These new Tyranid models prove that I was right to avoid the old ones

All of the new Tyranid models on a wooden table
(Image credit: Will Sawyer)

The Tyranids of Warhammer 40K are horrific alien monstrosities that ravage worlds and render them into biological sludge, but paradoxically, the new Tyranid models for 2023 just make me love these sinister space bugs more. Having long terrorized the galaxy, some of the Tyranid kits fell by the wayside and were getting seriously long in the tooth. In fact, a few were approaching 20 years of harrying star systems without an update.

Now, a few months after the launch of Warhammer 40K 10th Edition, even more 'Nid reinforcements have arrived. This time, the new Tyranid models focus on sharpening the talons and refining the chitinous armor on some of the faction's most classic creatures. From savage Genestealers to the stealthy Deathleaper (and a couple of new beasts), this is a superb range for getting into the space bug army. 

Old blood anew

After the initial excitement of new Tyranid beasties arriving with the Warhammer 40K Leviathan box (not to mention those new Warhammer 40K starter sets), I was even more hopeful about the glow-up older kits were about to receive. I had resisted buying them until the makeover, and they were certainly worth the wait. All four of the updated kits – Hormagaunts, Genestealers, Lictor, and Deathleaper – now have completely new sculpts with significantly enhanced detail. They're still recognizable too, and don't go completely overboard, especially with the infantry models. I feel like the Hormagaunts and Genestealers really look how they're meant to compared to their predecessors.

Speaking of which, the energetic poses of the nimble Hormagaunt emphasize their ferocity (best of all, they've learned to stop falling over like their old counterparts). Meanwhile, the comparative bulk of the Genestealers makes them look more threatening than ever. Which is only right. Until learning about Space Hulk, I always thought the old Genestealers were sickly cannon fodder and not some elite, power armor-shredding infantry force, so it's great that the new sculpts truly reflect this.

Essential info

New Tyranid Hormagaunt models on a wooden table

(Image credit: Will Sawyer)

Seven previously unseen (and refreshed) kits have joined the fray. Here are the new Tyranid models for 2023:

- 1 Neurolictor: $40 / £25
- 1 Lictor - $50 / £30
- 1 Biovore/Pyrovore + 3 Spore Mines: $50 / £30
- 10 Hormagaunts + 1 Ripper Swarm: $50 / £30
- 10 Genestealers: $55 / £32.50
- 1 Deathleaper: $60 / £37.50
- 1 Norn Emissary/Norn Assimilator: $115 / £70 

As for the Lictor and Deathleaper, these are definitely some of my favourite kits from this wave of new Tyranid models. The Lictor is a fun build that can be customized a lot, which is something of a rarity for Tyranid miniatures. With two heads, different arm and leg poses, and three options for each of the mantis-like talons, you could easily have several unique Lictors in your Tyranid army ready to sneak around and butcher enemy character units.

The Deathleaper, on the other hand, lacks any sort of customization but is still an excellent model, realising that apex assassin role and appearance perfectly – it's quite reasonably priced by Games Workshop standards too, at £37.50/$60 for a fairly big (and quite deadly) character. I'm sure there's a deep lore explanation for its unusual new waist "cape" but, coupled with the striking pose, it really makes the Deathleaper look like a terrifying alien-vampire overlord. I'd argue it's one of the best centerpiece models out of all the Tyranids, especially if you're running the powerful Vanguard Onslaught Detachment from the new Codex: Tyranids 10th Edition

Fresh meat

Even after the arrival of the Neurotyrant, Psychophage, and more with the Leviathan box, the Tyranids still have more horrors to offer: the Norn Emissary/Norn Assimilator, the Neurolictor, and the combined Biovore/Pyrovore.

Yes, that last one technically isn't new, so let's get it out the way first.

Gone are the gorilla-posed Finecast gun beasts of the past, as this new, combined Pyrovore/Biovore plastic kit lets you build either of the creepy-crawly weapon platforms and three Spore Mines. The fact that these space bugs are now in a combined kit does mean the two builds lack variation, with the only major differences being the weapon and accompanying tail, but I'm a big fan of the skittering bug aesthetic. I built mine as the Pyrovore, both because it was easier to build (the Biovore has a finicky tail piece) and because I can still use the Biovore's Spore Mines as their own unit if I really want to as well.

Over to the Norn Emissary, it's a great-looking beast with a towering presence and intimidating weapons, but I can't shake the fact that it's largely a souped-up, mono-pose Hive Tyrant. It still makes for a monstrous focal point, but I wish it had a few more distinguishing features and was perhaps even a little bigger, especially with that $115 / £70 price tag. It's barely taller than the new Deathleaper with its outstretched limbs, and that kit is nearly half the price!

The strong offering of updated Tyranid models is perfect for those newly assimilated to the Hive Mind

However, for such a large kit, it comes in very few pieces, making construction quick and easy – though I suggest keeping it in a few sub-assemblies for easier painting. It's also got some interesting rules with the Emissary being a tough psyker with versatile ranged weapons, and the Assimilator being a lethal melee unit that can harpoon larger enemies, so it's worth considering if you're prepared to pay that much for a single model.

Conversely, the much smaller Neurolictor joins the Tyranids' stock of brainy bugs and is a great model for its $40 / £25 cost. Its twisting fixed pose means the model is tricky to paint in places, but it looks so alien and is well worth getting if you want a little extra support for your other 'Nids. What it lacks in lethality compared to the regular Lictor, it makes up for with many of the same abilities and an aura that can seriously hinder nearby Battle-shocked enemy units.

 Should you buy the new Tyranid models? 

The full collection of new Tyranid models on a wooden table

There are some real standouts in the new range (Image credit: Will Sawyer)

Of the seven Tyranid kits, the Norn Emissary/Norn Assimilator is the only major sticking point. For me, its appearance doesn't quite justify its cost, especially considering you could buy two of the other kits and keep some change.

However, the strong offering of updated Tyranid models is perfect for those newly assimilated to the Hive Mind. In particular, the Deathleaper, Lictor, and Neurolictor are a terrific trio of models to paint and have great rules to justify bringing them in your next list. Furthermore, the Deathleaper, Hormagaunts and Genestealers are also solid value for money compared to other Warhammer 40K kits – 10 Genestealers are a bit cheaper than a five-man Space Marine Jump Pack Intercessor squad, for example. 

Overall, these new Tyranid kits are outstanding, easily becoming some of my favorites and showing the Warhammer 40K design team at its best.


These review copies were provided by the publisher.

Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.