The big news these days in the world of Warhammer 40k is of course the upcoming Indomitus box set, ushering in a new edition of the game as well as a whole host of new models. As is typical for releases like this, we have a display set from Games Workshop specifically to promote the new edition and its exciting new content. BUT, that also means that we’re expected to have the armies from the set painted, finished and ready to display come release day – just two weeks away! As one of our staff painters, I got the job of completing one half of the models included in Indomitus, and since I had to do the Space Marines for the last set back at the start of 8th Edition, I called dibs on the Necrons. I thought that you, our dear readers, might also enjoy a peek behind the curtain and a live look at my progress as I work on this project.
My name’s Chris, and I’m here to paint robots!
So what have we got here? 37 models, which equates to roughly 1,000 points of Necrons. That’s a decently-sized core force for starting the game, but it will be a bit of a challenge to have it all completed in the two weeks before my release-date deadline. Certainly not impossible, but I’ll need to get the jump on it straight away in order to avoid a real slog at the end. First order of business: get some assembly done and paint a test model to nail down the colors I’ll be using.
I decided that rather than assemble everything all at once to space it out a bit alongside painting, just to help myself not get burned out too quickly and keep my focus. The Warriors were an obvious starting point, since they make up most of the model count and will also be an ideal model for figuring out the paint scheme. With that in mind, I got to work building a first batch of five Warriors, along with the Skorpekh Destroyer Lord to begin working out any painting details specific to the larger and fancier models included in the set.
The engineering of the plastic parts is pretty well done, as Games Workshop has earned a bit of a reputation for. I like the effort that went into making each Warrior just five pieces, although these are certainly among the more spindly and delicate figures they’ve released. Definitely not the worse I’ve built lately (looking at you, House Delaque!) but you do need to be a bit careful when scraping away mold lines to ensure you’re not putting too much pressure on thin parts like the arms.
I found out pretty quickly that my usual approach wouldn’t quite work here. I like to use superglue when assembling basically anything (’cause I’m impatient) but because the models in this box set are all designed to push together without glue being a necessity, the little plugs that fix the parts together fit very tightly. It takes a few seconds of effort and pressure to get them to seat properly, and while using superglue that means that it will very likely grab and bond when the part isn’t in the right place yet. You also can’t test-fit the parts, since once one is in place it’s pretty much impossible to separate them without breaking something. In this case, I settled on using Extra Thin plastic cement from Tamiya. Its thin consistency and little brush applicator means that I can press a part into place, and then easily add the glue AFTER it’s in exactly the right place. Definitely the right tool for this job.
Let’s talk paint! I quite like the new Necron colors that Games Workshop has shown off in their promotional photos for the Indomitus box, but those specific new paints won’t be available until after my deadline. I also wanted to go a little bit darker, hopefully bringing out the worn-and-ancient feel of the Necrons. Here’s what I came up with:
Perhaps befitting the Necrons, almost every paint on here is a metallic. The core of this paint scheme is Vallejo Game Color Tinny Tin (aka Tin Bitz for you longtime Citadel painters). It’s a fantastically dark and ominous bronze tone, and while it’s unfortunately not available in a spray can, it does cover over a Leadbelcher spray basecoat very easily. The big areas of color are broken up by picking out the points and weapon using one of my all-time favorites, Vallejo Model Air Black Metal. This is a bit more of an unusual paint, but it is a great color for all sorts of things and one I use frequently. Accent areas like the shoulder plates and blade on the gun are picked out with Leadbelcher. And… that’s pretty much it for base colors!
The whole thing then got a wash of Army Painter Strong Tone, diluted with 1 part water to 2 parts wash. To wrap up the metallics, everthing received a drybrush of Necron Compound. Applying this over all the colors helped to brighten up the edges and bring out the shape of the model, but over the Tinny Tin it also created a wonderful worn look which was exactly what I was looking for.
Every Necron needs neon green! My first attempt was to pick out the green areas with Citadel Wraithbone and then apply Hexwraith Flame to get that ghostly green glow, but this ended up looking too dark for my taste. I went back over the areas again with some P3 Necrotite Green (which you might recognize as one of my picks from an earlier Paints you Might Not Have Tried article). Success! The energy-coil-looking bits and tubing on the gun were a bit flat, so some Army Painter Green Tone was washed over the hose and into the recesses of the coils. And Necron Warrior #0000 is complete! One down, and 36 to go…