Friday, 17 January 2014

Tyranid Capillary Tower Tutorial

Now i've sorted a picture upload problem with Blogger, I can progress with some posts! That's to those who offered up suggestions - turns out Google Chrome worked!

So, today we have my attempt at making some Tyranid Terrain, Capillary Towers. With the recent Tyranid release the Hive Mind has reimposed its will upon me, so I'm keen to make some terrain to accompany my newly refreshed 'Nid force. 

Capillary Towers are the core of Tyranid tabletop scenery for me, so this is the first thing i wanted to try. I spotted these polystyrene cones in Hobbycraft the other day which i thought would make a good base for the Towers. 

 Start with quartering the cones:

Each quarter will form the base of a Capillary Tower.

Base it (i used plasticard here as the Styrene's so light)

Now start planing out the chitin plates that will go on the bask of the Tower. for this i used artists mounting board - its cheap and thick, good for chitin plates.

Stick them to the back of the styrene tower, overlapping them slightly as you go. As you can see, this overlapping left me a bit short at the top in the end!

So i just trimmed off the excess styrene to make it fit.

OK, so that's the bulk of the structure done. now for a few little details. These are some bead type things i found for 99p a packed. There's about 20 in there.

These were perfect for adding some spiky protrusions to the front of the Tower. You'll also see that I've added some texture to the front of the Tower with some Quick Dry Filler from a DIY store.

So that was my first attempt...however, I'm not terribly happy with it. Something about the plates on the back isn't sitting right with me. I think they're to flat, so i had another go. This time i trimmed the sides of the styrene a bit to help the card curve around it a bit better.

I followed the same steps as before, but wrapped the card around the Tower a bit more. This made me a bit happier, but not entirely satisfied!

Here's a quick scale shot:

All in all I think I might have to come up with another way to make Capillary Towers. I think I'm on the right track with the Polystyrene cones, but think i need a better way to make the chitin plates. I might have a solution for that problem, but will have a quick go before i share that with you lot!

Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

The GunGrave


  1. I quite like the look of that second one. I wouldnt be so quick to give up on these methods.

    What might help set it off a bit is if you can get showing going to demonstrate disturbed ground around the pillar from where its burst through.

  2. Seconded, the second attempt looks pretty good to me. I might suggest yet larger plates, backed up by more fleshy rather than stony texture on the inside.

  3. Thanks for your comments - yes, broken ground around the bases would liven them up a bit! I have already tried another method which I think fills most of the gaps in this process. Hopefully have the results of that up on here by the end of the week.