How to Paint Hive Fleet Kraken – Tom of the Beard Bunker’s Method

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The scheme for my accidental Hive Fleet Kraken army is very much optimised for high speed, whilst maintaining consistency.  The one thing about Contrast is that you can’t really go back and fix it later if you make a mistake without making a mess, so the order of operations is quite carefully thought out (aka looks weird).  As with all contrast paint, always be careful about pooling, “one thick coat” doesn’t mean “drown it”.  

Step 1. Primer

Spray Wraithbone Primer on the model

Step 2. Yellow Bits

Paint the eyes Averland Sunset Base (some guns have eyes too, creepy gribblies).

Step 3. Chitin Plates

Paint all chitin armour, blades and claws Flesh Tearers Red. I experimented with the teeth too but they looked odd so, counterintuitively, they are left Wraithbone.

Now clean up any mistakes with Wraithbone.  Mistakes after this stage are hard to fix. 

Step 4. Skin

Paint the entire model in Skeleton Horde.  It’s much quicker to paint the whole thing than to avoid the red except on really big models, but for consistency all models are treated the same. Plus it adds a bit more contrast on the red.


Step 5. Inner Bits

Carefully paint the fleshy bits Magos Purple.  This is the tongue, the wing membranes, the joints and the weird vet bits in the sides of limbs.  This is the only real tricky part where you should slow down, but capillary action and a sharp brush are your friends.


That’s it.  A few units get a special extra colour, like the brains on Zoanthropes or the split-open birthing sack of a Tervigon, but for 90% of the army this is the entire process.  It’s very quick, and you can squirt them out like a champion Norn Queen.  

Credit: Tom of the Beard Bunker

My biggest self-criticism of them is that the red could do with an edge highlight, the contrast (little ‘c’) is a bit low, but the overall effect when you stack up a swarm on a table is fantastic.  They are definitely “battle ready” and not “parade ready”, but they look great swarming a table as can be seen frequently in Charlie B’s Fury Of The Swarm articles

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