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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Project #DominaNid3: Tyranid Dominatrix scratchbuild is complete!


So it has been a GOOD LONG TIME since I posted my last update on my #DominaNid3 Tyranid Dominatrix project, but I'm happy to report that, after what felt like a very long 2 years of off and on work, the BEAST IS COMPLETE!

Not to worry, little Termagant. I'll keep you safe.

Awww. You little guys think you're in charge of the swarm? That's cute!

As I did with the Dactylis build, I'll post another article a bit later showing the latter half of the build process, but, for now, let's revel in her completion! 

A Tyranid Titan

The Tyranid Dominatrix is BIG. People don't quite realize how big when it's alongside Tyranid critters, so I borrowed my buddy Paolo's Knight Titan to act as a proper barry, and that seemed to better illustrate the scale for folks. 
And, since the client who commissioned the Tyranid Dominatrix was concerned that the thing's tail wasn't nearly deadly enough, and it definitely needed barbs on the bottom, sides, AND TOP, here's a look at what would happen if it tried to uppercut a Knight with that tail:

 
Started from the Bottom Now We're Here

And though this is mostly a scratch build, I SWEAR that there's a Forgeworld Scythed Heirodule under there somewhere. As with my previous Tyranid Dominatrix builds, I started this one with the Scythed Heirodule cut up (here's the proof), but—as is often the case with me—I wound up pretty much sculpting over the whole of the original model. Still, here are some more comparison shots with the original.


A Weighty Lass

Though she's got a little bit of insulation foam and aluminum foil at her core, this Tyranid dominatrix is, pretty much, pure putty as I had to scratch build her arms, legs, tail, and most of her back. That shit adds up, and in the end, when fully assembled, she clocks in at close to a kilogram!
In terms of length and height, the Tyranid Dominatrix is roughly 6.5 inches from hoof bottom to tip of its psychic crown...
...and she's just over a foot long at 13 inches.

The Psychic Crown

Speaking of the tip of her psychic crown, that has to be one of my favourite parts of the model. Our dear friend and fluff librarian Hive Fleet Barghest would remind us that the actual Tyranid Dominatrix is the psychic rider of the back of the massive beast, and the beast below is just so much glorified biologic mobility device and ablative armour. 

So I wanted to make sure the rider looked both regal and formidable as it's meant to be orders of magnitude more psychically potent than your average Hive Tyrant, with a ultra destructive Warp Lance ability. I tried to represent this power on the model by aligning the spines on the rider's head and the top of the biocannon barrel to look like structures meant for focusing massive amounts of psychic energy.

There's always a bigger Tyranid

While building the Tyranid Dominatrix on one of my hobby streams, I joked about having messed up the positioning of the feet somewhat, and how the best way to correct it would have her perched on a piece of terrain. And someone commented that she should be smashing a space marine dreadnought, and then Charles, the client who I was building her for, agreed that would be great and that he'd cover the cost of the Dread. 

So I not only got to partially assemble another Redemptor Dreadnought (a true joy of a model if you've never assembled one!), I also got to absolutely slag it!
In terms of how to slag a Redemptor Dreadnought, the secret is blasting it with a melta--er--heat gun. I initially tried it from the front but wound up melting some of the detail. Then I got smart, cut off the back of the dread since it would be against the base anyway, then blasted it again from the back and from the inside. This made the plastic soft without marring the exterior detail. Then all that was left was to smush it down to size with the actual foot of the Tyranid Dominatrix. 
I took the liberty of illustrating the true force of a Tyranid Dominatrix stomp by modeling the dread as it its internal seals had been ruptured, and the atrophied limbs of the mummified space marine piloting the thing were hanging out. The pilot bits were donated from Cursed City[REDACTED] zombies.
But I also used the victim model as an opportunity to tell a bit more of a story by having a helpless hormagaunt crushed in the Dreadnought's powerfist. The lesson here is simple: don't squash bugs because there's always a bigger bug around the corner!

Getting her painted

As I noted above, this critter was a commission piece for @CTarnor over on Instagram. I've already mailed her out to him, and she should be showing up any day now. Charles has mentioned he's real excited to get her painted up, so be sure to track his progress over on Instagram.

Some people have asked if it was hard to give up the girl after two years of work on her. The immediate answer is no as Charles paid me good money to take this project on for him, and he's been very patient with me as I worked on her around other projects.

However, the reality is that I'm just thrilled to finally be finished this project after so long. It's also the case that I would NEVER want to paint her myself. Hefting 1kg of putty as you try to finish sculpting is work enough. I would hate to have to heft the same while trying to apply paint to it!

So, though I'm eager to see what Charles manages with the girl, I surely don't envy him!

As mentioned before, I'll share another post in the future with more WIP photos for the Tyranid Dominatrix, so if there's any particular part of the build that you'd like to see in more detail, please be sure to note it in the comments below.

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