Monday, September 22, 2014

WIP: Necron Army - Part 1: Making the most out of the Battle Force box

I've started my Necron army! Early progress, and tips on making the most out of the battle force box, after the break.

I purchased a Necron army last month in a killer craigslist deal; $300 worth of models for $160! It contains two battle forces and a command/annihilation barge - a great start to any Necron army. I've also supplemented the army with a Praetorian/Lychguard box, which we'll use to make Lords and Crypteks.

The battle force box is pretty solid, with the inclusion of 20 warriors, 5 deathmarks (or immortals) 4 scarab swarms and the ghost ark/doomsday ark kit. There are no dud units in the box - BUT we can make it better! The kit contains a complete deathmark/immortal sprue, but only enough torso fronts and legs to make one or the other...

Unless, of course, we build the deathmarks, then take 5 of the warriors and turn them into immortals as you see above! This still leaves us with 15 warriors, which is more than enough. I'll cover how to do this simple conversion in next week's post. For now, let's start with the backbone of the army; the warriors.

The first thing we're going to do is take the easiest army to build and paint in the entire 40K universe, and make it 20 times HARDER! Fun! In the pic below, you can see the basic warrior legs on the right. Notice the silly, "load of shit in my diaper" pose that they all have. Unacceptable. We're going to follow this simple yet challenging tutorial, linked HERE, and convert every one of them to be walking instead.

Now that we've made the legs cooler, we're going to remedy the other problem with the basic model - the "Necron hunch". The curve of the spine and the design of the neck cause the torso to hunch forward. The head is designed to rest in the neck in a manner that makes it look up slightly to compensate - but because  we've fixed the leg posture, that's a problem!

Using styrene rod with a diameter that matches the spine, we'll cut small slivers and glue them to the necks, in order to let the heads face forward properly.

TA-DAA! Now we're gonna do this 30 more times.

If you get frustrated, you can always keep a few of them in the original pose - this will add some variety to your squad. You can see my 15 warriors in the image below. Some are walking, some are running and a few are doing the necron squat.

Now that we've front loaded all the pain and suffering, we're going move on to the easiest part of any Necron army - painting! We'll put a Hammer of Wrath spin on how these guys are done, but they're still going to be one of the quickest armies to paint in the entire game.

I applied a primer coat using and airbrush and Vallejo black polyurethane primer. It goes on quickly and doesn't clog the details. Notice that I've left the green rod and the end of the Guass blaster off, so that it is not covered by the paint. If you don't like the green rods, simply assemble them here, and paint over them.

Next I applied a spray of Vallejo gunmetal. I did this in a zenithal approach, spraying only top down and straight at the the model from the side. This leaves the black primer along the bottom surfaces of the model, exaggerating the shading.

Lastly, I applied a vallejo silver in a zenithal pass, spraying only TOP DOWN, to create a highlight. This effect is subtle, but does add a layer of finish to the model that would otherwise be lacking. You can see this most prominently on Deet's Grey Knights.

Now that our base paint is complete, I'm going to add a shock of color to the army. A single, brilliant color can make all the difference in a sea of metallic grey. In this case, I have decided to blatantly steal Monkey's color scheme from his blog. I've masked the model using poster tack, and applied a spray of vallejo gold yellow to the shoulders. You can, of course, paint this with a brush, but I find that yellows often take several coats to cover, and can look streaky.

I then applied a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade. When that was dry, I applied a wash of GW Nuln Oil. When that dried, I lightly dry-brushed the model with a mix of vallejo gunmetal and silver.

I applied vallejo white before painting vallejo scorpion green to the eyes, energy coils and power hose.

Finally, I applied a wash of GW Bieltan Green to the coils and hose to create highlights and shadows. I painted the Guass blaster black, then attached the green rod and tip. To finish, base the model to your personal taste, and paint the rim with GW Steel Legion Drab.

That's it for the Necron warriors! Next week, we'll cover how to convert the five remaining warriors into immortals so you can get the most out of your battle force.



  1. Man, a week at home has you trucking on these guys. You going to do something with the rod? Those bubbles in the Necron parts bug the crap out of me. You've got to be able to find some acrylic rod that you could cut to length and keep it clean. I wonder if you could get some nice effect by airbrushing some Tamiya clear green over the base end so it glows toward the barrel?

    Looking slick though man. Got me jealous.

  2. Nice quick work! Like the posing you've done. Thanks for all the links to the other articles, wealth of info here!