HPC: Splinter Fleet Syvyys Color Scheme


For the 2014 Independent Character’s Hobby Progress Challenge (HPC) I’m slowly working on my new Tyranids. I will eventually go back and repaint all of my old Tyranids too, but I have enough in front of me to last the whole year. This year’s HPC uses a 1K Zone Mortalis list for the February through June installation and 1K of expansion for July through November.

Here is what I’ve come up with so far, using the Combatant (or standard) Zone Mortalis FOC. It’s not the best list, but it’s what I want to paint right now:

Deathleaper – 130
Genestealer Brood (15) and Broodlord – 270
Termagant Brood (15) w/ upgrades – 77
Termagant Brood (15) w/ upgrades – 77
Hormagaunt Brood (15) – 75
Hormagaunt Brood (15) – 75
Zoanthrope Brood (2) – 100
Venomthrope – 45
Ravener Brood (3) – 90
Gargoyle Brood (10) – 60

999 Points

As I paint, the list will change, no doubt. I’ve got some Biovore’s and Warriors on my hobby desk that I’ll probably include too.

February Challenge – 145 points

  • Zoanthrope Brood (2 models)
  • Venomthrope
  • Gargoyles?

March Challenge – ??? points

  • ???
  • ???

In order to compete in the HPC you’re required to post pictures of your work product before you begin painting.  Since I’m using these pictures in my HPC thread I’ll post them all here also:



I added another Zoanthrope to my list a few days ago, once I decided on my color scheme.  This guy was finished in Hive Fleet Leviathan colors already, but I’ve decided on a Leviathan splinter fleet with some color morphs.  He got the airbrush basecoat treatment.  While it was sad to see a completed model covered up, it was a bit cathartic too.


On the way to coming up with my final color scheme I tried out a number of ideas.  I almost set on the standard Leviathan colors because I wasn’t having any luck with matching colors to my inspiration photo.  But eventually, I got close enough to be happy.  Here are the Leviathan test models I sprayed while working on the splinter fleet colors.



I also tried a more earthy color scheme, something more cockroach like, but while I think it would have looked good on the larger models, it didn’t scale down well enough for my liking.


So, with this picture as inspiration, I finally found my colors.


Here they are, works in progress, but none the less.  Photos do not line up with the steps, I didn’t take step-by-step photos yet.  That will follow in a future tutorial.


I primed the models with Vallejo (AV) white, as it helps me find imperfections in the fine cast or metal easier (more contrast) and the same with mold lines I missed during plastic prep.

The base coat is VMA 71.027 Light Brown – this is the grungy yellowish that peaks through the final colors, and I cover the whole model, even lightly on the carapace.
Then I used VMA 71056 Black Grey to hit the shadows where the carapace joins the fleshy bits.


On my most recent attempts, I applied a light spray of VMA 71004 Blue to the carapace in an attempt to give me a little interest at the edges of the carapace. I’m not sure if this step is necessary in the future.

Then I hit most of the carapace with VMA 71005 Intermediate Blue, I feather it out thinly towards the edges, letting the BLue and Light Brown show through towards the very edges.

I come back with VMA 71046 Pale Grey Bluey and hit the high points on the fleshy honey segments and give a coat to the torso and tail bits that are facing light sources, leaving the Light Brown in the recesses and on the underside of things.


At this point I switch over to a brush and apply GW White Scar thinned town over all the fleshy highlights to make them pop.

I use GW Chaos Black to coat the talons.

I apply the Intermediate Blue via brush anywhere needed to cleanup overspray from the Pale Grey Blue.

Back the airbrush I mask off the edges of the carapace and feather some watered down VMA 71089 Light Se Blue over the highlights and edges of the carapace.

Followed up by a thinned down AV Satin Varnish. I’m not happy with the lack go sheen from the satin through the airbrush, so I’m going to see if I can pick up some gloss and mix the two. Even via brush, the sheen is pretty minimal on the satin and I want the carapace to have a bit of a shine (not high gloss mind you) to it.


Once this has dried I applied an oil filter over pretty much the entire model, absent the flesh highlights. I used W&N 465 Payne’s Grey (which is an excellent all purpose wash color when you want a cool shade) mixed with Gamsol (an odorless mineral spirit). My first pass was way to dilute and very little oil ended up staying where I wanted it. I cleaned up the runoff and reapplied the filter the next day with a much thicker wash mixture. This is where the picture at the top of the post was taken.

Once the oil wash has dried I did some spot touch up on the flesh with really thin GW White Scar.


I plan to highlight the black talons with VGC Cold Grey and I need to find the right color for the depths of the carapace joints on the topside of the model. Something with a bit of purple to it or a really dark black blue. I tried GW Necromancy Abyss but when thinned it was too light.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for the read.  I’m looking for a cool name for my Leviathan splinter fleet.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.












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