A Nid Beginning: Hormgaunts and a Carnifex

Painting my Adeptus Mechanicus for Armies on Parade (I will post a write up soon!) has left me a little tired of painting mechanical models with so much red and metal. I have been left wanting to paint something organic and colourful, and this want was answered when I scored a great deal on a second-hand Tyranid lot on eBay.

The bundle consisted of a broken thickly painted Carnifex, 3 painted Tyranid warriors, 8 Genestealers, and many Hormagaunts and Termagaunts in varying states of assembly. I suspect that it was made up of the old Tyranid battle force box. Overall, the models were almost all salvageable despite the significant breakage and thick painting on some models.

This is the lot as I received it. You can see the Carnifex in its original thick paint front and centre, with is’s legs somewhere in that pile as well

In lieu of painting test models for my custom hive fleet, which I personally find tedious, I used an outline of a Gaunt from google and digitally coloured over it while using a Citadel paint chart as a reference. The scheme I decided on featured using a Green Stuff World colour shift paint. I haven’t thought of a hive fleet name yet, but I plan to run them with Kraken rules primarily.colour scheme.

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I found batch painting these Hormagaunts to be less tedious than batching power armour. I particularly enjoyed painting the purple edging on the carapace. Nuln Oil Gloss gave the carapace a nice sheen that survived through the Amry painter matt spray. The models are very prone to falling forward due to their mass overhanging the base. To combat this I will get some washers to weigh down the base (this may help with storage later as I have some magnetic sheets tucked away somewhere…).

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The Carnifex was a joy to paint. The only tiresome part was fixing the state of assembly that I received it in. The carapace had large gaps which I filled in using greenstuff, though this did not end up being very smooth. I broke off the end of the right scything talon to resemble battle damage.

The small eyes on the venom cannon it was assembled with had to be painted yellow after I saw how nice yellow looked on Pandora’s Bitz Box’s Hive Fleet Pandora Hive Guard.

The colour shift paint I used was not demonstrated well in these photos. In person, it shows as a slight bluish sheen in the weapon blades which is not overwhelming, but can catch the eye in the right lighting.

I am quite happy with the marsh basing. I have noticed that in the drying process some of the flocking seems to have shrunk, leaving some small white spots on the Carnifex base. I tried to combat this for the Hormagaunt bases by first painting them Kabalite Green.

I hope to sneak this Hormagaunt unit into Azazel’s Unit-ed October community painting challenge. I did not think I would get these done in time, but I was lucky to have some free time and painted them while watching corny horror movies.


15 thoughts on “A Nid Beginning: Hormgaunts and a Carnifex

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  1. Hey these look great! Although I’m happy with my scheme I wish I had thought to do what you did first to plan it and end up with a relatively comfortable and effective colour scheme.

    Great find, I agree it seems to be a battle force, that’s how I started my Nods like…15 years Ago. Any ideas how you might expand your force in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I want to get some more Carnifex and do one up as Old One Eye. A Swarmlord also seems very necessary, the data sheet seems amazing.

      Genestealers also seem to be a must at the moment, so I will have to batch paint a lot of those as well


      1. I don’t have an Old One Eye yet but he seems really cool. Genestealers are very cool since GSC came out, that 5++ makes all the difference in the world. I have a swarmlord, but since I’ve owned one I haven’t really been able to play much. Only used him once

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My Swarmlord managed to destroy a Lehman Russ tank in one fight phase, which has me really psyched to play with it in future

        I’m not looking forward to batch painting a carpet of Genestealers, but the rules seem to make it worth it


      3. I did my fair share of swarms but I have to admit that most of my Genestealers, Hormagaunts and Termagants were painted by my wife and her boss during their lunch hours when we lived above where she worked. Not the best quality of work but, it was was like 70 models or something so I’m not complaining!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking good! The damaged talon on the Fex particularly caught my eye; you got a great splintered chitin effect there. Speaking of Fexen, yes, get more and make an Old One-Eye. It’s such a great Monster. Also, given the great range of options that the Fex kit has, and how many of them tend to rise and fall in effectiveness with edition changes, they’re an excellent candidate for magnetization.

    Looks like, in addition to the Battleforce stuff, you got most of the Terrain from the 4th Ed starter set as well. There was some cool stuff in that one.

    Hormagaunts are logistically problematic models. I love them, but they fall over and get tangled with each other and stuff all the time. I got a few of the old metal ones as a prize in a contest a while back, and I still haven’t done anything with them because I can’t get them to stand up at all, even tho the previous owner had filled the bases with lead shot! I think I’m going to have to put them on cavalry bases or something.

    It doesn’t surprise me that the colour-shift paint doesn’t photograph well. Lots of effects that depend on the particular lighting conditions and viewing angles don’t, unfortunately.

    You’ve already got the issue sorted out, but I was just reminded of this, and wanted to share it for anyone else in the same boat: http://web.archive.org/web/20141101035017oe_/http://www.fallensunasylum.org/nids/online_painter.swf

    It’s kind of wonky, and far more of the space is taken up by purely decorative things than the actually functional bits, but once you get into it, it’s a pretty useful tool for trying out general colour schemes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. To be honest I did that damaged talon by just attacking it with angled clipper snips. I’m glad it turned out well. I have many magnets left over from my Knight, so I will give them a go! I’ll just have to try and not get superglue everywhere again 😓

      I was wondering what that terrain was! I think it will look good when all painted up.

      The poses of Gaunts are so dynamic that I will put up with the unbalanced nature. Those old metal ones must be so heavy, I can’t imagine how they got away with the design when none would balance

      I’ll have a look at that tool too! It might be better than messing around in photoshop, I have never really gotten the hang of it

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely work here, Ellen (yeah, I know I’m late!) I’ve always been torn on how to paint my ‘nids, and have a (very) small force in cockroach-ish brown, inspired by the Aliens’ actual paint. I’ll have to photograph them one day and figure out what to do with them. Always felt funny doing the ‘stealers in browns when it felt like I should be painting them in purple and blue, though – result? Being too frozen to paint any more of them and just painting other models instead! Seeing your Hydra models.. well, I think I’ll have to paint at least one force worth of bugs in that scheme.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I look forward to seeing your Tyranids one day!

      I think the genestealers look just enough like humans that painting them in the same scheme as bug things just seems weird. I’m a bit hesitant to paint mine too, and I’m probably going to paint more Nid monsters first.

      Liked by 1 person

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