40K: Hobby Inspiration Sources

When it’s time to dive into a new hobby project where do you find your inspiration?

If you’re like me, you probably have more than a few hobby projects going on (theoretically at least) at any one time. It could be a new army you’ve been plugging away at, or it could be the latest Warband you’ve picked up for Shadespire that you just want to get ready to play. Heck, it could be touching-up your award winning/tournament dominating army – but whatever the case is, it’s all hobby related. So where do you find your inspiration/motivation to keep going?

Sources of Inspiration

For me, I always turn to other forms of media for inspiration. When I first started my Tyranids, I was really into the idea of the Sandworms from Dune. The Mawloc kits were brand new at the time and the concept of them popping-up from the ground and swallowing a unit was really ingrained in my head. I kept picturing the scene from Dune (1985):

I decided to go for a desert theme and from there it just kept going and going…

A Classic Tyranid List

I also find inspiration in the Lore. I sometimes pop over to Lexicanum to read about one topic and then find myself rooting around in a completely different topic hours later. I call this “falling down a wiki-hole.” It happens. But it’s also a great way to learn things and get inspired to create.

A Tyranid Cerebore…I think I could make that.

Obviously having artwork is pretty inspirational too. If you need sources for that, I suggest Black Library as they have a ton of official art work via their massive amounts of book covers. Seriously, do a search for your army and they probably have a dozen books or some other form of media (MP3s, eBooks, Audio plays) to help inspire you.

The Battle of Valedor, diorama by Games Workshop (Warhammer World)

Audiobooks/Dramas, Music, and other videos can also help to keep me inspired and focused. I also like to poke around other galleries and just look at what cool stuff folks are working on. I just lurk however, but I’ve seen some really amazing work that has inspired me to get back to work on my own hobby projects. Shoot, even doing a Google search for the model your working on and then adding “conversion” will generally give you some awesome results.

Pyrovore + Conversion = Magic

Heck, even if I don’t use the idea when I see it, I try to bank it for later. For example, I saw a conversion way back in the day for bipedal version of a Biovore/Pyrovore. I don’t even remember where I saw it or who did the conversion, but the image stayed with me for years. Well, fast forward to 8th edition where Pyrovores are actually decent and I remembered that image:

Oh that’s right, I remember where I saw it now…conversion via Caleb Dillion, October 2013

And I decided to do my own riff on that with some older Nids that I wasn’t using any more:

These are still very much WIP

But it was literally 5 years ago when I saw that first image – that’s why it’s always great to see other peoples work and find inspiration in that, too!

The last place I turn for inspiration, but honestly it should be the first, is other players. Seeing what they are working on, talking to them about their projects and sharing tips and tricks in person is great. Last year when I took a trip to Warhammer World, I got to meet a lot of fellow gamers. I stumbled upon a fellow Tyranid player who had a really cool looking army. We got to chatting and I noticed his Flyrant had a really cool pose:

Tyranid Conversion – unfortunately forgot the ‘artists’ name. Sorry! I’m terrible with names.

With a little snip-snip on the wing he was able to preposition his Hive Tyrant’s wing and it really added a lot of character to the model. Had I not been there in person and talking with him, I would have NEVER thought about doing that “one stupid trick to make your Tyrant’s wings better.”


So where do you go for your inspiration to do “Hobby” stuff? Share some tips and suggestions in the comments below!

  • Reymond

    Pinterest has been great for me. I don’t have a lot of contact with other hobbyists and this allows me to see what other people are doing. It’s pretty amazing what people come up with.

  • SilentPony

    As someone on a serious Chaos Daemon/Marine kick, Bloodborne is a great source.
    I still think there’s potential in a nurgle daemon prince made from corpses and body parts, One Reborn style.

    Also you look me in the eyes and tell me Lady Maria or the Orphan of Kos wouldn’t make great Daemon Princes of Slaanesh

  • Spacefrisian

    By hearing to much Gloryhammer.

  • Michael Cameron

    My play group lets people us appropriate proxies so I built a 1500 Genestealer based Nid army using Prodos Xenomorphs. Expensive but looks amazing.

    • Tshiva keln

      Would enjoy playing against that, especially with guard. I’ve got a squad of the colonial marines from mad robot miniatures that love shooting my mates alien conversions.

  • GlynG

    The Necromunda Escher models have inspired me to convert an Amazons Blood Bowl team from them. It was one of a number of possible team ideas (I’m getting back into the game after a 15 year gap) and googling today I found someone else doing it already really well which encouraged me to go ahead and order models for it. I’m going to call the team Krokodil Tears in a nod to the old Dark Future book I liked (Krokodil looking very much like an Escher ganger on the old 80s John Blanche cover).