Tomb It May Concern – Part 1

“...the darkness that came for the Orpheus sector cared nothing for the power and pride of Man. For in the great emptiness beyond the frontier of known space, ancient and wicked minds were stirring; minds driven insane with the tortures of eternity“.

– Imperial Armour 12; The Fall of Orpheus

Back in August I posted a picture of a Necron warrior and told the world that I’d found a colour scheme I was happy with. Guess what all -I lied! At the time I thought it looked great, and honestly I still do, but the rot has set in nonetheless. Here’s a quick reminder of how he looks.

Necron Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

To begin with I was keen to try out the style on some other units, to make sure it could be applied broadly across the army. I grabbed some scarabs and painted them up too and the results, to my eye, looked pretty good.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (4)

However when I tried to replicate this success on my warriors I started to struggle. Somehow, although it worked well on individual models, I just couldn’t see it working out on entire deathless legions. Time to try out some alternatives. For one thing I really like the look of the Szarekhan Dynasty, these being the troops sworn directly to the Silent Kind himself, and the colour scheme in which all the new Necrons that Games Workshop is releasing currently are being showcased. It might seem a bit unimaginative to stick so closely to the studio scheme but I really rather like it, and given its current popularity there are plenty of tutorials available. I grabbed the painting tutorial in the latest issue of White Dwarf, followed it religiously, and ended up with something that looks like this.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (1)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (2)

However, whilst I was waiting for a pot of runelord brass to arrive (vital really as it’s the basecoat colour for pretty much the entirety of the Szarekhan model) I decided to try experimenting with another scheme, one I’d been kicking around since the beginning of the project but which I’d not properly tried out after I fell briefly in love with the tarnished brass colour scheme. Inspired by those classic black and white Vampire Counts armies, whose appearance in old issues of White Dwarf clearly had a formative impact on my young mind, I started to consider the idea of painting my Necrons in the same, starkly monochrome style. The more I thought about it the more I was captivated by the idea of a lightless tomb world, Imperial exploritors making planetfall, the torches of the scouts playing over ruins of extreme age, and the final pic-captures, taken moments before the signal was lost revealing something like this…

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (7)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (8)

Honestly I think this is the scheme I’m going to commit to, the more I look at it the more I like it, and I can easily see myself turning out a full army looking like this. I can also imagine it working well on some of the other units I’m thinking of adding, several of which I’m struggling to imagine in the other styles. That said I’m always open to feedback, so if you have a convincing case to make for one of the other colour schemes put it forward in the comments box, I’m all ears (and if it’s really convincing, please, please say it now, don’t wait until I’m 5000 points in!). For ease of reference here’s all three side by side.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (3)

Ultimately I like the Szarekhan model well enough but it lacks the personal connection of being uniquely mine. The original style works well on a single figure but I’m struggling to imagine painting a whole army that way. The black-and-white style speaks to me, and should look good both on individual miniatures, and across a whole army.

In order to test this theory a little further I decided to try painting some more scarabs, this time in the black and white style of my new dynasty. Let’s take a look.

Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (5)Necrons Wudugast ConvertOrDie 40k (6)

Honestly I’m pretty damn pleased with them (and yes, I’m sure I said something like that last time as well) and I’m itching to paint a few more. Before that though, I’ve got a few other things to raise from the grave…

35 responses to “Tomb It May Concern – Part 1

  • Azazel

    All three look good to me, and I’ve always been considering doing my own Necrons in a brassy tone, which seems to have just come into vogue rather than the previous standard of not-T-800 silver, so I’m leaning that way for mine.
    The Black-white-silver with green guns that you’re looking at looks pretty sweet – I guess the main issue is how easy will it be to replicate across an entire army, and how much will it still be fun to do so?
    I think your answer to how to paint your Necrons may be in that question…

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, what happened to the good old days when you just drybrushed everything silver and called it done 😉 I did enjoy the brassy scheme, I’ll keep an eye out for when you get to your Necrons. There’s a good step by step for it in last month’s White Dwarf (issue 456) – if you want to know how they did it and can’t get hold of a copy let me know and I’ll write it out for you (although I’m sure a hobbyist of your experience could probably just eyeball it or come up with your own version).

      Yeah, it’s being able to quickly replicate it that’s key here, much as I enjoy painting if I can’t see a good way to fast-track these guys it’ll take me years to catch up with myself. Of the three schemes the black and white was actually the quickest, part of what attracted me to it. I thought the verdigrised one would be the quickest (it’s incredibly quick and dirty to produce) but then it takes forever touching each one up to stop it looking exactly as quick and dirty as it really was (which somewhat defeats the purpose).

  • lordcommandereloth

    I think I’d back up Azazels comment the white-black scheme is looks great. But they can be challenging colours which you can clearly do very well as it looks brill. But how long will it take to do the force size you want?

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Yeah, speed is key here – I want a mighty horde of robot skeletons if I’m going to do this properly (and I don’t want to still be working on the first squad in 2040!). Funnily enough the black and white scheme was probably the quickest to do, it leans quite heavily on washes and edge highlighting (the latter being something I’m still getting to grips with but if I can nail it – and it’s about time I did – these should be fairly straightforward).

      • lordcommandereloth

        If you can do it quick then go for it as it looks great to my eyes. I’ve always struggled with edge highlights so hats off to you if you can do them that well quick!

      • Wudugast

        Truth be told I’ve always struggled with it too, but I managed it quite quickly on this guy so hopefully this means my skills have finally improved and it wasn’t a one off fluke – otherwise it’ll be back to the drawing board! 😉

  • Alex

    I like everything about the black & white scheme, but if it’s honest feedback you’re after, I’m less keen on the glowy gauss… It’s quite overpowering on such a monochrome mini.
    I’ve seen some lovely subdued glow effects on various darkAoS projects… I’d love to see this scheme but with less pop!

    • Wudugast

      Yup, believe it or not – and much as I enjoy hearing my own opinions in other people’s voices – honest feedback is exactly what I’m after. 🙂 That’s a good point regarding the green glow, it is pretty powerful isn’t it? Sadly (because my whole life right now is one big excuse to use the new Tesseract Glow green paint on anything that sits still long enough for me to get a brush at it) you may be right, I’ll try experimenting with something a bit more muted and see how that looks. Any thoughts of the scarabs? I thought the pop worked quite well there. I wonder how it would work across an army though, if the scarabs were popping and the warriors weren’t?

      • Alex

        It looks awesome on the scarabs, and is fine on the bulk of the Gauss gun too – it’s just that pipe that loops under the coils that visually tips it over the edge for me… I think toning that down to that lovely dark green or black with a nice bit of OSL from the coil would sort it right out 😉

  • Faust

    You have an Undead Blood Bowl team coming up next?! Haha!

    Wow, of the three it’s hard to say. They all look super good. I’m not too crazy about the stark white head on the middle guy, as he no longer looks like a robot. Maybe he isn’t or maybe that’s intentional?

    I think I would go with he scheme of the middle guy (assuming it’s replicable across an army), and paint his head like the mini on the left. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of those three paint schemes though.

    I just read about the new Necron paints like a week or two ago. I already have a pot of Runelord Brass, which I’m guessing must be ancient? Wonder if the new paint is a new formula then? I’ve got the Tesseract Glow on order, as I want to try it on Skaven someday.

    • Wudugast

      Haha – well funnily enough I do have some Blood Bowl miniatures I’m aiming to get finished soon. Watch this space! They’re not undead though (although they are a little green…). Have you seen the new Undead team that’s coming out soon though? What am I talking about, of course you have! Those do look cool, I’d definitely fancy painting them up.

      Hmmm… I had pondered doing the black and white scheme with metallic rather than white heads, I’m thinking I’ll do a few more tests exploring the scheme a bit more so that’ll probably be one of them. I do like the stark white heads but it does take away from them looking like robots a little bit. Then again I think it’d look cool across a whole army…Well, speaking as a scientist, the only way to know is to experiment!

      I must admit I’m very neophilic when it comes to paints, I get even more excited by new paints than I do by new models. Confession time – after I’d ordered a pot of Runelord Brass I found an old pot at the back of the shelf (doh!). As far as I can see they’re both the same. The Tesseract Glow is amazing – wish I’d had it back when I was painting my Skaven army – you’ll have fun with it. Also good for Skaven is Waystone Green (over an undercoat of Fulgurite Copper) – it’s great for instant warpstone.

      • Faust

        Yea, I was going to pass on the “Necromantic” team, as they are my least favorite Undead team to play…but those sculpts. I don’t think I can pass on those at all. Besides, just because I don’t want to play something, doesn’t mean a friend wouldn’t.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Nice work on all of them but I do agree with your choice as to what is best.



    • Wudugast

      Thank you! Truthfully they were all fun to do, and I’m happy with the results, it’s picking the one I’m going to stick with for the next hundred odd miniatures that’s the tricky part 😀

  • Kuribo

    I’m going to buck the trend and say that I like the one on the right best. It has nicely balanced colors and the gauss effects are pretty much perfect.

    There is a lot of wisdom in picking the scheme that is fastest. I’d also add to the mix (to potentially muddy the waters further!) that picking the scheme that you find the most fun to paint is important, especially if you’re painting 75, 100, 125, 150, etc. models in this scheme. Regardless, follow your gut and you’ll get this sorted out 😀

    • theimperfectmodeller

      Personally I liked your original colour scheme the best but understand your dilemma. The easiest one to ignore is the studio scheme even though you say you like it. Figure converters want something different is how I see it so therefore studio art has to go out the window every time no matter how good it is. I guess the question I would ask is why do they all have to be the same? They aren’t figures in uniform as such. In any event the end results will I am sure look very cool. 🙂

      • Wudugast

        Truthfully I do still like the original scheme, but when I tried mass producing it the results were less than satisfactory. I’m tending to agree with your assessment of the studio scheme, I do like it but there’s going to be lots of armies looking just like that getting painted over the next little while and I’ve never been one to follow the herd (although I have been wondering if I can recycle the colour scheme and apply it to anything else, haven’t worked out what yet but there’s a few possibilities, it’s good to have a brassy scheme in my pocket should I need it).

        Re them all looking the same, I hear what you’re saying – and traditionally undead armies like skeletons or zombies would be a bit of a mish-mash of whatever corpses were available when the local necromancer decided to raise and army and start terrorising the populace. However Necron armies, although basically space-zombies, would – if you want to follow the background story, which I do – tend to be much more uniform. It’s odd now I think about it, I convert my models, come up with my own colour schemes, bend the rules of the game (on the rare occasions that I play, and only if my opponent agrees it’ll be fun of course) but I tend to stick closely to the written backstory.

        Anyway, think of it like the terracotta army, all of these Necrons were once part of a living army and a very strictly hierarchical society. Each one would have been a soldier dedicated to a single dynasty and each soldier would have been placed in a mass-produced, identical metal body. Whilst human armies would wear a uniform to ensure similar appearance across a fighting force the Necrons would take this even further, every single soldier would look exactly the same as every other soldier. Of course they’ve then been left lying in the ground of millions of years and things have started to break down, hence why they no longer look as pristine and identical as they once did.

      • theimperfectmodeller

        I get where you are coming from. I think the key is your desire to keep to the background story. There is a point, possibly for us all, where there is a boundary in our work which cannot be crossed. I know I have my own established rights and wrongs, even when it comes to fantasy. When I do Old West figures for example I will never ever deviate from authentic colours.

        One thing I do know is whatever you decide upon the end results will look awesome! 🙂

      • Wudugast

        I think having some rules that we stick to is really important (IRO will be along at some point to tell us that rules are there to be broken – and he’s right up to a point). I think it comes down to what we can get away with whilst making sure that the results seem real. At the end of the day you’re not painting cowboys and I’m not painting aliens, we’re both painting tiny bits of lead/plastic/resin/etc . Without something to impose order we lose the sense of verisimilitude that we’re looking to capture.

      • theimperfectmodeller

        Haha, yea IRO would only invent rules so he could break them! However odd it might seem to each other I think we have over time each created our own rules. I know I have.

      • imperialrebelork

        Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist 😉 – Pablo Picasso

      • Wudugast

        You know, that could be the subject of a podcast, what are your self-imposed golden rules that you apply to the hobby (and when would you break them)? Maybe one to put to the masses?

    • Wudugast

      I agree, I do like the brassy look, and the balance of colours there works really well. It comes back to what we were saying the other day about the Ad Mech, do I follow the studio colour scheme or do I forge my own path into the wilderness? I think it’s especially important when these are the poster boys of the new edition and therefore likely to be seen everywhere. Again I don’t quite know how it would play out, would familiarity with the brass Necrons breed contempt or would seeing lots of similar armies give me a boost of enthusiasm? I’ve always been stubbornly independent when it comes to painting armies so I’ve rarely experienced sticking with the studio colour-scheme for the long haul (the Ad Mech being the big exception and I’ve not exactly made masses of progress there yet…).

      I’d 100% agree on your point about having fun. Whenever anyone asks me how to paint faster I always say “enjoy it”. If you’re having fun with a project then you’ll make the time to work on it, regardless of what else is going on. If you’re not having fun with it then you’ll put it off and progress will slow down. Plus you’ve got to think down the road a bit, it’s easy to pick the scheme I like best today but which one will I like best in 100 miniatures time? Anyone got a crystal ball? 😉

      • Kuribo

        These are all great points and well-said too! 🙂 I’d say one more piece of advice is to take some time and think about it as it is not an easy decision. Thankfully, it isn’t like you can’t work on some other minis as you think this one over too 🙂

      • Wudugast

        That is also very wise. I’m all in favour of running with your enthusiasm whilst you can but this is an army I’m looking at painting, not a single figure or a warband – if I’m not still feeling enthusiastic about it in a week or two after I’ve given myself time to think about it then how can I expect to still be enthusiastic in six months or a year? And as you say, I’ve got plenty of other projects I could be working on in the meantime. 😉

  • Fiona

    I really enjoyed this post, particularly for the mixed opinions- as I read through each comment I kept having to back up and take another look, paying greater attention to the details I had overlooked. It’s super that you have a little community here that will give you their honest opinions, because a fresh set of eyes will almost always picks out something you may not have considered. I admit I was pretty impressed with that brassy fella, (really well painted), but can imagine the contrast of the black and white would be rather striking, almost like an army of floating skulls in a dimly lit situation; pair that with the neon green, a pretty trippy sight. I quite like that pop of green but perhaps more so with the colourings of the other…guns? (Sorry, I have no idea what one would call that thing- entirely out of my depth here!)

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I think you’ve hit on what I enjoy most about blogging – I find it incredible that I can discuss ideas and get helpful feedback from people all over the globe. I find too that there’s a much friendlier atmosphere and greater sense of community with blogs than tends to happen with other social media. It’s something I really enjoy, back when I started in this hobby I could get a second opinion from, at best, a handful of mates whereas now I can pitch ideas to the whole world – and get some really useful feedback.

      Right now I think I’m leaning towards going with the black and white scheme but toning down the green on the gun a little, I might even do something that’s more like the gun of the original one. I too really like the pop of the green but I think spread across a whole army of them it might get a bit much, I want to keep it as part of the colour scheme but I’ll have to resist the urge to overdo it!

      • Fiona

        Yes! I must say when my slightly-less-than-tech-savvy father (modelmanpat) first began his blog- I was a little apprehensive once he discovered the ability to leave comments.. but he proved me entirely wrong by building a really encouraging and friendly community around himself, totally showing me up 😛

      • Wudugast

        Oh I know, it’s always a bit terrifying when our parents discover the internet isn’t it? I’m always faintly alarmed about what mine are going to get up to! Well done for encouraging him though, he produces some incredible work 🙂

  • Argentbadger

    I like all three of them, but moreover I like the way that they look together. Humans have different cool colours of skin, hair, etc and it’s a great way to break up a uniform appearance of your miniatures. I say apply that to your Necrons. After all, they’re not brand new robots rolling of a factory line to destroy all humans; instead they are eternities old and have presumably had ample opportunity to acquire patina, replacement parts etc.

    • Wudugast

      That is all very true, and I do like the way they look lined up together. I’ve often thought it would be fun to paint one space marine from each of the original legions as a bit of a painting project, to really push my painting as much as possible (and throw in appropriate conversions as well of course). With these though I’d like to find a uniform scheme for the whole army, and of course then add plenty of battle-damage, wear and tear and so on. I do enjoy a proper miss-mash army though, but my Chaos collection already leans that way (as do my Orks now I think about it) so I’d like to keep these a bit more uniform.

  • imperialrebelork

    I really like all of them but the black and white is the most unique so that’s my pick.

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