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WhiteWulfe embraces the swaaaarm - Leviathan rises!


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I've always had a spot in my heart for Tyranids, even back when I used to play 40k regularly.  They just didn't have anywhere near as many sculpts, and most were metal, so oh boy were they expensive.  Sure, the initial plastic kits were starting to come out, but then I moved, and other things happened. 

 

Anyways, I've been on a kick with painting some Termagaunts in oils, and after contemplating a few different things I found out Canada got a second print run of Leviathan (or maybe my local stores finally got their copies, who knows).  After a bit of thinking that had already been going on, I said screw it, let's get a proper force going! 

 

Will this be an army that sees actual play?  Who knows.  All I know is I love painting them, and that's the biggest thing that counts in my eyes.  Okay, hubby also said he was interested in the Space Wolves, a faction I've wanted to paint for almost thirty years, so that weighed in a bit, doubly so with him gaining a possible interest in the game. 

 

Courteously, Games Workshop included some snacks of different types in the box.  Said snacks call themselves Space Marines, but we know they're really just snacks, crunchy snacks (Terminators), and spicy snacks (Infernal Marines, or whatever they're called).  As one can guess, this will be a WIP thread mainly focused on the Tyranids, but will also include the Space Wolves since they're in the box. 

 

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^Some of the initial test scheme I had started.  It was mainly a case of trying to work out higher contrast blends with oils, with the red being Hansa Yellow Light to Napthol Scarlet to Quinacridone Magenta and the green being Hansa Yellow Light to Sap Green to Payne's Grey...  I like both, but I really like how the green is looking, doubly so just how vibrant I could make it.   Naturally more work will be done as I like both, but I'm sure I can find a way of incorporating orange (especially Pyrrole Orange) into things... 

 

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^The obligatory box shot.  No photos of all the sprues, got too interested in actually building to do such. 

 

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^Where things lie after this past weekend's build the things frenzy.  Still a fair bit to build (there's 47 figures for the Tyranids and 25 for the Space Marines) 

 

 

So!  What's the plan?  Build Tyranids and their snacks, and have some fun painting naturally!  As for colours, I'm thinking some sort of combination of greens, oranges, and reds for the Tyranids, and for the Space Wolves?  Well, we've playfully gone with "Space Wolves, but purple" because hubby LOVES purple.  And hey, purple is tasty for this fox who's favourite colour is orange, so it pans out! 

Edited by WhiteWulfe
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Termagaunts, the very thing most think of when the words "Swarm of Tyranids" come to mind.  Well, that and Hormagaunts, but I don't have any of those (yet - we all know I'm getting some slice and dice alongside my shooty shooty).  The new ones have a lot of character, and have ten unique sculpts, which is handy since the old ones had what, two?  They're also a lot more dynamically posed.  Time will tell which of the two designs I prefer, but for now, here's their first three poses...

 

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7 hours ago, Gryphon said:

I'm loving the humor on this thread.  And your exploratory colour options were all gorgeous (though i think the leftmost two pop more that the right colour scheme). 

The two red ones were exploring how to make it all work, and I think I got a stride going with the one on the left and ran out of time to do any more on the far right...  But that was a little while ago, so I'm not really certain anymore.  I'm hoping to sit down and do a few more tests this weekend, as I want to try a few things out.  I want to see if I can make the red more vibrant, and of course I want to try out some purple and/or oranges themes too. 

 

So far though, oh boy, do I like the whole toxic green kind of thing that's going on, so I also want to see how such would look using Phthalo Green instead of Sap Green. 

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So, those couple of different ideas I've had kicking around in my head...  Figured it was time to try out a few of them...

 

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I think this was the first one.  Only really pre-stained the Phthalo Green, while the reddish orange is a mixture of Quinacridone Magenta, Napthol Red, and Hansa Yellow Light.  Love the orangey-red, but something didn't quite feel right to me with the combo, so I didn't bother continuing on with the green.

 

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Body was pre-stained Quinacridone Magenta then wiped off.  Colours may seem a touch off since this is one I'd originally tried my pre-staining on, and I think it was Burnt Sienna or something like that.  Anyways, for this I wanted to try for a purple carapace, and I wound up using Dioxazine Purple, Phthalo Blue, and Titanium Zinc White for the effect.  It shows promise, but then brain had an epic idea with something I hadn't thought of, and that brings us to the third tester of the day...

 

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Carapace is Payne's Grey, Phthalo Green, and I believe Hansa Yellow Light, and ohhhhh boy did I like this combination.  The Phthalo Green overpowers the Hansa Yellow, which is good in my eyes, because then with a bunch of stippling to mix things together, you get this really nice effect that I hope is still there when things dry (the glossiness is due to using a mix of Gamsol and Linseed oil for thinning).

 

Now here's where things get interesting.  Typically I tend to reach for Phthalo Blue as my "main" blue, but when I mixed it with Dioxazine Purple something just didn't feel right, and I was all "hey, let's try out that tube of Ultramarine Blue" and ohhhhhhh boy, yeaaaaaaaah, that's the stuff.  I now have a base that's a mix of purple and blue that plays very well together for what I'm aiming for, and then I used Titanium Buff to lighten things up in a few areas for some basic highlight.  Hey, why not mess around and have fun, right?  That's kind of the whole point of test pieces!

 

So where am I at right now?  Well, I know I want to test this newfound purple mix and see how it works with the orange.  After all, orange and purple are two of my favourite colours, and so it's just a case of which combinations do I prefer the most, and find enjoyable to paint, plus of course look reasonable at a distance... ^_^

 

 

There's also a temptation to see what a reddish-orange body would like like with the green carapace...  I do have to keep in mind that the snacks are hopefully grape flavoured (since hubby asked for purple), although next time I do the reddish-orange I'm going to use Napthol Scarlet since, in this case, I prefer it over Napthol Red.

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Narrowed things down to two final ideas.  Liked how the green/purple was, but was worried it would blend into the table too easily.  Someone on a Discord I'm part of mentioned lightening the purple, and...  Oh yeah, that'll do.  That'll definitely do.  I also tried out purple/magenta, but as much as I do find the two designs fairly close in how much I like them, I also know the green/purple will be a LOT easier for me to sort the highlights out on, and there's no dangers of getting anywhere near baby pink (or light pinks - I like my hot/neon pinks, not lighter ones! 😛 )

 

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Colours used:

Carapace is Payne's Grey, Phthalo Green, Hansa Yellow Light, and Titanium Buff

Skin is Dioxazine Purple mixed with Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium Zinc White

 

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Carapace: Payne's Grey, Dioxazine Purple mixed with Ultramarine Blue, Titanium Buff

Skin: Quinacridone Magenta, and Titanium Buff

Edited by WhiteWulfe
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Models are still drying so no updated pics there, but I figured out a few things....

  • I definitely prefer the green/purple for the smaller units.  Plays out well on the current testers, although may have a bit of an issue with the new Termagaunts being spikier, and the purple is fairly easy to highlight up.
  • I really do like the purple/magenta, and I can solve my issue with worries of baby pink cropping in by using some Napthol Red or Scarlet to keep that nice vivid redness.  On top of this, given that the Screamer-Killer (and quite possibly, the still unassembled Psychophage) are kind of centerpiece models with a lot more room to work, they would be perfect candidates for the purple/magenta scheme.  I love the idea of a HOT PINK slice and dice murder machine rampaging down the table!  Such also kind of plays on two of the classic Tyranid colour schemes as well.
  • This will make my overall colour palette be nine colours, at least in oils.  There will be 3-4 ProAcryl acrylics involved in the process as well
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Had a few thoughts go through my mind today regarding colours, especially my indecision with Napthol Red vs Napthol Scarlet, and while waiting for soup to cook I wound up saying screw it, let's have a quick bash at this....

 

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So first up I mixed Quinacridone Magenta with each of the Napthol colours, with about twice as much Napthol as the Quin Magenta.  This helped remind me that hey, I went with modern pigments for a reason, and while I do like the earthy dulling down of colours that Titanium Buff does, I do greatly prefer keeping my colours nice and intense with Titanium-Zinc White.  At this stage, I was preferring Napthol Red, as it didn't stray too closely towards bubblegum pink, or even "worse", baby pink.

 

Soup wasn't ready yet, and I wanted to see how this would look on a model, so slapping paint on both sides, and getting a couple of coats in, but focused mainly on the face, and we've got these two...

 

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^Using Napthol Red to add in some colour modulation, and then blending in TZ White aftewards.

 

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^Using Napthol Scarlet, and then blending in TZ White afterwards.

 

In the end, turns out that while I do have to pay closer attention with Napthol Scarlet, there's just something more appealing to it for me, with more vividness to what it offers.  Maybe it's my own personal shade preferences, but I also like how it readily makes for a warm-leaning magenta, while the Napthol Red remains moderately cool.

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Work's been super busy thanks to the roads doing effective impressions of skating rinks, so here's how things look after a few days of drying...

 

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^I'm really, REALLY liking how this guy turned out, especially the green.

 

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^With some work (aka the purple mix I used in the green/purple one), I could see these colours working really, really, REALLY well with the larger units like say, the Screamer-Killer.

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Testpaint Termagaunts assemble!  Or, uh, something.

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My two favourites are definitely the green/purple, as well as the purple/magenta.  Since I'm under misintrepreted doctor's orders to sit down and paint* I'm going to see what the more vibrant purple mix looks like as carapace/chitin, because now that I've sorted out a method for doing the magenta (and I can give it undertones of my favourite shades of orange, red, orangey-red, HOT PINK, and purple)

 

!!! I blame @Pezler the Polychromatic for this - purple/magenta also allows for me to be able to sneak in some Pyrrole Orange as their eyes....

 

 

*Doctor's orders are actually "try to keep off your feet this weekend, since you thwomped your right shin pretty good when you slipped getting into the back of your work van", and I was planning on spending a bunch of time painting and assembling this weekend anyways, but, y'know.  It's more fun to say tongue in cheek that doctor ordered I sit down and paint!

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10 minutes ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Testpaint Termagaunts assemble!  Or, uh, something.

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My two favourites are definitely the green/purple, as well as the purple/magenta.  Since I'm under misintrepreted doctor's orders to sit down and paint* I'm going to see what the more vibrant purple mix looks like as carapace/chitin, because now that I've sorted out a method for doing the magenta (and I can give it undertones of my favourite shades of orange, red, orangey-red, HOT PINK, and purple)

 

!!! I blame @Pezler the Polychromatic for this - purple/magenta also allows for me to be able to sneak in some Pyrrole Orange as their eyes....

 

 

*Doctor's orders are actually "try to keep off your feet this weekend, since you thwomped your right shin pretty good when you slipped getting into the back of your work van", and I was planning on spending a bunch of time painting and assembling this weekend anyways, but, y'know.  It's more fun to say tongue in cheek that doctor ordered I sit down and paint!

I take full credit. :devil:

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26 minutes ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Testpaint Termagaunts assemble!  Or, uh, something.

20240120_112419.thumb.jpg.e0593c8dcb4471ffe4307d4629e86caf.jpg

 

My two favourites are definitely the green/purple, as well as the purple/magenta.  Since I'm under misintrepreted doctor's orders to sit down and paint* I'm going to see what the more vibrant purple mix looks like as carapace/chitin, because now that I've sorted out a method for doing the magenta (and I can give it undertones of my favourite shades of orange, red, orangey-red, HOT PINK, and purple!!!)

I bet the green/purple combo works really pop if you have the green carapace a turquoise sheen. 

 

That's a fun-looking squad there (I know hive minds don't generally have an 'oddballs' squad, but still).  Makes me want to paint a squad of tyranids in various color combinations.

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Those cold greens on the purple one are absolutely stunning. Almost looks like those colour shifting metallics. My favourite version, however, would be the green/orange one. It just pops! 

 

I'm very interested to see how using oils for a whole army will work out. I've only seen oils being used for single minis so far - except for the usual oil wash, of course.

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4 hours ago, Samedi said:

Those cold greens on the purple one are absolutely stunning. Almost looks like those colour shifting metallics. My favourite version, however, would be the green/orange one. It just pops! 

 

I agree, that green carapace is downright lovely.  Scary thing is that was done in one sitting, and I'm hoping to be able to be able to replicate it.

 

As for the orange/green one, I won't lie, it definitely holds a lot of promise, and is a very close third for me.  My current main issue with that one is that it's current incarnation feels a touch muddy, so I wonder if I could get closer to the effect I want by using Napthol Red (probably mixed with a tiny bit of Chromatic Black) instead of Quinacridone Magenta as the darkest shade, because Napthol Scarlet leans brown when darkened, whereas Napthol Red remains red.  I've been super tempted to make the Psychophage have elements of these brighter colours if I can figure out a way to really sell the effect, since it feels like I'm going for a more vibrant than my usual kind of colours this go-around.

 

I don't believe in the whole "entire forces must be the same colours" thing - even an invasive hive mind is going to be pulling resources from a variety of things, after all - but I do believe in trying to share some of the colour palette between things to at least have some semblance of synergy between them all.

 

4 hours ago, Samedi said:

I'm very interested to see how using oils for a whole army will work out. I've only seen oils being used for single minis so far - except for the usual oil wash, of course.

I've seen it done by a few people...  Thunderhead_Studio did a unit of Hundred Kingdoms Men at Arms in oils, for example, and someone else I follow who's name is eluding me did their entire Spires force in them as well.  They definitely don't have quite the same speed as acrylics (especially when you factor in drying), but on the flipside it's also arguably easier to make each unit a touch different since you're not only blending on the model, you're at the mercy of that slight unpredictable behaviour as they dry.  However, since I've started trying a few new things with how I approach things, I've found I'm able to sit down and work with oils, even if it's only 15 minutes at a time, and in all honesty, while it can be restrictive in some ways, I've found I tend to prefer working with them, provided I remember key things like the whole "when working with transparent pigments, remember that layering is incredibly important".  Learnt that one the hard way on the front row second from the right one, where things went somewhat brown and too dark - almost like it was one of my very first testers for oils, where I pre-stained it with Winsor & Newton Winton Burnt Sienna if I remember correctly.

 

It definitely is more common for one-offs, like heroes or larger figures where you can really get thick into things (like say, the Meirsoa bust I'm working on here and there), but I rather enjoy painting these Termagaunts with oils, so I figured let's give it a whirl and see how it plays out.  It lets me play with paints I'm enjoying, they work well for how I do things (15-60 minutes at a time, although some days I literally will sit down and go for 2-3 hours in one sitting), and most importantly, now that I've more or less built a palette of colours I like that play well together AND they don't start drying the instant the paint comes off the brush...  It's a lot more relaxing, in many ways.

 

There were three key things that made it a lot easier to have oils become the mainstay for me though...

  • The first was cleanup, and arguably the biggest.  I now have a brush rinse tin, so I can quickly and easily clean my brushes out at the end of a session, and then during the weekend hit said brushes up with Masterson's Brush Soap.  This means my brain can't pull the whole "whine and complain about cleaning" act, because it's literally less than a minute to clean my brushes.
  • I've moved to using no more than four brushes - two round 2's, and two round 0's (or 00's).  One set for "wet", one set for "dry".  This allows for general application and blending of the paints, as well as fine detail additions.  I did have a round 4 at one point in there, but I have a tendency to overload it too often, and also find it to be a bit too large when working on small models.  I suspect it will see much more use on the larger models
  • Thinning the paints down with a mix of Gamsol and Refined Linseed Oil and having them on a glass palette inside my RGG Studio XL Lite means they're usable for upwards of a week, sometimes even longer (Quinacridone Magenta and Dioxazine Purple I've had still be usable several weeks later!!!), which means I can get things mixed up on the weekend, and then have multiple sessions during the weekdays without having to really worry about paint.  This is super handy, to say the least

 

22 hours ago, Gryphon said:

I bet the green/purple combo works really pop if you have the green carapace a turquoise sheen. 

 

Turquoise sounds tempting, but at the moment I'm missing the proper green to mix such (Phthalo Green, Blue Shade, aka PG7 - Phthalo Green Yellow Shade (PG36) doesn't quite mix the same).  I'll keep it mind though!

 

22 hours ago, Gryphon said:

That's a fun-looking squad there (I know hive minds don't generally have an 'oddballs' squad, but still).  Makes me want to paint a squad of tyranids in various color combinations.

They're mainly in a variety of colours because they've been testers for a variety of things, namely trying to work out certain blends.  Oddball squad wasn't quite the initial intention, but I plan on keeping most of them as they are, just with a few touchups, because I want to showcase the journey that was taken with them.  Besides, I purchased them to paint them, if they see the table that's great, and if they don't, that isn't an issue for me either! ^_^

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