Tenebrainian Cerebalite


A Cerebalite Specialist from CP Models joins the ranks of my Tenebrainians.



My Tenebrainian force seemed to almost appear of its own accord last year, with suitable miniatures for inclusion appearing with near perfect timing.  Painting the small number of weird models resulted in a fun and pretty unique little force quite quickly, so I have decided to expand it a little.

This Cerebalite Specialist is a new miniature from CP Models.  Its a bit larger than the Cerebalites produced to date, plus it has its eyes on stalks and it carries a neato 1950s raygun.  Desirable features for any floating alien brain I would think.


The tentacles are separate pieces. I was tempted to add the eye-tentacles to random sockets on the model, but settled for placing them at the front in the end anyway.  I am as yet undecided if that was the best approach or not.  Front facing is a bit pedestrian, but there is something quite entertaining about the the weird stare that the two googly eyes generate when facing the same way.


Up until now I have been using the Reaper Eye-Beast as the leader for my Tenebrainians, but the addition of the Specialist relegates the eye-beast to “brute” status.

The colour scheme on the Specialist is exactly the same as that used for the rest of the Tenebrainians.  Its a peculiar scheme, somewhat reminiscent of ice-cream cones in some respects, but it works particularly well for these subjects for some reason.  The subject matter appeals to me too: its fun gaming with a force of full-on, retro-pulp, floating, tentacle-strewn alien brains.

Tenebrainians Vs Necrontyr

Tenebrainians Vs Necrontyr


20 Responses

  1. Looks great in the force roster. A couple of more of these would be great with some other equipment such as tri-corders, medikits, mind-control amplifiers etc. Several bits of equipment per model perhaps. The bladed tentacles seem a bit brutish for such a cerebral chap to me. Reminds me a lot of the D&D creature “The Deadly Grell”:


    • Other technical apparatus are in the works I believe, or at least at the discussion stage. I also think that a range of optional tentacles for use throughout the Cerabalite range is a good idea.

      See the blades as unstable molecules that can be nano-manipulated to fit the task at hand and its all good 😉

      I do like the ray gun. I used to have a water pistol that looked like that when I was a kid.


  2. Great looking brain. I love the paint job. The telebrains looks a fun force to field.


    • Thanks Danny.

      Evil floating brains are a bit of a sci-fi staple really, so its interesting that we dont see more miniature brain forces around.

      The Tenebrainians are fun to game with. Everyone knows the sorts of sounds that alien brains “should” make, the weird pulp-sci fi music that should be playing and the amusing supported-by-bits-of-string way that they should move thanks to TV and cinema. Common reference points like that make things more fun for sure.


  3. Very smooth painting, and great brain monster concept. I love the little laser gun in on of the tentacles.


    • The ray gun is great. I would like the brains to feature more weird 1950s looking tech like that.

      I like the idea that they have a society that involves manufacturing and produce, rather than simply being of a group mind. Living in a hive is fine, but I would rather each brain had its own (ridiculous, anthropomorphic and entertaining) personality.

      Thanks for the feedback.


  4. Cool addition there! I think the smaller one is a nicer model, the tentacles of this guy looks a bit too mechanical. Still looks great though, and you did a good job on it.

    I think there’s one more thing this force needs. Human thralls! Hosts of new little floaty brain things. I imagine eggs are planted in human hosts’ brains, and when they hatch the head starts sprouting tentacles and eventually the brain (now beaked and be-tentacled) floats off leaving a beheaded carcass behind. A bit like the (very silly) vargouille of D&D; a flying head with wings, if you’re bitten your ears turn into wings and your head flies off within a few weeks.


    • Its interesting that you mention the more mechanical nature of the tentacles Mattias. Indulge me for a moment if you will 🙂

      As I planned to include all sorts of alien brain miniatures from a variety of sources in this project I made a deliberate decision to plan where the various colours go and stick to it. Yellow/brown tentacles, blue brain/chassis, green lights/eyes/tech, grey hard parts. That meant that, for example, the “hard” parts would be grey regardless of where they come from. Therefore the Eye-Beasts teeth and the Tentacle Brains armour are both treated identically, despite one being organic and the other artificial. I further emphasised this in the case of the grey by adding geometric, artificial looking markings.

      My thinking is that the line where the artificial tech parts meet the natural organic parts is very blurred. Most of the Tenebrainians are grown in vats I reckon and are genetically modified and specialised in ways very unfamiliar to our 21st century perspectives.

      It also means that I dont have to get too concerned if the tentacles look like vacuum cleaner attachments on one brain and like intestines on another. Which is a minor relief, because otherwise it would bug me.

      Human thralls, of course! I should have thought of that ages ago. Good call. Conveniently, CP models make “Alien Minions” that I like the look of but never put two and two together for the Tenebrainians.
      CP Models Alien Minions
      CP Models Alien Minion Heads

      A swift application of the established scheme (see above) to those heads woudl do the trick nicely. Armed minions might be fun, but I think that I prefer the idea of the shambling, moronic look that body suggests. Mark at CP was talking about making a set of smaller brains ( I keep thinking that “Brainfarts” would be a good name for them, but its probably a bit too much), but they could possibly be made to fit the minion bodies too.

      Great suggestion Mattias, thanks for the feedback 🙂


  5. Loving that brain. That colour scheme just pops like crazy, it’s great. I especially like the tentacles. Did you wash them to get the gradient? I also voice my approval for the ray gun, and I must insist in the strongest of terms that you do some human minions for them. It’s just too good an idea not to do.


    • Thanks Mr S. The thralls are a must have alright.

      The scheme does just work for some reason. I cant quite put my finger on exactly why as when things get pastel in places I become less confident. But these guys look like crazy space ice-creams of doom, which is just about ideal.

      The tentacles:
      Spray black.
      Scruffy overbrush with Tau Sept Ochre leaving black at the root.
      Wash with AP Strong Tone
      Drybrush Tau Sept Ochre leaving a gradient from the root to a little further up the tentacle, leading to a more solid coat toward the tip.
      Layer Tau Sept Ochre onto about half/two thirds of the tentacle towards the tip.
      Layer Warzone Vega Sand onto about a third of the tentacle towards the tip.
      Layer Game Colour Off White on to the ends of the tentacle.

      None of the layering/highlighting on the tentacles is concerned with light source: its all about getting a colour gradient.

      It works far better on the segmented tentacles than the smooth ones, as each segment can be treated as a solid area of colour in many respects. Getting the graduation in on the smooth ones requires more work (and as will be seen in a future brain post, is an area where I get lazy).

      Thanks for the feedback. Thralls to come soon judging my enthusiasm levels about them 🙂


  6. Wooow, that’s an impressive one! Love it! What a great work.


  7. I love that additional flying brain monster. Who ever would have thought that there would be so many different miniatures of flying brains available for the connoisseur? Your excellent colour scheme keeps them as a coherent force (in case they come up against another gang of disembodied floating brains).


  8. At the risk of repeating myself, once again I love how a unified paint scheme brings different models together. You also have a good eye for thematically matching minis from different ranges. I’m normally not too fond of pulp-ish scifi looks, but the Tenebrainians are really lovely! I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek (the original series) lately, and these would fit right in.


    • Im also repeating myself, but its all pulp anyway as far as I am concerned: Aliens, Star Wars, Terminator, Star Trek, The Matrix… all pulp. 40K is most definitely a pulp setting too.

      Original Trek is always a touchstone for me (particularly when it comes to terrain actually. In some respects I like my patches of sand, polystyrene rocks and patchy thickets to look just as lurid and unconvincing as those that The Shat and Co roll around on). The Tenebrainians look likely to bet 10000 quatloos on the newcomer in fact.

      I like mixing miniatures from various sources in unified groups. Minor uniform and armament differences concern me less than ever these days and the variety keeps me enthusiastic when painting. That approach does seem to have worked particularly well here all right 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback Mikko!


  9. I’m not sure what I expected to see in this post, but brains with tentacles wasn’t it. :O
    They look great though and I definitely agree that both eyes should face the same way. After all, they’ll need the depth perception to fire their rayguns, right?


    • 😀

      Thats quite amusing. What did the title suggest to you I wonder? I may never know now 🙂

      Depth perception isnt a strong point for my cyclopean space chicken men, but I figure that they may rely on some form of sonar (with the sound element probably generated by scratching the ground with their feet and crowing) that gives them three dimension perception when shooting. I may be over thinking it 😉

      Thanks for the feedback Peter.


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