I’ve not seen that before!


The miniature modelling world often runs dry when it comes to originality, with many painters referencing the work of others. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, in fact mimicry is often flattery. However, sometimes a gem comes along, like the Butterfly Necrons, or the Hello Kitty marines, something truly original with elements juxtaposed in such a way to make you take a second look.

John Betts’ entry for the July painting challenge (Hero) is one of those unique creations – it will make you stop and stare and then make you smile.

Necron riding hippo - by John Betts

Necron riding hippo - by John Betts

Yes, that really is a Necron riding a hippo!

A hero’s tale:
Long long ago he was a Chaos warrior with a Bretonnian head.
He lost his shield arm.
He lost his head.
He gained a Necron head and a gun barrel instead of his left arm.
He was partly painted.
His special base was completed.
Someone brought up the hippo.
He was abandoned.
And work stated on a new Necron… and his crusty, irritable hippo.

John lets us in on the method behind the madness:


  • 1 Plastic Necron
  • 1 Undead sprue morning star thingy
  • 1 Orange juice packet
  • 1 Plastic toy hippo
  • Static grasss

Chop up the Necron weapon to reduce its length to make a sawn-off Gauss gun more handy for cavalry work.
Add the morning star to the other arm because you are too lazy to sculpt or otherwise create a hand.
Drink orange juice. Meditate. Cut plastic seal off orange juice packet top to make a hat for the Necron.
Drink some more orange juice, and see if the Hippo wants some.
Fit Necron onto hippo – it’s a tight fit, but it also means I can remove it without harming either hippo or Necron.
Spend hours scraping and cutting mould lines from hippo.
Paint the lot with GW Foundations.
Shade sparingly.
Apply heavyish wash (black with some brown acrylic added).
De-brush (a sort of ‘undo’ technique) by using a stiff drybrush without paint to remove some of the wash (note – the underlying paint has to adhere well to the model otherwise that too will go!).
Touch up and apply a spot more shading.
Drybrush with a light dusty colour.
Add grass to hippo’s dorsal regions to (1) add something to the vast featureless back and (2) hide a missed mould line.

Et voilà, creative genius!

The voting for the July Painting Challenge will start tomorrow night an hour or two after the deadline. Please join in and cast your votes for all the heroic entries.


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