ETL V: Avatar of the Hunt

With my first vow for the current ETL V event on The Bolter & Chainsword finished, I found myself in a mostly unprecedented situationof still feeling very motivated to keep painting stuff — certainly not something that happens to me a lot, I can tell you! So I actually found myself considering a second vow, and my glance fell on a long running backburner project of mine. This guy:

Daemon Prince WIP (15)
A bestial Daemon Prince built all the way back in 2013. Many of the thoughts that went into the model as well as the actual building process have been documented here and here, but just to give a short recap, the model basically started when I found myself in the possession of both a WFB Manticore and some leftover Maulerfiend limbs. My idea for this somewhat haphazard collection of parts was to create a grotesque, feral creature that would serve as a very different kind of Daemon Prince, in keeping with the background of my World Eaters: I was inspired by a throwaway line in Codex: Chaos Space Marines about the elevation to daemonhood basically signifiying and unending life of servitude. And I also thought of Angron’s ascension at the tail end of Betrayer, an event that leaves the tortured Primarch even more bestial and doesn’t exactly transform him into a darkly angelic creature…

So I came up with the concept of a Daemon Prince that embodied both the 4th assault company’s strong theme of the Hunt and their fear of letting go, of losing control and of completely turning into mindless beasts, and that’s where this model came from.

Alas, it had been sitting at the bottom of a box since an unsuccessful painting attempt last year. This is what the model looked like when I dug it out of its shameful temporary abode:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (1)
The dark brown you see on the body is proof of the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing last time around — but at the same time, getting the skin right would be instrumental for this particular paintjob. But something was different this time: Not only was I motivated, but I already had a daemonic skin recipe that had already worked its magic once:

Calvarax the Exalted, counts as Skulltaker (3)
That’s right: I would be using the skin recipe from Duncan Rhodes’ voideo tutorial for painting the Bloodthirster again, this time on a far bigger model.

And in fact, the recipe worked just as wonderfully this time around, leaving me with this promising result after only a very short amount of time:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (3)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (4)
The skin was an absolute blast to paint. The oily metal emerging from the arms and legs, though? Not so much — Due to the way the machine parts are woven in among the muscle, this was both a finicky and exhausting part of the model to paint, and I was really glad once I was finished with it!

Even at this early point, I gave some extra attention to the creature’s mouth area, as that part would become really hard to reach with the ears and horns attached to the sides of the head. So I made sure now that the mouth cavity was suitably wet and glistening 😉

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (5)
By far the trickiest question was to figure out what to do with the armour plates: The bronze trim was a no-brainer, but I didn’t want to go for predominantly black armour in order to avoid the Black Legion look. I also tried to paint them red (my old red recipe, even), but the result just lacked contrast when compared to the skin. And then I realised that all bronze armour plates might end up looking very Khornate: Now I have this image in the back of my head of the red parts of the armour turning into blood and running off during the Daemon Prince’s ascension, or boiling away as the daemonic brass underneath becomes visible. And in any case, since this guy was basically a just for fun project, I might as well try some new stuff, right? So with that decision out of the way, I was able to finish the model:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (13)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (11)
As you can see, I painted the patterns etched into the shoulder pads with Tamiya Clear Red — I didn’t want to risk a silly looking OSL effect here, and the blood seemed like a nice fit.

Speaking of the shoulder pads, one thing I want to point out is how I’ve included several visual elements that hint at the Daemon Prince’s Astartes roots, in spite of his animalistic look: The shoulder pads, the fused remains of the Astartes backpack on the shoulders and the sockets appearing on the Daemon Prince’s body where he used to be connected to his power armour all hint at the fact that this creature was once a proud Space Marine:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (19)
And what’s more, the chains emerging from the creature’s mane (actually the transformed Butcher’s Nails implants) and the jagged Triumph Rope scar crisscrossing its torso are both remnants of its previous life as a World Eater:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (16)
I think that all of these elements make for some rather neat visual storytelling, really. But even so, I do of course realise that the model is a bit of an acquired taste, as there is a misshapen, overmuscled look to the creature. Let me just clarify though that his was very much an intended effect: Like I said, the idea for this model was to show how a World Eater, at the height of his madness and bloodlust, maybe wouldn’t be transformed into a darkly angelic figure, but into a feral daemonic beast.

Here’s a closer look at the model’s face, an area I am especially happy with:

Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (18)
Bestial Daemon Prince PIP (17)
I actually really love the Manticore’s face, both for the amount of animalistic rage it exudes, but also because it’s such a dead ringer for the Behemoth, an iconic recurring enemy from the Final Fantasy series of video games 😉

So all that was left was a base for the beast, and I had already constructed a base that would make it look as though the Daemon Prince were barreling forward, almost on all fours, and/or reaching down to crush one of its pesky opponents with its massive paw. So here’s the finished model, base and all:

Avatar of the Hunt (8)
The Curse of Daemonhood

Not a single World Eater, no matter how deranged after millennia of warfare or driven to madness by the bite of the Butcher’s Nails, could ever forget the moment of Angron’s ascension. The image of the tortured Primarch transforming into a daemonic god beast amidst a howling vortex of balefire was permanently seared into the World Eaters’ collective memory at the climax of the Purge of Nuceria. For some, Angron’s transformation became an example to be followed during the millennia of the Long War, his new form the ultimate reward for a life of slaughter.

The members of the 4th assault company, however, regard Angron’s fate as something far different: They see no boon in the ascension to daemonhood, but rather feel a lingering fear at the possible changes wrought on a mind stripped of that last shred of humanity after a lifetime of rage and bloodlust: The muscles swollen with daemonic power and warped into something grotesque. The Butcher’s Nails transfigured by the powers of the warp into the shackles they always were in mortal life. The blood turned into hellfire, pumped through a monstrous body by the beating of an eternal daemon heart, forever bound in service to the Lord of War as a true Avatar of the Hunt.

No, Angron’s ascension has not been forgotten by the warriors of the 4th. It marks a pivotal moment in the legion’s fate. And to those willing to look, it serves as a grim reminder of a fate not far removed from the curse of spawndom.

Avatar of the Hunt (3)
Avatar of the Hunt (4)
Avatar of the Hunt (5)
Avatar of the Hunt (9)
Avatar of the Hunt (10)
Avatar of the Hunt (11)
Avatar of the Hunt (12)
Avatar of the Hunt (1)
Avatar of the Hunt (2)
I am actually really surprised at how much I actually enjoyed painting this big lump of plastic! And what’s more, I believe the colours and recipes used on the Daemon Prince and Skulltaker conversions will factor rather heavily into any additional daemons that may be in the cards for my army — for instance, after two successful test runs, you can expect the recipe for the skin to appear again on my Bloodthirster (*wink*wink*nudge*).After all, this recipe has really served me rather well so far, wouldn’t you agree?

Avatar of the Hunt (14)

For now, however, I am mostly happy about having finished an unexpected second ETL vow — and another long running project! Huzzah! 🙂

It goes without saying that I would love to heary any feedback you might have, so feel free to drop me a comment or two. And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Avatar of the Hunt (7)

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22 Responses to “ETL V: Avatar of the Hunt”

  1. Wow, what a beast! He’s looking great dude – visually challenging, but very very good. I’m glad you showed a few shots of his back because I couldn’t really ‘get’ the Marine backpack idea from the front pics, (kept thinking it was extra limbs or something), but it all makes sense once seen in the round. Cracking job!

  2. A fearsome monster indeed! A brilliant job here man. His face really comes alive.

    • Thanks! Yeah, that face is really something! The Manticore model has a lot of problems, but the sculpt of that face is just fantastic and lends itself very well to painting!

  3. That is an incredible conversion! I love the combination of metal arms, lion head, and full of demon rage!

  4. I think he looks great. It’s always strange going back to an old project. The flesh works really well with the metal. My first thought was that he ought to be running forward more, but the rearing pose has a nice heraldic feel to it. He reminds me of one of John Blanche’s pictures.

    • Comparing him to JB’s artwork is obviously a huge compliment, even more so since I didn’t actually try to make the model look especially Blanchian!

  5. Nice work there. Now we just need to find out who he was and how one of the 4th ascended.

    • Yeah, well, this is lore crunching of the highest order, of course, but here’s the thing: The Daemon Prince isn’t anyone. He’s a what-if scenario, if you will, but I don’t see any legionary of the 4th actually having ascended yet. That and he’s obviously a model I will need if one of my Chaos Lords ever rolls “Ascension” on the Chaos Boon table 😉

  6. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    Very cool. My only complaint would be that the model’s sense of motion feels rather undefined, looking very cool from some angles but feeling a little more like he’s about to face plant in others, but honestly that’s probably just me.

    • Fair enough — ultimately, there was really only so much I could do with the wildly haphazard collection of parts and my very limited GS skills. In that sense, the model is certainly a bit of a compromise. Ultimately, it still works well enough, though, and much of its ungainliness can be explained away as a conscious design choice 😉

  7. So so good! It seems as though your painting has taken a leap forward with this model, the face is brilliant.

  8. keep it up man, your posts are amazing

  9. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « ETL V: Avatar of the Hunt […]

  10. Now this is just an amazing concept.

    I totally get what you mean about the ascension creating a dark angelic creature for some individuals in other legions. I like to think that if any of my Dark Angels were in such a position that’s what they’d turn out like and I really love that you didn’t go that route here. I don’t want to say the route is played out but it’s certainly quite common.

    The bestial and savage demonic look seems way more fitting for the minions or Khorne, something I didn’t even consider until you talked about it here so kudos to you for opening up my mind a little more 🙂

  11. I wonder if there’s too much brass on the wrist armour pieces, and whether either a bit more contrast / shading would help it, or if a bit more of the “blood welling through” effect would be needed?

  12. […] V event were basically test runs for Angron: The Skulltaker counts-as served as a test-run for the Bestial Daemon Prince, who, in turn, served as a bit of a test-run for the Bloodthirster. And once I knew I could paint a […]

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