Can anyone tell me what the huge tyranid in the background is?

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    Is there a reason you think this is a named tyranid? The author of the art doesn't name it. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 19:22
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    @Gallifreyan no, not a unique name. I was wondering what type of nid it is
    – Daft
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 19:53
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    Funny, I think its the highest rated WH40K question :)
    – Yasskier
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 20:40
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    @Yasskier Nope... Close though!
    – Daft
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 13:44

3 Answers 3


It definitely looks like a bio-titan enter image description here

Or, to be more precise a Hierophant titan:

The Hierophant Bio-Titan is an immense, hideous creature, towering over the battlefields and bristling with spines, tendrils and symbiote weapons. They are amongst the largest biomorphs yet encountered by the forces of the Imperium amongst the swarms of the Hive Fleets, comparable in size and power to an Imperial Titan

The Hierophant is the Tyranids' largest shock trooper, armed with monstrous Bio-Cannons, multiple claws and razor-sharp blades, and armoured with a thick chitinous hide that exudes poisonous spores from rends in its plates. Like all Tyranid biomorphs, the Bio-Titan seems to be able to mutate its genome rapidly, evolving new organic weapons and defences. Other variants of the Hierophant Bio-Titan, such as the less well-known Viciator, have been identified with huge crushing claws or long scythe-like blades, cluster spines and other bio-weapons.

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    I swear that's not an official depiction of a hierophant though, just from forge world.
    – minseong
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 10:39
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    In what respect is that not 'official'?
    – Tom W
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 19:10
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    Forge world was originally a 3rd party model maker which also produced some of its own rules as add-ons to the official 40k system (particularity really big models and Horus Heresy stuff) . However it is now owned by Games Workshop so anything they do is completely 'official', Indeed in the past few years there has been a lot more emphasis on HH references in 40k as well as much greater use of large vehicles and flyers etc in the ore 40k rules. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 22:13

It's an Epic scale Hierophant Bio-Titan.

The creature has undergone some revisions, the 1st and 2nd edition Epic are quite similar, but the model Chris links to is completely different. From the looks I would say the painter used the 1st edition for inspiration.

Here's another picture that looks similar and is clearly described as showing a Hierophant (on the WH40K Wiki Bio-Titan page):

Bio-Titan Hierophant

  • 1
    You say "clearly described as"... can you link to the page where it clearly describes this?
    – Doktor J
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 13:31
  • Ah, the image title got lost in uploading it. Pull the picture into Google image search and you'll find it.
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 13:31

It looks like a bio-titan. Obviously in the case of Tyranids exact classifications are a bit more fluid than with other races.

As far as I am aware the only official bio-titan (ie having current rules) is the Heirophant of which a model exists made by Forge World.

The illustration does seem a bit bigger than that model suggests, scale issues are discussed in this article.

Obviously back in the days when epic scale was a thing it was a bit more practical to have giant creatures. Equally from a real world perspective it is lot easier to draw a 100 story creature with thin spindly legs than it is to make a resin model of one at the correct scale.

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