If you’ve seen XenonMage’s Tyranid army in action before, you’ll notice right away that there’s something very different about this particular bug. This is a special Tyranid that I put together for a special occasion. XenonMage, my best friend, recently not only completed her Master of Science in Marine Biology, but got an article she had written accepted by a journal after going through the peer-review process. It was a special occasion and naturally I wanted to do something fun to commemorate that, with something fun that I could leave on her desk for the next time she’s back in town.
She’s studied a bunch of different species in the last several years, but one of the big ones is Cucumaria Frondosa, or the orange-footed sea cucumber, and I decided that I was going to do up a Tyranid using it as a color scheme. I also picked up a nifty, deep-sea-themed resin base by Micro Art Studios to fit the concept. But why a Pyrovore? Well, as I mentioned in a certain ramble of mine, me and XenonMage both loved the Behemoth TTS series on Youtube. There’s a brilliant moment in the third episode where a lone Pyrovore roasts a Sister of Battle, and then screeches with the caption “Finally feels valid.” Now that she’s finished her M.A., has one article accepted and another on the way, I thought it was an appropriate tongue-in-cheek message to commemorate what’s otherwise been an intense few years.
So, once I had the idea, to tackle this, I wanted to replicate an effect similar to the lines of bumps on the sea cucumber and to pull that off decided to play with CatgutPainting’s Coconut Crab tutorials on Youtube. If you play Tyranids and haven’t seen these, I strongly recommend giving them a watch – there’s all sorts of amazing ways that you can use dot patterns to quickly and very effectively replicate a very natural look, and Catgut has tutorials to match the look of all sorts of different real-life critters. I did some wet-blending at the undersides of the head and belly, mostly with Trollslayer Orange, and the wash stage, with lots of water and matte medium, really brought this all together well – which is very good, because initially this poor critter looked a lot more phallic than I think would have been appropriate for a gift such as this.
In the end, very happy with how this turned out, and I’m stoked to pass it off to XenonMage next time she’s in town. Also, I didn’t mention this before, but the tiny crabs and corals on the Micro Art Studio base are great. I really liked painting those little dudes. The Pyrovore sculpt itself, even if it is an older metal-then-Finecast one, also just has great presence and still looks fantastic in my opinion. Which is probably bias, but I still like it. With Tyranids showing up in Warzone Octarius as per recent GW releases, I’m hoping this means we’re going to see Tyranids as a faction getting some love in new rules and new sculpts to expand the awesome stuff that’s already there – but for that, I suppose we’re going to have to wait and see how things play out from here.
“A Pyrovore’s maw drips with corrosive acids that are powerful enough to reduce armour, flesh and bone to a gooey, smouldering mucous. When confronted by a foe, the Pyrovore launches forth an incandescent fireball from its dorsal bio-weapon that reduces its victims to a pile of burning ash.” – Pyrovore, GamesWorkshop.com