+ inload: Painting 9th edition Necrons +

+ Designation: Samaritan +


Wind, endless wind. As though some cyclopean being had been petrified in the throes of a final, everlasting exhalation, the wind coursed urgently across the dead surface of the world.

The tortuous spires of black rock did nothing to impede the howling progress of the wind, nor the abrasive sand that it carried along with it.

There were no local people to raise legends of the Samaritan; not any more. The world was lifeless; the Imperial tithesmen aboard the Rogue Trader's fleet reckoning it extincta summa summaram. As the human vessels turned away, the tithesmen granted the bleak, empty sphere the dubious honour of changing it from a mere dead world to an official Imperial Dead World; tithe grade: Aptus Non.

Even as the eyes of the Ẹtì Alubarika, flagship of Taiwo's fleet, turned away, something moved against the wind. A single lithium-pink eye turned in a socket.

Not all life, it appears, is alive.


+ Painting the Samaritan +

+ The imminent release of Indomitus, the big 40k boxed set, has got me psyched, and while I'm most excited about the Astartes inside, I'm determined not to leave the Necrons lurking in the cupboard of shame opportunity. To that end, I thought I'd see what I could achieve quickly – I'm hoping that I can get good results without investing huge amounts of modelling and painting time. +

+ An hour or two last night ended up with the following Necron looming large on my desk. He's not finished – the staff is still plain black undercoat, and I'd like to poke about a bit more to tidy things up a little – but I'm pleased with the result, particularly given the speed. +

+ Not having tackled Necrons before (at least, unless you count Chaos Androids from Space Crusade), I went with a variant on my approach to painting Iron Warriors [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]; black undercoat, muddled metals, then repeated layers of inks and washes before bringing back the highlights. +

+ This figure, a Cryptek that I bought on a whim a few years ago, proved a good tester, combining as it does elements of the more humanioid infantry with the beetle-like details of the Necrons' war machines. +

+ The front's fairly unadventurous; but given the level of sculpted detail, that's unsurprising. I picked out a few bits here and there in gold, but other than that, I kept the scheme simple to ensure speed. I picked the eye out in a very pale cold pink, aiming for maximum contrast. +

+ The back's a bit more fun. This cryptek is joined to a creepy spider-thing (must look up the background!) by an immense carapace/cloak device. I used  lots of short fine lines of varying lengths in a uniform direction for the highlight on the edge of the cloak 'scales'. This gave it a sense of texture, and hopefully helps distinguish it as equipment/clothing, despite the shared palette with the Necron's own body. +

+ Metallics are very forgiving, so they're a great place to experiment with texture. You'll see here that I've used clean, plain brushstrokes for the Necron, stippling on the less sophisticated spider-thing, and drybrushing on the base details alongside the sharp lines technique on the cloak. This – hopefully – translates to the different areas reading as different things, rather than all blending together. +

+ This shot shows the discoloration and patina on the Necron (the shoulder plate on the left is a good example). I found it tricky to balance a sense of it being simultaneously aeons-old and super high-tech, so getting the contrast between the clean, bright eye and the age-patinated armour plates was the challenge here. +

+ Characters and testers are both great places to play around, and there's a balance to be struck between having a plan beforehand and having a response to the figure once it's in hand. The cloak here is a good example. I planned to distinguish it from the Necron's body, but didn't really go in with any strong ideas of how to do that. I ended up giving it additional layers of inks and washes to build up the patina more, and then using starker highlighting with the parallel lines described above. +

+ I initially tackled the large glowing region in the centre – a gem? A power pack? Mysterious hypertech? – as a simple light, but the more I looked at it, the more it looked boring. It was screaming out for some freehand, but I couldn't bring myself to just paint a boring logo on it: that just seemed too 'human'. In the end, I looked to the setting – the Endworlds of the galaxy's rim – for inspiration, and painted a simple representation of a nebula in black, edging it with white to help it stand out. +

+ The semi-abstract result isn't entirely successful – it could equally well read as a crack! – but there's something of interest there, and it looks deliberate. I'm chalking that up as a win. +


+ Painting Necrons +

+ Since this was as much exploration and experiment in speed as anything else, I'm afraid I didn't take any work-in-progress pictures beyond those you see elsewhere on this post. I did, however, decide to document the paints I used, and will post up a proper step-by-step once the 9th edition 40k box lands. In the meantime, here are the ingredients for the recipe. +

_1: Undercoat black.

_2: Combination of Balthasar Gold and Ironbreaker. Note that this is not a thorough mix, but used wet-in-wet. By this I mean that I transfer a little of each paint to my palette and lightly muddle them together, so I have areas of each pure paint alongside an area where the two mix. I then apply this roughly to the whole surface, giving a mottled result. 

_3: Once dry, I apply Seraphim Sepia and Leviathan Purple, dipping in and out of each pot and letting them mix and muddle on the surface of the model. Before they dry, I use the brush to prevent pooling and steer the wash into recesses, before switching to a clean dry brush to lift out excess from highlight areas. You just touch the dry bristles to the area, and they'll draw up the wash, leaving the surface bright and clean. 

_4: Next up we build the contrast. A mere hint of Warlock Purple is added to white (I used Arctic White from Instar) and used to pick out the glowing bits – eyes and so forth.

_5: With the model completely dry, I switched to using a pair of favourite inks; Sepia and Payne's Gray. These add depth and richness to the shadow areas, and can be used to help develop the patination. Usually I'd stick with Payne's Gray for a cool effect, and Sepia for warm. Here, as the scheme is essentially neutral, I used both to add interest and variety. +


+ How will the Gatebreakers fare when they encounter the Samaritan? Hopefully we'll find out soon... In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any ideas for what you'd like to see done for the step-by-step. Just a regular Necron warrior? +


  1. Nicely done, not a clean GW finish which suits the grime look of the Gatebreakers. What colour are you doing the Staff? Same Warplock Purples?

    1. I'll use a darker Liche purple – I want to ensure that the focus stays on the Necron him/her/itself, so I don't want the weapon to be too eye-catching.

  2. Great work - I've never painted Necrons, but will be giving it a shot when the new vox comes out..


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