In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Building a Necron Empire of Gold -Episode 3: Builders down tool and up weapons!

Well that was a long break between drinks!
The last few months have been full of too much work and not much hobby time. As a result the little rulers of the Necron Empire have been growing irritated. Under their orders, the builders put down their tool and picked up weapons to slay some explorers that ventured to close to the city complex.

In the spirit of fielding units that you want (opposed to units that are good) I am going against the internet masses and have been making up some count as Flayed Ones - because we all need our close combat troops to be I2, no power weapons, can't take a transport and are incredibly slow. I could always deep strike them (but they can't charge and don't have a gun). Seriously, these guys really don't look good on paper!  The Cron tactics page at '1d4chan' starts their discussion of Flayed Ones by saying "These guys are almost universally regarded as the worst unit in the Necron Codex, and with good reason". This is followed by a review that convinces you that taking them will lose you the game. Finally it concludes with "They're the single worst unit in your codex, don't take them. They're a terrible, terrible unit." Sounds like the sort of unit I need in my army! The next time I pull that win out of my arse it is going to feel good! Optimism aside, as a fluff gamer I am free to take whatever units I think reflects the look I'm after. Flyed Ones give me the opportunity to model up a horde of sword and shield infantry.

After a bit of cutting and gluing I came up with 20 individually posed hacking, stabbing and slashing warriors. The wife looked on with amusement as I acted out the stances myself to work out the positions of the arms and legs. 

 A few more with their shields attached:
Lined up above my desk.
Cut down Tomb kings skeleton head
 A cut down Necron head.
And I finished one off with a head and cloak. I'll get back to finishing the other heads and cloaks some time.
The dog looks on at my very slowly growing Necron army.

[Edit: In the time between writing this and getting off my butt to hit the 'publish' button, I have used these dudes in two games. The first I won and the second I tied. Are Flayed Ones a bad unit? Yes, pretty much anything else would be a better use of the point. But that being said they are a pretty fun unit to have run around and get minced.]

Other than these guys there are a few nice additions worth checking out.

First up, there has been some temple progress. This is where I left it at the last post.
Base mostly done, front walls almost done and roof edging started. Our souther hemisphere  winter dramatically slowed down my casting production line. It wasn't that the cold effected the casting but more that it was too cold to venture out into the shed in the evening! Even so, I now have cast up enough blocks to fully build the lower level of the temple.
[Soon it will be getting too hot to venture into the shed so I better get cracking!]

I planned to add a second level topped with a big dome to mix in a middle eastern feel. For the dome the 'Dome of the Rock' (on Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem) immediately came to mind - particularity because it is gold. 
...but so does the United States Capitol Building.  

While my little temple is a tiny construction compared with these complexes I felt a dome would add some significance to the building and help it tell its story.  I liked the look of the dome supported by a ring of columns so I wanted to include that. To mix things up a little I decided that the dome would be a large 'energy sphere' - thinking along the lines of the old Vortex Grenades or Dark Eldar Web-way Portals. 
Seething that these are hard to find, expensive and ultimately too small, I set out to make my own. 
This was all completely 'on the fly' and I had no idea how it would look. I found a bowl that was roughly the diameter that I was looking for, grabbed my DAS clay and some cling wrap.
I lined the inside of the bowl with the wrap and folded in lots of wrinkles.
 Then I pushed lumps of DAS clay into the bowl until it was roughly the thickness that I was after.

It took several days for the clay on the inside of the bowl to harden. Once it was hard to the touch I carefully pulled it out. The outer side of the dome was still soft so I left it another day or two and then it was properly set. As I had hoped, the cling wrap had left random groves in the clay. This would be painted up as ‘energy bolts’.

I started painting one small patch to get an idea of how it should look. I realised it was going to be easier painting the whole thing in a light colour and slowly work darker between the crackling energy bolts. Having the energy bolts indented rather than risen means that it is a little backwards to paint but I’ll stay at it until I have something that I am happy with.

Currently it is still sitting on my desk like this. I need to find the motivation to cast up some more columns for it to stand on and make some sort of mechanism to generate the energy dome. In terms of fluff it might be a 'Dolum Gate' or a 'power plant'. In game it will probably emanate a vortex shield.

Also I started my city wall. This was inspired by the giant walls guarding Babylon, Niniveh   and other ancient Akkadian and Mesopotamian cities.
To alter the look slightly I decided that my towers would be round drum towers instead of square ones and I wanted to build a big Necron gun turret on top of each of them.
Baby formula cans for the towers...
Necron architecture frequently includes trapezium shapes, so added some from a sheet of cardboard. 

Container for the turret base. 
Building the tower parapet.

Battlement walls in ancient Middle Eastern style.

And my big Necron turret from my bits box.

Now just to build another five more and add the walls.

Back to thinking about inside the city, with Mr Zzzzzz's help I have some really cool additions! 
Our blogging friend Mr Zzzzzz asked if I had thought about adding those cool Forge World Necron tomb citadels. I said "sure, but they are a bit pricey". To this Zzzzz, in an incredible act of generosity, offered to chip in towards one. "Wow" I thought, "a Necron tomb citadel is going to look awesome in the city!"
From there I went into negotiations with the misses, my parents and my sister and managed to get them all to give me 'hobby funds' for my birthday. I added to these by selling off some Tau and fantasy gear. Then by combining my order with a mate I managed to get the order above the free shipping threshold. With all of this combined I had just enough to secure myself TWO Necron tomb citadels!! I was one happy man! 

Here is one just after unboxing.

The two of them sitting on my lawn after having had a spry with the hose and scrub with some soap. On one you can see a test spry spot of gold paint
Both of them had some slight warping of the bases.

I weighted them down with some bricks (on foam) to flatten them out.
The bricks worked for one of them the the other is still a little bent. My mates suggested I try some warm water in the bath but it is a bit too big. At that point I considered my parents big outdoor heated spar... I'm sure the the misses would not understand why I was heading to my parents place to use their hot tub with my terrain under my arm.

Here is one with the first spray of paint and a few bits of added terrain detail to see how it might look. There is potential there.

Later I headed out to my local 'cheap shop' to pick up bits and bobs for terrain building.
I found some blue decorative stones that fit nicely into my monoliths.

But one of the main reasosn I picked up supplies was that I wanted to add some foliage!
I clipped off a few stems, painted them and sat them in a few golden c
anopic jars that I had cast up.

I also wanted some larger pots of ferns so I hollowed out a few bricks. 

cut off some leaves.
Then taped up a large fern plant.
Here it is panted handing over a walkway.

I sprayed the coloumns gold too.
I wanted the columns to be a focal point of colour so I painted some purple stripes on them. I also considered have some sort of flame on top of them as if they are a form of light pole or energy emitter. I wanted them to look like they have a purpose. I settled on a blue energy ball floating above them. I have no idea what these decorative wire balls are actually meant for.

I have only made one so far.
While this is all looking good, I found one problem. My gold paint is rubbing off the citadel. I might need to give it another scrub and undercoat it before spaying it with gold. Damn! 
One last little thing, while messing around with terrain I painted up an inquisitorial hovering artifact platform. This was from the 90's GW Skullz promotion. It will make a good objective for the humans to keep safe.

So, that is where I am at with this project. Due to not having much free time I have been doing lots and lots of project hopping as you can see. Towards the end of the year as things quiet down I'll be able to get stuck in and start finishing parts of the city off. Here is a few final shots of the tomb citadel sitting on a Dreadfleet ocean mat. 
Thanks everyone for checking it all out and again a massive thank you to Mr Zzzzz for your contribution! 


  1. Brilliant Ackland - Can't wait to wage war over this terrain.

    As to the Flayed Ones - they look wicked cool - fantastic bitz mash - and in that last game they held up both units they assaulted, killing one off in the end so I wouldn't say they are that ineffectual.

    Now not so long between posts next time hey?!

    1. LOL, yes I'll make sure the next post get sorted and posted in a more reasonable time frame!
      On the Flayed Ones - true, but still over priced for what they are.
      I'll be sure to use them as annoyingly as possible in future games to make up for that discrepancy! :) I have to admit, they are a pretty fun, albeit silly unit. They could easily be underestimated and end up as an annoying thorn in the side.

  2. WOW! Amazing work!

    Love the Flayed ones. Your kitbashing skillz are impressive to say the least.

    Saying that, the terrain builds are outstanding. Would love to play on a table full of this stuff.

    And agree with Muppet - bit more frequent with the posts eh?

    1. Thanks Dai. I thought this stuff was a bit unexciting compared with some of the other pieces that I haven't got back to yet. Well, the FW tomb citadels are awesome as, but that is because they are from FW!
      I am desperately waiting for some time off so I can put some real progress into this again!
      Thanks heaps for your kind words.

  3. Absolutely amazing. I am in awe of this buildup. Such a post! So many awesome things! What a wonderful army!

    1. Thanks Greg. I'm glad that you are enjoying the journey. I couldn't help but start many parts of the city together. I probably should have finished one bit at a time but I wanted to make sure it all meshed together. Building is fun.