Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tyranids: Converted Mycetic Spores WIP Part 1

Okay so I wanted to do some Mycetic Spores for my Hive Fleet Scorpius Tyranids Army. For some reason when I think "Tyranid Terrain" I always think of egg shapes. Now Mycetic Spores are not technically terrain, but they are very terrain-like once they hit the table. So the idea for Mycetic Spores I have had percolating in my head for a while has been to make them like giant versions of the eggs from the Aliens movies.

Also I have recently cleaned off my hobby table at home enough to do some larger projects. I decided to do a bit of a how-to article on this project. It will have to be at least two parts since I didn't get finished last night. 

Did I mention this particular project was going to be done on the cheap? Just in case GW comes out with some awesome models at a later date. So here it is:

How To Make Your Own Inexpensive Mycetic Spores
Part 1

Styrofoam Eggs
The first thing you will need is some large-ish styrofoam eggs. I got these ones for $3.99 each at Hobby Lobby. I think these were the second largest size they had.

Plastic Easter Eggs
Next you will need some plastic easter eggs. These are the kind that split open to hold candy. Right before Easter I got a bag of 40 for $1.99. You can get them even cheaper now if they still have them, I saw them a week ago for 75% off!  We will use 3 of these eggs for each spore.

Old CDs
You will also need some old CDs/DVDs to use as bases. I have a stash of these from old video games and prior years of Turbo Tax. - Free!  

Floral Stem Wire
The last thing you will need is some floral stem wire. It is metal wire wrapped in fabric. You can find this at Hobby Lobby in the floral section. The ones I bought are 40 18" sections for $2.99. We will use 2 or  3 18" pieces for each spore.

Separated Egg
Take 3 of the plastic Easter eggs for each spore and separate the halves. We will only use the rounded half.
Basic Spore Form
Attach three of the plastic egg halves to the base of each of the large Styrofoam eggs. They should be spaced  evenly around the base. You should be able to push the sharp edges of the plastic egg into the Styrofoam. Then use a hot glue gun or foam glue to glue the plastic egg halves to the Styrofoam and also to the CD base. The above picture shows my assembled spores.  I have also cut an "X" into the top point of the Styrofoam egg. This will be the edge of the flaps that would open to let the passengers out.

The next step is to add some tentacles to represent the spores lash whips and ripper tentacles. Take 2 or 3 of the 18" pieces and cut them into roughly 6" long sections. I wasn't sure how I wanted to place the tentacles, so I did each of my three spores a bit differently. One has 6 tentacles spaced evenly around the middle and a couple of shorter ones at the top. The second has 9 tentacles arranged in 3 triangles on various sides. The last has 3 larger tentacles that each split into 3 tentacles. I did this simply by twisting the ends of 3 sections of wire together before inserting them into the Styrofoam. Once they were inserted into the foam, I used the hot glue gun to secure the wire to the foam.

Here is a close up of one of the spores.

Spore with Paper Mache Skin
My plan was to cover the Styrofoam eggs with a paper mache skin. I have done this before just using white glue (Elmer's or PVA depending what continent you live on) and newspaper. Unfortunately I didn't have any newspaper available so I tried some substitutes. Note: Printer/Xerox Paper does NOT work! So next I tried a paper towel on one of my spores. The jury is still out on this one, I will have to wait till it dries to see how it turned out. If it is okay I will do the other two, otherwise I will get some newspaper to cover them with.

So that brings us to the end of part 1 of our how to. Basically all that is left is to add some dirt/earth around the base of the spore, some green stuff work to add details and painting. I will cover those steps in upcoming post(s).

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

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