Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tyranid Terrain: Carnivorous Plants and More

This past week has been a real productive one for me in regards to hobby-related projects, which is a good thing because my hobby time these past few months has been pretty hit and miss. Here is a run down of what I was able to accomplish in the past week. First I was able to pick up Betrayer by Aaron Dembski Bowden. As a huge fan of Aaron's writings and the Word Bearers I was pretty stoked to start reading this book. I am about half way through the book and it has so far exceeded my expectations. While the book does deal with the Word Bearers and their actions going on at the same time as the events in Know No Fear, it deals more with the World Eaters and their involvement in the campaign against the Ultramarines. For someone who did not know much about the World Eaters I find this book interesting as it fleshes out Angron and Kharn (especially Kharn) as characters that you can somewhat feel for. One of the best lines in the book comes right from the opening pages, as a quote from Kharn: "The wolves will always come to heel when called. In that regard, it is a mystery why they name themselves wolves. They are tame, collared by the Emperor, obeying him at every whim. But a wolf doesn't behave that way. Only a dog does. That is why we are the eater of worlds, and the War Hounds no longer." - Eight Captain Kharn. - Excerpt from Betrayer.

I picked up a box of the new pathfinders for my Tau army. As I currently own 7 of the metal pathfinders I wanted to bump up their numbers so that I can field 2 squads. The models look pretty dynamic and there was very little mold lines to clean off before assembling. After the glue had dried I based them on shale.

I recently picked up some rare-earth magnets and decided to update my crisis suits by magnetizing the spare weapons so that I can easily switch out the weapon configurations as needed. This was a pretty simple task that gives me lots of options in future games.

For our upcoming Parkhammer event in June we have decided to hold a painting contest for a single model. Over on our forums we recently held open voting on a handful of models and the Tzeentch Sorcerer was the winner.

So anyone joining us at Parkhammer can paint up the Tzeentch Sorcerer model and enter it into the painting contest. For my model I swapped out the long sword for a Dark Elves Dagger. I also cut off the third arm and repositioned it so that it is raised up above the staff and off to the model's left side. As the third arm has an open palm, I wanted to make something that looks like the model is about to cast a spell. I had a spare necromancer head from the Corpse Cart model that I shaved off the facial features and glued it to the palm of the hand to make it look like he has a small fireball forming in his hand. Next step is to prime the model and start painting. You can follow along with my work and others over on our forum.

Now that those items are out of the way I'd like to get into my next tyranid terrain project. For this series I wanted to make some carnivorous looking plants and pods to populate the board. As I mentioned in my last series about the digestion pools, I envision that tyranid spores not only mutate the plant life to grow exponentially, but that they also evolve the plants to take part in the process of breaking down all matter on the planet. So this is where the idea of flesh eating plants come in. Imagine walking through an overgrown,  mutated jungle, scanning the overgrown landscape looking for tyranid life forms when all of a sudden tendrils from a nearby plant snake around your body and silently overwhelm and draw you into a giant pitcher pod filled with digestive acid. So not only do the armies facing a tyranid swarm have to worry about the bugs but the plants as well.

For this project I will be using:

4 foam eggs
White Glue
Particle Board
Plastic vines
Pink Foam

Step 1:

I cut off the lower portion of the foam egg so that it could sit evenly on the boards I had cut out. Then I gently sanded down the foam egg to get a smoother surface.

Step 2:

Then, with a pencil, I made an "x" at the top of the egg.

Then I continued down the side of the egg, about 3/4 of the way down, but not all the way to the bottom.

I also wanted to make some other exotic looking "pitcher" plants so I took a 1 x 1 inch section of pink foam and sketched out a shape of an urn.

Then I took a razor blade and fleshed out the shape and then sanded it down so  that it was smooth. Then I took a dremel tool and created this ridges within the sides of the plant. I also ground away some of the foam inside the top so that I can added effects to it later.

The one on the left is what they looked like before I added in the ridges.

Step 3:

Next I took some glue and microwaved it a bit and then slopped it onto the plant pod to give it a creepy life-like look. I also snipped off some plastic vines from a plastic plant I picked up from a craft store. Much easier to use that than trying to make the tendrils from clay.

Close up of glue effects and vines

I want to have a foot or arm sticking out of here to represent an unfortunate victim.

I then coated the pink foam plants in glue and I will let them all set overnight to dry.

Next week I will be basing the boards, added scenery and painting the pods. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions that you would like to see incorporated into this project.


  1. Really like the look of the plants so far. Seems simple but still very cool looking.

  2. Lovely work on that Nid terrain

  3. Great idea with the carni-plants!

    Not quite sure where you're going with the foam eggies and what kind of carnivorous plans they'll resemble.

    Have you given any thought to making a venus-fly-trap lookalike as well? I'd love to see how you'd go about that.

  4. @StaticT - I originally planned on doing some venus-fly-trap looking things but I must have completely forgot about them when I was working on the pods. I'll see if I can get a couple made for next weeks posting.

    As for the foam eggs, they are supposed to be like spore pods, similar to the eggs in Aliens but I'll be adding more tentacles to the upper "mouth" area this week.

    Thanks for the feedback!