Work area
Star Phantoms waiting for more paint

I’ve making some slow progress on painting my STAR PHANTOMS, but needed a diversion this weekend. I decided to dig out my collection of Tyranid models. These are from multiple sets of Space Hulk, and Battle for Macragge sets. I bought the latest CODEX:Tyranids when it came out, and considered building a nemesis force to use in my games room. Realistically, I’ve not got the money or time to be starting a new 40K army. So no money will be spent. Unfortunately, I don’t have an HQ for a legal army, so I’ll have to work around that. If I added a Tervigon as my HQ, I could field at least 1500 points worth of Genestealers and some Termagants. There are many interesting units to try out in the CODEX, but this basic force would be perfect as introductory, demo skirmishes I could lead friends through, up to a decent sized 40K missions for fun, at home with some themed objectives. To be clear, this is in no way intended to be used for pick-up games or tournaments! In fact, I see the future of my gaming going more in this direction, of having games ready to play with painted models and scenery. Less dependant on game companies, and constantly keeping up with rules systems. Learning and actaully playing more game systems, will help me determine what rules to use for the best gaming experience, less cookie cutter game play,a more intuitive, immersive even cinematic experience. I’ve got enough Space Marines to do what I have in mind, but to me, the ALIEN aspect seems more classic. This will be good for devloping some skills and interest in some of my friends who don’t play or plan on investing in this hobby. Along with this project, I’ll finish building, and share the paint scheme with my 2009 Space Hulk set, specifically the Tyranid models. SPACE HULK definitely fits in with my GAMES ROOM, and the over-arching goal of having multiple playable games ready to go, and fully painted/realized. And this project fits in with my multiple-usage-of-models strategy. I eventually figure out bases to share some of the SPACE HULK models for 40K games, also I’ll have a painted foundation for a possible Tyranid battle force, by adding a few models or squads at a time. A way to reward my self for accomplishing goals. In fact, that should be the basis for any future purchases, even with the budget I’m going to establish. That future Tyranid force could be years down the road, but, I’ve found that time passes quickly. There will again come a day when I’ll have time and money to start a new army. I’ll be stuck with a paint scheme, so I’ll need to think that through! Finally this project satiisfies that urge to start a new army, plan it build it, base it, and paint it. Also I’m getting some use out of the CODEX itself. It will help with my knowledge about the army as an opponent, and I can use it in my scenarios at home. Of course, I’ll have it on hand for a future build up for a ‘proper’ list should I decide to someday. Sometimes you acquire models very cheap, even free. Chances are the CODEX will be outdated before all that, but you never really know!

1) The models-All totalled I’ve got about 80 Genestealers, 19 Termagants, a SPACE HULK Broodlord, 16 spore mines, and some nodes and bits from some Macragge sets. I’ll create or find something to represent the Tervigon, and/or develop house/scenario rules to make the missions work. This force would represent an adversary list for various forces that I have already painted or may have in the future. To start with I’d like to be utilising a small Ultrmarines detachment I have painted. I originally painted some Tactical squads for MK1 SPACE HULK with expanded rules from WHITE DWARF. I added a few more models and have atleast 1000 points of infantry and 5 bikes, and some HQ choices. Included is a squad of the TYRANID HUNTERS models for use as a Stern Guard Veterans squad. I actually have some spare models, even a drop pod I could use if I wanted to bump this up to 1500 points to match the Tyranids, but will probably keep that as a future option. Really, I don’t want to more Ultramarines, at this time.

2)The Tyranid paint scheme-I have the classic purple scheme, nicely painted on 5 Genestealers. Then I based coated another twenty or so, and glossed up for playing SPACE HULK. They look terrible, and I’m not going to be doing the slow, painting stlye I ususally use, so this classic scheme is out! I will just spray over this mess, and start over. It is just old models with limited detail anyway, so no harm done. This will be my paint scheme of the future, including SPACE HULK MK3, and future army list if any. I’m not into any of the established Hive Fleet colors, I want something that looks good as a whole, on the tabletop, simple, and room for details on bigger models should they be added at some point.  One of my stumbling blocks, is that I don’t like to speed paint, and end up spending way to much effort on models that will not be looked at as much, instead of focusing on some key details, and ignoring some others for an overall effect on the game table. For the volume and scope of the goals I have and the time frame, and free time I’ll have available, I need to step up the production. This will be a good exercise overall for my army projects, but essential for this ‘horde’ army. Generally I believe, these models are quite expensive, and great care should taken to paint them to the best standard you can achieve. But one must temper that with a realistic standard, and find a way to maximize the time spent, to get on with the gaming!

One paint scheme I’ve always liked, and seems easy, is the one by Phil Kelly in 40K 4th edition rulebook, of black with yellow accents, with gloss finish. This is reminiscent of ALIEN, and Starship Troopers movies, is about as much effort as I plan on spending, simple and cost effective. A very cool scheme appears in the WHITE DWARF issue with the CODEX:Tyranids cover, but it involves gray, and I’ve got enough gray in my 40K armies at this point. I really liked the earthy colors of that scheme. So I will need to do some test models, with some of the earthy colors I have in my paints collection. In some Black Library novels, a Tyranid force would appear during a mission, from the tunnells. Perhaps a small remnant from a hive eneded up on a planet and slowly evolved a small horde and has adapted to the planet, perhaps tied in with my BADAB WAR theme. Maybe in the desert colors I’ve always envisoned from the name.

3)The Rules and missions-Two things come to mind for this project;Battle for Macragge and SPACE HULK. The rules included for these models will be the basis of the Tyranid army, and the CODEX for each army of course. I have 3 versions of SPACE HULK. Using any or all of those board pieces could be fun. And some of the introductory missions from Battle for Macragge might inspire some scenarios for various play levels. The forces are fairly simple especially the Tyranids force, so that is good for the purpose of this project. It can also be scaled up to a more challenging experience based on the players invloved. Very simple, using what I’ve got, utilizing models and pieces I have. I have been reading a lot of old missions from books and magazines for inspiration, not to mention I have terrain and expansions to work with. I want to paint the newest SPACE HULK models to a higher standard, including my Lamenters, but the goal will be to have all of my Tyranids painted, so I can play SPACE HULK as well, eventually with Lamenters Terminators! That is another post and another army!

Now, I’ve orgainized my thoughts on this project. This is more of a diversion. One of those projects for when your mind wanders, sometimes you might be tempted to buy something for the instant gratification. Instead, I’ve re-evaluated some miniatuers(over 100!) that need to be utilised. If there was absolutely no use for these models I’d probably give them away or sell them, but my colection runs deep, and I’ll find a way to maximize the space these materials are taking in my collection by finding some fun, simple ways to use them and create a gaming experience for mysef and others, and enjoyment from my investments. Over the last decade I’ve spent thousands on gaming related products. I’m very fortunate, in that regard, and must make sure I get years of entertainment  from creating and playing the armies and games, and spend very wisely from here on out! There was a time about 5-7 years ago, when many people I knew would think nothing of starting a 15oo point army, on a whim. To try out a build or stategy on a new or exisiting army for Warhammer 40K, or Fantasy Battle. Maybe never even finish buying, building or collecting, some of the ideas. Then APOCALYPSE took it a step further, and buying multiple Baneblades and Land Raiders, was still economically feasible,until…….. Those times have passed. Prices have tripled on the models, taxes have gone up, gas has tripled, food, clothes, computers, technology. Wages are the same, actually declining! The time for starting new sytems, or armies on a WHIM is long past. I struggle with my ‘plastic crack’ addicition like many others! But it is only a problem if you don’t/aren’t/haven’t gotten your moneys worth from your investment. From now on all of my purchases will be considered investments, even though it will be from my discretionary entertainmant budget. That budget is going to be, very modest! Any purchases will be carfeully considered. I will need to earn it, by achieving my production and usage goals!


1000 point Strike-force!


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