Necron Test Pieces

I tried a couple of quick ways of painting Necrons recently.  The hope is that I can find a fast way of getting a small group (about twenty I guess, but  who knows?) of evil humanoid robots and some of their less humanoid but just as evil kin ready for the table.  If it works out then I will have a fun little force that I can use in a variety of settings, from Dredd to the 40k-verse to post-apocalyptic rise-of-the-machines settings.

The above test figure is a plastic Necron Warrior.  The figure below is the Necrons “Chaos Android” precursor from the old Space Crusade board game.

The main inspiration for this project came from a couple of unscheduled games of Space Crusade that I played with MT and SOS/theottovonbismark during the summer.  I am tempted to paint up the entire Space Crusade set (as the game was surprisingly fun) but that seems unlikely to be a project that bubbles to the top, but who knows.  That said, the Chaos Androids and Chaos Dreadnought are part of both projects, so it could happen.

The rather gimmicky green translucent rods on the Necron miniatures have never really appealed to me very much.  As well as looking somehow a little out of place on painted figures I also have never been keen on how it locked the figure to a scheme that features green.  Additionally my brother-in-law pointed out that it looks like all of the Necrons carry spirit levels, which I have never been able to get out of my head when I see them.

Different coloured Necron rods can be bought from various online suppliers but as I plan to use more than just actual Necron miniatures for this project, I decided to simply paint the existing green rods red instead.  Corresponding areas on non-Necron skeletal robot models can then be painted to match.

As well as being easy to paint, the silver and red scheme is suggestive of the Cyberdyne/Skynet evil robot skeleton imagery that originally inspired a lot of the Necron stylings.  It may not be a very original scheme, but it is striking.  Being reminiscent of a big Hollywood franchise has never hurt progress on a miniatures project for me either.  That sort of visual shorthand also tends to make games played with those figures more fun.

Lastly, I made my first attempts at OSL when painting these guys.  Both of the figures ended up with embarrassed looking glows on their “cheekbones”, which mirrored that on the painters face.  So I covered it up and decided to leave OSL for another day.


17 Responses

  1. Like them! Always had a soft spot for that android… wasn’t there a metal version too, or was that just the prototype?

    Seems I caught your painting slumpyness btw… I’ve been trying to get some more paint on my doom forgers but I’m still only half way through the current batch of six models. To be honest, I think painting six more or less identical models at a time is pushing the envelope a bit. I think I’ll stick to three at a time with my future BB/DB teams.

    I’ve have had two games of real, face to face BB. Both lost, but I’ve come out on top severely injuring and killing several of my opponents while not suffering any serious injuries myself. Unfortunately we’re playing with bare lead so far (for shame!), so no pics.


    • Im glad that you like them Mattias, thanks for the feedback.

      There was a Chaos Android prototype (presumably in metal) pictured on the sides of the original Space Crusade box and in White Dwarf around that era IIRC. The prototype sculpt was nicer in that it looked like it was a metal casting rather than the rather roounded looking injection moulded guy shown.

      Like you I have an odd fondness for the Android, but its fueled by nostalgia I reckon. I didnt have access to very many other 28mm figures that had a “The Terminator” vibe back then, so I was fond of these guys.

      Painting slumpiness continues around here, not aided by the fact that we look likely to have builders in the house for six weeks soon. Not conducive to figure painting 😦

      As for batch painting, the only times that I succeed at that these days is when I engineer a very simple scheme deliberately (like the Ursa Miners, or hopefully these Necrons). Painting Mega City Judges in batches was torturous: its pairs of those guys in future.

      I know that this sounds preachy, but my group have an enforced ban on unpainted figure gaming. Its sounds restrictive, but once it becomes a given productivity increases. It has to be a “no exceptions” thing for it to work though.


      • Seeing how we’re not a group as such, but two persons just beginning to sniff each others’ gamey crotches (hehe) we’ve been rather lenient so far. In time I’m sure we’ll enforce such rules too. I hate unpainted lead, sadly for blood bowl it have been the norm throughout my career.


        • Heh. Speaking of gamey crotches, my not-so-FLGS is called “Other Realms”. My mother-in-law occasionally picks up bits and pieces or gift vouchers for me or my brother-in-law in there. She accidentally referred to the establishment as “Nether Regions” once and the amusing (and frankly more accurate) name has stuck around here.


  2. They look great on the figure painting front. The only thing that I am not 100% sure about is the base for some reason – could be the black getting picked up from the gun.

    I would possibly have gone with a graveyard at night kind of blue-grey as the scenes set in the future in the Terminator movie are saturated with ( as shown in the movie image above). I assume you are matching the bases to one of your tables?


    • Thanks Otto. I am pleased with the very easily achieved buffed chrome sort of finish on the droids. Fast to replicate I reckon so they should be clanking around a table somewhere near you soon I hope.

      As for the perennial base question, I have based almost everything with plain sand taken from a local beach for the last couple of years. Its free, the supply is effectively infinite and the neutral colour looks ok on my wasteland table and on my urban table. I occasionally tart the bases up with other bits and pieces, but that depends primarily on my mood.

      Themed bases can really help with the identity of a force, but I like bases to be consistent across my figures too. So I took a leaf out of the hobby guide at the back of the Rogue Trader rulebook and went with neutral bases on everything.

      Because of the limited palette on these robots, the base makes them look a little bland I think. Thats why I added little patches of green sand as spot colours. You make a good point about adding a blue tint to the basing. It could definitely add interest and conjure up that “The Terminator” vibe, but when weighed up against time and consistency through my other figures I decided to stick with roughly the same thing as all of my other models bases.

      Also, there will be the occasional piece of brickwork or other piece of interest on the figures bases as the project progresses, (like on these Ursa Miners and these Veer-myn) but I wont be going overboard. Time is always a factor and quick basing is better basing.


      • I see where you are coming from. I have started to tend towards going for individual basing styles for individual forces on account of I anticipate that most likely they will be used together and as you mentioned it helps to differentiate the forces. As a default basing, I still just flock the thing with GW flock and paint a shade close to goblin green in the late 80’s early 90’s style, thats the basing on my orks (and therefore most of my model collection ;-3D

        If I may make one more suggestion….a couple of plastic undead heads would be great on the Necrons bases….now I think I might have paint up a necron myself to see how that would look. I hope I have not caught metal fever off you!!!


        • Human bones on the bases would look quite “Terminator”-y wouldnt they? GW has gone so overboard on the skull imagery that I avoid it a bit though. Still, at least one of these guys should have a skull on the base. I will see what I can do.

          As for some some robot skeletons of your very own, why not? They are quick to paint in the above fashion at least.

          Still, I would rather that you got stuck into the XCOM minitaures project that you have been promising yourself for years 😉


  3. […] This is a test piece for the less then 20 or so Necrons I am planning on churning out in the nearish future inspired by sho3box’s recent post. […]


  4. Indeed, the very human skull imagery was a bit OTT in my opinion. I had a hard time swallowing the fact that the supposedly ancient necrons skeletons looked just like human ones, sigh. Would have worked better to make them cyclopean or some such other deviation. I definately prefered them when they looked like walking toasters which is the preferred direction for my tinboyz. I put a pic of my first effort up on me blog, the picture is a bit crap as the model actually looks a bit better in real life but you gets the idear. I just superglued sand on the base, sprayed it grey, overbrushed boltgun metal, dotted the eyes once red and once yellow and finished with a magic wash of black/blue (including the base) for maximum speed! Base was finished with some ineptus battlegrey and some billious green for radiation like effect. Forgot to add a skull though! ;-3D


    • Nice and fast. For a long time I figured that I would eventually get around to painting some Necrons, but that I would try something original so that they would stand out from the usual gunmetal affairs.

      But why run from the obvious Terminator imagery? I decided not to, and thats why these guys look the way that they do. Plus its really fast

      I hope that your cyber-skeletal horde expands exponentially.


      • Well I have about 10 chaos android plastics, an old necron lord (missing his staff arm) an old immortal (missing both his arms) and that free metal Necron that us oldboyz got free with white dwarf. I am also lucky enough to have a number of these Talos boyz in my collection:

        I expect that is more than enough for my painttention span for now!


        • I should have a few spare parts from a Lychguard/Triarch Praetorian box that should get that Lord back to fighting fit. If I do have suitable bits then I will pop them in the post next week. Which Necron Lord is it? The classic “toaster” guy or the first guy with the green rod?

          I always wanted a couple of those Talos figures, but never got around to it. They look a bit more retro than I remember to be honest, but still ok. They will fit in well with the Androids.


  5. The red rods add a lot to the model. I still think of spirit measures every time I see the green. Due to the Necron Dex being written for use in 5th and 6th ed, it is a little overpowered at present, resulting in a lot of armies on display at tournaments. Pleasingly from a hobby perspective however some of the lads on the scene have put a good bit of effort into them, resulting in some lovely models.

    As SOS points out, the bases are asked to do a good bit of work on making such a plain model look more interesting. One of the lads made a mould of skulls that he used on his to great effect. It seems overkill in places, esp since the rest of the toys look lovely, but I really like them.

    Some of the photos can be seen on this blog:


    • Hi Mr theodinson.

      Using red instead of green on these guys isnt terribly original, but I think that it works. I am glad that you like it.

      The Necrons in the post that you linked to are certainly different. There is something about the somewhat gaudy colours used that kinda works (I like the two shades of brown most really) but Im not sure that the scheme is terribly suited to the style of the figures.

      Its a matter of taste of course, and that guy has put in a lot more work on his figures than I have here. The colours look sort of Masters of the Universe-y, very Saturday morning cartoon bad guys. Normally that style appeals to me (and in the case of robot skeletons more so) but something here just doesnt quite click for me.

      Writing this response got me thinking that a Skeletor Necron scheme would be great. I cant believe that I never thought of it before, despite having quickly painted my Heroquest sorcerer in that scheme. So I checked and found that this guy had beaten me too it.

      Picture of super-cool Skeletor Necron from waaaghgrimbad.blogspot. Used without permission, but I hope that he doesnt mind.


  6. […] 40k and Kill Team force of skelebots was started back in 2012, just over six years from the time of writing.  It was always intended to allude a bit to the […]


  7. […] brief for the last time that I painted Necrons was straightforward.  I needed enough figures to play skirmish games (about 20 or so), I wanted […]


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