Tuesday 1 July 2014

Flufftastic - Hive Fleet Gorgon - Ferron Splinter Fleet - Termagants

One of the most common Tyranid Bio-forms to have infested Ferron Proxima is the Termagant 'Gauntii Virago' Although seemingly without number these beasts, up until now, appeared to have had a maximum population level. This evolutionary ceiling has been attributed to the limited numbers of 'brood mothers' that spawn the gaunts. Additionally, the Hive Mind is actively utilising it's available bio-matter and unbelievably it's alien intelligence is ensuring it does not commit it's resources to what is essentially a very limited beast.

That's not to say Termagants are not a threat to the population, bio-magi data suggests that there may be many more gaunts secreted in the catacombs and underground spawning chambers that the Hive Fleet has started to fortify. There were rumours that the Tervigons might have evolved new reproduction methods that would increase their ability to spawn in larger numbers. There is no evidence of this happening in the wild yet but the Dark Angel and Planetary Defence Forces that are currently containing their incursion have started to bolster their defences in readiness of any increase in their numbers. This hypothesis has since been disproved and those bio-magi that posited such a theory and 'spread their heretical works' to the Ferron public have thankfully been lobotomised and put to serve the Emperor as Servitor drones within the mining fields of Utarr Equinox Gamma.

Most these gaunts are born fully formed with their own symbiotic weaponry. Initially within the early stages of their infestation of Ferron Proxima - despite the shock of birth they are spat like projectiles from the Tervigon's womb, immediately moving on, shooting their obscene bio-weaponry and even attacking innocent citizens of the Emperor. The abomination has even been witnessed whereby they have literally been shot out of their brood mother onto battlements and defended buildings. The staunch faith of these brave soldiers kept them alive to tell of the horrors witnessed. Having passed on this vital knowledge the Inquisition gratefully bestowed the 'Emperor's Peace' on them with summary executions so they could not spread the foul knowledge to the citizens of Ferron Proxima, their names subsequently added onto the 'Ferron Roll of Heroes' for services to the Emperor.

However, more recent observations have shown the vitality of a newly spawned Termagants has been greatly reduced. The creatures are spawned ahead of it's progenitor and have been programmed only to to stand and fire their organic weaponry or advance in numbers to press home and attack, thus drawing attention away from their brood mother by being the more immediate effect. This new directive by the alien mind shows they are adapting, and thinking in patterns even the most senior Bio-Magi cannot yet comprehend. Their future in solving the alien menace depends on them getting to the bottom of this behaviour.

Another point of note is that these Termagants are highly mutable, often having enhanced strength or poisonous sacs that will lay low any human. Some of these bio-morphs can be traced back to their progenitor but equally some seem to be vestigial growths whose only purpose can be surmised as to keep track of it's various offspring. Again, such observations could be seen as heretical, even the concept that there is an intelligence behind the Xenos filth's actions is tantamount to balsphemy. However, some members of the Ordo-Xenos have sufficient powers to grant the Bio-Magi currently observign the nature of this alien scum the licence to postulate such radical theories.

Termagants are considered one of the lower life-forms that make up the Tyranid menace but they must not be underestimated. The people of Ferron Proxima will face more of these creatures in the future and it is up to the staunch defenders of Ferron Proxima to stamp out their taint on the red planet.


  1. Dave,

    How long in total have you been spending painting and building this army? The attention to detail on even your most basic troop choices is extremely impressive.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Greg. It was January 2010 that my, soon to be 8 year old, son decided he wanted to get into the hobby and pushed me off the wagon, I'd been hobby sober since about 1996-'97. He didn't want any of my marines, he was impressed with the claws and teeth of the Tyranids and for his birthday that month got a box of Gargoyles, Warriors, Termagants and a Trygon, alongside the Codex.

      We painted together a bit, we'd do the base coats and washes and I had spare elves and dwarves for him to paint when he got bored of the horde, to improve his skills but either I'm not a good teacher or he wasn't a good student [probably both] as he soon lost interest.

      I've built everything else since then, around 5,000pts. The blog started 10 months into painting so I had quite a backlog of WiP pictures, even though I didn't know I was going to be starting a blog, I just recorded it anyway. There's definitely a greater degree of quality in the more recent models compared to those in 2010, I have some new Genestealers to showcase soon, while putting them alongside some of their early 2010 siblings. These gaunts are about a year/18 months old and they're very different to the 2010 models and different again to the ones I did at the beginning of 2014

      The difference is noticable if you look hard enough but they can still share the same space, which again is how I think my army works best. I've seen folk who have much better brush control. My brother has a neurological tremor in his hand and I've noticed recently that occassionally I exhibit the same symptoms, probably a family 'heirloom', so I accept I'll never be Golden Demon. However, it is affecting my Dark Angel progress as line highlighting on my Land Speeder is very sketchy. I'll be illustrating what I mean and hopefully have the solution too.

      Ultimately I don't see a huge difference to small creatures versus bigger ones. Gaunts don't have the spots usually, there's less flat space to fill up but I 'fluffed' that anyway to show the more 'advanced/aged' creatures had the spots [like liver spots on the elderly]. Nowadays I just do pretty much the same thing big or small and with painting broods of about 10 it's just the right amount of figures not to become overwhelming. It became a bit loaborious with these recent stealers and you'll see the difference when the blog posts go up but it's only a different strain of Stealer, which again fits very well with the mutable factor of Hive Fleet Gorgon.

  2. I think the important thing here, is that all your army bits and pieces show amazing consistency with one another. Whether one piece stands out as a newer paint job, or it's one of your earlier ones, they all fit. That's not easy to do. I find myself constantly looking back at my older models, going "geez, i need to do a whole coat of highlight on that now". I think this really speaks strongly of the scheme you've picked.

    It's worked very well! I find that batch painting really helps reduce my tendency to "over concentrate on details you can't see"

    Sorry your son didn't pickup the hobby, but it's nice to see the nids weren't abandoned, and have taken on a life of their own!

    On the neurological tremor; I think you could help resolve this in your later weathering stages. Battle chips/wear can help to cover up line highlights that went a little off center, mud/dust helps cover up splotches, etc. Lot of great technical paints that can aid these days!

    1. I tried doing battle damage and couldn't get the hang of it, chickened out really. The litanies I added to the Dark Angel tactical squad was the compromise, actually having a wobbly hand helps with that ;) I've since got my new weathering powders powders so hopefully that will add a further dimension to see the model as a whole and not pick at the details.

      The funny thing is I've seen loads of Marines that are painted with 'broad strokes' so to speak, similar in how I paint the 'nids but I just can't do that with the Dark Angels. It's been a fundamental stumbling block from day one. The funny thing is I can't wait to have them done and I'm excited about the models I just find the whole process slow going and the rewards are a long time coming, hence why I've switched to doing a lot of batches at the same time. If it's going to take forever I may as well get a good pay off at the end of forever!

      I'm hoping a good black wash will help tidy up my Ravenwing, make it blacker, smooth out the highlights, fingers crossed.

  3. Hi, I've just got to say this is some beautiful painting, your Tyranids are outstanding and Im loving the martian bases, very much like my own Scythes of the Emperor bases, but mine arn't quite as good, I may add a few small bleached yellow grasses like yours if that ok, ha.

    Also really enjoy reading your own made up fluff/backstory, I might have a go at that myself sometime.

    You have another fan keep up the good work!!.

    1. Thanks 1eight8, anyone who goes with Martian bases is alright by me! Love your take on them, the shaving brush bristles is a cool idea, I had thought to do that with some old craft paint brushes but went with the yellow flock. I also want to add some white flock in places but it's difficult to find and would look like snow.

      Love your Scythes, I used to follow a Scythes blog a while back, http://badtouchsbasement.blogspot.co.uk/ it's not been updated for a year but there'll be stuff in there to interest you if you hadn't already discovered it. Nice to see someone going with a different Chapter, I kind of lumbered myself with Dark Angels but I have geat respect for those that go their own way.

      thanks for commenting.