips in this department would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for now Happy painting/gaming all! C&C are always welcome.

  4. #4
    Brother Sergeant uleses25's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Hi there Alex. Nice Tyranids. I really like the color scheme. If you want to take better pictures, I suggest taking them at night (when the sun's gone down). Use a lamp to illuminate them. Don't over use the flash too much. Steady the camera by putting it down on the desk/table. That works for close ups. Also, think about investing in some photography software to improve the quallity of the pictures. I use Sony Cybershot.
    Last edited by uleses25; 02-03-2008 at 16:31.

  5. #5
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Quick update. I promised that I would do at least 12 troop models a week. Well here are 12 gaunts almost completed. They are near my TV (or the heater as I know it) with their first coat of gloss varnish drying.



    Here is a quick shot of my next mini project. 16 Genstealers. I have just painted the first coat on them, tomorrow I will paint the second then begin with the highlighting etc.



    I hope to have both broods done by Saturday and will try to post some better pictures up then. (These were done on my mobile BTW)

  6. #6
    Chapter Master Angelwing's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    interesting ideas here. Love the bits boxes. I spent ages seeing if I could identify all the bits. I will be watching!

  7. #7
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Update: So as you saw I was on the way to finishing some gaunts. Well I fully finshed them as you can see. Now that I have one swarm of gaunts completed I have to admit that I am now happy and settled with the colour scheme. The first shot is without flash and is pretty much how they appear in real life, the second shot is with flash and shows off the shine that the gloss varnish is giving them.





    I also have fully completed 16 of the new genstealer models to make two complete squads all ready to go.




    However during the week one of my ebay purchases arrived. One of the 3rd edition Zoanthropes, which I have to be honest I prefer over the 4th edition.

  8. #8
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Took some time to pin him together as he is very top heavy, also found I have to green stuff the helmet on to the body as I found super glue alone was not strong enough.

    The model didnt have any mouth parts which I could paint green to theme with the other troops but felt the 'vents?' looked kind cool with the vivid green.




    Finally here is a quick group shot of everything I have painted so far.



  9. #9
    Chapter Master Getifa Ubazza's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Thats a really cool paint scheme.
    Life is a game and so is 40k. So stop all the fighting and lets all play.

    I am always right about everything. I thought I was wrong once. Turned out I wasn't. Which ment I was wrong about being wrong, so therefore I was right that I was wrong. Proving that I'm always right.

  10. #10
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Update, Update, Update!

    Well over the last few months I have moved and my painting and wargamming has suffered. However with that all behind me, I can now fully deicate myself to the art of Warhammer 40K!

    I will be posting a varitey of pictures over the next few days of the work I have been able to do over the last few months, but in the mean time, I have attached a taster of what is to follow.....



    Forge World Goodness!

  11. #11
    Chapter Master Angelwing's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Welcome back. I can't wait to see what the forgeworld bits will turn out like.

  12. #12
    Brother Sergeant Crucium Giger's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Really like the paint scheme - may have to take a mental note for later!
    "Smoke me a kipper I'll be back for breakfast"

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  13. #13
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    OK. Well I got a new camera phone as well now




    which doesent eat batteries like there is no tomorrow, so I can finally begin to photo my army.

    First up is the forge world pieces.

    As you all no doubt guessed, I brought myself a Stone Crusher Carnifex which now looks like this.



  14. #14
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    But one Carnifex is not enough, so I have brought two for back up.





  15. #15
    Chapter Master silentsmoke's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    Seeing this come along, I can tell you this, it looks very nice on the boatd when we play your games. Finally my best mate is getting his army painted. No more of this "I will shoot at that silver or plastic model" Great stuff keep it up.

    Should be great when you have your board built...

    10K Krieg...when will it end??
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  16. #16
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army Updated 03/08

    So Heavy support already had one Zoanthrope, and after facing the Guard a few times and their tanks which were killing me (and getting use the uselessness of Venom cannons, I decided to purchase two more. One from Ebay...




    Which now gives me 3.



    What got me was that the ebay one was different to my original one. I didnt know there was two head varients.

  17. #17
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    So I then decided to contine you to fill out my Heavy Support with an alternative option of a Biovore.





    I think it the colours are certainly making the army look like the belong to one swarm, not like my old hidious garish colours.

  18. #18
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    With heavy support filled and two troop choices done, I decided to begin on my HQ units.

    Firstly I began with my genestealer patriarch, a'hem brood lord. These photos also highlight that I need to go back to most of my models and finish their bases.




    Here he is with his brood.


  19. #19
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    I then began on my first Hive Tyrant, but before I did this, I started and finished his first walking sheild



    I decided to arm this Tyrant with a venom cannon and twin devourers, the perfect combination for facing Guard in my opinion.




    Finally here they are together. I plan to get another two buddies for the Tyrant Guard when I can afford too.


  20. #20
    Commander Alex_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hive Fleet Cronus - The painting and development of a 'Alien' Army

    I then got my other purchase from Forge World.
    My BARBED HIERODULE






    Again purely brought to try and deal with the dreaded tanks of the imperial guard. A bit like natural tyranid Evolution.....

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