I recently picked up some Tyranids in a trade including three of their drop pods. I know that they’re actually called Tyrannocytes, but I’m having a hard time referring to them as such (except for when they force alliteration, like in the title of this blog post).
If you recall from that post, the big issue with them is that they were missing some pieces. Some of the missing pieces were the spikes on the top of two of the pods, and a set of armored chitin on the third. Those I managed to pick up off of Hoard-of-Bits on ebay for a reasonable price, but the bigger issue is that they were missing their tentacles.
I don’t mind buying most of that stuff, but I can’t justify $30 for a bunch of tentacles. On the plus side, it gave me a chance to play with my tentacle maker again (which hasn’t seen the light of day since I started my Tyranid Bastion project more than a year ago–for those that are curious, it’s now spray painted blue, but no further progress has appeared).
I also drastically overestimated how much green stuff I was going to need, and promptly ordered a ton of that online. The good news is that it seems to keep for a long time, based upon the fact that I still have some that’s pushing two years old. So, I’ll be good on green stuff for a while.
I won’t go into the tentacle making process too much, other than to say that it seemed to work best if I rolled them into “snakes” and then let them cure for about 45 minutes before scoring and shaping them. While they were curing, it worked best if I went back and periodically gave them a quick roll (so they didn’t flatten or stick to the plastic tray).
The biggest limiting factor on them was how many other odds and ends I had laying around to form them over. Tentacles look better when they wriggle around in all sorts of directions, but to get them to cure that way, you have to find a way to position them in odd ways. Enter: my sculpting tools. Basically any tool that was laying around got wrapped with a tentacle of some type (and, like before, it was best if I came back every fifteen minutes or so to adjust them).
For the last lot, I rolled them a little longer and wrapped them around the carapace itself. This looks far more dynamic, and might have been something I should’ve done with more of them. Then again, you want at least some of them to dangle down, right?
For the one missing the lower tentacles, I rolled out some long ones and tipped them with little claws from a spare Harauspex mouth. They don’t look quite like the “proper” tentacles, but I think they’ll do in a pinch. The real problem I have is that they’re so evocative of the Aliens from “Chicken Little.”
I can’t get it out of my head…
The good news is that I’m into this for about $130. They’re $63 each (MSRP), so I’m at about 30% off retail. That’s not super exciting, considering how much work I put in them, but if we’re using that math, I also got two harpies and six venomthropes thrown in for free. Yup, at that price, I can definitely overlook my feelings on cartoon aliens…
Getting the tentacles into position is the trickiest part. I do the same, wrap them around various objects. The problem is sometimes it doesn’t always work on the model after; it’s shifted a bit.
I’ll have to try your approach of letting them cure a bit first. Seems like a far smarter approach to doing it fresh.
Hopefully that helps you as much as it’s helped me. Without a doubt, that’s been the most helpful trick I’ve learned when playing with them–or, like you say, let them sit on the model itself so you know that they’ll fit later…
On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 6:49 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:
Great work with the tentacles. I guess they’re that expensive because you use them to build the giant spore mine.
I just didn’t like the tentacles (all five had the exact same shape, really on an organic monster) so I skipped them and added some carnifex scything talons instead. I think it looks pretty cool too.
Yeah, that “giant spore mine” used to be pretty good. Based upon what I see now, it’s not, so I would assume that the prices might come down. Then again, why would anyone worry about buying the kit if neither of the units you can make out of it are very good…