At the very start of the year, I’d made a couple of plans to do with miniatures that largely involved trying to get myself in gear for actually finishing with painting the massive number of little plastic people I have hanging about. After 52 consecutive weeks of hobby updates, I was feeling flushed with success to actually keep to these goals, but the inevitability of real life soon returned, and I’ve been putting a lot of these plans off. Well, now that I’ve finished my degree, it’s time to make a return!
One of said plans was to revitalise my Necron army, and go back to actually repaint some of the soulless space robots. Necrons were my first foray into 40k, of course, and among some of the first ever miniatures that I had painted. Since then, I’d been swelling the ranks while trying to match that original paint scheme, meaning that I wasn’t really progressing with my skills. I’m not suggesting that I’d become a phenomenal painter in that time, of course, but rather that I felt like I was stagnating. As 2016 drew to a close, I began to think of how I could spruce up these original miniatures, yet keep the original scheme going, and promptly stripped the paint off a number of Lychguard. However, it took me a good while before I started the Great Reanimation of 2017, as my Novamarines and Dark Eldar plans came to the fore! I don’t think I’ll ever not have a dozen different things going on (what kind of self-respecting hobbyist only focuses on one project at a time, anyway?)
Last month, however, I managed to finish off the Lychguard that had been stripped down, and began to think about what I wanted to do next with the army.
One of the things that had been bothering me initially was the fact that I could see brushstrokes within the paint on a lot of the miniatures, particularly the faces. Indeed, the faces in general were starting to bug me, as I’d been painting them too white for all these years! Long time readers may remember me talking about the miniature showcases at the end of the “how to use Citadel paints” videos, where a Lychguard is used to demonstrate the various paints in the then-new system – the face is supposed to be painted with Ulthuan Grey, and edge-highlighted with White Scar. I’d just been painting it White Scar and leaving it, which had led to some decidedly ropey-looking miniatures in my army!
This introduction is turning into quite the essay, but I’ve nearly finished!
The turning point for me began back in November, when I had a game up at my local GW against a beautifully-painted Guard army. Seeing my own attempts against these really inspired me to actually try to get my army looking good, rather than merely wanting to, essentially, colour-in some models. I’d been trying to paint well since starting with the Deathwatch project, and my Novamarines were a similar effort to up my painting game, but I was still a little less than enthused for my Necrons, due to the fact I was trying to match a paint scheme that I’d come up with years ago.
However, the beginning of the end came in the most innocuous of ways.
I had my first game of 8th Edition at my local store, and as a result had decided to pick up some more undead space robots, thinking I might do some more tesla Immortals. These guys have been repackaged, and the back of the box now shows a couple of alternative paint schemes, which really stopped me short as I was looking at them in the store. “They hadn’t invented these colours when I’d started painting my Necrons!” I cried, indignantly. But of course, they had – back in 5th Edition, the Codex showed a variety of different colour schemes for them, including the blue scheme that so impressed me:
I was enamoured. The Thokt Dynasty, above, looks superb, with the cool blue glowing effects and the darker armour with those grey highlights – mmm, that’s quite a beautiful scheme, right there! I hadn’t really thought of it properly before, but the dynasties seem to be treated much like Space Marine Chapters, with the 7th Edition Codex talking about a couple of them and providing a look at their schemes and glyphs. The recent announcement that Codexes will be coming out and featuring unique rules for, among other things, Necron dynasties, has also made me more interested in painting up a “real” dynasty for a change.
But I don’t want to repaint all of my guys! I have over 3000 old points tied up in silver-and-green miniatures!
The nail in the coffin, however, came just last week, when I finished painting another trio of scarab bases.
I knew that Mourn Mountain Snow had been removed from the shelves of GW and other suppliers, but I had seen it still available on the webstore, and so wasn’t feeling too fazed by it. “Maybe I’ll pick some up when I’m next doing an order…” tended to be my thoughts, although I never seemed to get round to it. I now have about two-thirds of a pot left, and so decided to take a look to see if the snow was still available.
Catastrophe! It wasn’t.
Valhallan Blizzard has been out for a while now, of course, and I do have a pot of it, but it just isn’t the same texture/consistency/look/feel/thing as the other stuff. In a panic, I thought I might be able to just put any old texture on, and then paint it white (rationally, I think this is entirely possible and could well work), but over the course of an evening, I’d convinced myself that enough was enough! I’ve been talking for well over a year about trying to be better with my Necron paint scheme, but have never really done anything about it. If truth be told, I’m not even sure I like the scheme that I’ve come up with – I mean, it’s been fine all these years, but I’ve never really critically looked at it until now. I do like how I’ve painted the warscythes on the newly-rescued Lychguard, but the expanse of green on the vehicles and other places doesn’t really fill me with pride, or anything. Having recently built up a Monolith, the idea of having a huge green box on the table was just slightly too boring for me.
So, I’m going to do a new army.
I’m settled on doing the Thokt Dynasty, as you may have picked up on above, and I’ve been taking some time to really go through and work out how I want to do it. For the Immortals and Deathmarks, who are shown in these colours on the box, it’s pretty obvious. However, Lychguard are the focus of the faction for me, so I want to come up with something that will look awesome. I also have ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to do a Judicator Battalion back in the day, so need to think about them, also.
My first attempt at producing the new Thokt Necrons has turned out pretty well, I feel! I managed to churn them out over the course of a couple of hours, all told. My recipe is as follows:
1. Base the body with Leadbelcher. Base the pauldrons and head with Mechanicus Standard Grey, and the gun with a 50/50 mix of Mechanicus Standard Grey and Abaddon Black.
2. Shade the whole thing with Nuln Oil.
3. Layer the pauldrons and gun with Skavenblight Dinge.
4. Layer the head (stripe) with Dawnstone.
5. Base the gun barrels and pipes with Kantor Blue.
6. Shade the pipes with Drakenhof Nightshade.
7. “Softbrush” these blue parts with Alaitoc Blue. Take the barrels further with Hoeth Blue, then Blue Horror.
8. Glaze the barrels with Guilliman Blue. Also glaze the eyes.
9. Use Stirland Mud / Stirland Battlemire on the bases, and drybrush with Praxeti White. Add in Valhallan Blizzard and ‘Ardcoat where necessary (‘Ardcoat to simulate ice).
10. Paint the rim of the base with Dryad Bark.
These are the first Necrons that I’ve painted since starting my painting career all those years ago, where I’ve actually tried to do a good job. And I have to say, I’m actually very proud of myself! I think they look fantastic, and I’m really excited to start painting more Necrons in this scheme – I’ve already got more kits waiting to be built expressly for this dynasty!
Has there ever been a more tortured, or more gratuitous reason for completely starting over with an army? Probably, but I’m looking forward to getting these guys done, and in time, I hope to re-do my entire Necron collection in these colours!
Let’s just hope the eventual Codex release doesn’t see me enamoured of a whole different Dynasty, and precipitate a further change!