We’ve already covered Necrons in depth in our look at How to Paint Necrons, but today Rockfish is tackling the Silent King specifically, an intimidating model that requires a lot of work in terms of assembly and panting and can be a real challenge (read: Pain in the ass) for even experienced hobbyists.
Who is Szarekh, The Silent King?
Millions of years ago while the Necrons were still a mortal species called the Necrontyr they held sway over a massive galaxy spanning empire that despite their overwhelming power and advanced technologies suffered from infighting and an obsession with death. While officially under the ultimate control of the Silent King, the leader of the triarch that was supposed to impose their will upon the empire and direct it to a common purpose, the empire was slipping away as each overlord wanted their own piece of the galactic pie. The empire was able to reunite in the classic way, by rallying the warring factions to fight against a common foe. To this end Necrontyr sought to pillage the secrets of the the Old Ones, a even older race that had long since achieved immortality and were the creators of the enigmatic webway. While the war served its purpose in uniting the previously warring lords, it turns out fighting a enemy with immortality and advanced tech is pretty hard and the Necrontyr were doomed to fail.
As the war in heaven proceeded and the Necrontyr were being being whittled away, Szarekh the last of the Silent Kings made a deal with the enigmatic C’Tan that would grant the Necrontyr the power needed to crush the Old Ones and their creations, and it would only have the minor cost of their souls and sense of self. With the entirety of the Necrontyr willingly or unwillingly converted into unyielding bodies of living metal shackled to the Silent King’s will combined with the C’Tan unleashing their terrifying power, the Necrons were able bring the war to a close. After which the Necrons turned on the C’Tan that stole their selves, shattering them at their weakest moment while even their might was exhausted. Having conquered the Old Ones but without the power to claim the galaxy from the remaining creations of the Old Ones, Szarekh sent his citizens into a sleep that would last millions of years with the hope of awaking to a universe ripe for reclamation and perhaps a way to return that which which had been lost in the transition to their new forms. His task complete, the Silent King broke the command protocols that bound the Necrons to him and left the galaxy to its own devices while he contemplated the fate of his race.
Now, untold millions of years later Szarekh has returned from his self imposed exile and has begun to unleash a mysterious plan that will return the Necrons to their rightful place in the galaxy and possibly to their flesh and bones too…
Where to Read More
Due to being a Xenos leader with previously little direct presence in the galaxy, outside of the codex the Silent King is in but a single book, The Word of the Silent King by L J Goulding. While the author has not personally read this book, it is old enough that his portrayal and role have changed in the intervening years, so it most likely has been retconned out of relevance.
Playing with Szarekh, The Silent King
We’re current working on an update of our Start Competing: Necrons article that will cover Szarekh – Spoiler: He’s an absolute monster on the tabletop and worth fielding – but in the meantime, check out these resources:
- Our Competitive Necrons Roundtable discussion
- Competitive Innovations in 9th covering top Necrons lists
How to Paint Szarekh: Rockfish’s Method
I am not going to be going into quite as much detail as some of my HTPE articles because my colour scheme has already been covered in the articles for Szeras and Necrons in general. Instead I am mostly going to be covering unique stuff, particularly where I messed up while building the model, along with some general in progress shots.
How not to build the Silent King
So I screwed it up in a bunch of ways but I am pretty happy with my sub assemblies so I will start there then go into detail on my mistakes and how to avoid them. (Having a brain not like a cue ball is the first recommendation)
I personally built the dais as one piece because I have concerns about durability otherwise, that thing has a lot of spindly connections that I would want a solid plastic cement join on. The triarch along with the cloak each being on their own bases worked pretty well, they are individually quite simple models so I would probably not separate them any further. Now on to where I screwed up, I am sure the astute among you will have already noticed.
This area is just a concentration of dumbass energy. The most obvious being the two circled symbols are reversed from when that structure exploded into a million pieces while trying to put them in place, as it turns out there is a simple solution to avoid this – look at the instructions after it explodes. 🤔
You can also see the middle did not quite go together right either after the explosion, you cannot see this in the final model, so whatever. What you can see is that the two uh… endowments under the lacky platforms are not consistent, the way to avoid this is rubbing some neurons together and checking that they match when you are building it.
I can also offer some suggestions on areas that I went against the instructions internationally, the first being to build the stairs in left and right halves rather than by level as they are difficult to align with all the small pieces and seperate parts. The other thing is I would recommend building the characters from the bottom up, otherwise you will have difficulty in having the right posture as they have a bunch of large heavy pieces with small connection points that can sag during construction.
As usual for Necrons I started by airbrushing iron hand steel on before washing the crap out of the main stuff with both agrax and basilicanum then drybrushing with ironbreaker. I also picked out some details with gore-grunta to get another metal colour on the characters.
The cloak got a bit of a separate treatment, the two stage wash was replaced with a single coat of gryph-hound orange before the same ironbreaker was used. For how little effort this is it gives a really great result, but I would suggest being careful as the contrast will try to pool like crazy around the lower sections so I would keep a eye on it for a bit.
Next up I threw the basecoats of mournfang, stegadon, lupercal and corvus onto where I thought it appropriate.
After washing those colours with wyldwood, terradon, coelia and basilicanum respectively I then base coated the purple with naggaroth, I usually do this to prevent any of the washes potentially getting on the purple and tinting it.
I then worked the purples through daemonette hide and dechala lilac.
I then spent the next ten thousand years picking out edges on the black stone with sotek and baharroth blue, which while cool looking is a bit exhausting.
I then went running around with other highlights: the black got dark reaper and russ, green got sons of horus and sybarite, and the brown got skrag and tau light ochre.
Then it was time for the final highlights of flayed one on all the non metallic colours and storm host for the metallics. I then did the final assembly because I was impatient, some time between admiring it and this picture I also threw the vallejo grey sand basing paste on.
I finished the bases off with baneblade and darkoath flesh drybrushed rakarth, before topping with gamers grass beige, dry green and light green tufts.
If any of these steps were a bit unclear, I have way more details on specific colours and techniques combined with step by step pictures in my part of the HTPE: Szeras article. For more on painting Necrons, including my dynasty, check out How to Paint Everything: Necrons. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.