Monday, 24 January 2011

Tyranid Project: Parasite & Guard

I got to do a bit more work on my Parasite of Mortrax this weekend.

I have added the rending claws and used a Hormagaunt's claw to make the tail spike for his implant attack.  Tail still needs a bit of work around the join.  Overall though I think it is looking quite good compared to the codex picture?  Of course the official picture does not even look like it has rending claws...

Next up is my Hive Guard.  I love playing these guys; I think they are the best addition to the codex.  However while the models look lovely they are annoying to play.  The first bit of raised terrain and they tumble over.

The only solution is to replace their Impaler Cannons with plastic guns.  I have ripped them off and used warrior Venom Cannons.  The new guns are going to need some more work to make them look less Venomy.  I think some flesh hooks to make spikes on the end will help them mimic the Impaler Cannon and I shall clip off of the spike under the barrel.  Next month I should have all six of them modelled with VC's...

Image Credit: Parasite from wh40k.lexicanum the rest are my models

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Tyranids: One Year on...

2nd Edition, Copyright Games Workshop, Tyranids
There has been a lot of recent discussion about whether the current Tyranid Codex is better than the last one. Of course if you really want to have a look at how tyranids have morphed go read the second edition codex review. Tyranids do not seem to have made any real impact on the tournament scene. This is not helped by the fact that bugs struggle against Mech Guard and Rune Priest armies. The only list I see people still talking about is variations of Nidzilla. While this is not quite such a mono-build as last edition the real choice seems to between how many hive guard and Trygons or T-fex.

I can understand why many dislike the codex. Carnifex & Tyrants are too expensive; Hormagaunts lost beast; many units lost fleet, move through cover & assault grenades. Added to which almost all the customisation of units has gone. Personally I think the gains outweighed the losses. Removal of grenades is an interesting, and I think appropriate, design choice. Some of the other changes needed to be make. So lets take a moment to look at what they did gain.
  • Awesome Psychic powers (even if they are all shooting attacks)
  • Cheap bugs with poison attacks
  • Heavy Weapon Squad returns (Hive Guard)
  • A scoring Monster that spews forth termagants
  • A much better layout and weapons are easier for opponents to understand

There is one other reason to dislike the codex. In game Tyranids do not really live up to the expectation set in the background. They are billed as the première melee army; a claim they can rarely fulfil. Tyranids end up being much more a Mars Attack B-movie monster than Ridly Scott Alien menace.  The main problem though is less the codex itself but the fundamental change in the game rules. Bugs won combat by dragging enemy down by shear weight of numbers. Outnumbering meant you changed a lost combat into a draw; now you just remove the unit from the table and hope the next brood can do better.

New Tyranid Releases?
The rumour is August will be Tyranid 2nd wave:
  • Doom blister 
  • Tyrannofex/Tervigon plastic
  • Harpy
  • Lashwhip/bonesword blister direct only
  • Ymgarl blister one pose direct only
I got a "Gribbly Monster" voucher for my birthday and was about to spend it on a 'fex for Tervigon conversion.  However this rumour, together with the fact I am not going to have the time to build it before June, means I might as well wait and see what actually comes out.

The Harpy is something that is a bit vulnerable compared to most of the monsters. A decent kit could however see me add one to my hive. As for the rest; I already have Boneswords and do not want any more metal figures.  Doom and Ymgarls will not be added to my fleet.

Shrikes & Parasite of Mortrex
Last year I converted a Warrior into what was going to be my first Shrike.  As I am new to modelling it took quite a bit of work to get the Gargoyle wings to fit flush with the carapace.   I like the flying pose but by taking the legs off it stops me using the models as warriors.  Now Maxmini is releasing wings which I shall be adding to my collection of magnetised arms.  This way I will have a dozen models that can be used as Warriors or Shrikes depending on my mood.  So this just leaves my original test convertion; he can get upgraded to be the lord of Mortrex - The Parasite himself. Since I was building him as a Shrike the middle arms are magnetised, and I have not get any rending claws to put on him yet...

Image Credits: Pictures from www.dakkadakka.comThe Eye of Terror & maxmini