The new FW Necron Canoptek Acanthrites

Forge World's most recent email newsletter shows off the new Necron Canoptek Acanthrites. Not too shabby from a design standpoint I guess. I like that they fit in with the rest of the "feel" of the army, but they miss the mark for me. They're good, but fall short.

Forge World has the experimental rules up on their site now, but I'm not so much concerned with the playability. I'm more into the looks. This thing strikes me as a giant mosquito at best.

Here's a scale pic for size comparison. Pretty good size, just wrong shape.

When I read the super cool description
The Forge World email says: Resembling monstrous, artificial insects enfolded in shadowed wings of tenebrous force that propel them through the skies, Canoptek Acanthrites are murderous Necron constructs created for a single purpose: the destruction of those who have dared to claim the worlds of the ancient Necron empire as their own. Hmmmm... I just don't get that when I look at the model. What I read and what I see in front of me just don't match up. At all.

The Tomb Stalker is a great model on the other hand
The size of a Canoptek Acanthrite is good, but the models just don't strike fear in me like I want them to. A good example of striking fear is the Necron Tomb Stalker. This is perfect. It's based off a creature lots of folks are scared of and the super size makes it all the worse. The most important thing is that you can recognize the creature it should be.

This thing is spot on. We bring all of our associated emotional baggage concerning insects along with us when see this monster on the table. Make it larger than life and the fears are compounded. I don't know how the rules work for this thing either, but between the two models, I would fear the Tomb Stalker much more on looks alone.

Here's my take on the new model
See what happens when you flip the tail upside down and put this thing on the ground? It instantly becomes recognizable as an extremely dangerous creature. Again, we bring all of our emotional baggage along with us and all of a sudden we don't want these things anywhere near our troops.

Pack of steroid pumped metallic mosquitoes... no big deal.
Pack of steroid pumped metallic scorpions... HUGE problem.

If you really want the thing to fly and not walk on the ground, make it look like a stingray or something like that. Lose the legs and replace them with the sides of a destroyer body or a similar bit. Give it a stingray type shape and all of a sudden you have a flying metallic sea creature with a poisonous barbed tail.

So what's a Necron player to do?
I don't know if these things are worth anything in an army in terms of stats and playability, but as far as looks go, you're better off ditching the giant mosquito look and going for something that strikes fear in your opponent.

This is what I'm talking about. Nobody wants this thing close to their game table much less in their lines. Any creature that you can root in reality, even if it's only part of the model will have an advantage (in terms of emotional impact). This goes for daemons, Chaos, Necrons or whoever it may be.

Do you have to? No. It's like my discussion about Deathwing a while ago. Paint them any other color and use Dark Angel Deathwing rules and it just doesn't have the same impact.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Did I build and paint my HQ wrong? (3 part series)
A painting quiz you need to take

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Kinda looks like a hornet to me which is pretty scary. Maybe it looks more threatening from different angles - also not sure how big it is?

  2. @Eldorad- Looks like a 40mm base to me (Terminator size) I'm with Ron on this one, seems to be much more threatening in the 'scorpion' pose than the 'mosquito' pose.

    Of course, maybe I'm just nuts. In the old days I put my Necron Destroyers on backwards.

  3. It seemed vaguely familiar to me for a second, and then I got it! It's one of those flying thingummies from Sonic that fires blasts out of its tail. Can anyone think of an army with a very fast blue hedgehog in it? That's surely the ideal opponent!

  4. Yeah, I think they were trying for 'wasp', but the proportions are wrong for that so it came out more 'mosquito'.

    I would have preferred to see some attempt to convey 'shadowed wings of tenebrous force' rather than 'blob on the end of a stick'.

  5. I think it's problem is the gun is more prominent than the head, it makes no sense, this thing is flying around with it's head bowed? I think a wasp or mosquito even could be scary, this just isn't it though. As for the tenebrous wings, I would probably cut a groove down the wing stumps and then use some clear plastic folder cut into a wing shape. Add some of that Tamiya clear paint that seems perfect for transparent FX and it could be much more alien force-fieldy.

  6. Personally, I think they were going for some sort of spindly wasp thing. If they had added a larger weapons pod where the whip-like tail is, it probably would've hit the mark and inspired a lot more terror. Mosquito are no big deal, but we all know people who are allergic to bees.

  7. I think what ruins the original pose is the gun barrel over the head. It should be underslung on the thorax area, or as some sort of mandible or proboscis (sp?). Having it over the head covers up the entire insectoid feature of the head.

  8. Eldorad: Hornet... interesting. That would be scary, but I missed that completely.

    And I've updated the post to show it in comparison to a regular Necron troop.

    Peter: Do Daemon Blue Horrors count?

    dwez: I think you may be onto something. Seeing the head is important as it brings the creature to life as it were. The gun hides the head.

    Myles: This is maybe more dragonfly shaped? But if they bulked out the tail weapon like a wasp, it would have been a great visual indicator like you mentioned.

    TheRhino: Exactly. Just like dwez said too.

  9. seriously how can you not see that there supposed to be locust, you know the eighth plague of egypt in the book of exodus and seeing how necrons have this whole egyptian theme going for them.

  10. i dont get why people dont see mosquitos as deangerous.

    bite a person infected with deseases and bite a clean person and thats it, cross infection.

    but that aside, i think some form of wing on the stubs would be better than assuming they are there, i think this is what lets the models down.

    the whole weird insect thing is great to me, and land insects have been done in the form of scarabs, spyders and millepedes so another would not really make sense.

    are people assuming the cannon is the head though? the head is actually under the cannon, set up like a scorpion it would almost be looking behind itself

  11. Mmmmm... I'm thinking the wasp/hornet analogy could be reinforced simply by painting the head a much brighter or contrasting color to stand out from the rest of the model. That might successfully take the focus away from the less-than-ideal positioning of the central gun.

  12. Anon: Locust... didn't see that one either with the whole flying thing going on. Put it on the ground and make the back legs much larger in size and you might be onto something very cool as well.

    cpt codpiece: They can be. But in the context of 40k and death and destruction... the mosquito just doesn't have the same punch for me.

    I think if I were to make it into a scorpion, I'd move the gun to the tip of the tail.

    Ironclad: Painting certain parts could help with identifying what it is. But the shape carries a tremendous amount of weight when it comes to these kinds of things. It might be painted like a hornet, but if its silhouette doesn't match, it's going to be a red flag so to say.

  13. To me, it really doesn't look like a hornet or a locust: It looks like some mishmash of insectoid attributes that's neither here nor there. Maybe the fact that FW already did the definitive instectoid monster with that brass scorpion is also a part of the problem. Hmmm...

    I also only realised that there's a head in the first place after reading some of the comments here, but if anything, that bent back wasp head makes it even worse somehow, like a cheap Transformers rip-off.

    Ron, I think you really improved it with you mockup of a scorpion-like creature. Would have fit the Egyptian theme better,too.

    As it is, it just seems to lack focus: I hope it's not FW loosing their magic touch...

  14. KrautScientist: That's the perfect way to say it... it lacks focus. It's not what I'm used to seeing and expecting from them. Does it "fit" with the look of the army... sure, but it doesn't have that FW wow factor to it like I want it to have.

  15. Can't help but feel that swapping the head and gun around will do wonders for the feel of the mini. Currently it's just all over the place with no real character.

    Doesn't really help that the 'wings' don't seem to fit in with the rest of the design, while the head is an undecided mixture of ant and wasp features.

  16. "the eighth plague of egypt in the book of exodus"

    That's a lame story. Actually the book of exodus got many of the so-called "plagues" wrong.

    Egyptians were used to frogs, locusts, the water of the Nile turning red, and they welcomed those signs as favors from the gods and signs of fertility, not as plagues. The other events are probably all made up since there is not any single piece of archaelogical evidence or a single Egyptian record on any of those "plagues" happening.

  17. Agreed. When I first saw that I struck no ounce of fear into me whatsoever.

    Whilst we are on the topic of disappointing models, I would like to throw up the ork stompa. When I first saw this model, all I could think of was an Orkish head on an overweight girl in a sun dress. The bottom half of that model ruined it for me. It what world would Ork dress up their living embodiments of Gork and Mork in a sundress...

    For me, they would have been alot better off taking the Forgeworld Mega Dred, beefing it up in terms of size. It is a bad ass, angry looking model and would have fit the description perfectly.

    How can the GW Stompa stomp when it is restricted by its pretty little dress.

    Ork related rant done.

  18. Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious but this to me looks like someone has just thrown together some left over bitz and said 'hey that's pretty good, let's sell it'

    I'm really not trying to be negative but this doesn't strike me as that creative. Usually I'm blown away by forge world miniatures

  19. Shemsu Hor do you want to start an argument with me, do you have something to prove to someone.i was trying to share maybe a bit of enlightenment with these people on some of the concerns they had with the new miniatures from forgeworld, pull your pants up and put it away this isnt a pissing contest take your keyboard warrior crap somewhere else, this is a peaceful and civilsed discusion about our hobby. oh and LAME STORY!! next time you want to insult someones religion you might want to think twice.

  20. I think most of us agree that the model is lacking.
    Let's keep the conversation civil and model related folks. There's no tolerance for anything else and comments will be removed. End of speech.

    Plissken: I'll have to go look at the stompa... I'm sure I'll never look at it the same way now.

    ieuan: Exactly. I'm not blown away.

  21. So, did you check out the stompa? :D

  22. "next time you want to insult someones religion you might want to think twice."

    Hey man, I'm honestly sorry if it offended your "religion". I didn't expect HISTORICALLY ACCURATE FACTS would be offensive to some anonymous dude. But hey, if you don't want to have your "religion" mocked, then don't have such a funny "religion". Isn't that what your "religion" says in its book? That you'll be mocked for your "religion"?
    So it isn't really my problem, it's yours.
    Get used to it or just drop the "religion" thingy. It's that easy.

    Anyway I'm here for the awesome Warhammer stuff, not for some anonymous dude's "religion" and its historically incorrect anachronisms.

    So I'll keep on checking the awesome Warhammmer stuff and ignoring your "religion" if you don't mind.

  23. There are some astute comments in your article, Ron. Most I agree with. And yes, these things do not seem to match the fluff piece they were paired with.

    But I think a big reason why these look the way they do is because of the established design language. The shapes and motifs of the rest of the current Necron range are thoroughly and carefully recreated in these models... but by that they are restricted.

    By these restrictions, for example, even though it would make more sense to have the front gun under the head, such a thing has not been established as part of the existing design language, and so cannot be. The design language is what gives every range its visual strength and appeal, as you know, and I think GWs designers are right in their zero tolerance approach to its violation.

    Anyway, this post got me thinking, so I knocked up a few sketches of alternate Acanthrites. In doing so, I kept within the established shapes and motifs, but steadily got the feeling that the designers may have already trod the path. GW almost never lifts designs wholesale from existing influences, and the Acanthrites must be the same in that they are not simply some recognisable insect forced into a Necron mold (another force acting on the design).

    Here are my results >> Mine are designed to be slightly bigger, which to some extent, may free things up a little.

  24. Plissken: I actually found an old poster of a Stompa with all the little grots on the inside working. I see what you mean though now.

    phiq: You bring up a god point about keeping in line with the established designs. I like your pictures as well.

    I wonder how much the designers struggle with the limitations that are placed on them when it comes to things like this.

  25. I think GW's designers struggle and re-work their designs quite thoroughly; I can imagine it being arduous at times. They're all perfectionists, haha, but I really think it pays off. Privateer Press also have solid designs.


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