The Malanthrope is a large tyranid that visually resembles a hybrid between the Zoanthrope and the Venomthrope. But unlike its smaller cousins, these creatures aren’t bred for combat, instead they follow behind the initial assaults feeding on the dead and the dying. With their feeder tendrils they selectively extract genetic material from foes and store it in pulsating sacks along its torso. With this material in tow, the creatures return to the Norn-Queens of the Hive Mind to fashion new Tyranid lifeforms, continuing the tyranids’ frightening evolution.
|The Malanthrope is a chilling model, combining elements of the zoanthrope and lictor to amazing effect.
Like most of the older tyranid models produced by Forge World, Simon Egan sculpted the Malanthrope. Anyone who has been visiting this site for awhile will know the enthusiasm we at Between The Bolter and Me have towards Egan. Not only does he do a wonderful job of sculpting humans, he does a superb job of sculpting alien monstrosities, incorporating a lot of small details to be discovered. Chief of these details, and probably my favorite, is what appears to be a second mouth located on the creature’s chest. The Malanthrope has the characteristic ribbed belly and chests seen on most tyranids, however the sheer number of ribs are much more numerous that what you would see in a plastic Tyranid. The Cthulhu-like tentacled maw on the beast’s head is complete with two tiny and narrow eyes, giving the Malanthrope a sinister vibe. I quite like how small the eyes are on the Malanthrope, I feel many of the plastic Tyranids feature eyes that are slightly larger than what I would have chosen (and make them look slightly more comical).
|The Malanthrope is alive with fantastic little details, from all the snaking tendrils, to the pronounced ribs, to the creepy chest maw.
The cast of the model that I received from Forge World was pretty good. Despite this, I still needed to do a fair amount of greenstuff work to fix mold shifts, fill air bubbles, and fill seams. To go along with the other tyranids seen on this blog, I mounted it on a Tech-Deck base from Dragon Forge (what a horrifying creature to run into in the depths of space!).
|The spore stacks on all the Forge World Tyranids are fantastic, far superior to the hollow tubes of the GW counterparts.
I am glad that I was able to get my hands on the Malanthrope, but wish that I could have purchased some of the other Tyranid models before Forge World discontinued them. Aside from the Trygon, they released a Hive Tyrant model (one on foot and another winged), which more closely resembled Games Workshop’s wonkier 3rd edition Hive Tyrant. The Forge World versions, however, have a more sinister and creepy vibe, having a surprising likeness to the xenomorph queen in the film Aliens. Garfy over at Tale of Painters did a beautiful job of painting one of these winged Hive Tyrants and Trygons if you are interested in seeing nice pictures. Ultimately, if you are at all interested in some of the older Forge World Tyranid models, I would recommend looking into getting a few before they decide to take them off the market (particularly if rumors start flowing about new tyranid models…). I certainly am pleased with my Malanthrope, and could be persuaded to get a few more...
- Adam Wier