Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tyranid Atmospheric Procressors

To build up some content on the site, I'm going to be posting a few of my past projects that were kind of like milestones in my development as a sculptor. I'll call them "Old Strains," and you can feel free to check them out if you're curious.

Awaiting Arms

These Tyranid terrain items were conceived 'round about the same time that I was working on the Tyranid barricades I detailed previously. I wanted to find a way of not just making Tyranid scenery but also a means of representing the diverse structures and creatures that may be present on a world that was being Tyranoformed/gutted for its natural resources. One idea I had (largely inspired by the shape and material of the plastic orange containers) was for balloon- or blister-like growths on the surface that would process the air in the atmosphere. They would expand to fill themselves with nice clean air, but when they contracted they would spew out a toxic, infectious fume teeming with microscopic Tyranid phage organisms. 

So, they had the same humble, orange-y beginnings as the barricades:

Orange Containers FTW!

And I got some good creepy detail down on the tops of them:

03 Top1
04 Top2
05 Top3
All Together Now

But then I stalled on this design, which I only half-realized because I was pretty disappointed with how it'd come out.

False Start

Fortunately, it was not all for naught as there was one lightbulb moment in this otherwise so-so design:

Inspiration {ding!}

And finally--more than a year later--I got reinspired by the ambitious terrain project we'd taken on, and I revised the structure of the atmospheric processors thusly:

Take shape
More shape

The new design made them look a little more horrific and a little more alive as you could conceive that, somewhere along the line, these static structures had once been somewhat sentient before being distorted and chained into servitude for the Hive Mind!

Also, a carapace:

Back start
More Detail
which, I gotta say, is pretty damn good for working with Apoxie Sculpt. If the barricades were my first introduction to AS, these processors were when I first busted into pre-intermediate status.

More Detail

Whereas before I'd been paranoid to sculpt any more than a little bit at a time, with the processors I sculpted the whole of the chained creatures in one go: head, face, and carapace. I mean, other than the carapace, their shapes were still pretty simple, but I was, nonetheless, proud of my accomplishments.

Adding Claws

Unfortunately, with the overall project rushing me along and with trying to put the finishing touches on 3-4 distinct types of Tyranid scenery at the same time, I didn't get any WIP shots of the completed arms that encircled the top of the processors and connected all of the claws. But that's just as well, really, as I was running low on time when cranking out the arms, so I wasn't able to give them the time and care that I would have liked. I do have photos of them complete and painted, but I'll be saving those for a separate post about how the whole project came together.

EDIT: Here they be:
Atmospheric processor
Atmospheric processor1
Atmospheric processor colony

Oh, and since it's not much in the way of a sculpt, and it certainly doesn't deserve its own post, here is the Reclamation Pit, a biggified version of a bit from the Battle for Macragge set. Not that exciting, except for maybe when it's all lit up nice. In terms of material, it was made from nothing more than a fast food takeout container and some Apoxie Sculpt.

Ribbing close
A Bright Idea


  1. Just found your blog. Wonderful work!! Very inspiring, ja.

  2. Thanks chief! Glad you like it.