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…