Jstove’s Tyranids focused hobby blog is back at it again with the bugs, and today’s topic is on how to build a better Tyrannocyte!
Today on Jstove’s Nid blog, we discuss the troubles of the Tyrannocyte model and how you can make you can make a bigger, badder, and better Tyrannocyte.
The Trouble with Tyrannocytes
Like most Tyranid players, I just about lost my mind when we finally got something approaching a drop pod in our army. Finally, we could drop giant, greasy sacks full of insectoid monsters out of the sky into your nightmares. What’s not to love? It’s been awhile since we’ve had the T-cyte now and, as a kit, it’s aged pretty well.
Unfortunately, the Tyrannocyte isn’t without issues. First of all, the model itself is just awful to transport. It’s almost Heldrake or Traitor Primarch bad. I understand that the designers want to make big, dramatic models. However, I don’t understand why the Tyrannocyte, which is basically just a floating bug colon that poops monsters, needs to be a 12-inch tall model with tentacles poking everything. It’s almost as if it was designed to not fit into any kind of transport.
The second problem I have with the Tyrannocyte is that I wish it was more gross. With it’s bulging flesh sacs, it already looks like a giant tumor, which is great. However, I want my Tyranids to have that extra level of H.R. Giger awfulness to really push them over the top. I think that when you play an army of cosmic bug monsters that are born specifically to kill everything and then jump into digestion pools and get sucked up with the rest of the protein, you owe it to the spirit of the army to make all the gross, gooey, violent, and disturbing parts of life as visceral and creepy as possible. Tyranid models, especially models like the Haruspex, Tervigon, and Tyrannocyte models that either eat people or vomit more models out of themselves, should be extra gooey and disgusting.
Opening Her Up
My mental image of the Tyrannocyte was always that it just splattered on the ground like a rotten egg and the bugs inside it just crawled out of the goo like babies being born. it was gory, gooey, and made small children cry. So I modeled my T-cyte to the base to look like it had slammed into the ground, and then split the segments of the transport sac open so that it looked like it had ruptured or unfolded like the facehugger egg in ALIEN.
To get the innards of the T-cyte all nasty and alien, I first glued a Styrofoam ball from an art store up in the guts of the model to fill in some of the space. Then I glued a bunch of 6mm plastic BBs to the inside walls of the model, to give it fleshy organic texture. While the BBs were still wet and slathered with super glue, I poured water into the orifice to cure the super glue and cause it to deform and create a different texture.
I cut up some spare Genestealers (Genestealers are the only Tyranid model it’s possible to have too many of. They’ve been around since Space Hulk; they kill everything they touch; and you’ll never need that many) and glued them into the orifice of the T-cyte to make them look like they were emerging from their greasy cocoon. To get the stringy, goopy, T-cyte pus, I slathered the innards of the model and the Genestealers in hot glue.
I painted the T-cyte to match the rest of my swarm, with the exception that the guts of the monster and the Genestealers riding in it. They got a liberal coating of magenta paint and purple ink to give it the appearance that the T-cyte was bursting with alien fluids like an overripe fruit. I went so far as to spill it all over the front half of the base, so that it seeped into the mud and looked like gallons of bio sludge were being splattered onto the ground.
The final result is a gooey, fleshy, sack that is bursting with Genestealer goodness!