9.02.2010

Speed Painting a Tyranid Termagant

The tervigon has really brought back the need for termagants. You'd be surprised how many you can generate in a game, and you definitely don't want to run out of models before the tervigon runs out of steam I've worked out a method of speed painting termagants. This method brings the termagants (and any other gaunts, for that matter) to tabletop quality and meets the tournament criteria for 3 colors. It's nothing innovative, and this same technique is available in other guides, but I thought some of you would like another take on it.

My hive fleet colors are Bleached Bone, Gore/Mechrite Red, and Chaos Black. I do hooves and claws in black, and for the MCs, HQs, and elites, I have a bone body with red armor. All gaunts sport bone armor plating with red bodies. It's consistent and cohesive while breaking up the sea of bone.

First let's look at the materials:
For the termagants, I used Mechrite Red instead of Gore Red because of the improved coverage. The real trick to speed painting comes at both ends of the painting process: priming with color and dipping. As you can see, I use Army Painter Colour Primer in Dragon Red (not the basic red). It's a little more saturated than Red Gore, but as you will see, the dipping evens out those differences.

Not pictured is the Testors Dullcote, which will be used to remove the shine that the Minwax will leave on the model.

For the purposes of this guide, I'm using the cheap, 2 part termagants. The gaunts in this box are $1.65 per model, while the termagant brood box has each model costing $2.06. I'm the furthest thing from frugal, but in terms of tervigon offspring, it doesn't make sense to get the extra bits when you have to default to fleshborers anyway. OK, shall we begin?

Remove from box, clip from sprue, file off mold lines: 2 minutes. I'm only doing a single model for this guide, but economies of scale do start to kick in, especially in the spraying stages.

Spray with red primer: 30 seconds. Drying time with hair dryer: 2 minutes.

Block out black parts: 2 minutes.
A note on this part: I hate painting the fleshborer, and you absolutely must paint this before joining the two halves. If I was painting a Golden Demon contestant (as if THAT would ever happen), I would lovingly fawn over each finger and marvel at how the digits intertwined with the weapon symbiote. When you're staring at a line of 30 fleshborers, however, all you can see is a royal pain. Of course, you can add more at this stage in terms of detailing the weapon, but this IS a speed painting guide...

Block out bone areas, touch up red and black, assemble halves, dry: 7 minutes.
I use superglue because it is often reversible. Don't accidentally touch any part of the brush's bristles to wet superglue...you might as well throw the brush away. I don't go for total coverage on the bone armor...I think it ads a bit of realism to let a red tint show through.

Basing: 30 seconds.
This is my basing method. If the base fits snugly, I hold the model upside down and line the slot with superglue, being careful to not have any drip onto the model itself.

Next is a dip into the Polyshade followed by liberal brushing off of the excess. The time on this one is tricky. It takes about 3 minutes to apply and finish the Minwax, but I like to let them dry overnight...at least 12 hours to make sure they are not still tacky. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from working on more of these in the meanwhile. In case you haven't used this kind of finish before, the Tudor Black Minwax works like a wash as well, shading and outlining details in a natural way. Because it's a stain/poly finish, it takes care of two steps at once, which is ideal for speed painting.

Application of Dullcote: 30 seconds. I sometimes just spray from the top to keep the underside looking slick and slimy, but I find that it doesn't look so good with these smaller models, so I spray the whole thing.

So there you have it. Total elapsed time 15 minutes, 30 seconds, excluding drying time. All that is left is basing and optionally filling in the eyes with a technical pen. As I mentioned earlier, this scales up quite nicely, so each additional model seems to only add about 5 minutes to the process. I can finish this box in a half hour.

I'll have my lightbox set up again next week, so I may replace these pictures with more detailed images then, but I hope you get the idea. Does anyone have bookmarks to speed painting CSMs? I'd love to see an easy but good looking way to do it.

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