Saturday, 25 July 2020

Kill Team: Giger Genestealers

Hi folks,

Early this week I had a game planned with the guys that we ended up cancelling. The cancellation itself was not unexpected; everything is on a knife edge these days. We are all feeling pretty exposed and there is a special type of exhaustion that comes with that. I decided to spend the night speed-painting four genestealers for a new Tyranid Kill-Team, using some H. R. Giger vibe. Here is the process from start to finish, taking about 4 hours on and off (I played some Mario Cart with the boi, ate dinner and helped put the kids to bed as well!). As you will see, it is another case of just how bad miniatures can look before they actually start to look good.

Steps 1 and 2: Priming and Undercoat

I primed these bad boys black to get the most out of my metallics, using a Citadel rattle can. As soon as it was dry I added a layer of Leadbelchers with another rattle can. Leadbelchers can go on like a hot mess sometimes, but I have had a lot of luck with it, using it for my Tyranids, Imperial Knights and Iron Snakes.

Steps 3 and 4: Black Armour and Sepia Glave

Once the Leadbelchers was dry I went back and picked the armour out with black again using some quick brushwork. I then added a heavy sepia glaze that I left to dry completely before adding a second, lighter glaze to the centre of each section. I quick dry-brush around the joints was followed by a third, very light, sepia wash into the joints. This is how I highlight the "skin" of my Splinter Fleet Numereji 'Nids. The black armour wash dry-brushed with The Fang, then edge highlighted (kind-of) with 1:1 Ushbati Bone/ The Fang.

Steps 6, 7 and 8: Eyes, Tongue and Gore

Up to this stage, I have literally been flying with the brush. Shooooom. To say that it has not required brush control is a bit of a furphy: I have used brush control to go faster with just enough accuracy that I don't have to clean up mistakes. I have found that you can get away a lot if you back this up with some careful detail. So for the next step I really slowed myself down, fixed my posture, got my breathing right, gave my eyes a few extra seconds to focus and painted the eyes in Warpstone Glow, followed by a dot of bright yellow. The tongue was a mix of a Vallejo purple I have and Mephiston Red, with I then mixed with a little Ushbati Bone to create a highlight. In the final step I used my secret weapon, Tamiya Clear Red, to add some gore.

Step 9 and 10: Basing and Weathering

I quickly added a layer of PVA to the base and added some shell grit. Over night it set in place, allowing me to add some static grass with superglue. The last step was to add some orange, brown and purple to the metal grate under the Leader specialist using a stipling technique, to make it looked weathered and rusted.

Overall, I am very pleased with the final product and look forward to playing some Kill Team games with them. My Lictor team has already proven to be a potent force (perhaps too potent). These genestealers have the advantage of being able to find cover a little more easily than the Lictors can. The three Ravenors I have added can really rip around the board throwing out a lot of shots and attacks. Both are pretty squishy, though; a little less forgiving than the Lictors, so should be a bit more fun to play against. They also give all players complete license to quote Aliens all night long. Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards. 

See you across the table,



  1. I'm a sucker for Giger Alien heads. Lovely work! It's always interesting to see other people's techniques and pecadillos. I haven't painted a batch of models in one sitting in years but I think I might have gotten a bit uppity. Having said all that, I paint eyes in exactly the same way as you do. Well, obviously I don't mean the colours.

    1. It has been a while since I really cranked out a unit as well. Working with my son to paint his first orks has reminded me that it is a possibility if you don't mind lowering your standards for a few hours :-) My armadillos are the best armadillos ;-)

  2. Love 'em! Nice work there.

    1. Cheers :-) I am a big Aliens fan, so this Kill Team is going to see a lot of action.