Archive for gladiator

The Hateful Eight

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, today marks a bit of a special occasion in a – so far – otherwise thoroughly unproductive hobby year, because I can actually announce the completion of a project — at least in a way, that is… So what is this about?

Back in May of 2019, I finally caved and bought some of the – then brand new – updated Chaos Space Marine models. I didn’t want to update my entire World Eaters army, but the new kits were just too cool to resist, so I came up with the idea to limit myself to a Kill Team sized project, tentatively named “The Hateful Eight”, a squad of new World Eaters, where every model would be heavily converted and customised to match, as closely as possible, my ideal version of what a World Eater should look like in the year 2020 . I also wanted to paint them to the best of my ability — or at least, using a heavily tweaked recipe.

It has taken me over a year, but I have finally managed to complete eight World Eaters for this project. So please meet “The Hateful Eight”:

It’s a bit pathetic, really, to have taken more than twelve months to come up with this squad, considering other people have used the Covid19-induced downtime to chew through dozens or even hundreds of models. But if nothing else, this squad comes closer than any of my previous attempts to encapsulating what I think World Eaters should look like — or rather, what my World Eaters should look like. And in that respect, at least, this definitely feels like a triumph!

At the same time, I have also used this project to come up with some models that serve as shout outs and tributes to particular pieces of artwork or to classic World Eaters models, which also turns this project into a bit of a historic showcase. So let’s take a look at the members of the Hateful Eight in turn, before we finish with the latest member and some more group shots, alright? Step this way:

 

This was the model that started it all, and it wasn’t really inspired by any classic source. The model was rather a test for how the new CSM kits could be used to build convincing World Eaters, plus it also served as a proper opportunity to try out my new and tweaked colour scheme. I am still pretty happy with the finished model — that tusked helmet, in particular, is really cool, and the added bunny ears actually make it look even more badass, wouldn’t you agree?

Another model that wasn’t really inspired by a piece of artwork or an existing archetype. Then again, this guy was actually “salvaged”, so to speak, both from the pile of shame and the earlier incarnation of my World Eaters — in fact, the model was originally converted allll the way back in 2013 (!), back when Dark Vengeance was released and blew us all away with its (then) revolutionary CSM models!

Which makes me all the happier that this guy’s story has at least come to a happy conclusion! Plus the model has also provided me with the perfect opportunity to finally experiment with some variety in skin tones for the members of the 4th assault company, something I’ll definitely be repeating on some of the future models!


The third model uses one of the excellent Blood Warriors from the First Edition Age of Sigmar starter box. The model is actually one of my favourite models in the squad and comes very close to my idea of a quintessential 40k World Eater: massive, clad in vicious, baroque armour, and full of the wrath of Khorne. Oh, and the model also very much serves as a shout out to some of the rather excellent, mid-90s Khorne Berzerker champions, like this one:

Those were actually some of my very first World Eaters models (after getting into this whole mess with a box of plastic berzerkers that had just been released back then — can you imagine that?). Those metal berzerkers and champions were pretty tough to get hold of back then, at least if you didn’t live close to a GW store, and I actually bought the gentleman you see above during a trip to Cologne back in 1999 or 2000 or so. Ah…good times… 😉

This next model was very much intended as a shout out, too, as it was an attempt to channel one of the most iconic pieces of World Eaters art, courtesy of Mark Gibbons:

Artwork by Mark Gibbons

A shout out must also go to my fellow hobbyist ElDuderino, who supplied the excellent, spliced-together helmet that seemed just perfect for this conversion. In his honour, this particular World Eater will henceforth be known as “Brother Orsca of Skandia” 😉

The next member of the Hateful Eight is another holdover from my “old” World Eaters (and another conversion based on one of the Dark Vengeance Chosen). At the same time, however, this model was actually inspired by a very cool piece of artwork courtesy of Diego Gisbert Llorens:

illustration by Diego Gisbert Llorens

Next up, a model that wasn’t really inspired by any source, but rather served as an attempt to explore one of the main archetypes defining the World Eaters as a legion: its gladiatorial traditions.

The massive, archaic armour was supposed to hint at the fact that this legionary used to belong to the “Triarii”, the World Eaters’ famous boarding troops. I also really wanted to include a squad member with an Mk. III helmet, for an even more archaic look. The ball and chain weapon was added to evoke the “meteor hammer”, another weapon choice that has its roots in the legion’s gladiatorial traditions.

Next up, the provisional squad leader, and definitely one of my favourite members of the Hateful Eight:

This model basically started out as an attempt to do something with the somewhat hokey “twin axe” bit that came with the Age of Sigmar Blood Warriors. The result is a character that embodies yet another core archetype of the World Eaters legion — that of the executioner or headsman. In fact, it has repeatedly been pointed out to me that this model could really work as a Master of Executions, and while that wasn’t the original plan, I definitely agree that the look is there.

Which leads us to the last member of the Hateful Eight, and also the last model to be completed. This icon bearer from my previous post:

It has been ridiculously hot around here for the last ten days or so, but I finally buckled up and finished that model.

What you see above is an almost finished paintjob. It was at this point that I was feeling a little adventurous, plus I also had a cool little fluff idea for that icon: You see how each and every part of that thing seems to be barbed and serrated, right? And it stands to reason that the icon itself could be wielded as a weapon in its own right. But what if that icon is actually a minor daemonic artifact and not only wants to draw the blood of enemies, but also of the warrior carrying it into battle? What if being chosen by the artifact to be its bearer is, at best, a mixed blessing, and you actually have to be careful not to become the artifact’s victim? Anyway, with those ideas in mind, I grabbed the bottle of blood effect…

Here’s the finished icon bearer:





I was a bit nervous about that icon, to be honest, but I really think it works! While I used quite a bit of blood on it, I was careful to vary the tone and glossiness a bit, to suggest that the wicked thing is covered in layers of blood, some of them older than others. I also made sure to paint some blood onto the icon bearer’s hand — like I said, the artifact, like the War God himself, does not care whence the blood flows:

Interestingly enough, this also provides a reason for the bare right hand (which was really just a coincidental choice) and the length of chain (that was included to repeat an element that appeared on the classic model that inspired this guy).

Speaking of inspiration, here’s a comparison picture with the new icon bearer and the classic metal model that served as the main inspiration for the model, because this was basically an attempt to recreate the classic design (albeit horizontally flipped 😉 ):

So yeah, it has only taken more than a year, but now, the Hateful Eight are finally ready to march to war and reap skulls for Khorne. Take a look:


Incidentally, because the project so far has been focused mostly on the converting and painting angle, most of these World Eaters still lack a name. So I would be happy for you, my readers, to suggest some names for the members of the Hateful Eight!

I must give fair warning, though: My eventual selection will be purely based on my personal taste.

That being said, I would love to hear any suggestions, so if you want to name one of these gentlemen, let’s hear your ideas!

Oh, and here’s a photo of the eight models alongside “Euron Hearteater”, who could probably be considered a honorary member of the squad by now, on account of finally seeing some paint during the same period of time 😉

One thing I might still have to tweak is the number of skulls present on the models: Right now, there are 35 skulls across the entire squad. Plus, y’know, the eight that are still attached to their respective necks, at least for now… And I would like to bring that number up to 40, for fairly obvious reasons — then again, the composition of the squad could still change, so maybe I’ll a bit.

Because you didn’t really think this project was over, did you…? 😉

While I may have the first eight in the bag, there’s an entire batch of possible aspirants for a second squad. Take a look:

So maybe we’ll end up with “The Hateful Sixteen”, after all?! If all goes well, these two gentlemen should be next on the painting table:

For now, though, I am really happy that I have managed to complete this first tentative squad before GW actually releases new Khorne berzerkers/World Eaters models. I’ll also be a bit cheeky here and consider this my entry for Azazel’s (extended!) “Jewel of July” event, if for no other reason than the fact that having managed to finally paint and convert this squad certainly feels like a personal hobby jewel to me — oh, and I also wanted to finally participate in one of Azazel’s community challenges again, so there’s that, too 😉

I would also love to hear any thoughts and feedback you may have, so please leave a comment!

And that’s about it for the day. Blood for the Blood God!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

State of the Hunt, week 08/2020: Stop…Meteor Hammer Time!

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, paintjob, state of the hunt, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2020 by krautscientist

Hey everyone, it’s already mid-February, and the fact that I still haven’t managed to complete the second part of my Eternal Hunt Awards writeup for 2019 has basically become a millstone around my neck that actually prevents me from posting any update at all, and we cannot have that, so here’s what we’ll do:

For today, I would just love to share some of the stuff I have been working on lately with you, seeing how I keep making progress with my little World Eaters kill team project.

As for my various favourite blogs and recommendations, I will commit to turning those into a rather more forward-looking post of its own in the near future — scout’s honour! For those of you who are looking for an excellent look back at the projects of 2019 and want their fix *right now*, feel free to peruse the following, excellent articles courtesy of the Brothers Wier and Wudugast, respectively.

To those of you who had been looking forward to my post, I can only apologise — and promise you that something not quite unlike it will be along sooner rather than later. For now, however, in the interest of keeping this blog going, I’ll just have to go with sharing some stuff I am actually motivated to work on right now. I hope you guys understand!

 

So, anyway, with that out of the way, where were we? Oh, right, I remember: In my last World Eaters related update, I already showed you this guy who is part of my “Hateful Eight” World Eaters project:




I could really kick myself for forgetting, once again, to take step-by-step pictures while I painted him — I guess the model would have made for a pretty cool tutorial. Oh well, next time, I guess…

Anyway, this is what the model looked like with most of the paintjob already in place:


As you can see, I decided to add some glossy blood to the meteor hammer — because it just seemed really, really appropriate in this particular case. In fact, I tried to take this even further with my idea for the rest of the base:

It was always clear that I would want to add some kind of “special effect” to the base. A trail of blood, as the World Eater drags his bloodied weapon behind him, seemed like an obvious idea. But I wanted something even more gruesome:



The idea was to make it look as though the World Eater had just crushed some unfortunate opponent’s skull, so I went the extra mile and included some bone shards 😉

Here’s the finished model:








While the pose remains ever so slightly hokey, on account of the base model I used for the conversion, I am still pretty happy with this chap. The two things I wanted to achieve with him — having a model wearing a massive, ancient suit of armour that also has a bit of a gladiatorial flair, have definitely worked out: In spite of all the quasi-medieval stylings of the armour, you could still imagine a suit of ancient Mk. III Iron Armour as the starting point underneath it all.

And here’s a closer look at the base again, now with the meteor hammer in place, obviously:


And once again, in order to round out my progress report, here’s an updated group picture of the new World Eaters models I have managed to finish so far:

Regarding the general progress of this progress, I’ll admit that these models seem like a bit of an evolutionary step for me in that, after all these years of building and painting World Eaters, I have now arrived at the point where the models actually end up looking very close to the way I’ve always wanted them to be: massive, baroque, highly individual and very sinister. Are they perfect? No, certainly not — there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But it’s not hyperbole to say that these are the closest I have yet come to realising my personal vision of what the warriors of the 4th assault company should look like.

At the same time, however, it’s becoming painfully obvious that I’ll be ending up with more than eight models, mostly because I just cannot stop building stuff. Case in point, here are the next guys in line for the painting desk:

Granted, some (okay, alright: two) of these are older conversions. But I just keep adding to them. For today, I would like to point out two models in particular.

The first model was born from the desire to do something, anything, with that very weird, two-handed Bat’leth-style weapon that comes with the AoS Blood Warriors:

So I shaved off the secondary blade, and used some Blood Warrior, CSM and Mk. III Marine parts to make this:



As you can see, it’s yet another conversion that combines most of the parts from a stock Blood Warrior with Mk. III greaves, although I would argue that the graft is a much smoother one this time around. I also think the somewhat more medieval Blood Warriors armour, when used in moderation, creates a cool, somewhat gladiatorial look that really suits 40k World Eaters and moves the models beyond simply looking like vanilla CSM with bunny eared helmets. It was also cool to be able to re-use the backpack I had originally spliced together for the guy with the meteor hammer! 🙂

I am really stupidly happy with the guy, to be honest — he definitely has some presence, wouldn’t you agree?

Seeing how I have a prospective painting session at Annie’s place scheduled for later this week, and maybe I should just allow this guy to jump the queue 😉

The second model I want to focus on was converted just the other day when I realised the squad/kill team still needed some kind of icon bearer — I am a bit of a traditionalist in that respect: Every squad of traitor Astartes needs an icon bearer, and those new-fangled, backpack-mounted icons just don’t cut it for me.

On the other hand, the idea of a World Eater lugging around a massive standard always seems a bit iffy. However, there was one model I have always loved for just striking the right balance in this respect: the metal World Eaters icon bearer from the mid-90s.

And seeing how one side objective of this particular project has been to give shout outs to classic models or artwork, I couldn’t resist the temptation to just rebuild that particular model for the new millennium. Take a look:




I’ve had to flip the model horizontally for logistical reasons, but apart from that, the new guy is a fairly involved attempt at a proper re-interpretation of the classic sculpt. I didn’t have one of those old banner tops, unfortunately, so I used what felt like the next-best thing: a Wrathmonger/Skullreaper standard that seems like it could be used as a weapon in its own right with its many vicious barbs and bladed edges.

Here’s a comparison with the classic model and my new interpretation of the sculpt, side by side:

So as you can see, in spite of everything, I am at least reasonably successful at coming up with new members of the 4th assault company. And I would, of course, like to hear your thoughts on my progress, so please leave a comment!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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!

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 7

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2017 by krautscientist

The Night of the Wolf

Lhorke never saw who fired the first shot. In the decades to come, the World Eaters claimed it came from the Wolves‘ lines, and the Wolves claimed the same of the XII Legion. He had his suspicions, but what was hindsight in the face of catastrophe? Without either primarch giving an order, two Legions fought.

The Night of the Wolf, they’d called it in the years since. Imperial archives referred to it as the Ghenna Scouring, omitting the moment the World Eaters and Space Wolves drew blood. A source of pride for both Legions, and a source of secret shame. Both claimed victory. Both feared they’d actually lost.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer

 

So I really wanted to complete my most recent converted version of the XII Legion Primarch as soon as possible — and as part of the Loyalty And Treachery III event over at The Bolter & Chainsword, no less, which left me with a fairly tight deadline. But then the model was already pretty much finished, wasn’t it? Here’s where we left off last time:

But I wasn’t perfectly happy yet and thought the model needed some final tweaks before it could be painted. So I gave it another round of conversion touchups:


A rather simple addition was the tangle of viscera Angron is holding in the Wayne England artwork that inspired the conversion: It was simply created with two Skaven tails and a bit of stringy glue.

However, there remained another, more substantial addition to complete, and no, don’t worry about the tinfoil on his shoulders: The XII Primarch wasn’t about to get some super tacky coloured hairtips. Rather, I used the tinfoil as a base to build up his cape with some extra GS on top of it:


I wanted Angron’s cape to have a bit more volume and look less like a tacked-on bit, so GS really was the way to go here. At the same time, I really wanted to keep the cape and body as separate parts during the painting progress. So the little trick I came up with was to carefully push some tinfoil down onto the model’s shoulders. Since the foil can be bent to conform to a certain shape, there’s really no need to glue it to the model or attach it otherwise, provided you are careful enough. Yet it will also “insulate” the surface of the model against bonding with the GS added on top, making it easy to take the sub-assemblies apart again. Granted, it would have been even easier had I attached it to something solid. The pauldron’s weren’t glued in yet, however, and so the whole thing turned a bit more finicky than it needed to be. But it worked rather nicely for getting the structure of the cape in place!

As for building up the actual fur on top of the cape, Capt. Jack’s fur tutorial was really invaluable! I tried to adapt it as best I could to my inferior skills. And where that failed, I used an old toothbrush to create some extra texture. Which led to this result:





To show you what’s happened under the hood, so to speak, here’s another look at the GS’ed shoulder area:


And here you can see how the body and cape were still separate pieces at this point, making for much easier and more exact painting:


So just one last step before everything was ready for painting: I had to build the right base for Angron. Now I believe I already mentioned earlier how a sentence from Betrayer provided me with the right context for the model:

In those early years, Angron carried his first axe, the precursor to all others. He called it Widowmaker. It would break this day, never to be used again.

This sentence appears in the description of the event called “The Night of the Wolf” — and everything just fell into place: Why not imagine that my converted model, still wielding the iconic, two-handed axe with the wing-motif from the Wayne England illustration, represented Angron during that fateful night at the tail end of the Ghenna compliance?

Which meant that I needed a fallen Space Wolf — also the owner of that lenght of gut Angron’s clutching in his left fist, incidentally…

A short while later, I had come up with a fitting base:


So with everything in place, it was time to get some paint on the model, and this made me slightly nervous: Not only did I want the model to end up as cool as possible, but this version of Angron was also supposed to serve as a “test run” for when I finally paint the Forgeworld Angron Adam Wier sent me. So I did some research on possible recipes, especially for Angron’s armour. And while I initially thought about merely copying GW’s “official” Custodes colour scheme, I eventually decided on something more bronze and brass than gold, because it just seemed more appropriate for the character (and visibly distanced him from the Emperor’s closest servants who all wear gold). In the end, I discovered ApatheticFish’s painting tutorial and followed it to the best of my ability, and it really clicked for me!

So here are a couple of pictures illustrating the painting process:

First up, Angron with his armour mostly painted, but without his pauldrons:


This picture is interesting because it shows how wonky the model seems without the shoulder pad. It also reveals  the ugly truth of what I had to do to make everything fit together — I am just glad that the pauldrons neatly covered the whole mess up when they were back in place:


In order to add some structural stability to the whole assembly, I painted the base next (then attached the model to it):



Alas poor Hjortulf, we barely knew ye… (trying my hand at the Space Wolves’ Heresy era colours was kinda fun, though!)

So here’s the model with the cape and some detail work left to sort out:



And while the model’s back would end up being almost completely covered by the cape, I did of course completely paint it. Here’s a photo serving as proof that I didn’t skimp on my homework:


So just one final push, and the model would be finished! Fortunately enough, I had a scheduled painting session together with my good friend Annie coming up anyway, so I used this as the perfect opportunity to add a lot of small tweaks and finishing touches and complete Angron’s cape.

And so let’s look at the finished model. Keep in mind that this was the piece of artwork that inspired the conversion in the first place. A fantastic piece by the late, great Wayne England:

Angron by Wayne England

Incidentally, I only found this zoomed-out, higher quality version of the picture when the conversion had already been finished: So there are skulls in that tangle of gore in Angron’s fist — who woulda thunk, huh? 😉

Anyway, without any further ado, here’s the XII Primarch:


Angron

The Conqueror, Primarch of the XII Legion

„I am loyal, the same as you. I am told to bathe my Legion in the blood of innocents and sinners alike, and I do it, because it’s all that’s left for me in this life. I do these things, and I enjoy them, not because we are moral, or right – or loving souls seeking to enlighten a dark universe – but because all I feel are the Butcher’s Nails hammered into my brain. I serve because of this ‚mutilation‘. Without it? Well, perhaps I might be a more moral man, like you claim to be. A virtuos man, eh? Perhaps I might ascend the steps of our father’s palace and take the slaving bastard’s head.“

The Primarch Angron to his brother, Leman Russ
from Aaron-Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer








Okay, guys: Now I do realise that I might have a tendency to be a bit too much in love with my own work, but I have to admit that I am really, really happy with this model! Are there things I could have done better? You bet! The fur on the cape is probably not as good as it could have been. Using a flesh shade for the shadows on the armour didn’t work out quite as well as I had hoped.

But all in all, he really reads as a believable version of Angron to me, and that makes me very happy, indeed! I am also rather pleased with the way his armour has turned out, and if I have one actual regret right now, it’s that the metal looks a bit too flat and monochromatic in the photos, because it works so well in real life — seriously, this guy sparkles from a couple of feet away 😉 I shall endeavour to take some better pictures that actually show off the armour a bit better.

For now, another detail shot at how the Butcher’s Nails, the armour and the partially sculpted cape come together:


And what makes this even sweeter is that the completion of Angron also marks the completion of my vow for the aforementioned “Loyalty and Treachery III” event. I have managed to complete four models I am really pleased with and really nailed down the look I want for my 30k World Eaters:

In addition to Angron, find my detailed thoughts on the rest of the models in the following posts:

And when looking at the bigger picture, I have also come one step closer to completing my fourth (and likely final) incarnation of the XII Primarch. Here are my two converted, Slaughterpriest-based versions of Angron:


So this means two down, one to go:

And finally, Angron among his sons (the meagre extents of my 30k collection so far):

I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 6

Posted in 30k, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2017 by krautscientist

Wait, what? We’re back to this guy again?

Indeed, another post focused on the XIIth Primarch, Angron Thal’Kr, The Conqueror, The Red Angel. So what’s up today?

You all know that building different versions of Angron was a pretty big part of my 2016 hobby life: I built and painted a version of Angron in his daemonic form, something I wouldn’t even have thought myself capable of a few years ago:

But I also went back to Angron’s past, converting a version of him inspired by this piece of artwork, probably showing the Primarch during his pitfighting days on Nuceria:

Butcher's Nails cover artwork
It turned out that one of the AoS Slaughterpriests of Khorne makes for a pretty convincing Angron, with a couple of tweaks:

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-11
So there was only one last planned model: The “official” Forgeworld Angron very kindly sent to me by Adam Wier. So just get that one painted and we’re done, eh?


Yes, well. It all ended up being a bit more complicated than that…

Here’s what happened: When White Dwarf was relaunched as a monthly magazine, the first issue came with a free Slaughterpriest — incidentally, the design I hadn’t used for my Angron conversion. And at the same time, I had also picked up the same version a bit earlier, when my beloved FLGS went under (still sore, you know).

So I ended up with a spare Slaughterpriest. And I started thinking. What if I were to build…just one more…?!

So yeah 😉

In order to come up with a model that wouldn’t just be a retread of the versions I already had, I thought it would be fun to base this next Angron on the pre-Forgeworld era artwork, such as the iconic illustration of Angron created by the late, great Wayne England for the Horus Heres Trading Card Game:

Angron by Wayne England

And, of course, on the similarly iconic illustration by John Blanche:

Angron by John Blanche

In the era before Angron actually had a dedicated Forgeworld model, there were a couple of elements that appeared in almost every piece of artwork. Most of these were later incorporated into Simon Egan’s model, but some fell by the wayside. Such as the two-handed axe with the ornamental wing and the three spikes crowing Angron’s collar. And of course there’s a certain, stylised and angular charm to Wayne England’s piece of artwork above that would be fun to reproduce.

So I started messing around with a couple of bitz, and I’ve actually already shown you the first attempt at this new model a while ago:


But while this guy already looked pretty cool, he didn’t actually read as Angron all that much — at least not in a way that moved beyond what was already present on the other versions in my possession. And since the model just didn’t come together for one reason or another, I just set him aside for a while.

Until I found myself playing around with some of the new plastic Custodian bitz last week, and suddenly it seemed like I might have the solution on my hands! So after some rigurous cutting, here’s what I ended up with:


Whoa, much better, wouldn’t you agree? Replacing the entire torso with that of a Custodian might seem like a rather radical approach, but it instantly moved the model a lot closer to the artwork that inspired it! And I was able to keep the versions of the previous version that already worked well enough — such as the arms and legs. And, of course, that brilliantly sculpted Slaughterpriest face (that just happens to instantly turn into Angron as soon as you add some cabling).

However, I wasn’t quite there yet: The Khorne icon on Angron’s belt buckle needed to be replaced, for fairly obvious reasons, and I also made some minor tweaks to the pose. Which led to this:




A Custodian tasset served as a pretty good replacement for the Khorne symbol and also recalled the aquila symbol appearing in the aertwork.

Almost there! I did feel the model needed a bit more presence at this point to really read as a Primarch, though. And the collar around Angron’s head wasn’t quite as prominent as in the artwork — it just turned out that fitting all that cabling in there made the entire ensemble a bit less striking than I had hoped:


Good thing, then, that the next addition was really a bit of a happy accident: I always knew that he’d be getting some kind of cape, so I fooled around with a couple of different options. And the solution arrived from the unlikeliest of places, i.e. the cape that comes with the Chaos Terminator Lord kit. With a bit of cutting and fitting, it ended up working very well, plus the cape also gave me the chance of incorporating those three spikes that are another staple of Angron in the classic artwork:





The cape also adds the right sense of bulk: I already liked the model well enough before, but it now has the massive, overmuscled look that sells it as a Primarch, if you ask me. Granted, some fine tuning may yet be in order, but I think I’m on the right track!

Time for a comparison with the other versions of (pre-ascension) Angron in my collection:



Regarding the size of the model, it must be noted that FW’s Angron is still quite a bit taller — he only doesn’t look like it because he’s posed at a very low crouch. But even so, I think the three of them look fairly good together.

So I only made one last addition to the model. Here’s what the latest version of Angron looks like right now:



I’ve added two leather straps to either side of Angron’s chest, in order to add an element resembling the straps appearing in Wayne England’s illustration. They also happen to camouflage the slightly hokey joints where the arms meet the torso. And, once again, they add some more oomph to the model and its stature.

The model is pretty much finished at this point, except for a finishing touch or two: I want Angron to be holding the same tangle of viscera he has in the artwork in his open left hand. And there needs to be something underneath the Primarch’s right foot. Incidentally, this also ties into the question of where my newest version of the XIIth Primarch fits into the timeline:

I see this version of Angron as a depiction of him about halfway through the Great Crusade, shortly before or during the event known as The Night of the Wolf (an event where the XII and VI Legions actually came to blows over Angron’s order of outfitting his legion with the Butcher’s Nails, thereby turning the legionaries into bloodthirsty madmen): There’s a throwaway line in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer about the first and greatest of Angron’s two-handed axes, Widowmaker, being broken and discarded at the end of that battle, so it would be fun to imagine my new version of Angron in that context.

Which is why there’ll probably be a suitably mangled Space Wolf underneath his foot — at least the XIII Legion is off the hook, for once… 😉

One last interesting detail about the model is how the shoulder pads (from MaxMini, I believe) were originally used as a mere stopgap solution, but I really rather like the way they look: They have a certain gladiatorial flair, plus the pteryges on the sides basically perfectly match the ones in the Wayne England illustration. And what’s more: Through sheeer coincidence (or maybe through intervention from the powers of the warp, who knows…) all three converted version of Angron I have built so far have ended up with shoulder pads that were originally sent to me by Augustus b’Raass as part of a bitz drop — that in itself would be enough reason to stick with those shoulder pads, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Anyway, I am pretty happy that the model has finally come together like that! And just when I thought I finally had all the Angrons I needed, I stumble upon this little gem the other day and almost find myself reaching for my AoS starter box sprues…damn!

Anyway, I would love to hear your feedback! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!