Archive for forgeworld

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 8

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by krautscientist

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:

Illustration from the ebook version of “Galaxy in Flames”

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:

So with that in mind, I got to work. Here’s what I came up with:

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:


The floor texture was then used on the rest of the base, to blend all parts together and make them look like they had been designed to fit together:



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:


Must be all of that practice 😉

Anyway, Angron was coming along pretty well, and soon I was at a point where only fairly little remained to be done:


But then, it’s a Primarch we are talking about here, so I made sure to add several rounds of highlights and touchups 😉

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:



And here’s how everything looks when assembled:



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:

Angron

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:


From left to right: Angron as a gladiator in the fighting pits of Desh’ea, Angron during the Night of the Wolf, and Angron at the Battle of Armatura.

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!

Butcher’s Boy

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2014 by krautscientist

A warning in advance: I realise that today’s update quickly degenerates into rambling. Bear with me, though, there’ll be new stuff to look at partway down the page 😉 So what is this about?

While I virtually lack any sort of impulse control when it comes to buying new plastic crack, the one area where I have thus far exhibited an almost shocking amount of restraint is buying from Forgeworld: Sure, I’ll purchase some heads, shoulder pads and smaller doodads every now and then, but with the exception of Lord Zhufor, still possibly the best World Eaters model ever released, I haven’t bought any complete Forgeworld kits yet.

There’s a number of reasons for this, but lack of sculpting quality certainly isn’t a part of it: I love many of FW’s models as much as the next guy — if anything, the amount of detail alone is usually intimidating enough to prevent me from purchasing any models, for fear of being unable to do them justice with my painting.

Then there’s the fact that it sometimes seems to me like Forgeworld models are the easy, albeit expensive, way out of pretty much any modeling conundrum: Want a super awesome model? Just use a stock piece from Forgeworld! Want to own Marines in Pre Heresy armour — gee, Forgeworld is releasing an entire line of models for you!

Where Forgeworld models used to be a supremely rare sight, being used to add the most sublime amount of awesome to an army, it has all become a bit of a battle of materiel  nowadays, where some people just add  Forgeworld stuff to their armies until they suddenly become awesome by sheer resin saturation. And, by a strange twist of faith, armies making heavy use of FW models actually often end up looking more samey than the “standard” GW armies of old. Does that sound bitter?

Maybe, but here’s the thing: I think that having to work around the shortcomings of kits and the gaps in GW’s catalogue can sometimes be the best catalysts for creativity. And, for instance, before Forgeworld released more Horus Heresy Space Marines than you could ever shake a stick at, coming up with kitbashes and conversions to approximate your own version of Pre Heresy armour marks was huge fun.

 

Anyway, all of this is my rather roundabout way of explaining why my various projects use fairly little Forgeworld stuff. That said, there has to be an exception to the rule, of course, and when I first saw early pictures of Forgeworld’s World Eaters Red Butchers, it was instantly clear to me that some of these might find their way into my collection at some point:

I really love the way their Cataphractii armour is encrusted with stylised depictions of the World Eaters’ legion badge, for one.  At the same time, the brutal, spiky design of their armour is a nice fit for post heresy World Eaters as well. So when I recently had the chance of picking up some of the models as part of a bitz order, I jumped at the opportunity and purchased two Red Butcher bodies for experimentation purposes.

From my hands on experience as well as a bit of research, I have to say that these models are a bit of a mixed bag, their really cool overall design notwithstanding: The Red Butchers’  bodies are  single piece, with only the arms coming as separate parts. While this obviously makes them fairly easy to put together, it also severely limits their flexibility. Plus some of the poses seem a bit wonky — just check out the guy on the right, for instance.

What’s more, when prototypes for the Red Butchers were first shown at UK Games Day 2013, the models sported a set of individual, bare heads. While some of these may have seemed a little hokey, they perfectly communicated the sheer rage of these guys and worked really well with some of the poses. Alas, the finished models ditched most of these individual head sculpts, instead opting to use the same helmet for all the models in the squad except the champion, who retains one of the bare heads from the earlier versions. Now while I like the helmeted head well enough, this decision is rather hard to understand, because it really makes the finished models less cool than the prototypes. And while getting rid of the helmeted heads should still be possible with a bit of work – as the supremely talented poom has done on some of his Red Butchers , but the operation seems needlessly complicated, with a very real risk of ruining a rather expensive models in the process.

But even in their hobbled state, I still think the models still have lots of promise, and are a great addition to the World Eaters catalogue. And since I have honestly never seen them painted in the World Eaters’ post heresy colours yet (and FW’s own paintjob is, well, atrocious), it was clear to me that these guys would be drafted into my 40k World Eaters force.

Since I had only purchased the bodies, I needed to add some bitz in order to finish the models, and my first test model turned into a bit of a lucky coincidence right off the bat: I had picked up a two-handed weapon from the Deathwing Terminator kit as part of the same bitz order, and I realised that it worked pretty well with one of the Red Butchers. Here’s my test model:

Raas the Butcher WIP (2)
Raas the Butcher WIP (1)
Raas the Butcher WIP (3)
As you can see, I took some additional steps to make the additions to the model seem suitably chaotic: I added some Daemon Prince armour plates as shoulder pads, slightly converted the two handed weapon and added some Warp Talon “toenails” to the model’s gauntlets . To give credit where credit is due,exchanging the halberd’s blade happened courtesy of a pretty sweet model by AMaximus, while the clever use of  the toenails was originally an equally awesome idea of my fellow German hobbyist Lucutus.

Since chains seem to be a recurring visual motif for the Red Butchers, I also added some chainy bitz to the arms holding the halberd as well. I also glued a brass etched Khorne rune to the model’s Cataphractii armour.

The pose was also slightly inspired by this screenshot I found online:

Raas_inspiration_DOW2

While painting this guy, I subjected myself to the challenge of trying to finish the model in 3 hours, as part of a small, friendly challenge between several like-minded hobbyists. So I tried to be fast.

Here’s the model at shortly before the two hour mark…

Raas the Butcher PIP (1)
…and, a while later, after precisely three hours:

Raas the Butcher PIP (2)
Not bad, but clearly not finished either. Just to give you an idea, Jeff Vader managed to completely paint an absolutely amazing Plague Bearer in the same amount of time. Nuts!

But while I had sort of failed the three hours challenge, the work I had managed to accomplish during those hours went a long way towards getting the model painted, so it was all good. I ended up putting in another hour or two, and here is the finished model. I give you Raas the Butcher:

Raas the Butcher (1)
Raas the Butcher (5)
Raas the Butcher (6)
Raas the Butcher (7)
Raas the Butcher (8)
Raas the Butcher (9)
Raas the Butcher (10)
Raas the Butcher (11)
Raas the Butcher (12)
Raas the Butcher (13)
As you can see, some of the additional touches really sell the model, at least in my opinion: The planet at the centre of the stylised legion badge on the model’s helmet was picked up in turquoise for that additional bit of pop. And I even added some blood to the halberd’s blade, because the Butcher really seems like that kinda guy:

Raas the Butcher (17)
A similarly bloodspattered Space Marine helmet and a skull were added as decoration to the model’s base:

Raas the Butcher (16)
Painting a whole Forgeworld model for the first time certainly has certainly been an interesting experience as well, although it made me realise that not only do I dislike converting resin models, but I am also not all that fond of painting them: The Forgeworld resin provides all those tiny nooks and crannies on the model that I remember (with dread!) from my past experiences with metal models, and all that scrubbing and soaking beforehand, in order to get rid of the mold release agent covering the model head to toe, also isn’t that much fun. So while I can see myself painting the odd FW model every now and then, assembling an entire army of models made from this material seems like a bit of a nightmare to me, to be honest…

Oh, and one more thing: While I am rather pleased with the finished model, it does look slightly puny when stood next to one of my plastic models in Terminator armour. Justs sayin’…

Raas the Butcher (15)
I’m happy enough with the result, though: One down, one to go! I suppose the second Red Butcher I purchased will end up looking more or less like this:

Second Red Butcher WIP (3)
Second Red Butcher WIP (2)
Second Red Butcher WIP (1)
I might just replace the right arm with an arm holding an axe or sword, though. Hmmm….

On a semi-related note, I realised that some of the Red Butchers’ design elements, especially the torso and helmet, are quite reminiscent of that old metal Terminator Lord I picked up used a while ago:

Metal Terminator Lord (1)
The resemblance is really quite uncanny, don’t you think? So maybe these guys will end up hanging out together in the end? In any case, it’s especially delicious to find visual consistency where you hadn’t even expected it, so yeah…
Oh, one more thing, by the way: My finished test model, Raas the Butcher, was named for fellow hobbyist Augustus B’Raass. This is a small thank you to him, both for providing lots of inspiration with his kick-ass Night Lords army (seriously, what is it whith all the amazing NL armies lately?) and for indulging me when I instigated a rather egg-headed (but nevertheless pretty fascinating, at least to me) discussion on his thread lately.

Thanks for taking it all in stride, mate! 😉

Anyway, here’s the model’s background:

Raas the Butcher (2)
Raas the Butcher

The warrior known as Raas the Butcher is one of the 4th assault company’s oldest veterans and serves in Lord Captain Lorimar’s personal guard, known as Lorimar’s Fist. Even among this band of ruthless killers, his thirst for blood excels, and his penchant for tearing his opponents limb from limb is well known and feared by those who have to stand against him: Watching Raas charging the enemy with surprising speed, a blood curdling howl on his lips, is terrifying to behold, and usually the last sight his victims are afforded before his mighty war halberd effortlessly shears through their armour and flesh. His bloodlust is so great that he spends most battles completely lost to the nails, as much of a danger to his friends as to his enemies. Chains decorate his ancient suit of modified Cataphractii armour as if to bind him, but it is clear that the Lord Captain’s abyssal growl is the only thing that will bring this wild hound to heel…

I’d love to hear any feedback you might have in the comments section! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!