The Necromancer

Abaddon Black
Nurgling Green
Nuln Oil
Yellow Ink
Orange Ink
Red Ink
White Scar

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.


In the year TA 1000, Sauron at last began to rise again, taking the stronghold of Dol Guldur, the Hill of Sorcery, in southern Mirkwood in TA 1050. There, he was disguised as a dark sorcerer known as the Necromancer, and the Elves did not realize at first that he was actually Sauron returned.

Around this time, the Valar sent the five Wizards, or Istari, including Gandalf Greyhame, who later changed into Gandalf the White, to oppose Sauron and rally the free peoples of Middle-Earth against him.

While Sauron continued to gather his strength, the Ringwraiths reappeared in the year TA 1300, and began steadily assaulting the Numenorian kingdoms in exile until, one by one, they fell. Whether the Witch King was acting on his own, or was being guided by Sauron, is not known.

Suspecting that Sauron had returned and was guiding the Nazgûl, the wizard Gandalf infiltrated the fortress in TA 2063 to confirm his theory, but Sauron fled into the East to conceal his identity. This marked the beginning of the Watchful Peace, which ended with Sauron's return to Dol Guldur in TA 2460. During the same year, the One Ring was finally discovered by the stoor Smeagol and his friend Deagol.

Gandalf the Grey made a second intrusion into Dol Guldur in TA 2850, and finally discovered that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron. Eventually, the White Council put forth their might and drove Sauron from Dol Guldur permanently in TA 2941. Without the Ring in his possession, Sauron could draw on only the smallest fraction of its strength, so that his enemies were able to drive him from Dol Guldur with relative ease. However, the Dark Lord, having had ample time to prepare, was willing to abandon Dol Guldur, and returned to Mordor, where he openly declared himself in TA 2951, and began preparations for his final war against the free peoples of Middle-earth.

Sauron bred immense armies of Orcs and allied with and enslaved Men from the east and south. He gathered his most terrifying servants, the Nazgûl (airi in Quenyan), or Ringwraiths, each wearing one of the nine rings designed for mortal men. He adopted the symbol of a lidless eye, and was able to exert his will over Middle-earth, so that the Eye of Sauron became a symbol of power and fear. But while Sauron had much of his former strength, he was still much weakened without the One Ring and remained hidden in the shadows, directing his armies from afar.

Games Workshop a do make a Necromancer model that came out with the release of The Fall of the Necromancer sourcebook. This was released before the Hobbit movies came out so is not based on the design from them but is a rather good looking model. My one issue is that the paint scheme was green and for many years I followed that for my model. After watching the models I wanted a more fiery looking Necromancer so decided to repaint mine in a suitable scheme.

The Cloak

Undercoat in Abaddon Black and then mix 50/50 Abaddon Black and Nurgling Green for the first highlight. This will create a off black sickly grey colour. Add more Nurgling Green to this mix for the next few successive hightlights.


The armour areas (helmet, chest and hands) were basecoated in leadbelcher and then washed with Nuln Oil.

The Flames

I planned where I wanted the flames to be, and whilst this is open to artist interpretation, I decided upon the shoulders, coming from below the chest, various spots around the leg areas, and if the fire is coming out from within the helmet itself.

I painted White Scar on the areas where I decided the flames will be. This may take several coats to get a solid white colour. The hardest part was painting white within the helmet.

Now this part you have to work fairly quickly so it is best to work on one area at a time rather than paint all the areas in one colour before moving on to the next.

Cover the white area in Yellow Ink, I thought of the chest as the centre of the fire so left a white area around this and the shoulders. Do not cover all the white in yellow, only about a third. Before the Yellow Ink dries add a layer of Orange Ink below this and blend in with the yellow. Do the same with Red Ink. Cover the chest armour with a wash of Yellow Ink as if the flames are burning from withing.

The helmet was covered with a wash of Yellow Ink leaving most of the white in the visor. A small amount of Orange Ink was blended in with the yellow on the crown spikes and cheek guards.

All that is left to do now is follow the same techniques as above to complete the other areas of the model. I tried to put flames on the bottom of the cloak on the inside of the folds and in various other places. My main thought was it should always look like the flames are emanating from within.