Monday, 14 February 2011

Delivering the Hordes: Mycetic Spore Tutorial

So I've decided to construct a Spore for my Doom of Malan'Tai model, as GW don't currently have a mini for it. I'm sure many-a-'Nid player is just as frustrated about this as i am!

Well there is hope on the horizon with this simple and effective Mycetic Spore tutorial!

Firstly I needed an idea. Tyranid organisms seem to vary wildly in form, so pining down a good idea in my head was getting difficult, so I trawled the Internet for inspiration. As soon as i saw this pic i was hooked:

The original model was done by but all he had done in the way of tutorials was simply say "I sculpted it from ProCreate Epoxy". Fine for those who can sculpt I suppose, but as I cant sculpt, I reverse engineered my own version based on his pic!

Firstly grab yourself a polystyrene egg; this one only cost me 70p! Also organize a suitable base, a CD is the obvious choice.

You'll probably want to check your egg for size as well! This one is the perfect size for one Doom model, but i think even the Hive Mind might struggle to get 20 'Stealers into this bad boy!

I wanted to make it look as though the Spore had impacted violently into the ground, so a bit of piled earth illustrated this nicely! A large crater would probably be more appropriate, but size could become an issue if i followed that through! I just used a bit of styrene foam for this part. I've also trimmed a small bit off the base of the egg so that it sits nice and flush on the base (and looks a bit buried as well)

So I originally intended to cover the whole egg in Milliput to make the 'leaves' of the shell, but that sounded like way to much effort! My solution was to carve the leaves out of the egg itself. This required a bit of thought in order to maintain some semblance of symmetry.

Then I went at it with a scalpel. Now everyone knows that polystyrene gets really flaky when you try to cut it, so i used a new blade for this bit so i didn't ruin it!

Front view. You'll see that I've carved out a strip down the middle, as this will be the soft fleshy part of the Spore.

Now it was time for my mate Milliput! I covered the base in it to give texture, and also the centre strip and rear of  the Spore. Then i just used a sculpting tool to texture the flesh  sections. This is the only bit that I'm disappointed with! It didn't come out quite as i wanted, but hey-ho! I also added the spines here, which were the ends of wooden BBQ skewers. Toothpicks would also be good, but i figured that they were a bit to skinny for this model.

Rear of the Spore.

Then I sanded the base.Once this was done i sealed the whole thing with watered down PVA glue, as the spray paint would otherwise melt the polystyrene!!

Then I painted it! I decided to leave off the yellow markings that I've put on all the other 'Nids, as i figured less is more on this occasion! Just a little bit of grey on the edges of the shell to calm down all that black, and some sort of suitable fleshy colour down the middle!

Some of you eagle eyed bloggers will notice the slight distortion on the shell leaves. This was due to the spray paint melting the polystyrene, even though i sealed it with 3 coats of glue! Its not a problem here i feel as it gives the shell a bit more texture! But it does emphasise the importance of sealing it, or your Spore will end in disaster!!

So that's the Tyranid army well and truly complete! I'll probably do a showcase on them soon.

So onto the next project which is the completion of my Death Korps Armoured Regiment! Stay tuned for some armoured might - lots of it!


  1. Wow! Beautiful conversion! It looks creepy (paintjob helps a lot!) Good work ;D

  2. Absolutley Brilliant tutorial and I honestly think the pores created by the primer add some depth and character to the pod. This is a cheap and effective method of getting spores on the table. I know that the original was another person's creation, but I think I will link this tut through DFG since I know there are a ton of Nid players still seeking solutions to the spore problem without buying toys.

  3. PS: And yes, I'm maybe a madman xD
    My budies tell me I'm just obssesive though
    I think it's the chaos power manifesting in me, just in an unconventional way hahahaha

  4. @OST - Cheers mate, glad you like! Its definately a problem for 'Nid players so i really hope that this offers the solution that their after! Cheers for adding it to your blog to!

    @Nesbet - Obsessive is good; it gets things done! And er, you might wanna get that whole 'Taint' thing looked at.....I've seen the Inquisition around here sometimes.....!

  5. Excelent job, youve bought an end to all the brain storming of how to make a decent looking spore.
    Its definately going to be easier now than the idea of using a pinecone for a basis, and it wont open and expand on me over time :D
    Great find and even better tutorial/personalisation.

  6. He he yeah its a tough job, nailing down a decent Spore idea. To be fair i had to nick someone elsesidea just to get me started! Never heard of a pinecone being used though - ingenius!

  7. I love this idea! I've already ordered 5 polystyrene eggs to get me started - I'll just drop half my swarm in by spore!


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