David Rodríguez

Il Carnifex, o Carnifex Primus, nelle sue varie sottospecie quali il Carnifex Voracio, il Carnifex Vorantii, il Carnifex Ululare, il Carnifex Arbylis e il Carnifex Bilius, rappresenta uno dei personaggi più letali dell’intero mondo di WarHammer 40k.

La sua spessa corazza gli garantisce un’adeguata protezione contro molte delle armi utilizzate nelle varie battaglie. Dal punto di vista della tattica, il Carnifex può essere paragonato ai Drednought o agli Ork Killa-Kan.

Un essere mostruoso, armato delle più evolute bio-armi dei Tiranidi, grazie alle quali viene dispiegato come elemento d’assalto durante le operazioni di abbordaggio, come fulcro di un assalto frontale o ancora per consolidare o assediare postazioni fortificate.

Una forza primordiale, dalla mole immensa, in grado di eliminare qualsiasi linea difensiva sia posta di fronte all’avanzata del potente esercito dei Tiranidi; il Carnifex è in grado di spazzare via qualsiasi uomo o mezzo si frapponga tra esso e il suo obiettivo.

Alle mutazioni elencate all’inizio, va aggiunto anche il Carifex Old One Eye, unico nel suo genere perché in grado di rigenerarsi dalle ferite mortali. Sul suo corpo si mostrano, in bella evidenza, le cicatrici di molti colpi che avrebbero dovuto ucciderlo; le leggende, narrate dai guerrieri delle forze imperiali, raccontano di esemplari uccisi almeno una dozzina di volte, ma sempre riapparsi. Questo esemplare è armato con due enormi chele in grado di sventrare anche il nemico più coriaceo.

Creatura non molto intelligente, e lenta nei movimenti, ma per sua fortuna guidata dalla Mente dell’Alveare, è in grado di resistere, e adattarsi, a tutte le condizioni ambientali, anche quelle più estreme, come il freddo artico o il deserto infuocato.

I primi incontri con questa specie sono registrati nella battaglia contro la Bioflotta Behemoth, scontro che culminò nel grande conflitto di Macragge. Quando l’impero cercò di fermare l’invasione dei Tiranidi nello spazio, i Carnifex erano a capo di ogni azione di abbordaggio.

Since 1990 I have been painting mainly humanoids miniatures and the people that know my style also know that I am a very big fan of the Space Marines and the Orcs. But back in 2007 I wanted to do something different, something that no one could have expected from me: I decided to paint a Tyranid.

A Tyranid is a fierce alien race of the Warhammer 40.000 universe, very similar to the aliens in the film Starship Troopers. They look like insects and they act as a hive, commanded by one single brain called the Hive Tyrant.

Out of the whole Tyranids' figure range my favorite one has always been the Carnifex. They are like organic tanks full of strength and biochemical weapons capable of destroying any enemy regiment in front of them with just one shot.

When I took the figure out of the box I realized how I wanted to paint it, as I suddenly remembered an illustration from Alex Boyd that shows a Carnifex in the middle of a battle. I wanted to use those exact same colors (purples, reds and beiges) and I wanted to give it a touch of "realism" escaping from the colorful and sparkly schemes used by some painters in the past.


I started with the "morbid" parts of the figure by using a light purple (a dull pink) prepared with a mix of Liche Purple and Bleached Bone both from Citadel. The shades where done with more Liche Purple and Black and for the highlights I used pure Bleached Bone.


As per the illustration reference, the next step was to paint the exoskeleton in a darker purple tone. I started with a base of Liche Purple shading it with a bit of black and green (complementary of the purple) and highlighting it adding Ivory (Vallejo). A very important point here was to apply with the airbrush a coat of satin varnish once the exoskeleton was fully painted. In this way I was able to obtain a moisturized look as if the shell was covered with a thin sticky layer.


Red areas conform the focal point of the miniature as they stand up from the rest of the dull colors I used. I mainly painted with this color the gums of the mouth and the parts of the bio-weapon that have that kind of disgusting visceral look.

For the base I used Red Gore from Citadel, shading it with a bit of Dark Blue Sea (Vallejo) and black, and highlighting it with Fiery Orange (Citadel) and Beige Red (Vallejo). After all layer were dry I applied a general coat of Gloss varnish and a bit of Red Ink. This allowed me to obtain the humid and almost disgusting look I was looking for, and gave the area a very high contrast from the rest of areas becoming the focal point of the figure.


Although in the illustration the claws of the Carnifex were red, I considered it was going to be too much red for the miniature, so I decided to go for a safer color: ivory.

First I applied a layer with a mixture of Space Wolves Grey (Citadel) and German Camouflage Black Brown (Vallejo). The highlights and the grain were painted adding some Vallejo Ivory and for the shadows I used German Camouflage Black Brown and a bit of Turquoise. I used some glazes with red ink especially in the areas in contact with the Carnifex flesh to have a smooth transition.


In order to keep a homogeneous tonality in the model, every single piece of the figure has some slight midtones of Snakebite Leather (Citadel) and some shadow tones of Scorpion Green, a very light green (almost radioactive) from Citadel that contrasted perfectly with the Liche Purple.


I prepared the terrain some years before for another project that was not successful, and while gluing together the pieces of the Carnifex I realized it could fit perfectly with the project. Basically, the terrain is a city fight environment devastated by the invasion of the Tyranids. I used some plasticard and bits and pieces of other figures to build it, and painted it with greys and browns in order to avoid it stealing the prominence from the Carnifex itself. The broken Imperial Eagle on the ground was painted in yellow in order to make it stand up from the rest of the terrain. For it I used Japanese Uniform, Ice Yellow, Ivory and Oxford Blue (all from Vallejo), shading it with Scorched Brown (Citadel).


This Carnifex model made me win the Slayer Sword at the 2007 UK Golden Demon, probably the prize I am most proud of. I used gloss and matt tones as an effect in much the same way as you’d use shading and highlighting. The model itself is free of flashy conversion work and the impact of the miniature comes from the dramatic positioning and the paint job.

I hope you like as much as I enjoyed painting it.


  • Modello alto 32mm.
  • Dipinto ad acrilici
  • Produttore Games Workshop