1 Apr 2013

My Necrons - Construction is Fun!

Howdy all, I'm Learn2Eel and I'm here again to talk about my lovely skeletal robots from space! Today, I'm going to discuss what building these models has been like, what I think of their overall design, and all of the nice little touches that give them a stylistic and thematic link to Ancient Egyptian culture. Enjoy! Also, HAPPY EASTER!!!

The Box Sets

Obyron: "That's a nice tentacle you got there son...."
When I went into my local Games Workshop store to grab the first kits for my lovely new Necrons (though my first model was the awesome Vargard Obyron, featured on the right), I was welcomed with the merry sight of a Warhammer Fantasy Doubles Tournament. Quite the mouthful in more ways than one, it was a fun and interesting event that highlighted the joy I was having from starting to assemble my "Newcrons". Working in a nice atmosphere where I can take a break from the toils and enjoy a relaxed, friendly competitive arena - or some other kind of neat diversion - is conducive to a good output. The boxes themselves looked nice as always, but of course, such things aren't too important; the meat comes down to what is inside.

"Not enough Necrons."
As for pricing, having gone through the kits, I thought to myself; "these are pretty good deals!", which makes a nice change from over-paying for single-model characters and the like (Australian prices are 'fabulous'!). In fact, so surprised was I to learn that the Necron Warriors kit didn't come with ten miniatures, but fifteen in total; twelve Warriors, and three Scarab Swarms, all for the same price as five Immortals! What great value! The Annihilation Barges are also a mighty fine bargain, with a fully sized, unique and lovingly detailed vehicle paired with a free Necron (Over)Lord given that I built all three of them as Annihilation Barges. So, after spending a pretty decent sum, I've ended up with three more Necron (Over)Lords, three more Scarab Swarms and two more Necron Warriors than I initially expected. Not bad at all! When one looks at the value inherent in just these Necron sets, it isn't hard to understand why they are so popular; not just for their well designed rules or unique visual style, but also because they appear to be a great value army that is quite rewarding. In other terms; the perfect army for a beginner or veteran alike, bucking the trend of many Xenos armies that are quite a bit more unforgiving for new players - Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tyranids come to mind.

The Warriors and Scarabs

They aren't too scary - yet.
Given I didn't have much time, I started work on the Necron Warriors at the store - as well as the Scarab Swarms - but finished them at home; I didn't even bother with the Annihilation Barges and (Over)Lords until later. I was surprised at just how many sprues the Necron Warrior kit had - it was something like six or seven, but though the instructions were painfully light, the kit was quite self explanatory. Half of them had Scarab Swarms on them as well as legs and the like, with many featuring heads, and the other sprues had the torsos, arms and so on. My initial impression was that it would take a while to assemble everything, but thankfully, I was very much mistaken. I took my time on them and finished the entire box set - remembering I hadn't assembled any Necron models before, aside from the Vargard - within about two hours of actual work time. My tip with Necron Warriors, given their models are thin and quite finicky, is to take your time with them, especially on the arms; the right arm holds the gun, whilst the left arm attaches to the empty hand socket on the gun. Though the rest of a Necron Warrior is simple to assemble, you need to "guess-fit" the arms to get them right, or be very handy with your glue and co-ordination; getting the two arms to sit in the right position whilst you stick them can be quite irritating. My advice here is not to stick in one arm at a time, given how easily the arm could set in and be in the wrong position, leading either to having to redo that arm or be left with a silly pose on the model. Aside from that inconvenience with each model, it was smooth sailing across the board, though I did have some problems with each Necron Warrior head that was due to my inexperience. Don't cut out the Necron Warrior heads; twist them out of their sockets, as doing it any other way will lead to you cutting the Necron Warrior heads and having to clean them up shoddily with clippers (like I did) or having to scrape the excess off. A note also for those not familiar with Necrons; don't stick in the green rod parts of the Necron Warriors' guns until after the model has been fully painted. The reason for this is that the green rod is supposed to be fully transparent and in that colour, and even the tiniest smudge of paint can ruin the gauss weapon effect. I recommend keeping the green rod 'sprues' in the Necron Warrior box, and keeping that box somewhere you can remember so that it won't be damaged or lost.

"Where did all those dung beetles come from?"
The Scarabs are quite simple, unsurprisingly. All you need to do is stick for little Scarabs to small curved 'rods' that, after allowing the glued Scarabs to set, are then stuck to a Terminator-sized base; there should be four in total on each of the three bases you are supplied. There's nothing to really be aware of here, though you should keep an eye on the rods and make sure to take your time with them; putting one down if you aren't careful could lead to you knocking another down and having to glue it down again. The models themselves are very interesting, and will serve to make an appealing - albeit generic - template for my Necron army. The Warriors are just about right, with their thin skeletal frame and imposing height, with large guns that look believably like they could strip the flesh (or armour) off of their unfortunate opponents. I like the little 'blades' on the end of each gun, as it gives the impression of bayonets; though perhaps the intent of the design is intended to be a bit different. As far as the Egyptian influences go, the most obvious of these are in the symbols and models of the Warriors and Scarabs, respectively. The Warriors have a hieroglyphic symbol embedded into the centre of their armour, and it serves as a reminder of their status and loyalties. The Scarabs themselves are obviously inspired by the Scarab (or dung) Beetle, a creature that is very much still persistent even today but was often displayed in art or worshiped as the physical embodiment of particular gods. The references aren't too overt, but they are obvious enough!

The Barges and Lords

The real meat of my purchase was the Annihilation Barges; I bought three of them all at once, mostly so that I won't need to buy anymore, but also because each one features in any sized army list I could possible field (excluding those below 500 points). Though I am interested in trying out Catacomb Command Barges someday, I think beginners are better off with the Annihilation Barges, depending on how many they buy of course; the models are slick either way you go, but the Annihilation Barges offer your army some amazing firepower at a low price mounted on a very durable platform. The sheer versatility of the unit is simply too good to pass up in my opinion, though a Command Barge is a great idea for getting an Overlord into the thick of things and can be hard to deal with in small games! Anyway, on to the good stuff. The Annihilation Barge kit is pretty small given the size of the vehicle, and cheap too - it is about as large as a Rhino, and with a lot more detail on it. Can't say no to that! There were only three sprues, including the parts for the Necron (Over)Lord, which was very surprising given how large the model is; obviously, the plastic parts are packed very well. The (Over)Lord is a lot larger than I expected, standing quite a bit taller than a regular Necron Warrior, and the model itself is gorgeous; the robe is amazing to look at, the crest on the head is elegant, the body is imposing, and the warscythe is incredibly large. On that last one, I initially thought that Vargard Obyron's warscythe was large owing to the fact he was a special character; how wrong was I when the (Over)Lord warscythes turned out to be even larger! Of course, that is likely to represent the fact they can use 'Sweep Attacks' from the back of a Catacomb Command Barge, if the vehicle is assembled that way. The Overlord is relatively simple to put together, with the only real consideration for posing being the arms and the direction in which the head faces. As such, my three (Over)Lords don't look too different at all, with only minor posing anomalies separating them.

Mini Night Scythe FTW!
The Annihilation Barges were....time-consuming, though perhaps not as much as I initially expected. The first one was a bit of a pain, as I wasn't sure how to do the pilot, turret and ram properly. With some practice, I found it to be quite easy though; my best tip is to really take your time on the first one and study the instructions carefully, and it should be all fine and dandy. The first one I built took about two-three hours because I was being quite conservative and learning the trade, though my subsequent Annihilation Barges took only an hour or so to complete per model. Not bad at all! Unlike the other various skimmers I've built over the years, the Annihilation Barge actually fits really well on the skimmer stand; there's no wobbliness once you push it in correctly, and putting it on or taking it off the stand is very easy. This will certainly prove to be very useful during games, especially on sloping terrain features and the like. Building it may seem daunting at first due to the wealth of parts in the kit, but it is actually pretty easy compared to others; there's no single time-stealing piece to work on, such as the treads on most Imperial tanks, for example. It all looks nice and fresh, with the challenge being only time. It was a welcome relief to complete them! The model is amazing to look at, especially in light of the other armies I've collected which actually sport vehicles; most of them are pretty generic or boring to look at, which is typically the idea. The Annihilation Barge on the other hand is quite unique, with its lightning-arced gun, the pilots seemingly floating as they do their work, the impressive ram (I forget the proper word), the moon shaped design of the main section of the model, the curving back reminiscent of a Pylon. This is an impressive model, and the detail is pretty endemic of this; there are a lot of well sculpted hieroglyphics, particularly on the moon-shaped section of the model.  
If that gun back-fires....oh boy...

And because I love you all....

Next time around, I'll post up a small "snippet" article to give a mini-tutorial on how to do basing in an easy and inexpensive fashion, whilst also show-casing my plans for gaming with the Necrons in the near future until the rest of my force is assembled. Until next time! Beware the Tomb Kings in SPESS!

Did you like this article? Do you think the easy-going format and diction was appropriate? Please leave any critiques you have in the comments below, or feel free to share your own experiences with assembling Necrons or any other army. We appreciate any and all feedback and discussion! Happy Easter!

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