Welcome to part three of this mini-series about my various interpretations of the XII Legion Primarch! Today, we’ll finally get some paint on my conversion of Angron in his Daemon-Primarch form!
Before we begin, let me just point out that – interestingly enough – rumours of plastic Daemon-Primarchs have been making the rounds lately, and Angron is supposedly one of the first Daemon-Primarchs to be released. Does this worry me?
Yes, a bit, actually — but even more importantly, it also served as a rather important catalyst for this project to finally take shape. Because while people might still be interested in homebrew Daemon-Angrons now, I doubt there’ll be much interest left once the “official” model hits — the best I can hope for is people coming across my model when looking for the one released by GW (as is currently the fact with my version of Khârn, incidentally…).
On the flipside, the prospect of an actual GW version of the character also serves as an incentive to make my version the best it can possibly be — and that goes for the conversion as well as the paintjob!
Which brings us back to our main subject. Here’s where we left off last time:
Now let me start by confessing that most of the models I painted for this year’s ETL 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 Bloodthirster to a high enough standard, I felt that painting Angron had become an attainable goal!
Since GW’s official painting tutorial for the Bloodthirster was such an amazing resource when painting the model, I knew that I would make use of the same basic skin recipe on Angron as well — with one caveat, however: I really liked my finished Bloodthirster, but the skin colour ended up looking fairly dark (actually quite a bit darker than it seems in the following picture):
And while the colour seemed like a great fit for a Bloodthirster, I knew I wanted something brighter and more stunning for Angron. So I tried tweaking Duncan Rhodes’ fantastic recipe for the skin by replacing a single colour – GW Mephiston Red in place of GW Khorne Red – thereby ending up with the following recipe for the skin:
- basecoat using GW Mephiston Red
- wash with Army Painter Dark Tone (or GW Nuln Oil)
- drybrush with GW Mephiston Red
- drybrush with GW Wazdakka Red
- slightly drybrush with GW Evil Sunz Scarlet
- glaze with GW Bloodletter
- highlight with GW Wild Rider Red
If this recipe seems slightly familiar to you, it’s because I recently used it on that one Retro-Bloodletter, who became – you guessed it – yet another test model for Angron 😉
So here’s what Angron looked like after I had given his skin the same treatment:
Now I certainly don’t have a huge talent for clean highlighting, but the Bloodthirster model is really accommodating in this respect, with the texture of the skin lending itself perfectly to being highlighted! The interesting part was to try and create the same amount of detail and depth on the areas that I had sculpted, so I took some extra time to carefully highlight the ribbed texture of the cables on Angron’s head:
I had still been slightly hesitant about the whole highlighting business back when I painted the Bloodthirster, but things felt far more familiar and quite a bit easier the second time around, so I was able to end up with lots of depth and texture to the skin:
Normally the next step would have been to block in the various bits of leather and bone on the model, but I really wanted to see the head area painted, above all else, to see whether or not it would end up looking as cool as I hoped, so I continued by picking out some of the more metallic looking cables in silver and also painted the various details around Angron’s face and neck:
As you can see, the smaller cables and chains were painted silver. I then washed them with a mix of Army Painter Dark Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink, for a suitably dark and oily look. The contrast provided by those metallic elements added a lot of depth to Angron’s tangled mane of cables and tendrils:
At the same time, the decision to leave the bigger cables looking identical to the skin colour was a very deliberate one, as I wanted to hint at the changed nature of Angron’s Butcher’s Nails: Where they used to be an implant introduced into the Primarch’s organism as a foreign element, his ascension to daemonhood has transformed the nails into a part of his very being, so that it’s impossible to ascertain where the nails end and his own body begins.
I also picked his teeth out in silver, giving him the same replacement iron teeth he wore in life:
Now I really don’t want to sound too full of myself here, but it was at this precise point that I started to feel like I was really on to something 😉
My normal approach would have been to go for a bright blue colour, as per my usual recipes. But I didn’t want Angron to read as just another standard part of my World Eaters, and I also felt I needed something giving the impression of his volcanic rage, so I ended up with a bright orange for his eyes:
As you can see, I also picked out the metallic studs on his forehead in bright bronze at this point.
And here’s a picture that is still one of my favourite impressions of my Angron conversion:
I imagine it will be painted very similarly on the plastic Angron conversion I shared with you recently.
The next step was to paint lots of different details, such as the leather, bone bronze ornaments and wing membranes, and since I had already gone through all of this before, it was relatively quick work this time around. So a short while later, Angron’s body was mostly finished:
So far, so good, right? Here’s where things really got interesting, however, as the time had come to paint Angron’s armour. Now I wanted the armour plates to have the classic Khornate bronze/brass look while also serving as a callback to the armour worn by Forgeworld’s version of the Primarch. And I felt that my usual bronze recipe, apllied on virtually every single model of my World Eaters army, maybe wouldn’t be quite up to the task this time around.
You see, my normal recipe consists of only three steps, and it goes like this:
- basecoat using Vallejo Tinny Tin
- wash liberally with Army Painter Strong Tone
- drybrush with GW Dwarf Bronze.
This recipe works really well for armour trim or bronze details. But since I knew I wanted Angron’s armour to have a broader tonal range, with brighter highlights and deeper shadows, I tweaked my recipe and spliced in a few additional steps along the way, so it ended up looking more like this:
- basecoat with Vallejo Tinny Tin
- wash liberally with a mix of Army Painter Strong Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink
- drybrush with a mix of Tinny Tin and GW Dwarf Bronze
- drybrush with pure GW Dwarf Bronze
- drybrush with a mix of Dwarf Bronze and GW Mithril Silver
- and a last, very light drybrush with pure GW Mithril Silver
And to my absolute delight, this recipe worked really well: Here’s Angron after this stage, with an increasing amount of armour plates in place:
Fortunately enough, almost all of the armour plates were detailed enough to allow for a very drybrush-focused approach like this! And what’s more, I think the bronze armour works really well with the red skin (and also makes the model instantly read as a follower of Khorne, which should really be par for the course) 😉
As a fun aside, you’ll have noticed that the right hand holding the Astartes was kept off during the painting process, purely for the sake of practicality. However, this provoked fellow hobbyist Zywus to turn Angron into a proper meme:
What can I say? I LOL’ed 😉
This left me with only two parts of the model to paint before Angron himself was done. The right hand with the unlucky Ultramarine and the axe blade.
Regarding the poor smurf, I had never painted an Ultramarine before, so I basically had to play this by ear:
After blocking out the main colours, I added quite a bit of weathering and battle damage to the poor guy, along with a copious amount of Tamiya Clear Red.
Here’s Angron with the finished Ultramarine:
As for the gore, I didn’t want to go overboard with this, but there was also no getting around the fact that the Ultramarine had been torn in half, so I did my best to make the effect suitably convincing without looking cartoony or too crass:
I already told you that I wanted the Astartes to still look alive, if only barely, so I painted the eye lenses bright red:
I also really like how, depending on how you look at the model, Angron either seems to be focusing on the Ultramarine, probably preparing to devour him, or is already looking at his next opponent, merely gripping his fallen foe as an afterthought…
One last thing to paint, and that was the axe blade. After giving it a bit of thought, I realised that I had already seen a brilliant inspiration for this particular part a while back: ElDiablo’s/Midian’s Bloodthirster axe from when he painted his own Bloodthirster:
Now ElDiablo is a fantastic painter, but what I love especially about this axe is how he has used the somewhat organic design of the weapon to hint at a fusion of metal and daemonic flesh, and I definitely wanted to incorporate this effect into my own version as well!
And while I am not as neat a painter as ElDiablo, I think it worked reasonably well. Take a look:
I changed the colour of the organic “teeth” to match the rest of the bone present on Angron’s body, and there was also no way to avoid some blood on the blade — but all in all, I think Ive come up with a fairly balanced look that retains my favourite parts about ElDiablo’s axe!
And with that, apart from a few very minor touchups, Angron was finished. And I am not going to lie here: I am over the moon about this guy:
Do you want to hear something funny, though? We are not nearly done here! For one, there are those minor touchups that I already talked about. But even more importantly, a model of this caliber certainly deserves a suitably impressive base as well. And I’ve already let the Bolter & Chainsword crowd cajole me into doing something far more involved and opulent than I had originally planned on that account — I swear, those guys will be the death of me one day…
But that is a story for another time — for the next installment of this series, to be exact. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the painted model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!