Hive Fleet Celaeno



a minor hive fleet active in a cluster of dim stars, 

emerging from dark waters in the half-light of day, 

twisting and coiling in frail gravity.

...a perfect biological laboratory...

 ...a unique set of forces converge here... 

...creating a major biological alliance...

...any waste is recycled...

...the tentacles draw the victim into the central mouth...

 ...as they evolve, each new branch represents a new species, diverging and growing evermore separate from its ancestors...

...can create colonies by cloning exact replicas of themselves...

...their strategy is mass production...

...millions of eggs, so that enough survive to drift across...

 ...the predators gorge themselves, but the mass-spawners will succeed...

...a clean slate never stays clean for long...

...can spawn all year round, because there are no seasons...

...its maze-like structure... a three-dimensional puzzle...

...but mass spawning creates plenty of chances to create hybrids...

...a hybrid makes an unusual addition to the family tree...

...whenever species interbreed, the branches reconnect...

...hiding away, they can feed and grow safe from predators...

...much about this relationship remains a mystery...

(the army is complete, at last)

(quotes from an old Terran preacher)


Hive Fleet Celaeno painting recipe


- I clean mould lines pretty thoroughly and aggressively.
- I glue the models with plastic cement (Revell Contacta) or with plastic cement mixed with mould line / sprue shavings.
- Where gaps would be visible and undesirable, I use a lot of glue and after it dries, I shave off the excess plastic goo (where this is not possible, I fill the gaps with Green Stuff and / or Milliput).
- I drill gun barrels, 1 mm drill bit for (heavy) venom cannons, 2 mm drill for fleshborers, even larger one for deathspitters.
- After basing (see below), I wash minis in water + dish soap using a toothbrush.

- I make Oyumaru moulds of some stones and create larger rocks from Milliput.
- I make smaller pebbles from Milliput.
- I glue big rocks to bases with superglue.
- For places where I want to have water, I use sand paper (500 grit, then 1000 grit) to smoothen the base surface.
- I cover bases with superglue, and sprinkle them with small pebbles and sand / baking soda mix.

Paints needed:
Sprays: white with a smooth finish (Citadel White Scar), matt / satin varnish (Citadel Munitorum Varnish).
Acrylics: black (VMC Black, Scale75 Black), white (VMC White), warm off-white (VMC Pale Sand), dark red (VMC Dark Red), turquoise (VMC Turquoise), warm bright red (VMC Scarlet Red); sporadically: olive green (VMC Middlestone), brownish orange (Secret Weapon Orange Rust), tan (VMC Dark Sand).
Washes: light sepia (AP Light Tone), red (AP Red Tone), blue (AP Blue Tone).
Finish: gloss varnish (AP Gloss Varnish), matt varnish (AP Matt Varnish), blood effect (Citadel Blood for the Blood God).

No airbrush. Unless noted otherwise, every step is just 1 coat of paint. Unless noted otherwise, I use my paints with relatively thick "layer consistency" / "basecoat consistency".

I apply washes to the whole area (not just recesses). I use several washes at the same time. I don't mix them on the palette, but let them flow into each other on the mini.

- I undercoat with Citadel White Scar spray (pretty heavily, so that even recesses are white).
- I basecoat the bases with warm dark grey (VMC Black + VMC Dark Sand), watery consistency (almost like a wash).
- I drybrush the bases with brighter grey (VMC Black + VMC Pale Sand).
- I drybrush the bases here and there with VMC Pale Sand.
- I toothbrush splatter diluted pale grey (VMC white + VMC black) and VMC Pale Sand (in any order, pretty heavily).

Reds, except vents:
- I basecoat with purplish / brownish colour (VMC Dark Red + VMC turquoise, somewhat watery layer consistency. I can try mixing wet on wet on miniature to get more bluish shadows and more reddish highlights).
For later highlights, I use layering (stippling motions or feathering where necessary) or drybrushing:
- I highlight everything except the recesses with VMC Dark Red.
- when I need to blend red into white, I drybrush the border area with VMC Dark Red + VMC Pale Sand.
- I highlight with VMC Scarlet.
- (optional) I wash with AP Red Tone and AP Blue Tone (at the same time).
- (optional) I highlight with VMC Scarlet again.
- I spot highlight / edge highlight with peach colour (VMC Scarlet + VMC Pale Sand)

Whites, except teeth:
- I wash lightly, mostly with AP Light Tone + VMC Glaze Medium, here and there with AP Blue Tone + VMC Glaze Medium and AP Red Tone + VMC Glaze Medium (all washes at the same time, letting them mix on the mini).
- I wash vents with AP Red tone (while doing so, I can also fix any areas that didn't get the wash by mistake in the previous step).
- I glaze highlight with VMC White + water. This takes several layers and maybe some feathering, depending on my patience. Brightest spots and edges can be painted with layering-consistency white.
- weathering: I stipple very subtly, here and there, VMC Black.

- I stipple very subtly, here and there, brownish orange (Secret Weapon Orange Rust).
- I stipple very subtly, here and there, olive green (VMC Middlestone).
- I paint water using loaded brush (diluted paint, VMC Middlestone + VMC Turquoise + VMC Black, flow marks are a feature, not a bug).
- I paint base rims black.

- I stipple or drybrush VMC Black (over white, at any moment after white was washed).
- I edge highlight VMC Black + VMC Pale Sand.
- (optional) I paint the second edge highlight with a brighter mix of VMC Black + VMC Pale Sand.


- I paint them with VMC black (after the surrounding area was painted and washed; don't paint the edges of the eye).
- I add a single spot of white paint.

(after the mouth was painted and washed:)
- I paint each tooth separately with VMC Pale Sand.
- I highlight with VMC White (or just paint them with one coat of white and forget Pale Sand).

- I lightly spray with Citadel Munitorum Varnish; wait for it to dry.
- I paint eyes and select fleshy parts with VMC Gloss Varnish (don't paint the edges of the eye).
- I use 2-3 coats of VMC Gloss Varnish on water on the bases.
- (optional) I add one more layer of white or black to the tips of horns, spikes, etc. to avoid paint damage, and then cover them with VMC Matt Varnish.
- I use Citadel Blood for the Blood God in the recesses around the spine and inside the chimney vents.