Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 1

Prologue

I have been thinking a lot about Angron lately.

I’ve explained before how I think Matthew Farrer’s “After Desh’ea” and Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s “Betrayer” have managed to turn a bad comic book villain into a much more rounded, tragic character, and I still stand by that sentiment: Even in a series of tie-in fiction, Angron has become a strong and interesting character. He’s the most monstrous of the Primarchs. And, in some ways, also the most human. He is a tragic villain. And also utterly irredeemable. All he ever wanted was freedom. From the high-riders. From the Emperor. And he ended up being one of the first of his brothers to ascend to a life of eternal service. That’s quite a development, from generic angry guy bit-part (“Angry Ron”, indeed) to a much more interesting key player in the Horus Heresy.

There’s also the fact that Angron has been depicted in some rather excellent artwork over the years. I suppose everything must have started with John Blanche’s depiction of the World Eaters’ Primarch:

Angron by John Blanche

Angron by John Blanche

John’s trademark style goes for shock and awe tactics here, showing us Angron as a hulking barbarian warlord, if anything. Even after all these years, this still seems like an apt interpretation of the character, and it’s quite fascinating to see how most of the elements from this drawing seem to have found their way into subsequent depictions (and even the official model!).

Then there’s this piece by the late, great Wayne England, one of the wonderful illustrations that used to define the look of the Horus Heresy prior to Forgeworld:

Angron by Wayne England

Angron by Wayne England

What I really love about this piece is how it plays with the character’s duality: The barbarian warlord is still there, but Angron seems more regal and composed than the JB version. And yet, there’s that strand of viscera dangling from his fist: Even as a powerful Imperial warlord, this man remains a dangerous beast, indeed.

And there’s the far more recent, official piece of artwork from Forgeworld, of course, depicting what is effectively a picture-perfect representation of Simon Egan’s Angron:

Angron Forgeworld artwork
It’s another very cool piece of artwork — although those axes seem awfully small, come to think of it.

And finally. two more pieces of art that define Angron as a character for me, both from brilliantly talented artist slaine69:

Angron sketch by slaine69

Angron sketch by slaine69

This first one actually had me gasping out loud when I first saw it: What we see here is a much more monstrous, almost grotesque, take on Angron — and yet it almost perfectly matches the description of the Primarch appearing in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s stories: After more than a century of warfare, Angron looks like a scarred and disfigured stature of a legendary hero — this is exactly how I imagine Angron during the Nuceria campaign and shortly before his ascension to daemonhood!

The other piece is more moody in nature, but arguably even more effective:

"Portrait of an angry guy" by slaine69

“Portrait of an angry guy” by slaine69

The quality of the writing and artwork slowly made me realise that, as a dedicated World Eater, I would need some model version of Angron at some point. And the growing feeling of wanting to do the Lord of the XII Legion justice in model form, in turn, led to the start of this project: But if I wanted an Angron model, what was I to do?

I. Do it yourself…

Of course getting the (fantastic) official Forgeworld model would have been the most obvious solution — but for some reason that seemed, too easy and too complicated at the same time: I didn’t want to go through the process of having to order the model, really, plus I am not a big fan of resin. And if I was to build Angron, I wanted it to be a conversion project.

As is so often the case, all it took to knock me over the edge was the right piece of inspiration. And it came in the form of invivos’ plastic Angron conversion:

Angron conversion by invivos

Angron conversion by invivos

Now that conversion is just clever, wouldn’t you agree? It uses some fairly readily available components to create a model that definitely reads as Angron — I especially love the use of half a Space Marine shoulder pad to create Angron’s characteristic high collar!Β  What a neat little touch! If there’s one – very minor – problem with the conversion, it’s that it might just be a bit too small to represent a Primarch (at least by modern FW standards). But it’s still a wonderfully elegant little conversion — and it served as proof to me that a plastic version of Angron was possible!

And then, one day, I found myself at the Hanover GW store with an AoS Slaughterpriest of Khorne in my hand and a plan beginning to form in the back of my head. So I picked up the model and started with an early mockup:

Angron WIP (1)
The stock Slaughterpriest body and head were basically perfect for the project, and the model was tall enough to read as a Primarch. Even at this early stage, however, I realised I would have to make some tweaks: The Slaughterpriest arms were holding a two-handed axe, and I knew right away that I rather wanted my Angron to be wielding twin chainaxes, like his official incarnation. However, with the axe left off, the arms were in a rather awkward pose, plus they also ended up looking puny, so I replaced them with Ork boy arms. The chainaxes came from FWs Cataphractii models, and the shoulder pad I used in my mockup had been sent to me by Augustus b’Raass a while ago (it’s either from MaxMini or from PuppetsWar, I believe).

Angron WIP (3)
Now when it came to the model’s back, those horns growing from either side of the Saughterpriest’s spine definitely needed to go! I chose to keep the hideous, exposed spine, though, both because I rather liked its look and because it seemed like a suitably brutal surgical alteration (either performed by the ringmasters on Nuceria, or by the Imperium in order to allow Angron to interface with is armour):

Angron WIP (4)
Angron WIP (5)
And while this version was still fairly rough, it definitely felt like a huge step in the right direction!

The next obvious step was to add the thing that defines Angron like nothing else: His Butcher’s Nails implants:

Angron WIP (8)
Angron WIP (10)
Angron WIP (12)
This actually turned out to be really easy, mostly due to a lucky discovery: When I took a closer look at the Sicarian Ruststalkers princeps’ head, I realised that the cabling forming a “beard” of sorts would work perfectly as Butcher’s Nails with very little additional work:
Angron WIP (13)
While I was at it, I also carefully shaved off the Khornate rune from the armour — seeing how Angron never even realised he was the Blood God’s champion before his ascension to daemonhood, it just seemed more fitting this way:

Angron WIP (15)
And as you can see in this size comparison picture, my plastic conversion was really quite a bit taller than a standard power armoured Marine and even than a World Eater in Cataphractii armour:

Angron WIP (18)
So the final thing left to do was to replace the white modeling putty with solidly sculpted areas of greenstuff, in order to rebuild Angron’s back where needed, and add a detail or two. While I am not especially handy with GS, this turned out to be a fairly straightforward affair. So here’s the finished Angron conversion:

Angron WIP (20)
Angron WIP (19)
As you can see, I even managed to add Angron’s “Triumph Rope” scar, an element described in “After De’shea” and also prominently shown on the cover of “Butcher’s Nails.”

Here’s the finished back:

Angron WIP (21)
And let me just point out that I think the Slaughterpriest’s face is easily one of GW’s best face sculpts, with the set of the muscles beautifully supporting the look of boundless rage:

Angron WIP (22)

I even thought about a “GW-friendly” version of the model: If I should ever endeavour to send some pictures of the finished model to White Dwarf, for instance, I’ll have to replace the shoulder pad with a GW bit:

Angron WIP (27)
Angron WIP (28)
Which of the two pauldrons do you prefer?

But yeah, I am really happy with the finished model, because I think it’s instantly recognisable as the XII legion’s Primarch: I also like how it’s pretty abiguous whether the model represents Angron during his time as an arena champion on Nuceria or rather during a sparring match with his sons in the fighting pits aboard the Conqueror. Whichever might be the case, he seems just seconds away from the iconic pose appearing on the cover of “Butcher’s Nails”:

Butcher's Nails cover artwork
Angron WIP (31)
Now while I have decided to keep my Angron bare-chested, let me tell you that it should really be easy enough to build an armoured version using the same basic approach. For instance, the Stormcast Eternal breastplates are a pretty good fit for the model’s torso and also resemble the type of armour worn by Forgeworld’s Angron. Here’s a quick mockup:

Angron WIP (26)
As it happens, my buddy Biohazard is working on an absolutely spectacular armoured version of Angron based on the same Slaughterpriest model. Take a look:

Angron conversion by Biohazard

Angron conversion by Biohazard

So if you should ever find yourself wondering about how to start a plastic Angron conversion, I’d suggest taking a look at the Slaughterpriest — in fact, if you have access to both versions of the Slaughterpriest, you might be able to come up with an even better version. But anyway, I am really happy with my kitbashed Angron, and I am also looking forward to painting him, hopefully in the near future!

2. The Universe has a sense of humor…

…or so they say, because no sooner was my plastic Angron conversion finished than I was contacted by Adam Wier (of Between the Bolter And Me fame), who told me that he had an almost complete Forgeworld Angron that he would be willing to send over. And indeed, he was awesome enough to go through with it, so a short time later, thanks to Adam’s kindness, I found myself in the possession of the “official” model as well:

Forgeworld Angron WIP (1)
Forgeworld Angron WIP (2)
And what can I say: I am really happy with my converted Angron, but I also remain a fan of Simon Egan’s “official” version — I’d even go so far as to say that I believe Angron is still one of the best Primarch sculpts (in spite of also being the first Primarch to be released), mostly because the model takes visual cues from all the various depictions of the character and combines them into something that is, amazingly enough, a really good match for each piece of artwork while also being an excellent model in its own right!

And now one of those models was mine, and it even came perfectly cleaned up, probably due to Adam’s meticulousness πŸ˜‰

So the first thing this allowed me to do was to actually make a comparison between my converted Angron and the official model:

Angron Twins (4)
Angron Twins (2)
And you know what? I think that, at least from a size perspective, my Slaughterpriest-based Angron holds up fairly well. Granted, he may be slightly smaller than Forgeworld-Angron (if the latter were to stand perfectly erect). But the model is also tall enough to read as a Primarch, if you ask me — plus he’s mostly out of his armour, so there’s that, too πŸ˜‰

At the same time, it was also clear to me that I really wanted to paint both versions of the model now, perhaps creating snapshots from different moments in the Primarch’s life, so to speak.

I had one problem to solve however: While the model was almost complete, some parts were missing. Mostly minor stuff, really, but the one thing I would need to replace was the cloak. And it took me a while to think of a solution — but then I was saved by a bitz drop from fellow hobbyist Helega, and now my Forgeworld-Angron looks like this:

Forgeworld Angron WIP (3)
Forgeworld Angron WIP (4)
Forgeworld Angron WIP (5)
Forgeworld Angron WIP (6)
A slightly tweaked version of the chain cape from the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore seems like a pretty ideal replacement for Angron’s standard cape — the conversion isn’t quite finished yet, but I do think I am on the right track.

So that’s two versions of the same character for me to paint, right? Seems like I have my work cut out for me. Wait a second, though, because we are still not quite done…

3. Things to come…

What you maybe don’t know yet is that, in addition to the two versions of Angron in “regular” (super-)human form, I have been planning for quite a while to also build and paint a version of the Primarch after his ascension to daemonhood. So that makes three Angrons, which is why this project has now officially become a triptych! My version of Angron’s daemonic form definitely deserves a post of its own, due to the sheer scope of the project, but allow me to share one teaser image with you, while we are here:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (46)
Trust me, you’ll be seeing *a lot* of this guy — and soon! πŸ˜‰

 

So yeah, I think this is going to be a rather exciting project: Three versions of the Lord of the XII Legion, and I really want to do each of the models justice and paint them to the best of my abilities — wish me luck! During my last visit to the Hanover GW store, the manager even suggested making a diorama of the three finished versions and present it at the store as part of their “Armies on Parade” event in October — we will see…

Anyway, I would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to those amazing people who have made this project possible by providing inspiration, bitz or even entire freaking Forgeworld models (cheers, Adam!)!I’d love to hear your thoughts on the project so far!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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48 Responses to “Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 1”

  1. Great post Krauty, your Slaughterpriest conversion is brilliant! I’m a big fan of the SP, and your approach shows exactly why. Excited to see your take on Angron Ascended!

  2. Great stuff. Can’t wait to see more of daemon angron!

  3. Your Angron conversion is excellent. The slaughterpriest is an amazing model, one you perfectly used to create the Lord of the XII Legion. I am amazed at how good the scale of the model is with the official model; one really could not have hoped for better. This fact alone really makes the idea of painting each to be at a different time in the Primarch’s life even more plausible.

    I am glad you were able to make use of the FW model, and find a really good substitute for the missing cape! You ability to find the right bits for any conversion is astounding.

    And finally, your daemon primarch is looking really good too. It is amazing to see how much you have advanced as a hobbyist over the years, such has been your dedication. The green stuff work looks great! Keep it up!

    • Thanks a lot, Eric!

      It’s strange how my perception of the Slaughterpriest has changed, as it originally seemed like the weirdest part of that particular release for me, and not at all like a GW model to begin with. But then I saw PDH’s brilliant true scale Emperor’s Children conversion of the Slaughterpriest, and that kinda planted the seed for the Angron conversion (which is rather ironic, f you think about it… πŸ˜‰ )

      As for your very kind words about my growth as a hobbyist, that is very nice of you today! And the growth continues, as the Wier family has provided me with the first ever chance to paint an actual Forgworld Primarch model — huzzah! πŸ˜‰

  4. Looks excellent mate – and I’m definitely excited to see more of daemon Angron (had a nosey at him over on the Bolter and Chainsword and wow – what a beast!). Very impressed with your β€˜unarmoured Angron’ as well, in fact I may prefer it to the FW original (can’t get over the tiny toes and big shoulders on that model). I also hadn’t realised that the new AoS plastics and the FW primarchs were so close in size – makes me wonder about the possibility of converting other primarchs.

    • Thanks, Wudugast! One thing to note, however, is how the Slaughterpriest is markedly taller than the other Khorne Bloodborn, and even then, he is slightly shorter than Forgeworld’s Primarchs, so while building other Primarchs might be possible, it remains a challenge.

      • Hmmm… That is true. And of course Angron is one of the few Primarchs who really works in an unarmoured form. Still the potential to explore the idea remains very interesting. And of course, even if another Primarch is too much of a stretch there’s inspiration here for Chaos lords of all types. πŸ™‚

  5. It always inspires me how much people in this community sre willing to give.

    Thankfully this helped you along to make truly astounding models. I now have one of the free sigmarines and an odd look in my eye…

    • Yeah, definitely! And I have never really seen that in any other community, which makes it even more astounding. Sometimes it seems as though my hobby life were basically thrieving on the generosity of others, which is both humbling and also a little disturbing… πŸ˜‰

  6. The Slaughterpriest is such a brilliant model and like you said, the face is one of the best ever. Love your take on Angron. Brilliant conversion.

  7. The three versions of Angron show a great progression in your skills KS – the huge daemon Angron is just fantastic (and no spoilers, but the painted version you posted elsewhere is stunning!).

    Also love the Slaughterpriest conversion – he’s my next purchase πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks a lot, mate! Shhh, though, you’re spoiling all the fun! πŸ˜‰

      Really looking forward to seeing what you do with the Slaughterpriest! Since I suspect it’s going to involve copious amounts of small gears, you might want to check out Alex’ conversion of the model (on Leadballooney) — it should be right up your alley πŸ˜‰

  8. Dave Taylor Says:

    Nice work on that conversion. I don’t think he initially strikes me as “Angron”, but he certainly strikes me as awesome!

  9. Excellent, excellent and excellent oh and did I mention? EXCELLENT!!
    I really need to buy a Slaughterpriest.

  10. greggles Says:

    The master of conversion, bar none. I like your angron better….

  11. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    I’m afraid I significantly prefer the armoured version, but fantastic all in all!

    • Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

      Although it truly does say something that even your unpainted mockup of Angron with the Stormcast chest plate is good enough to draw me in. The World Eaters have always been one of my least favorite Legions from a conceptual standpoint, with possibly only the Death Guard coming in lower (Thousands of infectious diseases given out upon recruitment? Sign me up!), so the fact that your conversions almost always leave me enamored with both the Legion and your characters is a true testament to how amazing you are. I only hope the quest I am about to embark on to convert a host of models with poor paint jobs and missing chunks into a sleek Deathwatch Strikeforce will inspire someone else equally in time!

      • That’s very nice of you to say! I’ve alsways been in love with the World Eaters, even when they were just generic angry guys, but I would argue that some pretty great storytelling – from ADB, above all others – has managed to make them about several hundred percent more interesting from a narrative standpoint, and my ambition has always been to channel that in my models as well.

      • Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

        I may have to look into that! Unfortunately I won’t have time in the near future, as the majority of my hobby time is going to be spend arduously making the few models at my disposal (Dark Vengeance Tacticals… Ugh) into believable Deathwatch, but I will admit that the one Horus Heresy book I read made me fall in love with Word Bearers, so I have no doubt other books could do the same for the World Eaters.

  12. wow, another great post with tons of pics. i really appreciate how many angles you upload!

  13. Damn! using that Slaughter Priest as a base for 30k(ish) Angron was BRILLIANT!!!

    I like your gladiator version as well as Biohazard’s Imperial versions A LOT. Possibly more than the Forge World version…

    I have also wanted the FW one for a while, but these have me thinking making one like them may be more fun.

    He would go well with my converted Kharn…

  14. Geralt Wiwczareck Says:

    I haven’t commentated on this blog for a loooong time, but I’ve read everyone of your articles nevertheless.
    As always, your work is stunning, and you’re always inspiring me to do stuff of my own (even though I’m a loyalist rather than a filthy traitor ^^)

  15. Tom Martin Says:

    I’ve been really inspired by your posts. I’m just starting out on my World Eaters but after reading this and while waiting for some regular marines to arrive, I thought I’d have a go at a converted Angron. I wanted him fully armoured and so used the Lord Relictor model from the AoS starter set as the base. I’m really pleased with the result but thanks agin to you for the inspiration.

  16. […] A blog about KrautScientist's wargaming exploits « Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 1 […]

  17. Tom Martin Says:

    Thanks for the good vibes guys. I think I’ve got an old blogger account somewhere that if I can dig it out I’ll get updated with WE stuff and make sure I follow you guys. Until then I’ll stick with my little bit on G+ (K I really appreciate you using your account for the first time to come and see my stuff 😊)

    • Angron’s looking great, Tom! Maybe slightly to civilised, but then I realised while looking at your version is that I’d really love to see more versions exploring different facets of the character, like that old Wayne England artwork.

      My one suggestion would be to check whether the axe in his right and would look cooler with the head on the floor and his hand resting on the haft.

      • Tom Martin Says:

        It’s a nice idea about the right hand although I don’t want him to seem ‘at rest’.

        I know what you mean about slightly too civilised for ‘Angry Ron’ but I’m reading Betrayer at the moment and one of the things that got me really hooked on him and the WE is that he does have these moments of quiet anger.

        The head I used for the conversion is from the chaos Lord terminator and has a twitch that pulls at the left side of the mouth so I’m hoping once the paints on you’ll get a moment of him having one of his facial ticks.

      • Hey Tom,

        those are some excellent thoughts, and I see your point. The part with the facial tic is particularly inspired! Really looking forward to seeing your Angron painted!

  18. […] I imagine it will be painted very similarly on the plastic Angron conversion I shared with you recently. […]

  19. […] And so, after a short interlude, we are actually back to Angron: Today I actually intend to deliver on the “Triptych” part of this mini-series, as I show you my completed conversion of Angron in full-on gladiator mode, based on one of the plastic Slaughterpriest models. I already showed you the conversion in the very fist post of this series: […]

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