Crypteks are probably the most interesting addition to the Necron codex, in my opinion. There’ve been a lot of tweaks and adjustments (not all of them good, some openly bad), but Crypteks are a unit that live up to their fluff. Plus, I think most of us have been waiting for a chance to legitemately use a phrase like “techno-sorcerer.” However, while the model’s nice, it is rather lacking in options, especially for a unit that has so many different potential builds. And at fifteen bucks or more each, that Necron Court will add up as fast as... well, a Dark Eldar court, really.
I’ve seen a couple conversions that used Lychguard or Immortal bodies for Crypteks, and those always felt a bit wrong to me. Looking at the art and the existing model, Crypteks aren’t tall, powerful beings. They’re just as small and hunched as your standard Necron Warrior. Which kind of makes sense to me, fluff-wise. Crypteks are in a strange place within the tombworld ranks, and I feel safe saying they probably wouldn’t rate the top-of-the-line bodies (and would probably customize them to some extent like Illuminor Szeras has done).
As such, most of these conversions are built off basic Warrior bodies. I found a bunch of them in my local bins for about fifty cents each. If your local store doesn’t give you that option (for shame) it’d probably be worth buying a sprue from Battlewagon Bitz or a similar place, or even just the small Necron “booster pack” GW put it out a few years back. Out of the baker’s dozen warriors I found, about 3/4 of them were too twisted or poorly assembled to be of use. One or two of the others joined my faceless legions. And I grabbed a few of the last ones for this project. All the others...
Well, I’m sure they’ll be showing up here again soon.
The rest of the bits are just extras and leftovers from assembling my Necron army.
This first Cryptek’s an all plastic one. It’s a Warrior body with a Deathmark head. His open hand is the optional one from the Command Barge. His staff is the one-handed Rod of the Covenant from the Praetorians set. I’ve seen a few folks use the Rod as a Staff of Light (or some variation thereof).
Helpful Hint—I used my knife to cut off that little focusing array-thing that sits in the crest of the staff. The Staff of Light doesn’t have that, so it’s a nice small touch to help distinguish the two.
If you can make straight cuts, use a really sharp knife to cut the little power orb off the top of the warscythes (which you’ll also probably find amidst the Praetorians/Lychguard leftovers). Cut the lower set of “blades” off the staff and add the sphere there to give the staff another little nudge away from Rod-dom and more toward Eldritch Lance-dom.
Helpful Hint – One piece you or one of your Fantasy-playing friends probably has tons of is the Saurus standard arm (from the Fantasy Lizard Men). I find these all the time in the bitz bins. Two very easy cuts leaves me with a wavy piece of segmented decoration. A few of these together make for great sashes, simple cloaks, or other decorative touches.
I’ve found putting one or two long pieces in the front helps give the sense of a robe rather than a straight cape, which is a nice distinction for a Cryptek. I also used the loincloth/ tabard piece from the Lychguard. Take your time placing them so they sit right against the different carapace sections of the Necron.
Finally, I added a scarab to the base. Fluff-wise, Crypteks control all the scarabs, spiders, and wraiths of a tomb world, so it was another character bit. It’ll also help make the Cryptek stand out in a big squad.
For the record, at this point there was some cat-related destruction in the middle of the night. Contrary to tombworld propaganda, Everliving protocols are not all they’re cracked up to be. If this poor Cryptek (let’s call him Heron) looks posed a bit different... well, it’s a miracle he’s in one piece. The same could be said of the cats...
The last one’s an idea I had that made me feel clever. At least, it did until I saw someone else online had the same idea and beat me to building the darn thing. Also, this uses a base model, so it probably doesn’t end up costing too much less than just buying a resin Cryptek. But it looks a bit cooler and more themed toward one of the Cryptek cabals.
I bought the Fantasy Tomb Wraith. It’s one of the new one-model plastic kits that line’s been getting a lot of (yet 40K still gets more-expensive finecast with no options...). When you assemble the model, you’ll see there’s a “core” piece that you build the cloak around. That little tip at the end is where the Wraith’s hollow masks/skulls hangs. I’m using a Deathmark head, which is rounded in the back, so that little nub can go away (right at the red line).
Next I took one of the Rods of the Covenant that had two hands on it. They’re too wide to match up with the spaces on the Wraith body, so I cut out three of the segments and added them to the end of the staff. This kept the staff the same length but let me “move” the hand placement. I nipped off the array at the top and added the orb at the bottom (as mentioned above).
The “wrists” on the staff are from the stock of a Kroot rifle. If you know anyone who uses Kroot, they have lots and lots of spare Kroot rifles. They’re small, but they help the staff line up against the cloak. When it’s all painted, it’ll also be another touch of silver to contrast against the dark cloak.
I toyed with the idea of using one of the Lychguard tabards here, to add to the sense of an invisible body, but I kind of like the idea of the cloak being completely empty. My girlfriend agrees it looks better visually, too.
I think he makes a fantastic Harbinger of Despair Off one of the little bits of fluff in the codex, this is Dagon of the Shadowed Matrix. I’ll probably use him as a fully-loaded psychomancer in larger games where I’ve got points to spare.
There you have it. Two cheap Crypteks and one cool conversion for about the same price as the regular model.
Next time I wanted to talk about Kroot a bit. Because Kroot are very cool.