Thursday, 15 March 2012

Necrons, Games Workshop - Part 1 of 9

In my youth I would often see how quickly I could complete a model, the faster the better I thought. Nowadays I spend a bit more time planning ahead. Some of this is simply mentally picturing how to complete the minis, a mental dry run. Without wishing to sound odd I can often ‘see’ the finished article before I start, or at least have a very good idea how it will look. It’s a pity I can’t rapid prototype using my mind power alone.

An example of this process is the Necron miniature bases. From the start I had wanted to give the notion of the Necrons walking across a scarred industrial wasteland. I had assumed that all of the miniatures were made up of identical parts until I came to prepare the bases. Checking the figures again I was pleasantly surprised to discovery that there is a large amount of variation possible. With several arm options and separate bodies every model can have a different pose.

Raiding the scrap box enabled me to produce a number of special ‘one off’ bases. The figure standing on the crushed and twisted structural steel section is a good example. This was made from standard plastic ‘H’ section heated over a candle and then flattened into shape with a metal needle file. Interesting odd shaped bits of plastic were used to replicate distressed metal. Using thin plastic rod I cut half a dozen small pieces to equal length and then scattered them to replicate spent shell cases. Small scale metal chain and plastic card complete with 'bullet holes' and rust stains will add to the overall look of desolation. Reminds me of a foundry I worked in once.

One criticism I have of this box set is that the bases supplied are way too small for these figures (20mm dia). Or to be more pedantic, the legs of the figures are too widely spaced. If one foot is placed firmly within the circular base then the other foot almost entirely clears the edge. Both feet will overhang the edge if not positioned carefully leaving, in my opinion, not enough contact to secure them properly. In order to be safe I decided to pin all of them. This is a relatively easy, if a little long winded, procedure and gives the mini a little extra stability. I used a hand drill to produce a small blind hole, the same diameter as a paper-clip, into the ‘foot’ of the miniature. Then cut off a suitable length of paper clip. Bend the metal into a loop with a longer length of metal at ninety degrees to the loop, pass this though the plastic base and glue the miniature into position.


  1. Some great tips, I especially like the buckled girder! Can't wait to see them painted up.

  2. Caught me by surprise with this one, wasn't expecting to find necron here :)

    I know what you mean by rapid prototyping in your head... or the lack of, i often find that by the time i've completely assembled several miniatures the best one is often not the one you'd thought it would be when the assembly begun.

    If you can get your hands on the 32mm lipped bases it'll solve some of the small base issues without looking out of place.

    All the best and looking forward to see the paint go on them.

  3. Thanks Michael & Qalpha, glad you're enjoying the series.