I’m currently working on three things in parallel, all at different stages: my second Hive Fleet Balaur unit for Kill Team, three Tyranid Warriors; a batch of Manufactorum terrain; and a couple of larger Sector Mechanicus terrain pieces.
These guys were every bit as fun to build as my Genestealers. And despite having no names, no personalities, no quirky equipment — none of the stuff I’m used to using as my roleplaying hooks for how to assemble and paint an interesting figure — these models are packed with opportunities to convey intent (nom nom nom), motion, and character.
I’m honestly surprised how much I enjoy building and painting Tyranids.
Since I’m combining pieces from two lines, Manufactorum and Mechanicus, for my table, I started out with the Mechanicus stuff by just faffing about and seeing how it looks alongside my Manufactorum pieces.
Alongside creating interesting terrain, my goal is to balance the modularity of the Mechanicus kits with a desire for durable, functional pieces I don’t need to fuss with.
These kits can be painted in pieces and assembled at the table, then broken down and reassembled a different way the next time. But some of the elements, like the railings, are going to mar whatever you attach them too — and in any case, that level of modularity seems like overkill to me.
So instead I built four anchor pieces, all of them fully assembled and glued — and all of them capable of being combined in lots of different ways. I left space for a Ferratonic Furnace under the octagon at the back, but glued my second furnace to the platform up front. The long gantries can each accommodate one or two of the larger Mechanicus tanks being slid under them, and almost all of the “mating” ends of the gantries and platforms can be mixed and matched.
This took a couple of hours, but I’m happy with how my pieces turned out.
After sleeping on my choices, I tweaked a couple things here and there, picked two to start with, and got them glued together.
Then I shifted gears and did the first wash on four Manufactorum pieces I’d previously primed, with an eye to finishing a full Kill Team board worth of terrain as soon as possible.
It’s a weird angle, but this is my current overflowing work area: freshly washed Manufactorum pieces at the bottom, a mix of finished and WIP Tyranids and terrain in the center, and my first two huge Mechanicus pieces waiting for a dry day so I can spray them.
Shifting from working on 2,000-point 40k armies to Kill Team squads has been just the ticket for getting me jazzed about painting again. It’s also helped me find something to focus on with terrain, since I’ve got a much shorter-term goal than filling a Strike Force board: one Kill Team board, which is maybe 4 large pieces, 2 medium ones, and a handful of little bits.
The Unlucky Isles [affiliate link], the first system-neutral guidebook for my Godsbarrow fantasy campaign setting, is now on DriveThruRPG.