How to Paint Hive Fleet Jormungander – TheChirurgeon’s Method

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Jormungandr is definitely one of the more interesting hive fleets visually, with a striking yellow-plates-on-dark skin color scheme that, similar to Kevin’s Hive Fleet Dendrobatidae scheme, looks equal measures dangerous and exotic. This was the first hive fleet I decided to paint when I sat down to give Tyranids a go.

Step 1: The Skin

I started by priming the model black. Then I painted the skin with Incubi Darkness and washed that with Nuln Oil to create a dark, dull blue as my base. The skin on Jormungandr nids is meant to be very dark or even black, and I prefer to go with a dark blue and blue highlights over black with grey highlights to achieve that as I think it’ll look better against the yellow chitin.

After the wash dried I highlighted with Incubi Darkness again and then gave the skin a drybrushing of Kantor Blue mixed with a small amount of Reaper Snow Shadow to bring the shade up just a little bit.

Step 2: The Chitin

Next comes the Chitin. This was the hardest part about Jormungandr – I didn’t want something that was a bold yellow but rather more of a yellowed bone shade. I started by painting the chitin plates with Tallarn Sand. This gave it a dull yellowish color that I liked as a base.

Step 3: Highlighting Chitin

Next I covered the Chitin with Iyanden Yellow Contrast Paint, then came back to highlight it with Tallarn Sand, Rakarth Flesh, and Reaper Polished Bone as a three-step striped highlights stage. Then I hit the interior with Cassandora Yellow to shade it back to a more yellow shade at the end, giving it a nice sandy yellow-bone look.

Step 4: Final Details

I painted the exposed flesh bits, talons, and claws with Mephiston Red, then shaded it with Carroburg Crimson before highlighting again with Mephiston and Evil Sunz Scarlet. The eye was a spot of Reaper Pure White, while the tongue was Bugman’s Glow highlighted up to Emperor’s Children.

The whole thing turned out very well and gives a dark skin and yellow armor vibe without being fully black., making it a good alternative to going with a more monochromatic scheme.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


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