Epic: Tyranid Harridan

Second archive post of the week pulled across from the retired Dropship site. Something of a rarity as it’s a Tyranid Harridan which didn’t really see release for all that long. Interest in Epic by GW and Forgeworld was waning at the time and I suspect this ripped the heck out of the silicon making it a ‘beast’ to cast. Anyway, here it is again preserved for prosperity.

Sculpted by Simon Egan and based on his gargantuan Warhammer 40,000 beast, the Tyranid Harridan is probably one of the most highly detailed Epic scale models released by Forge World. The camera simply does not do justice to just how detailed this model is, with every crease and fold of skin and sinew carefully modelled to match its larger cousin. The Harridan is a seven piece kit and although easy enough to assemble is incredibly delicate. The folded lower legs and scything talons in particular are very fragile, as is the long and thin tail.

Considering how thin some of the components are, surprisingly each part only has a single pouring channel, which is easily removed and requires very little cleaning up or re-sanding. Once assembled I drilled a small hole into the underside to locate the flying stand into (Note: modelled terrain stand not included with the model).

harridan06

 

Painting the wings and body

The entire model was given the usual preparation of washing and removing any spare resin prior to assembly. Once dry it was then undercoated with a black primer and left overnight. I started by painting the under body, arms, wing sections and legs with a scab red base coat. Red Gore was then mixed into this and any large areas highlighted; such as the rib bones and arms. Increasing amounts of Blood Red was then added to the mix which was lightly dry brushed across all of the body and wing sections. Once dry a thin wash of red and brown ink was carefully applied over all of the painted sections to bring out the textures and folds in the skin. This was then left to dry completely. For the final highlights neat Blood Red was very lightly dry brushed over the model before a mix of 70/30 Red and Brown ink was painted as a wash into any areas of shadow to further enhance the texture and separation between the flesh areas.

Painting the Exoskeleton

harridan03aFor the carapace and exoskeleton I first painted a thinned down Bestial Brown as a base coat. Working away from the joins between the plates successive dry brushes worked up the colour from Elf Flesh, Bleached Bone and finally 50/50 Bleached Bone and Skull White. A then wash of brown ink was then applied to enhance the tiny striations and pock marks in the carapace. Once dried a final dry brush along the edges of Bleached Bone helped to define the shape.

The same approach was also used on the bone sections and scything talons underneath the Harridan and along the wing edges.

harridan01aFor the head the teeth were picked out in neat Skull White and the fleshy gums (for want of a better description) were further highlighted by mixing Tentacle Pink into Blood Red. The same mix was then used on the toxin sacs under the forward wings.

Use in games

Although Tyranid rules haven’t been produced at the time of writing for Epic Armageddon, it’s unlikely their role as the Tyranid Hive Fleets primary flyer will change that much from the previous version. Although described as a flyer, Harridans actually spend more time ‘gliding‘ technically; drifting on updrafts and thermals. Harridans hover high above the battlefield before swooping down into attack with their massive scything talons and venom cannons. The other role the Harridans play is as a kind of ‘brood mother’ to swarms of Gargoyles. Not capable of flying any great distance or height, Gargoyles cling to the underside of Harridans by latching onto the bony skeletal frame underneath the wings. As the Harridan dives into attack the Gargoyles drop away from underneath her like a swarm and straight into battle.

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