Category Archives: Necrons

Tomb It May Concern – Part 4

Just to prove that my adventures with Necrons last month were not merely a flash in the pan I’m back on the tomb world once again, hauling yet more grumpy androids from their dusty graves. My first port of call was a leader for my army, an undead king in the form of this Necron Lord.

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As the commander of my legions he needed a suitably impressive title so I turned my attention to the naming table from the previous edition of Kill Team combined with the Dynastic Epithets in the current Necron codex. Rather than roll a dice however I just asked my wife to pick some random numbers, and we ended up naming him Anubitar the Unstoppable, Breaker of the Beings Below. Needless to say I’ve pencilled this in as a suitable name for our first child as well.

Next up, the oddly endearing Canoptek Reanimator.

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This is an impressively tall model, as demonstrated by the way it towers over this Necron warrior.

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Finally we turn from the very tall to the fairly small, and the diminutive Plasmacyte.

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Not quite as many models as I managed last time around but then again work is still super busy, and I’ve got a lot of other projects clamouring for my limited time as we hurtle towards the mid-year update. More mechanical men should appear in the second half of the year however.

Tomb It May Concern – Part 3

The Necrons may be immortal but the rest of us are not and so whilst they may be content to take tens of millennia to fulfil their plans I’m going to have to work a tiny bit faster if I want to get my metallic legions painted. Now I fully intend to live a good long time yet (many, many decades if I have anything to say about it!) but even that won’t be enough to get this project finished if I don’t ever get on with it and actually paint something. The irony being that part of what attracted me to the Necrons was the fact that I could paint them up quite quickly, something I set out to do in 2020 before rapidly going into hibernation instead. 2021 I told myself would be the year of the Necrons, the year I churned out a host of robots at mind boggling speed. Alas the best laid plans of even the most megalomaniacal of undead android emperors sometimes come to naught and so it is that 2022 rolled around without so much as a single scarab disturbing the dust of the tomb worlds.

This year however I plan to do better and so, having settled at last on a fairly traditional colour scheme (mostly because it’s nice and easy to paint) I set about assembling my first squad of ten Necron warriors.

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In terms of appearance there’s nothing radical here but they speak to a sense of nostalgia in me, and I’m trying to keep this project as straightforward and complication-free as possible! Best of all, by keeping things simple I managed to complete a whole squad in next to no time!

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That’s not all however, I also painted a couple more swarms of scarabs to add to the one I painted back at the tail end of 2020.

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Floating ominously out of the ancient vaults we have a Plasmancer who manipulates raw energy in ways so strange and arcane they might just be magic…

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Of course we wouldn’t want some weirdo space wizard who doesn’t even have legs running the show so, until my Necron Lord is fully painted, his loyal bodyguard the Royal Warden will be stepping up to keep the legion in line.

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Now that’s more like progress isn’t it? Needless to say I’ve got lots more space undead on the desk but hopefully, after two decades of aspiring to a Necron army, this is the beginning of the march towards finally getting them painted.

Let Us Flay

One of my hobby goals for 2021 was to paint up the entire Necron half of the Indomitus boxset. I went into the year feeling quite bold and confident about it and ended up proudly completing a mighty army of… erm… precisely zero models… Yeah, when it comes to the evil skeleton robots I dropped the ball entirely. I got quite stumped over what colour scheme to choose, tried various options, scratched my head a lot and then ended up getting distracted and painting other things. I still really like these miniatures though and I’m feeling a lot happier about my plans for them so maybe things will go better in 2022.

Anyway, thinking about this got me feeling quite enthused about Necrons again so I grabbed one of the Flayed Ones and painted it up. These are corrupted Necrons who cover themselves in the skins of their enemies, and the kits are wonderfully gruesome. I didn’t put any pressure on myself, instead just relaxing and painting up a macabre robot-ghoul without any expectation that I was going to nail a colour scheme for an entire army or anything silly like that.

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Isn’t he an evil looking robot! At some point more will undoubtedly emerge from their tombs…

Tomb It May Concern – Part 2

A few weeks ago I showed some pictures of the Necrons that I’d been working on and talked a bit about some of the colour schemes I’ve been thinking of using for my collection of maniacal mechanical aliens. To be honest I’m no closer to reaching a conclusion but that’s ok, I have no deadlines for this project, plenty else to keep me entertained and most of the models I plan to include have yet to reach me, being part of my as yet unmade “made to order” Indomitus set. That said I’ve not been entirely idle and as a result I’ve accumulated enough finished material to make another update worthwhile. 

First of all we have the “black and white” colour scheme that I showed previously. Amongst the suggestions and feedback I received Alex from Leadballoony suggested toning down the vivid green on the model’s gun, pointing out that it was rather overwhelming – especially on such a monochrome model. I was inclined to agree, so here’s the updated version, hopefully a little less garish. 

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And by way of comparison, here’s how he used to look. It’s not a huge change but hopefully it’s sufficient.

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I’ve always liked the idea of Necrons as space-zombies, tarnished, rusted and on the verge of mechanical failure, rather than the sleek legions of automatons they might once have been before millions of years in their crypts took their toll. This is an aesthetic which this current wave of releases looks to be embracing more than any have previously. The first model I painted attempted to capture this and although I remain pleased with the results I struggled to make it look good on multiple models. 

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Looking at artwork for inspiration however I kept coming back to the idea that the other schemes I’ve tried have been too clean, and failed to adequately capture the sense of mechanical decay I was looking for. For many years this has been my go-to image when thinking about Necrons and I didn’t want to stray too far from it now I’ve finally started to paint some of my own (all the art shown here is copyright of Games Workshop by the way, and was looted from a mysterious tomb without permission). 

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Likewise this image taken from the cover of the new codex again emphasises this aspect – these may be technological gods, elevated by science to levels far beyond the wildest dreams of the other races of the galaxy, but they stand at the point of collapse.

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Their systems are failing, their minds corroded into madness and the grand achievements of rationality and engineering upon which they built their empire can only struggle against the superstition and insanity which holds the galaxy in its sway. 

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Back when I first started on this project I’d tried out an alternative colour scheme that, like the very first one, tried to explore this side of the robots. In the end I decided not to pursue it but the model was still sitting there, part painted, and I decided it was worth following the experiment to its conclusion after all. 

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I incorporated some elements of the “black and white” model but otherwise went for a very traditional metallic Necron, albeit one caked in muck, grime and corrosion. Honestly I really like it, and it certainly fits the bill of being nice and straightforward to paint. Is this the scheme I’m going to settle on? I think it’s too early to tell, I’ve come close to declaring for one scheme or another several times but as I say, at the moment there’s no rush. Here’s the full line up of current contenders. 

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As part of exploring this subject I decided to try painting a Deathmark. These were for a long time my favourite Necron models, only pushed off the top spot by the range of amazing miniatures which have appeared recently. As specialist assassins their colour scheme needn’t match exactly with the rest of the army anyway so I felt free to mess around a bit and explore a few ideas.

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If I decide to go with either of the schemes I’ve focused on above for the rest of the army – which is by far the most likely outcome at the moment – this model will fit in just fine. 

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Anyway, that’s where I’m up to with the Necrons – I’m still having fun exploring these models and playing with ideas and I hope none of you are screaming at your computer screens for me to just pick a scheme and get on with it. Check back in a month or so and I’ll have decided to paint them all pink or something… 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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…

The First To Awaken

I’ve been trying my hand at painting the first of my Necrons and I think I’ve hit on a scheme I’m happy with. I wanted something that looked aged and damaged, as the millennia spent sleeping in their tombs took their toll, but wanted to avoid the usual rusty look that I’ve already applied widely to Chaos (especially Nurgle), Orks and Skaven.

The basing is pretty simple) – I just wanted something to get him finished and in my view a model isn’t done until the base is done. Otherwise I think I’m settled on this scheme so when time allows I’ll have a go at painting up a few more.

Mean-Minded Metal Man

Just a quick tangent into something silly today. I was looking round for something mechanical to paint, preferably something which ties into one of my current projects, for Azazel’s Mechanovember challenge. Instead of picking something out of the half-finished pile however I spotted this Chaos Android – or if you prefer a proto-Necron – sitting in a box of models given to me by a friend a couple of years ago. He’s survived unpainted perfectly well for decades (the model not the friend) and he might well have continued to do so, but it struck me that he’d be quick and straightforwards and sure enough I bashed through painting him in the course of an evening, using only the odd spare moments whilst I waited for other things to dry (there’s only so much batch-painting of orks a man can stomach after all!).

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I won’t deny he’s a weird and ugly looking model, and the passage of years has not been kind to him, but there’s a certain nostalgia at play as well – I’m certainly glad he’s not going to have to endure another decade without paint!