Jstove’s Tyranids focused hobby blog is back with the bugs, and today’s topic is on how to build a cheaper Biovore out of leftover bits.
Jstove continues to delve into his Hive Fleet Wu Tang Clan project and has another great Tyranid tutorial on why you should be using Biovores and how to save time and money by making them yourself.
An Endangered Species
The Xenos index turned the nid list on it’s head. Some models like the Dakka Tyrant took a nose dive, while other models that never showed up in 6E-7E are now total hosers. One of the zero-to-hero units in the Nid portfolio now is the Vore genus. Pyrovores stopped being terrible and Biovore stock went way up because spore mines are doing mortal wounds now. For the first time since I can remember, the living artillery rules for generating spore mines from Biovore misses don’t suck and slow down the game. While I’m happy for our squat, little, walking guns that poop volleyballs made of mortal wounds, they are in a crappy place in the Nid range. The Vore genus gun beasts are all resin or pewter, eternally waiting for a plastic redesign. Hopefully, a new codex will solve the problem, and if we Nid players are very lucky, the Vore genus will get rolled into a spicy new dual kit to make a pack of either. That’s just speculation and wishlisting though.
Until then, Nid players have to make due with the endangered Biovore. There are currently 3 generations of biovore models. All of them are resin or pewter, all are goofy looking, and all are a pain to collect. You can try to scour Ebay for auctions of the little suckers. However, it’s hard to find them at a price that’s worth rationalizing since most of the biovores you’ll find are at least ten years old and have been abused. I’m willing to tolerate some tough love when it comes to old Screamer Killer Carnifexes and 3rd Edition Hive Tyrants but the Biovore doesn’t have that kind of nostalgia appeal.
To build a better Biovore, we need a model that has at least a few traits.
The model must be roughly warrior sized and on at least a 40mm base. (Pyrovores are extra fat and are on 60mm). The model needs to have some kind of giant biogun on it’s back for pooping spore mines and this gun must be fed by a giant, disgusting, fleshy sack. Like every proper bug model, it needs 2 sets of arms. The second set of arms should be vestigial. They should either be atrophied to be evolutionary dead ends (1st gen biovores) or somehow merged and attached into the gun or ammo sack. (2nd and 3rd gen Biovores.) Biovores that want to look like gen 2 and gen 3 Biovores should have big, fat arms for supporting the gun’s weight and stabilize the beast. Gen 1 Biovores had spindly little stabilizer legs.
To solve the problem, I went bitz box diving and used some of the most common Tyranid parts to make plastic Vores. I hit every major Biovore trait except for the big fat arms. I’ve seen some great Biovore conversions that used the Hive Guard kit as a base because those guys have great gorilla arms that would be ideal for a Biovore. The problem with using those guys is that Hive Guard are a great unit with very effective guns and if you bought that kit you would want to assemble them as Hive Guard.
So I gave up on gorilla arms and went with Tyranid Warriors as a base. These models are way more easier to come by and not so much of a sacrifice. I’ve never been much of a fan of these guys because I’ve always preferred to fill the troops slot with Termagants and use other synapse creatures for the mid-line synapse control. I’ve never been comfortable with warriors when list building. They want to be generalists but they feel like they only really work when they dump a lot of points into optimizing for specific roles and getting really expensive. They would be ideal donor models for my Vore build because they’re easy models to find and not valuable contributors to my list building strategy.
The Chop Shop
Here’s the parts list for my Mortar Warrior Biovores:
- Tyranid warrior rib cage, tail, and legs. Easy to get, since I don’t like warriors.
- Sporocyst “chimney” bits from the tyrannocyte box. Also easy, since I’d rather build a T-Cyte than a Sporocyst.
- Genestealer scything talons. I have piles of these because I prefer Genestealers to have the classic Space Hulk, Aliens-style, creepy hands. Also, they look kind of goofy, like butter knives with thumbs.
- Gant Spinefists. Every Nid player alive has these things floating around.
- Blind Genestealer heads. You could theoretically use any gaunt, warrior, or Genestealer head. I like the eyeless one from the upgrade sprue. Why do Biovores need to see anyway? It’s living ammunition! It guides itself!
- Greenstuff. For the joins where the model comes together.
- 6mm plastic airsoft BBs. One of my go-to random hobby supplies for bulking out volume and creating organic shapes and eyeballs in sculpting. You can get a lifetime supply of these online for cheap.
Assemble the legs and lower body of the warrior as normal and affix him to the base. Chop down the neck nib and the back ridge on the warrior torso. Flip the warrior torso upside down, so that the shoulders are now the bottom and the hip joint hole is now the head hole. Glue the Sporocyst chimney to the back of the torso to make the spore mine gun. Glue the gun torso to the lower body of the warrior. You’ll have to chop the lower body a bit and there will be a gap to fill later.
Chop the spinefists off at the wrist and glue them into the arm sockets so that the wrists and the arm ammo belts are feeding up into the Sporocyst chimney. Glue the Genestealer scything talons into the other pair of sockets so your bug has little T-Rex arms. He doesn’t need full-size warrior scything talons, he’s a rear-line gun beast! Glue a head in.
Glue some BBs to the butt of the sporocyst chimney to make a spore sack on the back of the Biovore. Use Greenstuff to sculpt over all the joins and gaps where the parts come together to make the model look more organic. You can also slather the BB sack in super glue and then pour water on it to cure it. This will create a membranous, gross texture.
Congratulations, Swarmlord. You now have a brood of Biovores that didn’t waste any valuable bio-cannon bits or upgrades from more important models!