The new design of the Necrons really pushes the whole “Space Undead” theme to the next level.
Necrons have always had a particular theme – they were the unstoppable killing machines from long dead and forgotten empire who were back to reclaim their former glory. They were the Space Tomb Kings of 40k. GW borrowed themes from Egyptian and undead tropes, injected a healthy dose of Grimdark Sci-fi, sprinkle in some James Cameron-esque The Terminator vibes, and boom – the Necrons were born.
This is pretty obvious in the Older Range. Particularly the themes of the Warriors being uniform skeletons. Things like Scarabs and other Egyptian motifs littered the range. And of course we had the classic Pyramid-like Monolith:
As time progressed, you can see Games Workshop lean into this even more with their heroes:
It’s pretty clear what sources GW was leaning on for the inspiration for these miniatures. We even got a bit of the Star Gate influence with their flyers, too:
However, some of the more recent models started to expand in a slightly different direction. Things like the Canoptek Wraiths explored the scarab/spider/insect influence while introducing these new coil-type extremities.
And here is where we start to see the addition of a new undead trope to the range: Ghosts. It’s pretty clear that before Necrons were the unkillable skeleton horde a la Space Tomb Kings. But now they were incorporating Ghosts like the Vampires of the Old World.
(If you’re not familiar with the Wet/Dry undead split that happened in Warhammer Fantasy, that was basically when the Undead armies were split between the Vampire Counts (wet) and the Tomb Kings (Dry) undead. The Tomb Kings were Dry undead (for obvious reasons: Sand). The kept the sun-baked skeletons and mummies and such. Where as the Vampire Counts leaned more towards zombies, ghosts, and muddy skeletons – the “wet” undead.)
This was a pretty subtle change but it’s influenced the design space of the Necrons quite a bit. Having “wet” Undead as a influence has lead to things like the new Necrons looking more zombie-like than their predecessors:
And now with the Characters we’ve seen they really are leaning into that whole Ghost-vibe. By using the coils and cables as their “wispy” parts, GW has managed to add a more Ghostly theme to their Space Undead:
It’s a subtle addition to the range and manages to add a new aspect to the Necrons while still tying it all back to the core theme of Space Undead. Games Workshop has managed to make their Sci-fi Undead army ghostly and ethereal without turning them into actual ghosts:
And with 20 units coming to the new Necron Army Range, we just wanted to give kudos to the miniature designers at GW and let them know: We see what you’re doing and we like and appreciated it!
Necrons: Not just Space Skeletons now. You could even call them Space Ghosts.