Flayed Ones

have to admit, the original Flayed Ones never did it for me.  They felt like a unit that was missing something, both in their rules and their backstory.  I still think their rules are a little off (they’re a bit pricey, I think, and Rage or Furious Charge would’ve given them more flavor) but I think their fluff is fantastic now.  They’re essentially mechanical zombies, mindless eating machines that get nothing from what they eat.

And zombies have a special appeal to me.

Alas, nine dollars per model is a bit too steep for my taste, especially for the points cost.  Considering you need to use at least ten Flayed Ones to make a decent unit, they’re just too expensive.  And, I have to admit, it does grate on me a bit that Games Workshop theoretically created Finecast as a money-saving move, then refused to pass those savings on to the customers.

So... cheap Flayed Ones.
Some of you may remember from a while back, I’d lucked out and found a bunch of Necron Warriors in my local gaming store’s bits bins.  A lot of them were broken or poorly assembled.  Some had thick, gloppy paint jobs.  A few were missing arms or heads.  But I realized they’d make a good base to start from.  Heck, even if I had to buy a box of brand new Warriors for this project, it’d still make them less than half the price of the same number of Flayed Ones models.

First step was to cut off the weapons (assuming they hadn’t been broken off already).  I tried to save as much of the hand as possible, but didn’t worry about it too much if the arms ended at the wrist.  This gave me a basic Necron figure.

Some of these guys needed feet, too.  I think the thin ankles are tough for some younger Overlords to work with.  Since the Flayed Ones are supposed to be a bit deformed, I just built new feet from a few pieces of card and some small bits of sprue.  I added in some plastic rod in places where the break made them too short.

Helpful Hint – The easiest thing to do was just cut a pair of triangle This gave me a foot that looked a bit like a mechanical claw, and that works great for Flayed Ones.

Next was repositioning.  By nature of holding a rifle, all the Warriors are in more or less the same stance.  I cut some arms in the center of the upper arm and rotated them a bit.  This gave them wider and more dynamic poses.  I also cut a few Warriors across the thin part of the back, filed them a bit, and then re-attached them to give the figures a bit more of a hunch.  This helped with some of the models that had been assembled looking up at the sky.

Helpful Hint – Don’t worry too much about things lining up when you reposition them.  You want it to be solid, yes, but any odd seams can either be written off as part of the Flayed Ones mutated forms or it’ll get hidden by folds of skin (as explained in a bit).

A few of them needed arms, too.  I had a few spares that I’d picked up here and there, and in one or two places I found arms from Lychguard or Immortals that fit fine (if they looked a little oversized or distorted... all the better).  Some are Fantasy skeleton arms.  I even made one set from a zombie scythe handle and another from a skeleton spear.  I know they look really crude like this, but they’re going to be fine by the end of this.

The hands were the next part.  They are kind of the defining feature of a Flayed One.  On the old models they had very Freddy Kruger-ish fingers, but these new ones are a bit more random.  It fits their twisted, mutated nature and it makes for easy scratch-builds.  

Two or three of these guys have elaborate hands made out of blades.  Some just have a scissors-like arrangement.  A few just have one big cutting blade, set up either like a sword or a scythe.  I tried to space these out between models so the different arrangements felt a bit random.

Helpful Hint – There are tons of knives and blades kicking about the GW lines.  Tons.  Space Marines of all flavors and allegiances, new and old, come with knives.  Kroot come with extra rifles that are covered with blades.  Dark Eldar have some nice ones.  Heck, if you saved any old Dark Eldar figures, there were blades on everything (even their pistols and helmets).  This doesn’t even count the number of things you can find in the Fantasy line--swords, daggers, spears--all sorts of nastiness.

I also really like the art in the new codex that shows a Flayed One with a small forest of spikes or blades growing out of its back.  I used a few more blades for those.  These helped reinforce the spine where I’d cut it, too.

Next week I’ll add some details to the base, some skin to the spikes, and some paint to the whole model.


  1. Nice work. I did something similar. I hated the new ones they looked...well, I made a bunch out of warriors and converted them with plastic card s\and stretched GS over them to simulate flaps of skin.

  2. Hey, Zab. Thanks for the kind words. I'm going to be doing something similar with green stuff (I hope...).

    I like the new Flayed Ones model a lot more than the old ones, but for a unit that's very limited on the battlefield, the models are just so damned expensive (money-wise). If I'm going to drop fifty dollars on a five-model squad, it better be a great overall unit, not something with such a narrow range of use. :(