Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tyranid Week: Mutation is Their Specialty
Admittedly, my attempt to recast the Magus (thanks Magilla, I couldn’t remember his name) into something like a Broodlord is rather tenuous, but I think these guys lend themselves much more readily to the modern iteration of the Tyranids. If/when my humble but hungry Tyranids see tabletop once more, I will cast these guys as “counts as” Gaunts of some description (again, I’ve got to read the new codex). That seems a reasonable and viable transition and, really, any excuse to get this crowd in motion would be a good enough excuse for me.
As with the Magus (cough, broodlord, cough), I collected these figures simply because I think that they are super, super cool, and because I desperately wanted to paint them. This happens to me with modest and survivable regularity, and in these odd cases I am forced to let the more pragmatic details work themselves out. They always do.
Usually, I'm not a fan of models that seem a bit too two-dimensional -what I call the "Egyptian" pose- that casting sometimes necessitates. Here, the right arm holding the knife best exemplifies what I mean. It's a flat and a little bit awkward posture that clearly chooses function of casting over the form of the actual model. In this case, however, the third arm compensates quite nicely, and brings the pose back into the body rather than simply evoking a flattened insect.
I'm also quite fond of these models because they mark the beginning of a more ambitious approach to my thinking about things like palate, color, and shading. Purple is the main color of my Tyranids, and so the skin tones on these figures are all done with heavy purple shading. The green acts as the accent color, but also as the shading for the verdigris on the metals. These relatively simple gestures are designed to keep the model visually coherent and subtly interesting. Fingers crossed on that last point.
I’m not sure these guys are available anymore –although until recently you could find them in the “collectors” range. If not, that’s a terrible shame, as I’d love to paint quite a few more. My luck, they’ll currently cost the equivalent of one eternal soul on ebay or somesuch.
Ah well. See you Thursday for a more contemporary Tyranid treat that was, nevertheless, purchased and painted with the same reckless, impulsive affection for this grand hobby of ours.