In our How to Paint Everything series, we take a look at different armies of the Warhammer universe, examine their history and heraldry, and look at several different methods for painting them. Today we look at the misbegotten – but soon to be massively updated – robot mummies of 40k: The Necrons.


Who are the Necrons?

The Necrons were first introduced in late 2nd edition as a group of enigmatic, silent robot invaders from the stars. They were known for being made of incredibly resilient materials and their ability to self-repair, standing back up again and again after being felled. They were also known for vanishing mysteriously back to whence they came, phasing out as an entire army when enough were disabled. The range launched with four metal models: Warriors, which came in two poses, Necron Lords, and Scarabs, and Destroyers, skimmer craft carrying a Necron Warrior armed with a larger gun. These early Necrons lacked a Codex, introduced in White Dwarf 217 and 218 as part of a Necron Raider list with a custom scenario, but they were the first new menace in the 40k universe since the Tyranid overhaul.

Credit: Games Workshop


Necrons were further updated in 3rd edition through White Dwarf, when they received an additional troop choice and metal model kit in the form of the Necron Immortals, who stood taller and bulkier than warriors, and carried a more damaging gun. At the time, Necron lore still had them as an ancient race of undead robots awakening from a long slumber and making first contact with the Imperium. The rules themselves were unfinished at this time too — The Chapter Approved article itself said as much and asked readers to send in postcards detailing their experiences playing against the Necrons in order to help the designers balance the army!

Credit: Games Workshop, White Dwarf #230

Credit: Games Workshop, White Dwarf #230

However it would be some time before Necrons would finally receive the treatment they deserved – almost three years, in fact! In April 2002, Games Workshop released the first ever Codex: Necrons, along with a whole new range that included plastic versions of old units like the warriors, scarabs, and destroyers, and all-new units like the Monolith, Flayers, Wraiths, and the C’Tan. Gone were the goofy, bulky robots of old – these new Necrons were thin skeletal, warriors asleep for millions of years after a devastating war with the Old Ones left the galaxy in ruins. They were the silent servants of the C’Tan, immortal star gods known for eating entire stars and souls. And now they were back and ready to reclaim a galaxy that was rightfully theirs. They still phased out of the battlefield if you killed 75% of them, but now they had some incredible new models and some sick green plastic rods.

These Necrons were the implacable warriors of an uncaring, unknowable race of near-omnipotent beings, ancient enemies of the Eldar whose motives were to feed their ever-hungry gods. But narratively, this was a bit of a problem: While the Necron threat was real, and they were pretty scary, there was already an unfeeling, uncompromising threat besieging the universe that couldn’t be bargained with, and that was the Tyrands. Necrons lacked personality, and the only characters with the ability to talk in the army were its two C’Tan – the Nightbringer and the Deceiver, and of those one mostly just murdered things.

Credit: Games Workshop, White Dwarf #267

The Necrons would see another major overhaul to their story with the release of their 5th edition Codex, which came with more new models and fleshed out the range and backstory. No longer were the Necrons all silent servants of star gods, now the star gods were theirs to command. Hailing form a small planet orbiting a deadly neutron star, the Necrontyr were technologically advanced but lived brutal, short lives, often riddled with cancer and disease to their frail forms. When they encountered the advanced, immortal Old Ones they demanded the Old Ones share the secret of Immortality. The Old Ones refused, and the War in Heaven began. The Necrons were no match for the Old Ones initially, and were beaten back again and again, until their empire dwindled and they were left with only their homeworld.

That was when the Silent King Szarekh first contacted the C’Tan, immortal star gods as old as the universe itself. The C’Tan offered the Necrontyr a path to immortality that had them transferring their essences into metal bodies but losing their souls in the process, leaving those behind to be devoured by the C’Tan. In this form they became the Necrons, and they were immortal and powerful, but an emptiness gnawed at them. Working with the C’Tan, the Old Ones were no match for the Necrons, and soon they had been driven to desperation, seeking help from the psychic races they had spawned, creating more psykers in the process. As the Necrons won and the C’Tan turned on each other out of boredom and hunger, the galaxy became a fertile feeding ground for warp entities, eventually becoming overrun by warp beings called Enslavers that feed on psychic energy.

Credit: Zuul the Cat

With the Old Ones defeated and the universe in disarray, the Silent King at last turned their weapons on the C’Tan, shattering and enslaving them in an act of revenge for stealing the souls of the Necrontyr. With his work done, the Necrons retreated to a deep slumber, staying dormant for more than 60 million years as the Enslavers eventually starved off and the galaxy evolved. Meanwhile Szarekh, the silent king, freed his people from the mental programming that bound them to his will and fled the galaxy, looking for penance in the dark space between galaxies.

Unlike their original incarnations, the Necrons are no longer mindless automata, and are now led by Overlords who retain their personalities and seek to rebuild the dynasties of old. They war amongst each other and squabble for power with no clear successor to the Silent King, and have been known to work with the Imperium when it suits them. Most famously when they worked with the Blood Angels to stop a Tyranid invasion of Baal. Their current iconography draws heavily from Egyptian and Persian jewelry and hieroglyphics, and their technology makes heavy use of a material called blackstone, which is coveted by the Adeptus Mechanicus for its anti-psychic properties.


Where to Read More

The Necrons are primarily viewed as antagonists in 40k fiction, and have very little personality in those early pieces of fiction owing to how they were positioned. There’s been more recently, but it’s still tough to find a book with Necrons where they get to be more than enemies.

  • The Everliving Legion is a collection of short stories focusing on the Necrons and various aspects of their culture.
  • The Fall of Damnos, Dead Men Walking, and The World Engine all show Necrons as antagonists, but do so in a strong way, with Dead Men Walking considered the strongest of the bunch.
  • The Gathering Storm I and Shield of Baal campaign books from late 7th edition both feature Necrons in key roles working with the Imperium to protect key worlds from threats that they’d rather not deal with themselves. In Gather Storm, Trazyn works with Cawl and Imperial forces to stop Abaddon and in Shield of Baal Anrakyr works with the Blood Angels and the Mephrit dynasty to fend off a Tyranid invasion.
  • Fabius Bile: Clonelord is the sequel to Primogenitor, and while it’s really a Fabius Bile story, it does feature Trazyn the Infinite in a major role, and details how he came into possession of one of his greatest prizes.


Playing Necrons

Want to do more than paint your Necrons? Check out our guides here:

Warhammer 40k

  • Necrons got a pretty raw deal in 8th edition but they’re due for an overhaul with Pariah and 9th edition. In the meantime, check out our guide to playing them here: Start Competing: Necrons.

Kill Team


Painting Necrons

In their earliest incarnations, Necrons were a simpler force, consisting primarily of robots clad in metal bodies with little adornment. As the faction has been revised, they’ve become more elaborate, and subfactions that call for different color schemes have emerged, creating a good deal of variety in the way you can paint them.

Kamichi’s Method

I love the ostentatious colour scheme of the Nihilakh Dynasty, not afraid to show off their riches on even the lowliest Necron Warrior.

Paints used:
GW: Leadbelcher, Nuln Oil, Nuln Oil Gloss, Stormhost Silver, Retributor Armour, Reikland Fleshshade, Liberator Gold, Sotek Green, Skink Blue, Tyrant Skull, Steel Legion Drab, Lamenters Yellow (or Iyanden Yellow), Moot Green, Biel-Tan Green, Abaddon Black, Iron Warriors, Yriel Yellow, White Scar (Optional: Caliban Green, Warpstone Glow)

My Necrons start as most Necrons do; with a healthy spray of Leadbelcher. I then tend to hit them with a quick drybrush of Leadbelcher as well. This serves two purposes as it means any touch ups I need to make later on will match as the Leadbelcher in the pot is a slightly different tone from the spray can, but it also provides a better texture for shade to cling to. The model is shaded with a 50/50 mix of Nuln Oil and Nuln Oil Gloss, then finished up with a light drybrush of Stormhost Silver. To separate the weapons from the body I start from an Iron Warriors base and give this a couple of coats of the 50/50 shade mix before drybrushing with Stormhost Silver.

A converted Necron Lord

The gold is a simple basecoat of Retributor Armour shaded with Reikland Fleshshade for a nice, vibrant gold. I then drybrush the edges with Liberator Gold before being finished with a very light highlight of Stormhost Silver on the extreme edges.

A great example of the gold after final highlights

Then it’s time to tackle the Nihilakh Dynasty’s characteristic blue! I start with a Sotek Green basecoat which I then drybrush with Skink Blue. I try and get a bit of it on some of the larger surface areas without it appearing streaky as it adds a little bit of texture for the later steps. Next up I drybrush the edges with Tyrant Skull, which goes over the Skink Blue to give a bit of a greenish tint to the edge of the pieces.

Once the drybrushing has dried, I make an almost glaze-like wash of Steel Legion Drab. This is applied across the surfaces of the blue, without letting it pool into the recesses. If anything you want thin areas of pooling on the surfaces as this will break up the big flat areas of blue later on without looking too blotchy, so long as you’ve thinned your paint enough. It might take a bit of practice but it’s worth getting right. Finally, I glaze the entire section with Lamenters Yellow (I bought up a big surplus but you could create a glaze using Iyanden Yellow Contrast and some Contrast Medium) which is thinned slightly. I’ve found that using straight from the pot can lead to some overly green sections, which isn’t what I’m looking for, so the thinning really helps to dilute some of that colour and turn it to the characteristic turquoise-esque colour.

Paint in many, many sub-assemblies!

Once the main colours are done, I finish up the greens. Most of the green is started from a couple of thin coats of Moot Green. For cables and orbs I then wash towards the connection points with Biel Tan Green which is left to dry and then another coat of thinned Moot Green is used to blend the edges away from where the shade has dried. If you wish to highlight this a little further, a mix of Moot Green and Yriel Yellow in a 3:1 ratio works well.

For eyes, a simple OSL is achieved by first using a thinned Moot Green in the recessess of the eyes and allowed to dry. Once that’s done, use that same 3:1 ratio of Moot Green and Yriel Yellow to paint the eyes. I then like to mix some white into this mixture to make the eyes really stand out as the light source.

Lychguard: Fear their glowy eyes and paltry 2 attack each!

That covers the majority of the sections. For some models like the Canoptek units I’ll make the eyes look more like traditional lenses, starting from Abaddon Black and using the quarters method for painting the lenses. If you’re not sure what that is, break the lens up into four quarters and loosely paint the first colour (which in this case is Caliban Green) into three of the four quarters (I usually leave the top right quarter alone) maintaining the shape of the lens.

Once you’ve got a base down for your green, start reducing the amount of space your highlights take up as you work through mixes of Caliban Green and Warpstone Glow, straight Warpstone Glow, and then mixes of Warpstone Glow and Moot Green until you get to a final highlight of Moot Green and Yriel Yellow in that same 3:1 ratio as before. Dot the still-black quarter with some White Scar and job done!


Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen’s Sarnekh Dynasty

Necrons were my first real passion army for 40k. I got incredibly lucky and picked up a massive amount of the goofy-yet-amazing 2nd edition metals for an absolute steal about 2 weeks before the first leaks dropped in 5th edition. I gave a lot of thought to the color scheme I wanted to go with, and ended up deciding on one based around the old Rotting Flesh color. It’s a sickly pale yellow-green that I felt was perfect to represent the slow degradation of a once beautiful ceramic casing – kind of like an old Super Nintendo. Unfortunately, Citadel switched out their paints a couple years after I started my Necrons, and there really was no replacement color for it. I had a good amount of Rotting Flesh left, but that’s long since dried up and I’ve moved onto other projects.

“Spare me your condescension human. You speak to a Phaeron of the Infinite Empire. I was conquering the stars while your kind was wallowing in your own filth like witless beasts. Do not dare address me with such lack of respect again. Truce or no, I will see you buried in a lightless tomb with only the scarabs to hear your screams.”
-Phaeron Thaszar the Invincible of the Sarnekh Dynasty , addressing Lord General Hausmann during the Hadrima Summit

I’ve definitely caught Necron fever again with the upcoming Psychic Awakening: Pariah book, along with the massive amounts of new and improved Necrons looming over the new edition. With that in mind, I’ve updated my Necron scheme for the “new” GW paints and my improved quality of a painter. Two quick apologies – the model I chose to test with either has a really rough finish on the casting, or I really screwed up when I primed it about 6 years ago, and a couple of the minor photos here are pretty blurry. This is my first time doing an in-depth guide so I’ll watch out for that in the future.

  • Using an airbrush, cover the entire primed model with Citadel Rhinox Hide.
  • Next, zenithally airbrush on Citadel Zandri Dust at about a 60 degree angle. You’re looking to keep the Rhinox Hide in the underside and crevices of the model.
  • Finally, zenithally airbrush on Citadel Nurgling Green at about a 45 degree angle. I’m not super great at keeping the Zandri dust visible, but you should aim to keep some of it in the middle to get a good gradient.

  • Next, we begin shading it down. Go through glazes of Citadel Zandri Dust to bring back a little of the midtones. Mix in progressively more Citadel Rhinox Hide as you establish the shadows. Finally, a pin wash of Citadel Nuln Oil is good in the deepest recesses.

  • We will then start the highlights. Glaze on some Citadel Nurgling Green to set where the brighter parts of the model should be.
  • Continually add Citadel Deepkin Flesh into the glaze to further brighten up the ceramic.
  • Edge highlight with pure Citadel Deepkin Flesh. On character models you can go even further, and add in a little Citadel White Scar to the Deepkin Flesh to do reflex highlights.

  • Now we’ll tackle the gold. I want it to be a tarnished and uncared for gold, so we’ll basecoat with Scale 75 Necro Gold.
  • Next, establish the midtones with a mix of 50/50 Scales 75 Necro Gold and Peridot Alchemy.
  • Use pure Scale 75 Peridot Alchemy as an edge highlight. For reflex highlights, mix in a little bit of Scale 75 Speed Metal or White Alchemy
  • Finally, use Citadel Agrax Earthshade Gloss to establish the shadows. For the green part in the middle of the Necron’s necklace thing, I carefully washed over the gold with Citadel Biel-Tan Green

  • 2nd edition models deserve bright red weapon casings! Considering the age of this model, basecoat the area with my everlasting pot of Citadel Mechrite Red. If you don’t live in 2009, I think that Khorne Red is a decent substitute.
  • Wash over the entire weapon with Citadel Nuln Oil.
  • Edge highlight everything with Citadel Evil Suns Scarlet.
  • Do a final reflex highlight with Citadel Wild Rider Red. We didn’t break any new ground with this red recipe, but I’ve always thought it looked great.

  • Everything will start to come together when we do the silver metals. Basecoat them with Scale 75 Black Metal.
  • Wash all the silvers with Citadel Nuln Oil. While we’re at this, basecoat the corrugated tube thing with Citadel Abaddon Black.
  • Establish the highlights on the silvers with Scale 75 Heavy Metal. For the tube, edge highlight it with Citadel Thunderhawk Blue.

Finally, paint in the lenses and the Gauss energy. For the red lenses, just use the color progression we used for the gun casing. For the Guass energy and green lenses, basecoat the areas with Citadel Caliban Green, then glaze in progressive amounts of Warpstone Glow, Moot Green, and Gauss Blaster Green.Finally, base the model and you are done! I like to put a little bit of rust pigments on the feet and other low hanging parts of my models to tie them in, but I think I went a little too heavy here. I’m definitely excited to see my Necrons on the table again soon. I’ve already begun planning how how I’m going to glow up my Thaszar the Invincible model to better match the cooler, edgier Necron models of 9th edition.


Corrode’s Method

Necron Overlord

Necron Overlord. Credit: Corrode

If you’ve read any Necron articles on Goonhammer at all, you’ve almost definitely seen this Overlord kicking around. He’s shown up basically every time we’ve needed a picture of a Necron.

I like this guy a lot, but my Necron army never got past the stage of being “fledgling” and was mostly painted two years ago, and I think now i would do them differently. The body is just Army Painter silver spray washed Nuln Oil, the carapace is Naggaroth Night then Xereus Purple highlighted with Genestealer Pink, and the green is Warpstone Glow -> Moot Green. The gold is just Retributor Gold washed Seraphim Sepia, and the brassy bits are Runelord Brass which I think was also washed Sepia.

I also did some Immortals similarly to the above.

If I end up picking the Necrons back up – maybe after all those sweet new models drop in the probable 9th edition starter – I would do a similar procss, but add a little more – the gold would be Retributor -> Auric -> wash Druchii Violet -> Auric again, and instead of the somewhat anaemic looking Runelord Brass we have here I’d do Brass Scorpion and then Sycorax Bronze. I like the body well enough, but to give it a bit more depth I’d spray Leadbelcher and then drybrush Ironbreaker. I also need to update the bases using the method from our How to Base Everything: Deserts and Wastelands article. The green and purple can stay, though. I love purple and gold as a scheme – it also appears on my Imperial Knights – and I think that i executed the greens pretty well here.


Skails’ Method

I’m doing a take on the Thokt Dynasty, going with a largely blue and grey scheme.

Paints used-
GW: Leadbelcher, Temple Guard Blue, Nuln Oil
Vallejo: Model Color Basalt Grey, Model Color Dark Prussian Blue, Game Color Stonewall Grey, Game Color Dead White, Game Color Ultramarine Blue
Daler Rowney: Indigo Acrylic Ink
Golden Acrylics: Satin Glazing Liquid

Metal: Base the metal bones bits with Leadbelcher and give that a wash with Nuln Oil

Base: The armor/carapace/face and gun housing were all based with a mix of German Grey with little bit of Dark Prussian Blue mixed in for a bit of tint- in the range of 10-20%. I don’t think this is strictly necessary, how blue you want it (if at all) is up to personal taste.

First edge highlight: A mix of Basalt Grey and a bit of the base color plus 10-20% Dark Prussian Blue (to taste) again. This is put on as thicker edge highlight and over the whole face. (At this point I also went back and did the axe and haft in leadbelcher, then gave it a wash. I fixed the brown wash later to match the rest of the metals.)

Second edge highlight: Stonewall Grey 1:1 with Basalt Grey and a small amount (in the 10-20% range again) of Temple Guard Blue. This is a finer highlight along all the edges. Then the same color was used to paint the whole face again along with the gauss tube, wires, and coils on the gun. The wires hanging out of the chest were painted this too, along with the raised portion of the chest emblem.

Third edge highlight: Stonewall Grey and plus 10% or so Temple Guard Blue was done as the final edge highlight on most of the body, focusing on the top edges and sharpest corners and covering less area that the last one. This mix was also painted over most of the face, leaving the recesses as the previous layer. It was also used to paint the emblem, edges of wires and gauss coils, and squiggled along the sides and top of the gauss tube as the first layer of the energy effect.

Blues: Pure Temple Guard Blue was used to edge all the gauss wires and coils, and the eyes and emblem. I put a small drop of Indigo ink on my wet palette and thinned it with water until it was transparent. This was put into the eye sockets, the mouth lines, and dabbed along the gauss tube between the previously painted light areas. It was also allowed to flow into the recesses on all the wires and coils.

White highlights: White is put on the sharp corners of the face, dabbed along the bright areas of the gauss tube, and on the most raised portions of the gauss coils and wires. At this stage I could call this guy done, he’s ready for the battlefield.


Refined: To push this one a bit further I glazed over the gauss bits with a transparent mix of Temple Guard Blue and glazing medium, then glazed white at the edges again and refined some of the electric effect with glazes of white.
The glow in rib cage was done starting with a coat of Prussian Blue in the whole recess. Then layer Ultramarine Blue was painted in half of the recess toward the spine and emblem, followed by half that area covered by Temple Guard Blue. Next was a transparent glaze of Ultramarine Blue to smooth the color transitions, and finally a mix of Temple Guard Blue and White in the center corner of the recess.


ZuultheCat’s Method

Nihilakh Supremacy. Nihilakh is my favorite dynasty, and not just because I once got a shout out on how to paint them. If someone ever tells you “Painting Necrons seems like it would be really easy because you’re basically just spraying them silver”, listen to them because they’re 100% right. Necrons are an easy army to knock out quickly. I painted up my entire Necron army in less than two months, starting on March 8th and finishing them at the on May 5th.  

Credit: ZuultheCat

My method of painting Necrons is simple. It’s made up of a few simple steps that when added together looks great.

The metal skeleton is the first step. Simply prime then wash the models. I primed my Necrons with Bare Metal Primer from Ammo by MIG and then washed them with 2 coats of Nuln Oil, letting each coat fully dry before proceeding to the next step. The skeleton should be very dark following 2 directly coats of Nuln Oil. Following this the entire skeleton gets a drybrush of Necron Compound, starting from the top and only brushing straight down.

Credit: ZuultheCat

The teal bits are very simple: 2 base coats of Sotek Green to get a solid base coat. Once this is dry, load up some Temple Guard Blue on a small dry brush and get most of the paint off, like you’re going to drybrush. Stab the brush directly onto the sotek green parts, breaking up the solid blue base coat. Once this dries, simply glaze over the teal parts with an undiluted coat of Lamenter’s Yellow. If you don’t have any of that long-lost liquid gold, you can mix up Iyanden Yellow contrast paint with Contrast Medium or just make your own Lamenter’s Yellow.

The green is the part that takes the longest on my models. For this, I use the following paints in successive, very thin layers, building up the intensity through successive layers: Caliban Green, Warpstone Glow, Moot Green, Yriel Yellow and finally Skull White. Make sure you let each layer dry before moving onto the new one.

The Gold is relatively simple. I use two different methods for the gold in this army. Troops got a simple base coat of Retributor Armor followed by a wash of the contrast paint Guilliman Flesh thinned out. The characters & vehicles got a treatment of Scale 75 gold paints. Starting with a base coat of Decayed Metal, then Dwarven Gold and lastly Elven Gold. Once this is all laid down, I give it a thin coat of Guilliman Flesh.

The Black sections are by far the easiest – simply do 2 thin layers of Vallejo Black.

That’s it! A few simple steps that make for a striking appearance on the table top.

Credit: ZuultheCat



Cowie’ Method

Overlord & Royal Warden

Overlord & Royal Warden. Credit: Chris Cowie

I’ve gone with a worn bone / marble method, styled heavily on the kind of abandoned and overgrown temples you might find in the jungles of south-east Asia (or the Overwatch Bastion backstory video, depends on how cultured you fancy being). Having painted Space Marines with multi-step highlighting, I wanted to go with something significantly simpler to paint.

I undercoated the entire model with a light grey primer, then washed the model twice with GW Agrax Earthshade. I then did a very heavy drybrush over the top with VMC Ivory, which produced a stippled texture like some sort of pitted stone. The bronze parts were painted with GW Balthazar Gold and the silvers with VMA Gunmetal, then both washed with Nuln Oil. The green pipes and eyes (not the blade) were undercoated with GW Stormhost Silver, then covered with the new technical Tesseract Glow. This is very easy and gets them to ‘battle ready’ status, but the weathering is what makes them pop.

Weathering was achieved with AK Interactive Moss Deposits, which is an enamel paint with some suspended grit texture in it. This was my first time using enamels so I can’t offer much useful tips on using them, but I found their ability to be remobilised with white spirit to be really interesting and something I will work with in the future. I brushed this inside crevasses in the armour and in streaks on the exposed surfaces, trying to mimic the shape of moss from dripping water. I also used a light drybrush of VMC Smoke as a brown to add a bit of dirt texture to some spots.

I also added some large patches of moss on the overlord and warden above using AK Interactive Moss Texture, which is a lot like green flock or very fine foam. I mixed this with thinned PVA glue and put patches fairly randomly over the entire model.

The green phaseblade was very intimidating to start with as I had never really done any blending before, but it turned out to be very simple. I used the standard technique, as shown very well by Juan Hidalgo here. I used a wet blend from GW Dark Angels Green -> GW Warpsone Glow -> GW Moot Green -> 50/50 GW Yriel Yellow / GW Moot Green, then edge highlighted with 50/50 Yriel Yellow / White.


Canoptek Reanimator

Canoptek Reanimator. Credit: Chris Cowie


How to Smoosh Necrons, Beanith Style

Here at Goonhammer, the editors have their best ideas at 5am in Downunder time, the perfect time to convince a bleary-eyed Beanith to take on extra hobby work. So when Rob “TheChirurgeon” Jones loudly proclaimed that “It is time for HTPE: NECRONS”. I either said “yes” without giving it much thought (I’m never at my best before my first dose of caffeine), or I got “voluntold” into the content mines so I could submit my quick contrast paint-smooshing technique to this article for our beloved site and its Overlords… also I think Liam mentioned something about there being Punch and Pie as well?

Step 1. Hit them with a coat of metallic grey spray paint and then celebrate a job well done with punch and pie.

Rob: Where are the rest of the steps?

Beanith: Oh you wanted fancy Necrons? Fine.

Step 2. Get the Nuln Oil out from it’s high security shrine and then Smoosh on the magical Nuln Oil and marvel at how much better your model looks. And then celebrate a job well done with punch and pie.

Rob: …and then?

Beanith: There is no “and then!” Hahahaha, oh that was a cinematic masterpiece of a film. …Oh, I see you have your motivational stick with you… fuck.

Rob: Look, the only way this ends is either with a guide to Contrast Painting all five Necron Dynasties or with fresh photos of Spider-Man on my desk tomorrow.

Beanith: Well I did hurt my back recently so web slinging chasing after Spider-Man is out. Time to smoosh me some Necrons!

Rob: He’s a menace, you know.

Beanith: Damn Straight. Ok, 5 Dynasties of Necrons, that’s Sautekh… and the other four which are just as good and competitive? Can do.

One of the great things about Necrons is that the rank and file don’t have much colour to worry about – your typical Necron Warrior tends to be mostly grey/silver with the focal point of the model being the stonking great big raygun they carry. The more elite they are, the more colours you’ll want to smoosh on there so to be a bit more comprehensive I’ve gone with some Necron Triach Praetorians.

Rob: Triach Praetorians don’t belong to Dynasties. They protect the dynasties of various tombworlds so that…

Beanith: Look, it’s called ‘artistic licence.’ And to be fair, there is an example of a Sautekh Triach Praetorian in the codex too so QED or whatever the fancy latin term is for “look, there’s a distraction over there!”

As stated at the beginning, I’ve undercoated all 5 with a metallic grey undercoat so when I do smoosh the contrast paints, I get some lovely colours and still retain the metallic nature of the Necrons. And of course, you can use this method to smash out the bulk of the force, have something tabletop ready quickly and give you plenty of time to focus on the characters, tanks, punch and pie, etc.

Sautekh – Accurate Pew Pew

I used Contrast Nazdreg Yellow and decided it was too gold for my liking. A quick smoosh of Shade Seraphim Sepia really dulls it down and gives it the bronze colour I was looking for. Smoosh on some Base Wraithbone on the face plate and call it done son.

Mephrit – Bonus AP Pew Pew

I wanted a nice dark green here so I dug out the Contrast Ork Flesh and once again I smooshed on some Base Wraithbone on the face plate.

Novokh – Reroll melee… wait, really?

I liked how this one turned out, I’ve always been a fan of metallic reds. Ooooh, new project idea, maybe I should do some 30k style Thousand Sons? Anyhow, here I used the Contrast Blood Angels Red and another quick Base Wraithbone job on the face plate.

Nephrekh – A major case of Zoom Zoom

Broke out the Tamiya Gold Leaf here but any metallic gold will do. After that I used the Contrast Iyanden Yellow to give it a more reddish hue of gold.

Nihilakh – Movement is for suckers

Contrast Aethermatic Blue is almost in the Glaze range when it goes over anything other than Greyseer or Wraithbone so here I did a layer of Greyseer first and then two coats of Contrast Aethermatic Blue for a very nice teal.

Weapons, Glowly Chest inserts, pipes, bits and Head Nipple

The weapons were all given a coat of Contrast Black Templar and then some Contrast Warp Lightning on top. I’ve also smooshed in Contrast Warp Lightning inside the grooves in the chest, the pipes in the stomach, the balls on their back and on their power button on their forehead. I also did the recess on the thigh too while I was there.

Finishing touches

Nuln oil… just smoosh Nuln oil on all the grey metal. Go to town with it in the recesses not already claimed by Contrast Warp Lightning.

Boom, job done. Five Necrons ready to bring the beep boop. Time for Punch and Pie now Rob?

Rob: You gonna edge highlight the shoulder armor or just go contrast only on them?

Beanith: Contrast means I don’t have to edge highlight things.

Rob: Go on. maybe just the one. See if you like it, it can’t hurt right?

Beanith: Next you’ll be telling me all the cool kids are doing it. Fiiiiiiine, I’ll grow as an artist and challenge myself with new techniques, yadda yadda yadda.

Is he gone? Excellent, okay for this, you’ll want a nice fine brush and a pot of silver paint…

and then listen to the other writers because I’m going to annoy purists by ignoring all that fiddly stuff by going straight to the silver Sharpie marker pen.

I’ve highlighted the backpack ribs and thigh plates and dotted various bolts and the fingers. I will admit it does look better.

After that I’ve done the blades of the weapon and then went back with Contrast Warp Lightning, not super happy with the results, next time I might aim for a wavy pattern and not just a solid silver line… oh boo, I did grow as an artist. And I suppose the punch and pie is an Allegory too.

Rob: The real punch and pie were the techniques we learned along the way.


Final Thoughts

As we gear up for the launch of an entirely new Necron range, we hope we’ve armed you with what you need to go paint your own implacable hordes. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, or you just want to share your pretty models with us, feel free to drop us a note in the comments below, or email us at


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