Do you remember your first love in the hobby? For me it was 2nd edition Tyranids. I fondly remember purchasing a box of six Genestealers and that was me, I was hooked. The seed had been implanted and my third clawed arm was on it's way.
This collection of Tyranids was actually started over ten years ago just before the Battle for Macragge set was released in 2004. I painted up some of the classic dark blue plastic Genestealers in a very early iteration of my paint scheme. They're heavily drybrushed red with the details blacked in and then painted. Notable are the small yellow markings and green tongues.
Once Battle for Macragge boxset was released I got some of the new shape Genestealers. At the time it was all about WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) so upgrades had to be shown on the models. I raided my bitz box and glued as many extended carapace pieces to the models as possible to give them all a 4+ save. The paint scheme saw an increase in yellow patterning and the green tongues remained.
Soon after the multipart plastic set of Genestealers was released I expanded my collection with another brood. This time giving some Scything Talons. I also added a converted Broodlord to the squad. It was at this point in my collection I grew unhappy with my paint scheme and sought to update it. Taking a nod from the fondly remember classic Genestealers I painted the hands and heads a fleshy colour. You can also see other colour experiments in the brood like different colour head crests. The green was totally removed and instead purple was added as a harmonious colour. The yellow patterning was removed to represent them being "born" from human hosts and not the bio-birthing vats of the hive fleets.
With nostalgia always gnawing away a the back of my mind I happened upon a mint condition box of Tyranid Attack. I grabbed the opportunity to paint the Genestealers in the classic colour scheme from second edition. I love this brood, especially the two Hybrids. I would love an official Genestealer Cult army.
When Games Workshop released the current edition of Space Hulk I knew I had to buy two sets. One to have have as a painted playable game (still working on that) and the other to add all the amazing Genestealer models to my Tyranid army. With a little bit of chopping I was able to add 25mm bases to the models and a 40mm base to the Broodlord.
It would seem Games Workshop isn't finished with Genestealer experience just yet. With the recent release of Deathstorm I get a brand new huge Broodlord and another eight stealers. For this unit I just gave them all different heads, they don't mean anything in the current rules, it's just for variety.
So there you have it. 96 Genestealers, 4 Broodlords and 2 Hybrids. A collection started way back in 2003 and still growing.