Two things you thought you'd never hear me say: I'm painting a small force of Marines and I'm painting a small force of Tyranids.
Those of you who know me will likely think they've stumbled onto the wrong webpage somehow.
Anyway, yeah. I bought the Battle For Mcragge kit; that awesome deal from Games Workshop which includes a nice handful of Tyranids, a nice handful of Marines, a copy of the rulebook (small enough to fit in your army case), dice, measuring sticks, scenery, scenarios, markers... all sorts of awesome stuff. If you want to play Warhammer 40k but you don't want to do all the spending and painting and so-on, this is totally the way to do it.
Anyhow, I got this thing because a) It's cheap, b) It allows me to play Warhammer with my girlfriend and, what's more, when she gets bored of it and decides never to touch it again (we all know that's what's going to happen), it won't be like I spent $500 and six weeks of painting to get two armies together for us to play.
As many of you know, Mcragge comes with a nice kit of Marines and a nice kit of Tyranids. I started with the Nids first, as Lori will no doubt want to play those if she has the choice. Thing is, I didn't want to spend tons of time on these little bastards; Tyranids (like all 40k models, I guess) can soak up hours upon hours of energy and work to get them looking "just so", and I didn't want to do that. I, therefore, made a few decisions:
1. I wouldn't file, sand or otherwise fiddle with the models too much. Extreme occurrances of flash would be trimmed off, but not much more.
2. If I couldn't do the entire force (which includes roughly 18 models or so) within a 24 hour period, then forget it.
I'm amazingly impressed with the results so far.
The approach: I got a bottle of primer from Canadian Tire, which was a "Honeydew melon" color (very, very pale green, like a Fortress Grey almost). I basted the models with this. Then a white drybrush; nothing fancy... just an overall dusting. To be honest, the results weren't extremely striking, but I foraged ahead. Then, a wash of Flesh Wash ink with lots of water and a few drops of Future Floor Polish. At first, it looked awful. So I did another wash of Flesh Wash, and it looked a bit better. Another wash, better. Another wash, even better. Pretty soon I got this lovely ruddy brown that was just really nice and organic. Then, some bleached bone on things like claws, spine and teeth. A few dots of white on the end of claws to bring out highlights and a tiny bit of Goblin Green mixed with Flesh Wash on the back to give a slight greenish tinge. Eyes were dotted with Sunburst Yellow (I think that's what it's called). Goblin Green on the base (which will be flocked later) and a liberal dose of Purity Seal spray to take the shine off of it and, voila... a ruddy, boney, brownish-green Tyranid scheme. And I really like it.
Without further ado... photos of my first Genestealer. He's hard to photograph because of the way he's hunched over, but I think you get the idea.
Turned out way better than I anticipated. The whole Flesh Wash thing was borrowed from an idea I got from this website where a guy just dunked his Nids in Minwax furniture wax. Obviously what I did isn't a lot like what he did, but if you check out the site you can see where they're conceptually connected.
BTW I don't intend to start collecting Tyranids... just in case you thought I was getting any crazy ideas.
Soon to come: Marines. Oh, the shame.