Armies on Parade – Hive Fleet Hydra (inspired by Space Hulk)

Following on from last month’s Blood Angels feature, we wanted to show off our other main army which is of course (since it was the original Space Hulk that got us into the hobby) Genestealers, or to be more precise, Tyranids, using a Genestealers-from-Space-Hulk colour scheme.

The latest Tyranid Codex identifies Hive Fleet Hydra as using a purple-blue-black colour scheme but as with many of their new Codexes, Games Workshop have cut corners, reusing old artwork and models and so in the whole book, only one piece of new art and one miniatures featuring this colour scheme can be found, so we’ve had to add some of our own ideas.

Our collection, which dates back to the early 1990s, in any case predates the fiction about Hive Fleet Hydra, we just always wanted a Space Hulk themed Tyranid army, and have been surprised to so rarely see ones painted this way, so it’s nice to know it’s “official” now.

Hydra’s story, that it cannibalises precursor fleets to learn and improve from how they’ve evolved, offers up an insidious question – is Hydra the mother fleet of all other Hive fleets? And is that why the earliest encounters with Genestealers aboard Space Hulks were with ‘stealers of this colour? Does this mean there’s an enormous, unstoppable, highly evolved uber-fleet on the way..?

Aside from the classic Genestealer purple and blue, you’ll notice shiny black chitin – a nod to the Genestealers obvious inspiration: the Alien xenomorph – pink slimy Cthulhu-like tentacle maws, and neon green toxic miasma contrasting well against the dark creatures, and recalling acid blood and the Tyranid Zerg creep from StarCraft.

Once again, painting on the newer models (and coming soon, touch ups on the older ones) has been executed by Tom Blackburn, with more of his work available to view on Instagram. You’ll be pleased to know Tom also takes commissions! So drop him a line at the details on his Instagram. Older models painted by Andy and by Tim.

Broodlord Being a Genestealer themed army of course our warlord should be a Broodlord.

Tyranid Prime Surprise! This is actually the old metal Hive Tyrant miniature inspired by the Queen Xenomorph from alien. We decided this makes the perfect Tyranid Prime warrior rather than simply using the ’80s shoulder pads’ Warrior.

Neurothrope Walking Neurothrope conversion using warrior legs and Neurothrope upper body.

Zoanthrope What’s this? What better way to have a Genestealer themed zoanthrope than by using this old metal Patriarch miniature from the 1990s!

Lictor Original metal Lictor, looking more like a genestealer or regular tyranid than the more recent insect-like model.

Genestealers These Genestealers are evolved types featuring scything talons and gribbly maws. They are led by a Genestealer Prime AKA Gene’stealer Simmons of Genestealer-KISS (Oi! that’s enough Genestealer puns – Ed) i.e. the original resin Broodlord model. We always wondered why he had his talons on his lower arms and real hands on his upper arms, so we made sure his entourage are similarly evolved.

More Genestealers A small selection of the circa-50 or so Genestealers we have in this army (you will also have a lot of Genestealers if you own every edition and expansion for Space Hulk!)



Thornback Carnifex

Raveners Once nice thing about the Raveners kit is that you almost get enough parts for 4 minis, not 3, you just need some spare bitz from a similar kit such as the Warriors to complete the extra critter. We are particularly fond of the chappy climbing out of the hole in the ground.

Venomthropes Reflecting their ‘Toxic Miasma’ special rules, these Venomthropes are painted to show the toxins leaking out of their heat sink vents. Squad consists of 3 plastic kit Venomthropes and one original resin Venomthrope.

Toxicrene As with the Venomthropes, his toxic miasma is venting from his heat stacks.

Maleceptor This model is secretly the same guy as the Toxicrene above. While he retains the Toxicrene head as it just looks better frankly and still looks plenty psychic, the tentacles are swapped for talons.



Ripper Swarms Even the little critters get the blue and purple treatment, shown here alongside the Infiltration Nodes.

Bonus Round Finally, this is a Genestealer from the 54mm scale Inquisitor range from 2001, used counts-as an alternative Broodlord. We recently sold this on as we felt the sculpt just wasn’t up to usual Games Workshop standard and it just didn’t cut it as a Broodlord. It’s also damn heavy and quite delicate.