Insectile moreaus in the Nuevo Esperanza Basin are collectively known as Hivers. Though genetically 'uplifted' by the Krieg particle radiation from the necropoli, their minds remain simple and barbaric - making them vicious and territorial scavengers that plague the scattered wasteland settlements.
Hivers were some of the first creatures I planned to have my PCs encounter when we started the Crucible campaign, but I couldn't find any miniatures that fit the look I wanted for them. Horrific, alien, giant bug-men. Yes. Then I found a bag of fake plastic cockroaches at the dollar store. Perfect. They looked pretty similar to the ones pictured at right, maybe a little cheaper, less detailed. They did sport a nice embossed Made in China on their undersides that I had to cut away. As always, click the pictures to embiggen.
First I had to re-pose them, to give them an upright posture and to make them appear more 'humanoid'. I dropped them all into a pot of boiling water until the plastic became malleable, then plucked them out one by one with tongs and twisted them into the postures I wanted, and then dunked them into a bowl of ice-water until the plastic re-set itself into it's new configuration.
In order to provide a little diversity among them, I made two varieties - a ranged attacking Spitter, and a more melee oriented Soldier. For the Soldiers I made a few makeshift-looking weapons from toothpicks, pieces of sprue, fine gauge wire, and random other bits. The finished product matched the primitive technology level I was shooting for pretty well.
For the Spitters I glued black peppercorns at their throats, to represent swollen acid glands. Black peppercorns have a really great texture for this kind of thing, roughly spherical, and webbed with 'veins'. Then I based them up, and put on a few coats of paint. I think they came out great. You can see where I missed the CHINA on this one. Ah well. I chalk it up to a strange scarification ritual that is peculiar to Hiver culture. And inattentiveness. Mostly that.
You can see in some of the pictures the 'egg piles' I made at the same time, from more black peppercorns glued all over a small lump of pink foam, drybrushed a little for highlights, and decorated with strands of hot glue to make them look slimier, more 'Alien Hive'.
Apologies for the poor picture quality - all taken with my cellphone camera. I'm going to have to build one of those 'light-box' miniature photography rigs I keep reading about. Anyhow, gets the point across. On the whole, I was pretty happy with the end results of these guys, going from flat, dollar store plastic roaches to convincing tabletop miniatures.
I'm still currently working on painting the rest of the Grems, along with a prototype dirigible made from cereal box card and plastic bottles. More on those soon-ish.