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Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants Poll
Pheremone Tick by Tristan_The_Trygon 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Provisioner by Sanderman 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Spiderling by nuklearangel 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Tyranicus mandibuli by Vonny 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Harvester Bioship by Drakis 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
Inflecteuthis by chuckles 46%  46%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 24
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 Post subject: Behind the Fighting - Voting Polls (Entrants 7-12)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:43 am 
The Red Terror
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Notice: If you DO NOT see the entrant you would like to vote for please take a look at this other thread. The seperation is due to only 10 options allowed per poll.

Entrants 1-6

Welcome back! Another month of modelling has come to a close, this time with 12 contestants.

Like before the winner of this contest will win a fabulous Trygon kit from our lovely sponsor, Heavy Support Games; Canada’s premier hobby discounter, offering thousands of products for tabletop wargames, trading card games, board games, roleplaying games, books and collectibles.

A few things to remember when voting:
1. You only get one vote so make sure it counts.
2. You may- if you wish, vote for yourself, as all voting is anonymous.

Also make sure to keep in mind the point of this competition: to create a creature that fills a non-combat rolein a tyranid fleet, and accompany it with a short piece of fluff. Don’t just take into consideration the looks of a model; choose one based on its background as well.

Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants Gallery

Cyclops by sofacoin
A common mistake made by junior Imperial officers is the assumption that the only threat from Tyranids is the brute force they are able to bring to bear. Indeed, a cursory analysis of the reports of swarms of Hormagaunts pressing prey into a building only for it to be shattered by some predator from below, or of the incredible psychic blasts of Zoanthropes smashing open vehicles that genestealers may rend apart the survivors may miss a more subtle, and more significant strength: the unity of the Hive Mind, driving forward every constituent part of its gestalt body in a harmony to which the most well-ordered and disciplined of troops cannot compare.
However, even this knowledge hides another assumption: that all this synergy is driven to combat strength. The thought that something as savage and focussed as the Hive Mind could perform sabotage or espionage is rare, and the only accepted danger in this regard is the horror of genestealer cults subverting entire societies and the occasional reports of assassinations by the unseen talons of lictors- both threats that act independently, fallen outside the range of the synaptic web.
They are a spy or an assassin, working on their own initiative or on those compulsions granted them whenever they may commune with the one mind... too slow, even too unreliable to be of use to an army that acts, as a whole, at the speed of thought.
To this end, Cyclops are the peering eyes and probing fingers of the hive mind: granted with a synaptic link strong enough to cover hundreds of miles, they act as the hive thinks and what they see is seen by the whole. Through this, every glanced computer screen is read by the hive, every sewer exit located and every vulnerable munitions store found- all information that can be used as soon as it is known. Indeed, where appropriate, the cyclops itself may act upon it, compelled to carefully alter an order, assassinate an officer, or shred a fragile coolant pipe.
While generally subsumed, the Cyclops does have those instincts required of it should it somehow fall outside the influence of the hive. Necessarily granted intelligence to bear their synaptic link, they are both cautious and curious, even cowardly: despite their size, they scavenge and steal and hunt small prey, avoiding confrontation with even lightly-armed humans- a reasonable reaction considering how ungifted they are in melee or at range.
Physically, the Cyclops is strong and robust, able to cut through metal and rend stone and bone, and thus able to climb any surface or carve through bulkheads; it is also fast, able to scurry out of sight quickly enough most those whom have ever seen one convinced themselves mistaken. This speed, strength and durability does not in any way help the beast's awkward posture in combat, where the relatively short limbs and large, soft head make the creature incredibly vulnerable.
Rarely is a Cyclops found in any battlefield. When it is, it's generally due to the creature having outlived its usefulness or when it is being used as a synaptic hub for more refined ambush predators.

Cathedrachnus by Catharsix
Coming soon to a strategic Imperial world near you: The Cathedrachnus: the living, walking, throne/battle carriage of the Genestealer Magus.

The sessile nature of the Magus, devoted as it is to the exclusive development of staggering psychic power, leads to a bloated form and atrophied muscles, hardly ready to march into the heat of battle. To ensure that the Magus' potent cerebral might can be properly leveraged to crush the weak-minded and fleshy, the Hivemind has created an armored, comfortable, and highly mobile creature to transport the Magus. Known as the Cathedrachnus, this highly specialized xenomorph serves to to propel the formidable Magus forward, to lead the Genestealers and their cult through his indomitable psychic will, and crush those in the path of the Swarm's onslaught. The Cathedrachnus also serves as a living throne from which the Magus can lord over his brood. Few cult adherents and leaders are permitted to enter the august but closely shrouded cloister of the horrible, quasi-messiah of those damned hordes. These heretical priests who lead covert Genestealer cults, sub-rosa sects unwittingly doomed to smooth the way for their own destruction at the hands (or rather, claws and teeth), of The Great Devourer.

There are several noteworthy evolutions of this distinct creature. The large carapace ensconces the Magus in a protective shell, helping shield him from weapons fire. The fleshy area on the creature's back gives the Magus a place to comfortably perch, whether at rest or in the frenzy of combat. The Cathedrachnus' six legs give it the ability to move about freely in most terrains. It is believed that the creature is linked to the Magus in a more direct and immediate way than the rest of his brood, enabling the Magus to move the Cathedrachnus about as effortlessly as if he were any other ambulatory Tyranid. Finally, a curious external xenomorph, in the form of a worm-like creature with a chitin fore-shell in a semi-circular shape seems to exist to hold cylindrical objects, of the sort that might contain critical bio-nutrients in liquid form. (Drink-holder! But no spill guard... Credit to my neighbor's son Max, who plays Tau, for the suggestion.)

Siren by Isildur
Infestation Fluff

The Tyranids have evolved myriads of creatures specialising in direct brutal assaults. However it is not always efficient for a hive fleet to invest vast reserves of biomass in a full planetary assault. The target may be too well defended, or the population or ecology may be too sparse or too competitive for easy harvesting. Alternatively a very rich target might be identified that the hive fleet is not able to attack en mass for strategic reasons. In these instances a specialised Kraken fleet may be dispatched stealthily to a low orbit of the planet from whence they rain all manner of seeds, larva and eggs onto the planet below.

Each of these seeds or eggs will develop into a form of Tyranic life. Whilst these creatures are not true assault organisms and have no awareness of the hive mind, they and have digestive systems and reproductive systems which allow them to operate totally independently of synaptic control. These creatures are in general not a direct threat to planetary control, (though many view humans as a tasty snack) however due to their Tyranic genetic heritage they quickly come to dominate any ecosystem that they are introduced to. When the swarm descends the dormant synapse link in these infestation creatures is triggered and they make their way to be digested, meek as lambs.

Tyranid Siren fluff

The Siren is one of the many Tyranid creatures used to infest worlds before an assault begins. Unlike the Ubiquitous Genestealers, Sirens are not designed for open insurrection. They are bred for one thing alone. Psychological warfare. A single Siren larva will make its way to a dark corner of a human city and slowly grow, preying on local fauna and the occasional child, and, as it grows, adults. Sirens hunt by focussing their impressive psychic presence onto a single individual close by, and making it that creature’s hearts desire to run to and to embrace the many toxic tentacles of the Siren. If it were not for these Psychic powers and its venomous touch a Siren would be virtually defenceless, as it is soft bodied and physically weak.

Once fully grown a Siren begins its mental assault. A single adult Siren has such a developed psychic presence that it can read and subtly affect all sentient minds within several hundred meters. A person experiencing the initial phase of a Siren attack would think that they hear things, ranging from mild tinnitus, half heard whisperings or a sound like glass being scratched. The siren then focuses on any incidences of anger, frustration fear and amplifies them, to the exclusion of ‘positive’ emotions. The cumulative effect of a Siren attack in a city where dozens or hundreds of these beasts are at work is a gradually increasing level of violence and disorder.

Additionally those individuals that the Sirens detect are most malleable to their manipulation will be subjected to a different type of interference. They will experience both the pits of despair but also rays of desperate hope, like shafts of golden sunlight. The combination can unhinge a rational mind, and in the right individual can create a devoted prophet. These crazies may band together to begin to form cults like “The Cult of the Great Devourer” or “Cult of the Sky Mother” etc. A City or hive exposed to concerted Siren activity for a prolonged period of time will eventually become ungovernable as constant crime and minor rebellion plague the forces of law and order. The Hivemind use these creatures to increase the chance of successful Genestealer uprisings, to disrupt civilisation and to tie up large numbers of troops in law and order capacity.

Some of the Biologis Orders have suggested that large groups of these or similar creatures may be responsible for some navy tragedies, in particular the loss of “flame of Purity” a lunar class cruiser that, during a fighting withdrawal form a splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan, switched off her shields, stopped firing and altered course taking her into the heart of the swarm, never to re-emerge.

Sirens are also becoming a hugely valuable commodity on the black market as their emotion enhancing abilities make them favourite torture method or pleasure enhancer among the criminal underclass. How much information Sirens are able to return to the Hive Mind is unknown as they seem to be autonomous, and may only have a very limited Synapse connection.

Victualler by Yaleing
Imperial Designation: Victualler
Common Name: Gravy Train
Species Name: Tryanicus Rescario

Victuallers have a vital function in terrestrial tyranid forces should the consumption of the prey planet prove difficult. As we well know the hive fleet prefers prey planets that provide little resistance. But should the local forces hold the tyranids at bay the tyranid ground forces will need resupply. Most tyranids that soldiers face on the battlefield have a very simplistic digestive system. (This is incredibly robust and accounts for a large part of the resiliency of smaller tyranids.) But while enough to keep the battlefield tyranids supplied with all the energy they need, it is deeply inefficient. So the victualler will absorb some of the slurry in digestion pools and pre digest it to create a vitamin and energy rich food source for other tyranids.

This allows more biomass to be kept for the hive ships, or in a worst case scenario, to allow a small enclave of tyranids to continue the fight when cut of from other forces and ready food supplies.

Ambassador by Hydra
Tyrannicus Exemplum Annexus

The Tyrannicus Exemplum Annexus made its first appearance during the fights for Galamathar VI, though it is highly douptfull that imperial intelligence ever actually "saw" this creature.
The Hive Mind of Hive Fleet Hydra originally created this specimen for fast information transfer to the Nornqueens. These informations are of biological origin. DNA and memory of fallen enemies are broadcasted via synapse to the hive ships.
This seems to skip the normal progress of harvesting the biomass, but enables the Fleet and the Nornqueen to react faster to possible threats and use the DNA of their enemies for their advantage.

In the battle for Galamthar VI this specimen gained a new name. The Members of the wide spread Genestealer Cults embraced their apperance and named the "Ambassadors". Members that carried important strategic informations were brought forth, for the Ambassadors to embrace their knowlegde and direct it to the fleet.

This unique interaction between Cults and Tyranids seems to be an reaction to the "burned earth" policy the Imperial Guard is fighting the Tyrannic Invasions with. The Tyranids have learned that infiltration and disorder can be more efficent than a full assault and that exisiting Cults often are faster successfull in their task than the mathematical possibility that a single Genestealer is successfull.

Cutterbug by Harald
Cutterbug - Harald
+++ Extract from the report of Death Watch Sergant Manuel Dominiqus after the exploration of a half dead hiveship+++

.....during our exploration in the badly damaged, or in this case badly wounded, left flank of the hiveship we entered a tunnellike structure. There we encountered a strange new type of organism, as far as i know there is no report about a sighting of this genotype. The organism showed all typical features that are associated with tyranids, the most prominent bodypart being an enormous chitinous head with a beaklike jaw. With this jaw it cut through damaged bony structures, veinlike pipes and hard chitinous parts of the hiveship. The muscles in the jaw and the chitin must be of the strongest and hardest kind ever encountered so far, as it easily cut through material that we couldn´t damage with our holy bolters. The beast seemed unaware of us, we couldn´t make out anything like eyes, it seems that the organism is blind and totally dependet on synapsecontrol. As we shot it to bring back a specimen, it turned on us and attacked, it was slow and not reacting as fast as nids normally do, maybe the link to the hivemind was not working properly, but we could not kill it. It bit through the ceramitarmour of brothermarine daniell´s leg and seperated it easily. Imagine what a brood of these beast could do if they entered an imperialship...
We had to draw back as more of these creatures entered the fightingground. As we have been forced to retreat there is only vid-data for you to further examine the creature. we leave it to you to specify the origins of the creature, beeing a new organism or just an mutation of an existing one does not change the fact the we already have a name for it. After loosing his leg brothermarine daniell called the beast cutterbug and we kept that name, he will get a bionic replacement soon. We speculated about the function of the cutterbugs, we have one theory that seems most likely to us. As it worked in the damaged parts of the hiveship we think its some kind of repair organism. Cutting of parts that are to badly damaged to be "healed" by the hiveship itself. It is even possible that this process involves a reduction of pain suffered by the ship (if it knows pain any at all). How the reconstruction of these parts is accomplished is unknown to us. An other function of the cutterbugs could be in reconstructing in a growing hiveship. As we know that those ships can grow it is possible that in some stages it could be necessary to rebuilt some internal constructs to allow further growth. But all of this is mere speculation.

On our retreat we............

Pheremon Tick by Tristan_The_Trygon
Tyrandii adverto

Commonly known as a 'Pheromone tick' this creature is seeded before the swarms at areas of importance, such as a hive city, to attract the lesser beasts. while common sense would advise that such a large creature would be easy to find and destroy, they are adept at finding places to secrete themselves, and even when found and destroyed the chemcial compounds that act as the lure can linger for months.

Provisioner by Sanderman
The Provisioners purpose is to digest a portion of the raw biomass produced in the digestion pools and convert it into a super rich nutrient sludge with which to feed other Tyranids in the field. This allows many Tyranid organisms to have extremely simple digestive systems, and therefore grow higher ratio of muscle and Armour mass, unafflicted by the need of more complex digestive systems.

Spiderling by nuklearangel
Great numbers of these small creatures reside within the bowels and innards of the mighty Hive Ships. They skitter throughout, responding to foreign intrusions and disposing of dead flesh, much like white blood cells in human blood. Once found, swarms of these Spiderlings spray a highly concentrated acidic liquid, rendering the blemish down to a slush in very short order. This is then sucked up via the proboscis found on its head, and stored in the sac underneath the thorax. The Spiderling then disposes of this slush in the filtration organs located deep within the Hive Ship. Thus the inner workings of the biological vessel are kept clean.

Tyranicus mandibuli by vonny
+++Magos Biologis report+++
Grand Magos Biologis Remulon,

Recent investigations into hive fleet Charybdis have uncovered an additional organism used in the later stages of Tyranid invasion. This creature, dubbed 'tyranicus Mandibuli' for its large mandibles, can be seen on the accompanying pic feed. Consistent with earlier attempts at recording organisms in a late state of Tyranid invasion, the pic quality is, sadly, very low. However, clearly can be seen that this xenos, not much larger than a ripper, has the usual three limb configuration common to Tyranid creatures, albeit that these limbs are very small in comparison to the rest of its body.
Of interesting observation is that the creature captured on the accomanying pic does not have the colors commonly associated with the hive fleet. As reports have been made of similar creatures with the associated colors, there are a few theories concerning the strange coloration of this beast. Some speculate that it was newly created and thus not yet 'hardened out' into its eventual colors. Others claim it may be covered in so much dust that the creature seems grey. These theories are of course follies, and it is my personal oppinion that this particular specimen may have some shared genetics with the Lictor species, specifically the chameleonic scales.
Note that the large claws at the from of the creature are actually jaws - this creature has mandibles almost as large as the entire rest of the creature. It is theorized by Magos Biologis Ludus that this creature uses these mandibles to chew through any structure that is too large and inefficient for minoris omniphagea (rippers in common nomenclature) to wholly consume step by step. Following the separation of the structure (which can be anything from support pillars in buildings to complete trees) from any solid ground, the tyranicus mandibulis carries or drags these items towards the closest digestion pool for reconstitution by the hive fleet. Surprising strength has been witnessed to be shown by these small creatures, carrying up to 50 times and even dragging up to 500 times their own estimated body weight towards the digestion pools.
These creatures seem to be devoid of any optical sensory apparatus, and thus are theorized to act on pheromone emissions of rippers locating structures too inefficient for them to chew up completely. Indeed, no tyranicus mandibuli has been spotted outside of areas previously or currently visited by the minoris omniphagea.
Though no high threat level comes from these creatures, the fact that the hive fleet has adepted to consume large structures more economically by dumping them directly into the digestion pools is a worrisome development. This hive fleet may consume planets faster, and thus advance faster, than it has before, giving us less and less time to prepare proper defenses.

+++Report by Magos Biologis Turenea+++

Harvester Bioship by Drakis
Exerpts from transmission from Science Vessel 'Silent Shadow' to Aun'Va, Ethreal Caste: Re: Tyranid Hive Fleet.

Our long term study mission of the hive fleet passing by our sector has revealed to us some of the mysteries about the ecology of the hive fleet. Using the cloaking system on our ship, we have managed to maintain a close watch on the fleet without being detected.


We have catalogued a form of bioship that has not been recorded previously, and we have found that it plays a very vital role in the ecology of the fleet. This bioship seems to have been evolved from the mid-range cruiser, but with a completely different purpose. It appears to be little more than a giant stomach and its body is bloated with huge sacs designed to store harvested biomatter.

We have named this class of bioship the Harvester because of its primary purpose, it uses its feeder tendrils to suck up the biomass from tyranid infested planets. It then stores this biomass as a slurry inside its massive sacs for the hive fleet to make use of.

We have watched as the smaller bioships latch onto the harvester and siphon off the slurry in the same way that a mosquito siphons blood. Furthermore, the Harvester bioship has demonstrated limited bioengineering ability, it can produce larval torpedos and pupae fighters, both of which have been observed swarming around the bioship in schools.

We were all shocked to watch one swarm of fighters fly directly into the maw of one of the larger ships. Clearly there is much more symbiosis within the fleet ecology than previously thought. Our scientists have speculated that the torpedos and fighters play the role of food for the larger ships just as much as they play a combat role in offense.

As we are here merely to observe and our ship is built for stealth, not fighting, we have not risked trying to get samples of the torpedos or fighters, but we have observed the fleet in confrontation with other ships and believe that the larval torpedos are rich in caustic biomass, and the fighters with bioplasma. Both seem to be required for sustaining the fleet.


Transmission ends. For the greater good.

Inflecteuthis by chuckles
Shoals of these creatures rove across the exterior of the larger Hive Ships in the Tyranid Fleet, picking off any small parasites or debris that may have hitched a ride on their charge. Thay have also been known to swarm around battle wounds and create a living shield with their shells, as well as tenderly eating the dead, charred flesh away from the wound so as to promote healing. It would also appear as if the Inflecteuthis can warn it's Hive Ship of approaching spaceborne threats, and even of approaching warp entities.

Okay that's all the entrants, good luck voting, and remember that the polls close on July 8th, 2010. :)

What would happen if a gargoyle had air sickness?
Hive Fleet Lamia

 Post subject: Re: Behind the Fighting - Voting Polls (Entrants 7-12)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:44 am
Posts: 2427
Location: Germany Trier
woah this is a tough one. I really love some minis here. I have to decide between Isildurs Siren, Hydras Ambassador, Haralds Cutterbug und
Sandermans Provisioner.

After all I have just one vote and I think the Provisioner looses some points in painting, Isildurs is very cool but I still think the final miniature should be fully painted ( I know its not told in the competition but its just my opinion), Hydras is very cool too and I love the Head idea. But afterall its not as much an eye catcher then haralds cutterbug ( And I love the idea behind it )

So my vote goes to the Cutterbug!!!!!!!!!!! But this one was really a tough decision. If I would have a second vote I think Siren would have got it. The pictures arent the best but it looks like a cool sculpt ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Behind the Fighting - Voting Polls (Entrants 7-12)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:13 pm 
Norn Queen wut can has cookie
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:11 am
Posts: 2262
Location: the Netherlands
Yes, this is a very tough choice indeed. We have to remember to take the fluff explanation of the critter along in our judgement as well.

Apart of the aforementioned, I also like both of the battlefleet gothic ships, and the idea behind the patriarch chair is really cool (and well executed! Even if it hadn't had a cup holder, hats off for the model!)

And I just love the expression on Yale's gravy train.

I haven't decided yet...

Girl Gamers

Hive Fleet Charybdis

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