Painting Guides by Codex

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hive Fleet Leviathan Skin Tutorial - A quick approach!

Steve here, ready to show you a quick take on Games Workshop's style of painting Hive Fleet Leviathan Skin. With this strategy, I was able to paint up the skin on 10 gargoyles within an hour or so - maybe two when you take into account drying washes. Overall, this was very easy.

This really worked out for me because I have a horde of Tyranid models to paint, while at the same time I collect multiple armies. If you are in the same boat, you might be looking into ways to paint a bit faster. This should work on any splinter fleets of Hive Fleet Leviathan.

Keep in mind that these models are not complete yet. The skin is finished.
 The Undercoat

I primed these models in gray/grey. This has really worked out for me lately. You could go with black if you chose, it would just darken the models a little.

 The Basecoat

I base coated the models with Rakarth Flesh.

The Wash

I washed the model in Agrax Earthshade. I used a small layer brush with this. A wash brush would be too large.

This is your typical one-two punch of basecoat and wash. Let's move on to the dry brushing layers.

Where I deviate from Games Workshop is that I do not use detail brushes for the highlighting layers, I use a dry brush technique. This saves me critical time for these troop models. This also works well for larger models.

Drybrushing Steps

1st, I do a heavy dry brush of Karak Stone. I follow this up with a light dry brush of Screaming Skull.

Final Wash

I use Carroburg Crimson to complete a targeted recess wash with a detail brush. I usually focus on the joints/neck/connections to the carapace.

Wrapping Up

A small tutorial here that I will use to paint the skin of my Hive Fleet Leviathan Tyranids. For those of you that play with hordes, I think this will give you a good balance between detail and speed for these models.

Have a great day, and comments appreciated!


  1. nice and fast. It really helps to find fast techniques to get hordes done.

    1. Agreed, especially when you can still retain color depth.