The last post on this blog was my Death Guard painting scheme, so anyone could do it if they wanted, but mainly so I could repeat it! In a similar deal, here is my scheme for Hive Fleet Kraken I've been doing for a commission. It's mostly contrast paints, so should be easy enough to do, and I'm hoping I can use some of this contrast practice on my Tyranid force when I do some updates.
Here's some I did earlier.
For this 'tutorial' I'm going with Hive Guard, as they are a mainstay of Tyranid armies these days and they are a decent size with lots of carapace to show the full effect.
First stage of the painting process, spray with a bone spray paint. I used Army Painter Skeleton Bone. You could use the Wraithbone contrast base, but as you'll see below there is an extra step before the contrast goes on so we don't need that 'perfect' finish.
Next, a heavy drybrush of white over the whole model. A bit messy, but it should be enough to add a little extra bit of 'texture' once the contrast is on.
Contrast Skeleton Horde, thinned 50/50 with Contrast Medium, on over all the skin. Doesn't matter if it's messy and goes up the carapace, the red will cover it easily. I tried to avoid too much pooling, but a little bit is fine and works with the Tyranid models, and with the medium in there it goes on more evenly, so you don't need to worry too much.
Next, the carapace. Flesh Tearers Red, straight from the pot, slopped over all the carapace. Key to this was using a fairly big, soft brush (like the cheap artists' brushes you can get in packs from any craft store) and painting in big, slow strokes up the carapace from the bottom, so it pools on the underside of the ridges. As you can see it doesn't dry perfectly smooth, but a little bit streaky, which would be bad on a big tank, but works perfectly for organic armour.
Next step was to fill in some details, and cover some mistakes. I used Black Templar for the claws and spikes, Magos Purple for the joints, pipes, tongues and other Tyranid weird bits, and Dark Angels Green for eyes (bad examples here!) and 'toxic' parts - in this case I used it on the inside of the gun 'barrel'. I used some regular bone paint to tidy up a few places, most notably around the hooves. With that the contrast stage us done, and they would probably be perfectly serviceable minis if you wanted to stop here. At this stage I also added a bit of Agrax Earthshade over the teeth to make them stand out and over some of the spiracles (holes) Tyranids have in the sides of their heads, base of their tails, and in this case on their guns.
This next step is the 'special sauce' if you will. Using a brighter red (Vallejo Game Colour Bloody Red in this case) I added a series of semi-random small lines or notches around the edge of the carapace, giving a sensation of texture. I made sure to cover the raised areas with this, including the inner edge of the carapace over their back, but otherwise just added them to break up the colour. I do a more involved version of this for my own 'Nids, which I intend to, one day, do a tutorial for.
Finally, time for the bases. I used a mix of Stirland Mud and Battlemire over the surface, with Vallejo Game Colour Charred Brown around the rim. Then just added some tufts and static grass to complete it. Done!
Hope you enjoyed and possibly picked up something interesting. There will definitely be more of these Kraken nids along soon. Thanks for reading, stay safe!