How to Paint Hive Fleet Behemoth – TheChirurgeon’s Method

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Hive Fleet Behemoth was the OG Tyranid fleet, but didn’t really get much recognition of its color scheme, which wasn’t finalized when the first Codex Tyranids released (at that point Tyranids came in all kinds of crazy colors – 2nd ed ‘Eavy Metal were pretty wild). By the time the army did get a more concrete color scheme, it was third edition and Hive Fleet Kraken had become the studio scheme. Still, Behemoth has a lot to offer as a very solid red-and-blue scheme that’s easy to paint.

Step 1. Basecoat and Wash the Skin

I start by priming the model black, then give the skin – the parts under the armor plates – a coat of Khorne Red, with a bit of Mephiston Red over top of that. Once those are down I wash the model with Carroburg Crimson to darken the recesses and smooth some of those transitions.

Step 2. Highlight the Skin

This is a three-stage process. I start by highlighting the skin with Mephiston Red, and then raise that up with a mix of Mephiston Red and Evil Sunz Scarlet. Next I drybrush the skin with Evil Sunz Scarlet and then a little bit of Wild Rider Red for the highest parts. I’ll come back a bit later and highlight some of those edges with a brush if I missed them in the drybrush stage.

Step 3. Armor and Claw Basecoats

Next comes the other basecoats. I hit the claws with Abaddon Black and highlight that with Corvus Black, blending them to do smooth transitions, and I paint the armor with Reaper Midnight Blue, though I think I’d use Night Lords Blue if I did this again.

Step 4. Chitinous Plates

I follow our standard method of painting plates here – I start by washing the armor with Nuln Oil, then I highlight it again with Midnight Blue. Next I start painting in lines on it, first with Kantor Blue, then Caledor Sky, and then finally a mix of Caledor Sky and Lothern Blue. You could also come back and hit the edges/corners of this with pure Lothern Blue afterward if you wanted more severe highlights.

Step 5. Final Details

Then it’s time for the finishing touches. I edge highlight the claws and talons with Mechanicus Standard Grey and Celestra Grey. I’ll paint the tongue with Bugman’s Glow and highlight that up to Emperor’s Children. The teeth will be Rakarth Flesh highlighted with Reaper Polished Bone. And the eyes are just a drop of Reaper Pure White. 

And that’s it! Painting a bigger bug isn’t much different – just larger areas. For bigger bugs I might recommend doing some more serious blends on the red skin, with darker and lighter tones, and even some more purple hues.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

This article is part of a larger series on How to Paint Tyranids. To return to that series, click here.