The reveals from the 2022 G-con event culminated in the return of the final member of the Dark Four – the Lord of Death known as Necronominus! While this figure may be brand new, the character and design of the Congregation’s leader have been around since the earliest days of the line. In this “Figure in Focus” article, we look at the embodiment of Death itself – Necronominus.
Creating the Four Horsemen
In the earliest days of the Mythic Legions line, long before their was a Kickstarter to promote or any figures for fans to play with, the team at Four Horsemen Studios were building the world which would become known as the Realm of Mythoss. From the very start, the studio knew that the main antagonists of the story, or at least the first major arc of the story, would be representations of the “Four Horsemen” themselves. Eventually known as the “Dark Four”, they would be the physical manifestations of War (Arethyr), Famine (Illythia), Pestilence (Poxxus), and finally Death (Necronominus).
The images of these four characters were subtly worked into the symbols for the evil factions that bore their names, which means that the overall character designs for each of the Dark Gods was completed many years before they would see figure form. Below is a sketch of Necronominus that Eric Treadaway did prior to the first Mythic Legions Kickstarter. This sketch has never before been seen outside of the studio and a handful of licensor presentations.
Comparing this early character design to the final figure, we can see how many of those design elements carried over into the final figure, yet when compared to the other three members of the Dark Four, more changes were made to the Necronominus design than any other. Below is a look at the sketches for all four of the members of the Dark Four so you can compare these designs to the final released figures.
Early Figure Design Work
While it would take 7.5 years from the start of that first Kickstarter, and 23 total waves until the Necronominus figure would be revealed, he was almost offered much earlier in the line! During those early days of Mythic Legions, back when all of the work was being done using traditionally sculpted parts versus the digital sculpting being used today, work began on the Necronominus figure. Below are some images of the early sculpture work that was started on the Lord of Death. Interestingly, these pieces are still in the studio today, and these images were shot just about a month before the Necronominus reveal!
This example uses a Legions torso and skull head that has been fully sculpted and cast. This was back when the line was planned as a 1:18 scale line, so these parts are actually 2-Ups, or twice the size of the final piece. You can see a size comparison in the image where these prototype parts are next to a factory-produced torso. The prototype torso is a bit larger because it is twice the size of what would’ve been a 4”-scale line. Since the final Legions figures are around 7”, that makes this 2-Up just a bit larger than the final Legions toys!
For this piece, Eric took the casting of the prototype torso and head and began to add material to it as he worked out the basic shapes of Necronominus’ large headdress and collar. You will notice that only one side of the headdress has detail started. This is another interesting aspect of that older process of sculpting. Eric would often sculpt just one side of the figure, and then Bill Mancuso would be tasked with mirroring that sculpture on the other side! Many of the early figures from Four Horsemen Studios were done in this way.
These images show the furthest that this sculpture was taken, as it was eventually put aside for other characters that needed to be made for those initial waves of Mythic Legions. By the time Advent of Decay rolled around, the studio had begun to explore digital sculpting, and soon after that process completely replaced any traditional sculpting being done at the studio. The entire Necronominus figure that would eventually be revealed was done using digital sculpting.
Preparing for Necronominus
Like the other members of the Dark Four, we heard rumbling about Necronominus before his eventual return. We got a glimpse of his visage in the form of his faction’s symbol, and we met the trio of skeletons known as the “Children of Necronominus.” Through the bios for Malleus, Brother Mandibulus, and Morgolyth, we learned about the Lord of Death and his Congregation, including the unwavering devotion that these children have to their father and his teachings, and how they have worked tirelessly in his absence to recall him back to Mythoss.
For the past few years, as Arethyr, Illythia, and finally Poxxus were revealed and their followers celebrated the return of their dark masters, Legions fans knew the most powerful and terrible of the Dark Four was yet to come. While it was no surprise that the 2022 edition of G-con would focus on Necronominus, the studio made it official on October 4th, one month before the reveal date, by dropping a teaser video that foretold of the coming of the final member of the Dark Four.
After a day of amazing reveals which included the unveiling of a new Child of Necronominus (the beastmaster Belualyth), the herald of the Lord of Death (the chilling Maxillius the Harvester), and even the skeletal steed of Necronominus named Conabus, it was the reveal of the leader of the Congregation himself which took fans’ breaths away as Necronominus was finally revealed. According to his bio:
The last of the Dark Four to return to Mythoss, Necronominus is the most powerful of these evil Gods. While the Dark Four have no leader, they all defer to Necronominus, for all their powers lead to death, and that is his domain. A vision of pure horror clad in tattered vestments and wielding the mighty Godrazor, Necronominus resurrects an army of the undead to follow behind him. They are a mindless force totally devoted to the Lord of Death and his children, an army that swells as fallen foes are touched by the dark magic of the Godrazor to become soldiers for the Congregation of Necronominus.
Comparing the final images of this new figure to the concept artwork shown above, you can see how a number of changes were made. That original sketch made use of the standard 1.0 armored chest, but instead this final figure featured a fully skeletal torso, adding to the overall visage of pure death seen in his final form. His vestments were also changed to be more skeletal, more sculptural details were added, and even his wings were freshly sculpted, making them nearly twice the size of the original “bone wings” that were previously released for the Legions line.
In addition to the newly sculpted details and parts, the Necronominus figure features the most detailed and complex set of soft goods we have every offered on a figure – work that we owe to our continuing partnership with the team from CJESIM.
The small details on the Necronominus figure are a perfect example of what can be accomplished now that we are using digital tools for all our sculpting. Fine details that would have been nearly impossible to capture in a clay sculpture can now be added into the figure’s design. In speaking about the move to digital sculpting, Eric Treadaway has always said that while it is faster to accomplish many things, that doesn’t necessarily mean you spend less time on a piece. It means you spend the time differently. Instead of fighting with the materials, you focus on adding those additional details and pushing the overall piece further. The Necronominus figure is a perfect example of this in practice.
Preorder Open Now
Necronominus and the rest of the figures in this new wave are available for preorder now from StoreHorsemen.com. The preorder will run until Sunday, January 15th at 11pm EST.
Published on 11.17.22