The Battle of Armatura
Distance did nothing to steal any of the primarch’s blunt, savage grandeur. He was a ruined, towering thing of pain-spasms and sutured flesh. Lotara had only ever seen two primarchs, but despite the legend that each was cast in the Emperor’s image, Lorgar and Angron couldn’t have looked less alike. The former had a face that belonged on antique coins, and a voice that made her think of warm honey. The latter was an angel’s statue, desecrated by a hundred blades and left in the rain. Angron was ripped skin and roared oaths over a core of thick blood vessels and muscle meat.
Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer
Having finished my Wayne England-inspired conversion of the Primarch Angron during the Night of the Wolf, I originally didn’t plan on throwing myself headfirst into painting yet another version of the Primarch — at first. But inspiration can be a fickle mistress, and that model was intended as a test run for the Forgeworld version of Angron still languishing, unpainted, on my painting desk, after all. So I found myself messing around with yet another version of the XII Primarch in short order — bear with me, though, there’ll be a finished model at the end of this 😉
As I have mentioned before, the model came to me as an incredibly generous gift courtesy of Adam Wier (of Between the Bolter And Me), and this was doubly amazing because I doubt I would ever have gotten off my arse to actually get my hands on Forgeworld’s version of Angron — not for lack of appreciation, though, because I love the model and think it is one of Forgeworld’s best Primarch interpretations!
So Adam really did me a good turn there, and as luck would have it, the whole thing became even more interesting due to the fact that a few pieces of the original model were missing: The plasma pistol was easily ignored (because, let’s face it, who would expect Angron to be actually using a weapon that isn’t an axe or a chainblade?), but the missing cape presented a bit of a conundrum because it provides some extra bulk to the model and also covers up Angron’s rather crudely designed back.
With a bit of thought – and the generous help of fellow hobbyist Helega – I was able to overcome this problem, however, replacing Angron’s stock cape with the chain cape from the WFB Chaos Lord on Manticore — arguably the one bit from GW’s entire catalogue that is up to the task. Even better, Angron is actually described as wearing a chain mesh cape like that in the various BL novels, and is even shown wearing one in the accompanying artwork:
So with a bit of elbow grease, I had managed to cobble together a complete model, ready for painting, right?
Well, almost. Because there remained one last hurdle to overcome: The last part missing from the model was the base: Like all of Forgeworld’s Primarch models, Angron comes with a two part base: An outer ring, making for a stunning display base, and an inner piece that will fit on a 30mm base (for gaming purposes) and can be slotted into the larger piece to create the entire display base.
Now I did have the “outer ring” part, but not the actual piece that goes on top of Angron’s base. The easy solution would have been to simply build a smaller base and discard the larger piece as optional and non-essential — but I really liked the idea of being able to create that large and ostentatious display base. So I had to come up with a design that would work well on its own while also interacting with the larger display base piece.
After a bit of thinking, I realised that I could use this to tie the model closer into the background for my 30k project (the battles of Armatura and Nuceria) and touch up some parts of the original base I didn’t like. Because while I am a huge fan of Forgeworld’s Angron model, I don’t quite have the same fond fealings for the base: You see, Angron is surrounded by three Marines, one he is resting his right foot on and two standing (or rather, falling) Astartes he is in the process of turning into minced meat. The objective here is obviously to show how deadly Angron is, but in my opinion, the two defeated Astartes on eather side just draw a bit too much attention away from the real star of the show:
First up, I needed something of greater height that Angron would be standing on, so I purchased another Forgeworld rock piece (from Badab-War-era Huron, if I am not mistaken) from a bitz seller, because it would match the rest of the base more closely than any rock I could have improvised. I decided to use a Cataphractii Terminator as a fallen enemy at the Primarch’s feet, which seemed appropriate enough. And due to clever positioning of the parts, this only set me back one Cataphractii torso front, one shoulder pad and half a power-fist arm. Here’s the basic setup:
As you can see, the basic structure was built up using some GS. And the mangled head of the Cataphractii originally came from the Crypt Ghoul kit — I chose it because it resembled how I imagine somebody who has taken a chainaxe to the head might look…
The next part was to create some texture for the ground. My trusty Vallejo Sandy Paste once again turned out to be the perfect tool for the job:
At this point, I also created some additional, grisly detail in the Terminator’s abdominal region, using my tried and true combination of shaved down Skaven tails and stringy glue to suggest entrails:
I also added some small details, namely a discarded Mk. IV helmet and a tattered XIII Legion standard. And while the outcome may not fit together quite as seamlessly and ingenuously as Forgeworld’s stock solution, I was still rather happy with how everything came together after undercoating:
Seeing the base come together so well actually gave me a huge boost when it came to painting Angron himself, which was really for the best, as painting a Forgeworld Primarch model had seemed like such a daunting challenge to me.
But now I just got started, deciding to tread carefully and to, once again, keep TheApatheticFish’s painting tutorial close for reference. And surprisingly enough, I made good progress:
Now like I said, this was my first Forgeworld Primarch model, and they are truly something else: There’s so much fine detail there that warrants a lot of attention – the chains wrapped around Angron’s weapons and wrists, for instance, are so delicate and lovely.
That being said, I hope I don’t sound too full of myself when I say that, with three versions of Angron already under my belt by this point, I was able to take it all in stride 😉
Fun fact, I actually suck at painting freehands, but I seem to be getting pretty handy with painting the XII Primarch’s warpaint:
Anyway, Angron was coming along pretty well, and soon I was at a point where only fairly little remained to be done:
At the same time, there was also the base to keep track of. Here’s what it looked like after I had blocked in all of the base colours yesterday afternoon:
The process that came afterwards was a lot of fun, really, as the muddy, dusty nature of a battlefield allowed me to play a bit fast and loose with the painting, while still arriving at a suitably gritty and realistic result.
Here are the two finished parts of the base:
I am really very happy with the result, and I think this could even read as a “complete” Forgeworld base — at first glance, if nothing else. Plus it also allowed me to push the thematic idea of having my 30k “army” centered around the battles of Armatura and Nuceria, where the XIII legion were the main adversary.
Speaking of which, the base could actually be seen as telling its own little story: How did that Terminator get there? Was he torn apart when trying to stand in the way of the charging Primarch? Was he buried under the falling rubble and debris when the defensive forces of Armatura detonated Valika Junction in a desparate attempt to stall the World Eaters’ advance?
So with the base finished, putting the last round of finishing touches on its occupant was quick work. And then, incredibly enough, my first – and possibly only – Forgeworld Primarch model was complete:
The Conqueror, The Bloody One, The Red Angel,
Primarch of the XII Legion
„This is not freedom. He knows that. He knows it well.
This is not freedom, he thinks as he stares at the World Eaters screaming his name. But the fight is only just beginning.
When the Emperor dies under his axes, when his final thought is how the Great Crusade was all in pathetic futility, and when his last sight is Angron’s iron smile…
then the Master of Mankind will learn what Angron has known since he picked up his first blade.
Freedom is the only thing worth fighting for.
It is why tyrants always fall.“
Aaron-Dembski-Bowden, Lord of the Red Sands
Once again, I am pretty happy with the outcome: This has been a premiere for me, but my main fear (messing up the model with sub-par painting and gooey paint) didn’t become a reality, at least for the biggest part 😉 There’s always room for improvement, and my version of Angron certainly cannot hope to compete with some of the utterly stunning versions from fellow hobbyists (and much more accomplished painters) out there, but even so: Tackling this model really was pretty far beyond my comfort zone, and I do think I have still done him justice!
Above all else, the face was the one part of him I really wanted to get right, and I am really rather happy with the finished piece:
So with this latest version of Angron completed, I now have three different versions of the Primarch before his ascension to a Daemon-Prince of Khorne, showing Angron at different moments in his life of violence:
Possibly the best remark I have received for the three models so far is this comment from Ynneadwraith:
However, my personal favourite touch is how in the 3 humanoid (as primarchs are definitely not human) versions it actually looks like he’s aged. The pitfighter looks slightly fresh-faced, while Night of the Wolf Angron is starting to look a little more sallow. By the time you get to the Forgeworld one he’s looking veritably grizzled, perhaps even a little haggard as the Butcher’s Nails take their toll.
If that is indeed the case, I am really happy, because I was really gunning for the impression that this is the same character at various stages in his life — and on a downward spiral, no less…
Speaking of Angron’s history, there is that fourth version of him I created last year, remember? So here’s the entire “Massacre of Angrons”:
And now we have actually arrived at a tetraptych instead of a triptych — who woulda thunk, huh? 😉
So does this conclude this particular project? For the most part, yes. And yet, and still…
If nothing else, there are still some loose ends left to tie up, namely the display base I created for Angron in his Daemon-Primarch form. And now I can’t stop thinking about a shared display base for all the models — working title: “Stations of a violent life”. And there are even more moments in the life of the XII Primarch that would warrant an own version: his mourning his brothers and sisters on the boneyard at Desh’elika Ridge. The moment of his ascension. Angron holding a freaking Titan’s leg over his head, allowing a horribly maimed Lorgar to crawl free….I need to stop thinking about this! 🙂
For now, let’s just say that while I cannot possibly reach the same levels of dedication and/or madness as, say, Reg, maybe we haven’t heard the last of the XII Primarch either…
And in any case, we’ll be seeing more 30k World Eaters for him to lead:
For now, thanks must go to Adam Wier, above all else, for providing me with the chance to paint this excellent model! To Helega for providing a crucial bit. To Matthew Farrer and Aaron Dembski-Bowden for turning “Angry Ron” into one of the setting’s most fascinating and tragic characters. And, of course, to everyone who has helped this project along with their suggestions and comments — speaking of which, it goes without saying that I would love to hear your feedback, so drop me a comment!
And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!