Archive for primarch

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:

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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 πŸ˜‰

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… πŸ˜‰

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!

Change we can believe in — a closer look at the Thousand Sons release

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2016 by krautscientist

Oh my, it has really happened… The rumours seemed far too crazy at first, but now here we are with the first actual Daemon-Primarch and what could be the beginning of a complete (and much needed) design update for the entire CSM faction, especially when it comes to models for the cult legions (I am crossing my fingers so hard it hurts, as you can probably imagine).

That remains to be seen, though. For now let us focus on the new Thousand Sons, as that means we have enough on our plate as it is.

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I may have mentioned before that I usually find Tzeentch the hardest chaos god to like, mostly due to the whole wanton mutation angle: The daemonic servants of Tzeentch are often too abstract for my taste, and the often heavily mutated mortal servants also tend to leave me cold — what can I say, I am a Khorne “heavy armour and no nonsense” kind of guy through and through πŸ˜‰

That being said, I have always liked the concept of the Thousand Sons very much, precisely because they put such a nice spin on the usual Tzeentchian approach: Ahriman’s Rubric was an attempt to stop the very mutating powers that usually plague servants of the Architect of Fate, and it ended up creating an army of unfeeling, disembodied combat automata — the exact opposite of what you would expect of a Tzeentchian host (and then again, the subversion is delicious, of course, this being Tzeentch we are talking about). Anyway, there’s something clever and interesting about the legion, and the Thousand Sons are also, arguably, one of the most tragic traitor legions, so there’s much to like there in concept. And now we finally see them as a fully fleshed out model release — I never thought I’d see the day!

I also think it’s a rather clever approach to release 30k and 40k Thousand Sons back to back like that, and once again, there’s delicious irony in the fact that both are released at the same time while 10 millennia have passed in the background between both incarnations of the legion. A clever bit of planning there — if it was planned in the first place, of course. But, again, it’s Tzeentch we are talking about here, so yeah…

 

Before this all gets a little bit too meta, however, let’s just focus on the models, take a look at all the different parts of the release and consider some of the possible conversion opportunities.

Before we begin, allow me to point out that, once again, there is something I would like to think of as an unofficial companion piece to this review over at Wudugast’s blog, and I recommend you check it out as well.

So here we go:

 

Magnus the Red, Daemon-Primarch of the Thousand Sons

thousand-sons-release-3So yeah, it seems like Daemon-Primarchs are now officially a thing in 40k. Good thing I already made one earlier this year πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s obvious that this is a pretty exciting development, especially given the fact that our only look at the Daemon-Primarchs in model for so far were the respective Epic 40k versions — and the less said about them, the better…

If we look at the model at hand, I have to say that Magnus looks pretty much exactly the way I always envisioned him — well, except for the chicken feet, maybe πŸ˜‰
But even an element as unexpected as the avian feet works pretty well for giving the model a Tzeentchian look without sacrificing any of Magnus’s impressive physicality.

It pleases me immensely that there is quite a lot of Wayne England’s interpretation of Daemon-Primarch Magnus in the model, because you just cannot go wrong with taking cues from Wayne England, if you ask me:

illustration by Wayne England

illustration by Wayne England

What’s more, all the changes made to Wayne England’s design certainly make sense: I already mentioned the avian feet above, and the inclusion of feathers on strategic points of the model (and the choice of replacing the classic daemon wings in the art with feathered wings) all enforce Magnus’ connection with classic Tzeentch imagery. These elements also make him look like a scintillating hellish bird of prey — rather fitting for Tzeentch’s favoured daemonic servant. One could argue that the finished model is almost too fabulous — but come on, which other Primarch would warrant a look as exalted as this, if not the lord of sorcerers? Well, Fulgrim perhaps, but we’ll be getting there, I suppose… πŸ˜‰

The model is also pretty enormous, easily towering over even greater daemons (which probably doesn’t bode well for my Angron conversion. Bugger!):

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As is always the case, however, it’s the small things that make or break even a huge model like this, and GW has certainly put in the required work:

I really love the inclusion of three different heads, for one: The actual cyclopean face – for all its dorkiness – echoes the classic Epic model and the vintage depiction of Magus in the fluff. What’s more, the three different faces also mirror a particular scene in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Betrayer where Magus’ face seems to be jumping between different versions while you look at him — and I really, really love that little bit of lore represented in model form!

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Personally, I prefer the masked face, both for its mysterious and regal qualities and because it’s not quite as gnarled as the other two.

I also like the fact that we get the choice of arming him with either a glaive or a Kopesh. If you ask me, the sword seems like the more elegant solution, mostly because that huge ball of energy forming above the glaive’s blade doesn’t quite come together visually:

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I wonder if this “multiple choice” version of characters will happen more often in the future, as the classic approach is to have one version for a special character and no options whatsoever. Such are the liberties of plastic models, I suppose…

There’s also an incredible amount of detail on Magnus’s armour, and all of those embellishments don’t merely serve as decoration: It seems like there’s a real depth of symbolism here, with layers and layers of callbacks to the lore – or, indeed, to real world culture – for us to figure out. Wudugast has done a fantastic job of pointing out many of these elements in his aforementioned post, and it would be remiss of me to steal his work here, so make sure to give it a look.
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I wonder why his right hand is so freakishly big, though. Is there some explanation for this in the lore? Or is that just his literal Red Right Hand? (Badum-Tish! πŸ™‚ )

Speaking of red, though, I have to say that the ‘Eavy Metal paintjob of the new model – while technically impeccable, of course – makes Magnus look a tad too pink for my taste. Fellow hobbyist Tzen is currently doing a paintjob in a darker red, and with feathers that almost look crystalline — I am really looking forward to the results! Check out his progress here.

All in all, I think Magnus is a really worthy first Daemon-Primarch, and I am really looking forward to seeing his brothers rendered in equally monstrous forms! At the same time, I cannot stop wondering whether was it really clever to release the Daemon-Primarch version before the regular FW Primarch version. I think there’s a very real danger of the “mortal” version ending up feeling slightly underwhelming now — oh well, I guess FW’s sculptors will just have to give it their best shot πŸ˜‰

 

Ahriman

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After Eldrad Ulthran and KhΓ’rn the Betrayer, Ahriman is the third classic 2nd edition Jes Goodwin model to be given a redesign, and it should be obvious that these models are the ones to be nervous about, given the originals’ iconic quality.

The first thing to note, then, is that the model definitely reads as Ahriman, and in a bit of a surprise, the new version might actually be closer to Jes Goodwin’s original sketch than the classic version:

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Nearly all the iconic elements of Ahriman’s previous incarnation are accounted for: the horned helmet, the sorcerer’s staff topped with the same gazelle horns, the robes and high collar — even the pose is very close to the original! This is obviously the same guy, only in a slightly more modern version.

thousand-sons-release-11There are a couple of devations (or rather, evolutions) of the classic design, however: For one, the new model has much more depth and dynamism, whereas classic Ahriman is very much a product of his time: I remember a WD article where Jes Goodwin said that Ahriman was one of the first 40k models to get actual additional pieces for added depth instead of being single-piece. Now the new model continues this approach and adds lots of depth to the character, making him look dynamic and like he has some agency while basically standing still:

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At the same time, the model neatly keeps the original’s arrogant pose — the addition of a disc of Tzeentch arguably even enforces Ahriman’s haughtly look: He’s just too important and powerful to merely walk.

Now I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole disc idea, which is why I appreciate the fact that a) the disc is an optional part of the model and it’s just as feasible to just have Ahriman on a base like the original version and b) the designer went for a less creepy crawly approach, making the disc look more like an arcane machine, which is a great fit for Ahriman’s character! And there’s even a scarab symbol on top of the disc — a very nice touch!

In fact, it’s subtle touches like these that really sell the model as an evolution instead of a mere retread of the older model: For instance, the buffalo skulls dangling from the stole around Ahriman’s neck on the original model, have been exchanged for more delicate occult doodads, which seems like a much better fit for the character.

However, I do have some very minor quibbles with the model, even if all of these are plainly based on personal preference: That sorcerous flame in Ahriman’s left hand is a bit of an acquired taste for me — but can arguably look amazing when painted well. While I love the rest of the official paintjob, though, the flame just doesn’t work all that well in green and blue. Or maybe I just miss the hand holding the bolt pistol? For some strange reason. It’s a surprisingly iconic part of the original model for me.

On a related note, I find myself going back and forth over whether I like the original helmet better (I think I do — it has something to do with the precise proportions and angles of the faceplate).

But when all is said and done, Ahriman stands as possibly the best re-envisioning of a classic Jes Goodwin model to date. Much better than Eldrad and even with a bit of an edge over the new KhΓ’rn. And what’s simply beautiful is that – due to the new model being so similar to the classic version – the excellent mix of similarity and contrast between the 30k and 40k versions I described in my last review remains firmly in place:

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Thousand Sons Exalted Sorcerers

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I love building characters, so this is really the perfect kit for me, allowing for three highly individualised sorcerers with lots and lots of options. One thing that strikes me about the kit is how many mutated bits are featured, as this seems like a slight readjustment in the fluff to me — didn’t the Rubric of Ahriman stop the flesh change outright in those with enough sorcerous power? Then again, maybe the millennia in service to the god of change were just too much. Anyway, expect lots of mutations of the avian variety.

In all fairness, however, those bitz are fairly excellent, especially the plethora of staffs and heads we get out of this kit!

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There are also many charming little touches on those parts: The sorcerous hand using an ectoplasmic flame to reload a bolt pistol might be a bit much, but I do love the avian skulls on this guy’s stole seemingly snapping at the enemy:

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Also, can we just spend a moment in quiet contemplation at the beautiful way the cloth has been attached to the same sorcerer’s backpack:

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In fact, the backpacks are probably one of the best parts of the kit, making the best possible use of Egyptian and Tzeentchian elements to create a unique silhouette for each of the sorcerers — this is an excellent touch that we need to see more of, especially because, for the most part, CSM backpacks only used to be a bit of an afterthought so far.

I also rather love the avian feet on this guy:

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Upon closer inspection…what exactly is keeping him aloft, though? Is it sorcerous power or…erm, something altogether more nefarious?
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Nice as the three models featured on the product page are, however, I almost prefer the alternate builds that were showcased earlier, on GW’s new community site:

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Even when the sorcerers are more mutated than their ghostly brethren, they are arguably more disturbing when fitted with concealing helmets, leaving their exact nature ambiguous (I also really love the raptor-like look of the top left guy with that sweet Mk. VI variant helmet).

Maybe the biggest strength of this kit lies in how it gives you the freedom to build your sorcerers exactly how you like them best: As overly mutated, massively corrupted creatures of chaos. As masked and mostly unchanged, yet also subtly touched, master planners. Or as something in between.

Whatever you do, the models you end up with will look powerful and arcane, and there’ll be a really nice contrast between their warped, dynamic forms and their more regimented Rubricae brethren. This is easily one of the most tempting parts of the release for me, in spite of the odd moment of silliness πŸ˜‰

 

Thousand Sons Rubric Marines

thousand-sons-release-19In a way, this was the one kit they just had to get right, even moreso than Magnus and Ahriman: The Rubricae are what defines the look of the Thousand Sons more than anything else, so they had to make this count. And if you ask me, boy did hit it out of the park with the new Rubric Marines!

I remember the first Thousand Son I ever saw, one of Jes Goodwin’s iconic set of models for the cult legions, appearing in the colour section from the 2nd edition rulebook:

jes-goodwin-cult-legionariesIt’s utterly astounding how – even decades later – those four guys still stand among the best models ever designed for the cult legions. And the Rubric Marine was just lovely, hinting at an arcane and mysterious legion through visual cues: You got an excellent idea of what the legion was about simply by looking at this model, without ever needing to read a single line of background.

During the 2000s, we saw a dedicated Thousand Sons conversion set, based on some of the design cues from that first proof-of-concept model. And while the conversion set was nice enough for its time, it never really lived up to the quality of Jes Goodwin’s original Thousand Son. Then several Space Wolves models tantalisingly featured the iconic helmet as a trophy – trampled underfoot, no less – and ever since I have been hoping for a true successor to that first Rubric Marines.

And the new guys really fit the bill:

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Seriously, I just love them! The strongest part of the cult legions’ design was always in strong silhouettes and clear visual cues. And the new Rubric Marines absolutely deliver on that, clearly reading as Chaos Space Marines, followers of Tzeentch and Thousand Sons at the same time. The helmet designs are just beautiful, and the flowing lines of the armour trim really takes the classic CSM design to the next level. The added tassets are an excellent little touch. I also love how the new Rubric Marines have their own dedicated backpack designs!

As aΒ  bonus for fans of the Horus Heresy, there’s a marked resemblance between the Rubricaes armour and Mk. IV power armour, which begs the question: Will we go back to certain armour types being associated with certain cult legions? I would really love to see bulky Mk. II Plague Marines and massive Mk. V World Eaters whose armour is covered in studs and bolts!

In addition to the beautifully redesigned bolter-wielding Rubricae, we also get some new weapon options, which certainly makes sense:thousand-sons-release-23
Well, those flamers certainly look Tzeentchian to me! πŸ˜‰

Plus we also get the most arcane looking rotary cannon ever witnessed by Man:

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If I have one minor gripe about the kit, it’s merely the fact that the new sorcerer cannot quite match the excellent old one, a model only available as part the classic upgrade set:

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What can I say: I just love that guy πŸ˜‰

But all things considered, this is a stellar new kit for the Rubric Marines, and arguably a cornerstone of this release. Excellent work!

 

Thousand Sons Scarab Occult Terminators

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Oh wow, dedicated traitor legion Terminators — yet another pleasant surprise! Even better, though, is that the Scarab Occult Terminators look completely unlike vanilla CSM Terminators and yet perfectly read as Thousand Sons. Make no mistake, I am really fond of the classic CSM Terminator look, spikes and tusks and all. But for the Thousand Sons, something more elegant and less barbaric seems far more appropriate.

By the same token, all the strengths of the new Rubric Marines are present on the Terminators as well, — in fact, there’s a palpable sense of visual coherency between the two kits, with many of the design elements (the Keltaran helmet crests, the flowing lines of the armour trim, the avian skulls and weapon designs) appearing across both kits, allowing you to field very different troop types that still look like they belong to the same traitor legion.

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thousand-sons-release-29And in another parallel to the Rubric Marines, the Scarab Occults’ Terminator armour also clearly resembles an established Heresy era armour mark, namely the Tartaros pattern. Again, this seems like a very interesting (and possibly promising) design decision that I hope will be used again on possible future traitor legion releases — it also really enforces the notion that the armour dates back to the actual Heresy era, which certainly makes sense, given the fact that the victims of Ahriman’s Rubric have been bodyless automata for millennia, with no needΒ (or even ability) for changing their armour.

Let me also mention that the squad champion/sorcerer just exudes a sense of elegance and terrible dignity

thousand-sons-release-27Also, chain kopesh swords FTW! πŸ˜‰

Between the Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators, it’s possible now to build a Thousand Sons army that is visually distinctive, with a strong identity for the legion. And that’s really a brilliant development for CSM players, even moreso considering the quality of the new sculpts!

 

Tzaangors

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The inclusion of these guys is certainly a bit of a surprise — although I guess all the signs were there to see back when plastic Tzaangors first appeared as part of the Silver Tower boxed set. Even so, it’s certainly nice to have dedicated Tzeentchian beastmen available now, mostly because the classic goatman look doesn’t really fit the Changer of the Ways all that well…

While its’s fairly obvious that the multipart Tzaangors share many common design traits with the Tzaangor models from Silver Tower, I would argue that the multipart models are not quite as good as the Silver Tower guys: The latter just seem to have the more iconic poses — which is easier to achieve with a monopose model, of course, but what can I say: Just look at those fantastic poses:

Silver Tower Release (10)
On the other hand, there’s a real benefit to the multipart nature of the new kit that goes beyond the usual flexibility offered by plastic kits: It looks like kits that cross over between 40k and Age of Sigmar are now officially a thing again (even beyond the Chaos Daemon line of models, that is), as a closer inspection of the sprues reveals an extra sprue that can only be considered a dedicated 40k weapons sprue, when the other sprue seemingly has the more medieval looking weapons intended for AoS.

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All things considered, these guys are maybe the weakest parts of the release for me. But I think we can let it slide, both because we didn’t even expect 40k Tzaangors in the first place, and because the proper Thousand Sons models make for a pretty robust competition. When all is said and done, it’s still a nice kit that provides Tzeentch players with some interesting new option!

 

Conversion options

Oh man, the chaos community is going to have a field day with these new kits! And I, for one, can hardly wait for talented folks like Aasfresser, for instance, to put the new bitz through their paces! For now, let me just jot down some quick ideas for possible conversion projects involving the new models:

First up, the obvious idea: I think that many parts of this release would work brilliantly for 30k Thousand Sons as well!
To wit:

  • the Scarab Occult Terminators could be used as, well, 30k Scarab Occult Terminators with next to no need for further conversion. In fact, the kit almost seems like the first dedicated unit for a specific legion to appear in plastic and not as a FW upgrade set. I would like to see more of this, please! πŸ˜‰
  • by the same token, it’s also possible to use parts from the Scarab Occult for 30k Thousand Sons Praetors and officers.
  • there’s also nothing stopping you from you from sprinkling some of those new Thousand Sons bitz on top of your 30k Thousand Sons, seeing how the legion grew more and more towards the arcane by its latter days as a loyalist legion, and how things like the iconic Keltaran crests had obviously taken root within the legion far before the present day of 40k (at least judging by their mention in “The Talon of Horus”, which is set not too long after the Heresy). The brilliant thing is that you bascially get to decide “how far gone” you want your Thousand Sons to be: Have they only started their descent? In that case, just add a staff or helmet from the new kits here and there. Do they already embrace the sorcerous powers more actively? Then you can use more and more 40k Thousand Sons bitz to create Marines that look more and more like sorcerers –and have begun to display physical changes.
  • expanding on that last part, mutation bitz from the Exalted Sorcerers could be used to depict 30k Thousand Sons in the throes of the flesh change.

I also think that all of those gorgeous helmets, mutation bitz and arcane doodads also allow for quite a bit of crossover between 40k and WFB/Age of Sigmar: So why not use some of those helmets and bitz to create a warriors of chaos warband that really looks Tzeentchian?

Back to 40k – and, arguably, INQ28: The Tzaangor weapons could be used to turn Khairic Cultists from Silver Tower into Tzeentchian cultists for the 40k setting. Or you could use the same weapons to give chaos cultists from Dark Vengeance that extra bit of Tzeentchian oomph.

And finally, why not use those Tzaangor bodies and heads to create your own, strangely avian xenos species for INQ28 — or your Tau army? Speaking of Tau, maybe those Tzaangor parts would also be promising if spliced together with Kroot bitz?!

 

All in all, this is a truly stellar release for CSM players, arguably made even better by the fact that it wasn’t really expected in the first place. Even if we don’t get any more modernised CSM models, it’s already a great addition to the armouries of chaos. Certainly more than I expected in every conceivable way!

I also love the fact that a chaos god other than Khorne or Nurgle is finally getting some love. I’ll never tire of Khornate and Nurglite kits, of course, but let’s just face it: It was really somebody else’s turn this time around πŸ˜‰

At the same time, it won’t surprise you to learn that I really wish for more plastic cult troops (we *need* new Khorne Berzerkers! And Plague Marines!) and updated vanilla CSM. Let’s just dream for a moment: How awesome would it be if we could only get this amount of quality for the rest of the traitor legions — maybe only one kit each? We can always hope! And if nothing else, if the sheer quality of the new Thousand Sons is anything to go by, we may be in for quite a ride indeed!

 

So what’s your take on the new models? Are you as pleased as me or did you expect more? And are there any conversion ideas you would like to share? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

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

 

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 5

Posted in Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by krautscientist

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:

Angron WIP (23)

Interestingly enough, the other version of the Slaughterpriest – the one that was recently included as a pretty awesome giveaway with the first issue of the new White Dwarf – seems to be more more popular at the moment, and it would make for a pretty cool base model for an Angron conversion as well — but the original Slaughterpriest has that wonderfully angry face which made me think of Angron in the first place πŸ˜‰

As a matter of fact, when I fist discussed this conversion, I completely forgot to mention another model that had been a huge inspiration for this project: PDH’s brilliantly disturbing “Pursser-Sin”, a true scale Emperor’s Children Marine he built for his excellent Slaneeshi INQ28 warband:

Pursser-Sin by PDH

Pursser-Sin by PDH

Peter just has an excellent eye for original conversions, and this one really made me consider using the Slaughterpriest as a Primarch model for the first time — of course there’s also the fact that his turning a Khornate model into a Slaneeshi dog is the biggest possible heresy, so I hope my Angron conversion balances this out a bit… πŸ˜‰

But anyway, I was really itching to get my plastic Angron painted, so I jumped right in: The first step was to block out all the different basecoat colours:

30k-angron-conversion-pip-1
I decided to use the same recipe for bronze armour between this model and my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron, to create a bit of visual continuity between both models, so I used the exact same steps to paint the various parts of the armour.

The skin recipe is based on Rakarth Flesh as a basecoat — as are all my recipes for human skin. Since the model represents Angron in fairly healthy shape, however, I decided to make his skin look a bit healthier than the tone I usually use on my chaotic models. So I tweaked the recipe a bit, using the following steps:

  • GW Rakarth Flesh was used for the basecoat.
  • the entire skin area was then washed liberally with GW Ogryn Flesh (I loaded up on that wash while it was still available, although I imagine GW Reikland Fleshshade would have worked just as well).
  • the skin was then given a thin coat of GW Cadian Fleshtone for a slightly healthier look

At this point I already had a reasonably convincing flesh tone. However, I went one step further and used a mix of GW Carroburg Crimson and GW Druchii Violet to create shadows and distressed looking skin in select areas, especially around Angron’s cranial implants, around the metallic spine and on his “Triumph Rope” chest scar, giving these areas some extra pop.

Here’s the model with most of the paintjob already in place:

30k-angron-conversion-pip-6
I was definitely getting somewhere, but I wasn’t perfectly happy yet. So I decided to set the model aside for a moment and work on the base instead for a change of pace.

Since the model is supposed to represent Angron either uring his days as a gladiator on his “homeworld” Nuceria or during a sparring match in the Conqueror’s fighting pits, I really wanted the base to have the texture of a sany arena floor. In order to get the texture just right, I decided to try something new and picked up a pot of Vallejo’s Sandy Paste:

vallejo-sandy-paste
Going for a completely unfamiliar tool like this was a bit of a gamble, of course, but fortunately enough, the paste was extremely easy to work with: After getting an idea of what I was up against from this helpful YouTube tutorial, I was able to add it to the base and create the right texture using an old hobby knife. I also decided to add two discarded pieces of gladiatorial equipment half-buried in the sand. A shield from the WFB Vampire Counts Skeletons and a gladiator helmet from MaxMini that Augustus b’Raass had sent me a while ago provided the perfect pieces for the look I wanted. A part of the helmet was carefully shaved off to create a half-buried look. Both bitz were pressed into the still soft paste. Here’s what the base looked like after this step:

30k-angron-conversion-pip-2
30k-angron-conversion-pip-3
I also carefully pressed the model into the paste while everything was still drying, in order to create believable indentations in the sand around his left foot and the pile of skulls his right foot is resting on. Then the base was painted and the mostly finished model was glued to it before I tackled the finishing touches.

To be perfectly honest, there was a stretch during the painting where I wasn’t quite sure whether or not everything was really coming together. In the end, however, a couple of factors really pulled the various parts of the paintjob together:

  • I added some rather subtle blood spatter to Angron’s axes, his armour and to his chest and legs, making it look as though he had just messily vanquished a foe (or ten…). This really added that extra bit of realism to the model that I needed.
  • Once Angron had been glued to the base, his feet and the bottom of his loincloth were carefully drybrushed with the same sandy colour I had used for the base, and once again, this added some realism to the model and made it look more grounded.
  • And finally, the model really started looking like Angron once the trademark facial tattoos were in place: I even painted the markings around his eyes, even though I had been slightly nervous about that area beforehand.

So without further ado, here’s the second part of my Triptych about the Lord of the XII Legion:

 

Angron Thal’Kr, Lord of the Red Sands

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-11
“Come and die, dogs of Desh’ea! I am Angron of the pits, born in blood, raised in the dark, and I will die free!
Come, watch me fight one last time! Is that not what you want? Is that not what you always wanted?
Come closer, you dog-blooded cowards!”

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Betrayer

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-1
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-2
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-3
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-4
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-5
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-6
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-7
Like I said on my previous post on the matter, the metallic spine doesn’t appear in the official fluff, of course, but is rather a feature of the Slaughterpriest model. But I really liked the disturbingly crude nature of it and thought it would perfectly match the brutally invasive style of the cranial implants Angron had received on Nuceria, so I decided to keep it. The same element also appears on my Daemon-Primarch version of Angron. Oh, and I made sure to make the skin on either side look suitably bruised and inflamed…

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-8
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-9
angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-10
All in all, I am really vey happy with the finished model, and I do think the guy really reads as Angron now! To wit, here’s another look at that cover artwork of “Butcher’s Nails” that served as an important piece for reference during the painting process:

Butcher's Nails cover artwork
And here’s a closer look at the model’s face, an area that I am pretty happy with:

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-12
To allow you to accurately gauge the model’s bulk and size, here are some comparison pictures showing Angron next to…

…one of his power-armoured sons:

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-15
Forgeworld’s official Angron model, the still-to-be-painted third and final part of my Triptych πŸ˜‰

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-14

…and finally, the three 30k World Eaters I have managed to paint so far:

angron-thalkr-lord-of-the-red-sands-13
So yeah, I am pretty happy with how the second part of this project has turned out! Two down, one to go — well, one and a half, really, because there’s also the rest of Daemon-Primarch Angron’s base left to finish, of course…

Before I wind up this post, allow me to point you in the direction of two related projects from fellow hobbyists. In both cases, I only discovered these models while I was already working on my own, but they are still fantastic alternate interpretations of the same character and archetype — and both happen to be based on the same Slaughterpriest model as well!

First up, there’s Calle’s Angron, a version that is pretty similar in approach to my own, but even more visceral:

Angron conversion by Calle

Angron conversion by Calle

Calle shared his model in the comments to one of my previous posts, but since I really love his take on Angron, I felt it definitely deserved a proper shout out!

And then there’s Reg, whose Daemon-Primarch Angron was instrumental for my own version. Now wouldn’t you know it, he seems to be at least one step ahead of me yet again, building not only another fantastic rendition of the big man himself, but also an entire gang of Angron’s Nucerian gladiator buddies as well. Nuts!

Angron and his gladiators by Reg

Angron and his gladiators by Reg

These are just incredible — I can’t even…
Now if Reg would pnly answer to the PM I wrote to him on Dakka…
Anyway, I am a huge, huge fan of these!

And so another post on the Lord of the XII Legion comes to a close. In closing, I have one final image to share with you, an impression of how Angron might have looked in the arena of Desh’ea. It goes without saying that I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

lord-of-the-red-sands-2

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 4

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, paintjob, Terrain, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2016 by krautscientist

Another look at Angron this week, as we finally put the big red daemon-monster on its own base. Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as boring as you might think πŸ˜‰

“But wait! Wasn’t this supposed to be a triptych? Then why are we already on part four of this series?”, I hear you asking. Now I know how to count to three, of course — it’s just that the whole triptych idea refers to the three different forms of Angron I will be working on, while there can (and will) be many more posts than three. There, glad to have that out of the way πŸ˜‰

So anyway, here’s where we left off last time:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (1)
So far, so good, but Angron needed a proper base, indeed. And this is where things got a bit out of hand. Allow me to explain:

Possibly the biggest challenge was that I had already basically given it my all with the base for my Bloodthirster model, pulling out all the stops and ending up with something pretty ostentatious:

Bloodthirster Ghor'Lash'Kharganath (9)
At the same time, it was perfectly clear that I would need to come up with something even better for Angron, because…well, it’s ANGRON we are talking about here, right?

So I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and then it suddenly hit me: What if I were to base Angron on the big aquila terrain piece from the Honoured Imperium boxed set?

Honoured Imperium
I bought the kit a while ago – mostly for the Space Marine statue – so I still had the aquila piece. I also really liked the allegoric nature of the idea: What better way to base a Daemon-Primarch than on the shattered remains of the Imperium’s most iconic symbol?

The problem was the size of the aquila, because it was considerably larger than the oval base that came with the Bloodthirster kit. This would make gaming a whole lot more complicated, but that wasn’t really that much of a concern to me, mostly because I don’t exactly consider my Daemon-Primarch conversion a playing piece. However, the whole ensemble ended up looking and feeling a bit too clunky, so I wasn’t perfectly happy yet.

When I posted my idea on The Bolter & Chainsword, people were quick to suggest a modular display base resembling the ensembles released as part of Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy Character Series, such as the display base showing the duel between Garviel Loken and First Captain Abaddon:

Abaddon & LokenHaving the bigger part of the aquila as an optional addition that the actual gaming base could be slotted into? That actually sounded absolutely awesome! However, after taking a closer look at the aquila piece and trying to decide where to possibly make the cuts, I was just about prepared to discount the idea as unfeasible…

…and then my buddy Biohazard posted a few ideas about how to make it work after all, and down the rabbit hole I went, eagerly sawing through the thick plastic with my cheap-o hobby knife from the DIY superstore — at the cost of several blisters on my right hand, I might add. But here’s what I ended up with:

Angron's base WIP (1)
Angron's base WIP (2)
That’s the complete aquila, and yet you can already make out the line where I cut a smaller part from the ensemble. Now let’s take the two apart:

Angron's base WIP (4)
And as you can see, the entire left wing and the left head make up a piece that fits fairly neatly onto the stock oval base. Which gave me this basic shape for Angron’s base:

Angron's base WIP (5)
Angron's base WIP (6)
Not bad, not bad at all! Especially since the part still clearly read as a symbol of the Imperium of Man, even though the biggest part of the aquila was actually missing. The part I had cut out also seemed to fit the base almost perfectly, right?

But let’s take a look at another perspective:

Angron's base WIP (7)
Here you can see the huge hole left underneath the (hollow) aquila piece that I needed to fill up with something — and whatever that something would be, it was clear that I would need to pay attention to make sure both parts of the aquila would still line up correctly afterwards.

Even so, I was still energised by this small success. I also made a quick and dirty Photoshop mockup to get an idea about how Angron would fit on the finished base:

Angron's base WIP (8)
The basic idea was to have him charging towards the centre of the aquila — and, by extension, whatever would be added to the other side of the base.

But first, I needed to fill in those huge holes! Thankfully, my good friend Annie provided me with some Milliput for the task, and so when we met for a little hobby session recently, she kept painting away at her crazy-awesome pirate-themed Blood Bowl team (to be featured here on the blog in a future post, scout’s honour!), while I plugged all the holes in the base using Milliput, and added some structure by pressing some cork into the putty after it had begun to dry, stamping a rocky texture onto the surface.

Angron's base WIP (13)
Angron's base WIP (14)
As you can see in the above pictures, some additional detail work also took place during this step. My usual mix of cork, slate and sand was added to the empty parts of the base and sealed with PVA glue and plastic glue. The effect was also used to blend the seams between the different areas and materials together. I also added some skulls to the front of the base, both to make the area look more interesting and also because, well, Khorne! (DUH!). Two spiky poles were used to add even more of a chaos feel to the base.

Angron's base WIP (15)
Possibly the longest time was spent on the missing half of that poor Ultramarine officer clutched by Angron: I used a pair of plastic Mk IV legs and made quite a few tweaks to them to ensure that their position on the base seemed suitably natural and organic:

Angron's base WIP (17)
And with that, the basic setup of the base was more or less complete:

Angron's base WIP (18)
So all that was left before I could break out the paints was a final round of touchups and additional texture. Augustus b’Raass very helpfully suggested applying some Liquid GS to the stony parts of the aquila, in order to create a slightly more believably texture and make the whole thig look less like smooth plastic, so that’s what I did:

Angron's base WIP (19)
And I used some regular GS to tidy up all the rough parts of the Marine legs, filling gaps in the legs, adding flex fitting and a profile to the sole of the right foot and scultping all the gribbly bitz pouring out of the body…ewww!

Angron's base WIP (20)
Angron's base WIP (21)
Angron's base WIP (22)
Angron's base WIP (23)
And with those final details out of the way, Angron’s base was finally ready for painting!

Angron's base WIP (24)
So everything was covered with a nice and even Coat of Chaos Black spray,Β  which once again did wonders for pulling all of the different elements together:

Angron's base WIP (26)

Now at this point I spent a fair bit of time detailing the other, bigger side of the eventual display base, but I’ll be focusing on that part in a dedicated post. From a purely logical standpoint, it would surely have made much more sense to paint both parts of the base at the same time before adding Angron to the smaller part of the base, but seeing how this whole project had already expanded into something far more involved than I had usually planned, I knew I needed a milestone achievement somewhere in there and decided to focus on finishing Angron his “gaming base” first.

So for now, you’ll have to content yourselves with a teaser picture of the two parts of the aquila in all its basecoated glory:

Angron's base WIP (40)
I added a slightly more controlled spray of Army Painter Uniform Grey on top of the Chaos Black. Now at first glance it might seem as though we were back to square one (the unpainted plastic), but upon closer examination, the grey works really well with the Liquid GS-based texture to create a slightly sandy, stony look on the aquila parts. There’s also a slight shading effect on the areas that aren’t part of the shattered aquila, as a consequence of focusing the grey spray on the actual stone.

Angron's base WIP (43)
So from here on out, I basically used my usual recipe of painting the earth dark grey, then washing and drybrushing the entire thing to bring out lots of texture. I also painted the extra bits, such as the skulls, spiky poles and the legs of the fallen Ultramarine, of course. Here’s what it looked like after this step:

Angron's base WIP (46)
The legs also received some serious weathering to tie them together with the Astartes’ upper half: Charadon Granite was carefully sponged on with a bit of blister sponge, and metal scratches were created with a detail brush and some Leadbelcher. The best part about this kind of weathering is that you can keep repeating the various steps to achieve a more and more battered look, until you’re happy.

Angron's base WIP (44)
And then, finally, the blood came out πŸ˜‰

I will say that I am probably really, really careful with adding blood effects, especially for a World Eaters player: There’s almost no other effect that is so easy to overdo and that can ruin a model so thoroughly: With too much blood, every model ends up looking cartoony and overly-edgy in a “bad 90s’ video game” kind of way. Only very few models warrant massive amounts of blood, so when in doubt, less is more.

With that in mind, I thought about where the blood on the base would probably come from (hint: the Ultramarine’s maimed remains) and how the blood would behave, given the slightly angled surface. I also remembered that, according to the lore, Astartes blood starts to clot super-fast, so that was yet another reason to go easy on the gore. Then again, there was no getting around the fact that the guy had been torn in half. So with all these factors in mind, here’s the solution that I came up with:

Angron's base WIP (48)
Angron's base WIP (49)
Angron's base WIP (51)
Ultimately, I tried to use as much blood as was necessary and as little as I could get away with. I also mixed a tiny drop of black into the Tamiya Clear Red to create the centre of the various pools of blood, than added pure Clear Red on top and around the darker areas in order to add some depth and tonal variety to the puddles.

One part where I tried to achieve a fairly realistic look was the blood running along the crevices in the stone, with the aquila statue’s features basically acting like small drain channels:

Angron's base WIP (52)

I also think I’ve done a fairly good job of blending in my Milliput additions with the rest of the base:

Angron's base WIP (50)
Granted, the finish could probably have been even smoother, but let’s not forget that it all needed to line up with the other half of the base!

And finally, Auggie’s suggestion about creating extra stone texture with a thin layer of Liquid GS turned out to be golden, as the aquila really looks like it’s made of stone, rather than plastic, now πŸ˜‰

So all in all, I was really happy with the finished gaming base:

Angron's base WIP (53)
No more excuses, it was time for the Lord of the XII Legion to put his foot on the ground!

Now actually gluing Angron to the base was actually an exercise in frustration, seeing how the point of attachment between the model and its base was so small. And it definitely took a lot of super glue and swearing. But I persevered. And I triumphed. And thus I give you…

 

Angron, The Red Angel, Daemon-Primarch of the World Eaters and the Blod God’s Favoured Son

Daemon-Primarch Angron (16)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (22)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (29)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (26)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (21)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (30)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (31)
Now here’s a closer look at the base:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (32)
As you can see, I have added two more “special effects”: One is an additional spot of blood directly below the Ultramarine’s torso (for obvious reasons). The other effect is something I had never tried before, and I am rather happy with the outcome: I wanted the stone in the direct vincinity of Angron’s right foot (and the flames below it) to look as though it were heating up due to the Primarch’s daemonic presence. The effect was achieved by carefully building up several layers of Bloodletter glaze:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (25)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (27)
And with the model and base now combined, our brave little smurf finally gets reunited with his lower half. Well, after a fashion, at least…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (33)

Daemon-Primarch Angron (24)
I know I am probably boring you to tears by saying this, but I am still so incredibly happy with Angron’s head and face…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (18)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (20)
Here’s a comparison shot showing Angron next to my “regular” Bloodthirster model:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (17)
Both models’ skin tones actually differ far more in real life than is obvious from looking at the picture. However, I do think I’ve done a pretty good job of surpassing the base on the Bloodthirster and of making both models look pretty different, in spite of being built from the same stock model.

And here’s a hint of things to come…

Daemon-Primarch Angron (19)
For now, this has been an incredible ride! I think Angron is easily one of my best models – if not the best model – so far, and while this has project has certainly veered outside of my comfort zone more than once, it has been a blast! Thank you so much to everyone who provided ideas, suggestions and critical feedback! Thanks to those who provided bitz and materials for this project! And thanks to thosw responsible for my main inspirations, Reg’s fabulous, Bloodthirster-based Angron conversion, Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s hugely evocative descriptions of Daemon-Primarch Angron — and, of course, Alex Boyd’s illustration that probably served as the most important reference piece!

Speaking of which, here’s a little something that I made using Photoshop and Pixlr, to celebrate the occasion:

The Red Angel

“It turned its eyes to us. The skeletal landscape of its face turned with a slowness I could only describe as bestial, but it most definitely saw us. The coal pits of its eyes steamed as blood bubbled and boiled in the thing’s swollen tear ducts. Slowly – still so very slowly – its jaws opened to reveal a quivering tongue the colour of spoiled meat, with pinkish saliva roping and stretching between rows of sharkish teeth.β€œ

 

Aaron Dembski-Bowden, The Emperor’s Gift

 

And here’s Alex Boyd’s illustration again:

illustration by Alex Boyd

illustration by Alex Boyd

While my Angron is far from a perfect match (Reg and Rumplemaster score far higher marks on that account!), I do believe he looks like a plausible interpretation of the same character, wouldn’t you agree?

Anyway, I am super-proud of this guy! One down, two versions to go πŸ˜‰ Until then, however, I would love to hear any feedback you might have! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Daemon-Primarch Angron (23)

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 3

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2016 by krautscientist

Welcome to part three of this mini-series about my various interpretations of the XII Legion Primarch! Today, we’ll finally get some paint on my conversion of Angron in his Daemon-Primarch form!

Before we begin, let me just point out that – interestingly enough – rumours of plastic Daemon-Primarchs have been making the rounds lately, and Angron is supposedly one of the first Daemon-Primarchs to be released. Does this worry me?

Yes, a bit, actually — but even more importantly, it also served as a rather important catalyst for this project to finally take shape. Because while people might still be interested in homebrew Daemon-Angrons now, I doubt there’ll be much interest left once the “official” model hits — the best I can hope for is people coming across my model when looking for the one released by GW (as is currently the fact with my version of KhΓ’rn, incidentally…).

On the flipside, the prospect of an actual GW version of the character also serves as an incentive to make my version the best it can possibly be — and that goes for the conversion as well as the paintjob!

Which brings us back to our main subject. Here’s where we left off last time:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (1)

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (2)
Now let me start by confessing that most of the models I painted for this year’s ETL V event were basically test runs for Angron: The Skulltaker counts-as served as a test-run for the Bestial Daemon Prince, who, in turn, served as a bit of a test-run for the Bloodthirster. And once I knew I could paint a Bloodthirster to a high enough standard, I felt that painting Angron had become an attainable goal!

Since GW’s official painting tutorial for the Bloodthirster was such an amazing resource when painting the model, I knew that I would make use of the same basic skin recipe on Angron as well — with one caveat, however: I really liked my finished Bloodthirster, but the skin colour ended up looking fairly dark (actually quite a bit darker than it seems in the following picture):

Bloodthirster Ghor'Lash'Kharganath (6)
And while the colour seemed like a great fit for a Bloodthirster, I knew I wanted something brighter and more stunning for Angron. So I tried tweaking Duncan Rhodes’ fantastic recipe for the skin by replacing a single colour – GW Mephiston Red in place of GW Khorne Red – thereby ending up with the following recipe for the skin:

  • basecoat using GW Mephiston Red
  • wash with Army Painter Dark Tone (or GW Nuln Oil)
  • drybrush with GW Mephiston Red
  • drybrush with GW Wazdakka Red
  • slightly drybrush with GW Evil Sunz Scarlet
  • glaze with GW Bloodletter
  • highlight with GW Wild Rider Red

If this recipe seems slightly familiar to you, it’s because I recently used it on that one Retro-Bloodletter, who became – you guessed it – yet another test model for Angron πŸ˜‰

Old Skool Bloodletter (2)
And since I was extremely happy with the skintone on the model, I knew I was good to go!

So here’s what Angron looked like after I had given his skin the same treatment:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (5)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (6)
Now I certainly don’t have a huge talent for clean highlighting, but the Bloodthirster model is really accommodating in this respect, with the texture of the skin lending itself perfectly to being highlighted! The interesting part was to try and create the same amount of detail and depth on the areas that I had sculpted, so I took some extra time to carefully highlight the ribbed texture of the cables on Angron’s head:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (7)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (9)
I had still been slightly hesitant about the whole highlighting business back when I painted the Bloodthirster, but things felt far more familiar and quite a bit easier the second time around, so I was able to end up with lots of depth and texture to the skin:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (8)
Normally the next step would have been to block in the various bits of leather and bone on the model, but I really wanted to see the head area painted, above all else, to see whether or not it would end up looking as cool as I hoped, so I continued by picking out some of the more metallic looking cables in silver and also painted the various details around Angron’s face and neck:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (11)
As you can see, the smaller cables and chains were painted silver. I then washed them with a mix of Army Painter Dark Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink, for a suitably dark and oily look. The contrast provided by those metallic elements added a lot of depth to Angron’s tangled mane of cables and tendrils:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (13)
At the same time, the decision to leave the bigger cables looking identical to the skin colour was a very deliberate one, as I wanted to hint at the changed nature of Angron’s Butcher’s Nails: Where they used to be an implant introduced into the Primarch’s organism as a foreign element, his ascension to daemonhood has transformed the nails into a part of his very being, so that it’s impossible to ascertain where the nails end and his own body begins.

I also picked his teeth out in silver, giving him the same replacement iron teeth he wore in life:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (12)
And I also painted the mouth cavity and tongue: Aaron Dembsiki-Bowden describes Angron’s tongue as having the colour of spoiled meat, so I tried to match that description.

Now I really don’t want to sound too full of myself here, but it was at this precise point that I started to feel like I was really on to something πŸ˜‰

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (14)
And this obviously provided all the motivation I needed to keep going! Because I was so happy with the way the paintjob was going, I allowed myself the small extravagance of painting the eyes next.

My normal approach would have been to go for a bright blue colour, as per my usual recipes. But I didn’t want Angron to read as just another standard part of my World Eaters, and I also felt I needed something giving the impression of his volcanic rage, so I ended up with a bright orange for his eyes:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (18)

As you can see, I also picked out the metallic studs on his forehead in bright bronze at this point.

And here’s a picture that is still one of my favourite impressions of my Angron conversion:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (19)
I have to be honest with you: I don’t think I could be any happier with the way the face and head have come out!

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (20)
I also picked out Angron’s exposed spine in metallic colours, while I was at it:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (21)
I imagine it will be painted very similarly on the plastic Angron conversion I shared with you recently.

The next step was to paint lots of different details, such as the leather, bone bronze ornaments and wing membranes, and since I had already gone through all of this before, it was relatively quick work this time around. So a short while later, Angron’s body was mostly finished:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (22)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (25)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (27)
So far, so good, right? Here’s where things really got interesting, however, as the time had come to paint Angron’s armour. Now I wanted the armour plates to have the classic Khornate bronze/brass look while also serving as a callback to the armour worn by Forgeworld’s version of the Primarch. And I felt that my usual bronze recipe, apllied on virtually every single model of my World Eaters army, maybe wouldn’t be quite up to the task this time around.

You see, my normal recipe consists of only three steps, and it goes like this:

  • basecoat using Vallejo Tinny Tin
  • wash liberally with Army Painter Strong Tone
  • drybrush with GW Dwarf Bronze.

This recipe works really well for armour trim or bronze details. But since I knew I wanted Angron’s armour to have a broader tonal range, with brighter highlights and deeper shadows, I tweaked my recipe and spliced in a few additional steps along the way, so it ended up looking more like this:

  • basecoat with Vallejo Tinny Tin
  • wash liberally with a mix of Army Painter Strong Tone and Vallejo Smokey Ink
  • drybrush with a mix of Tinny Tin and GW Dwarf Bronze
  • drybrush with pure GW Dwarf Bronze
  • drybrush with a mix of Dwarf Bronze and GW Mithril Silver
  • and a last, very light drybrush with pure GW Mithril Silver

And to my absolute delight, this recipe worked really well: Here’s Angron after this stage, with an increasing amount of armour plates in place:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (32)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (33)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (37)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (34)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (42)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (44)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (47)
Fortunately enough, almost all of the armour plates were detailed enough to allow for a very drybrush-focused approach like this! And what’s more, I think the bronze armour works really well with the red skin (and also makes the model instantly read as a follower of Khorne, which should really be par for the course) πŸ˜‰

As a fun aside, you’ll have noticed that the right hand holding the Astartes was kept off during the painting process, purely for the sake of practicality. However, this provoked fellow hobbyist Zywus to turn Angron into a proper meme:

Image Edit by Zywus

Image Edit by Zywus

What can I say? I LOL’ed πŸ˜‰

This left me with only two parts of the model to paint before Angron himself was done. The right hand with the unlucky Ultramarine and the axe blade.

Regarding the poor smurf, I had never painted an Ultramarine before, so I basically had to play this by ear:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (53)
Aw, man, look at him, all prim and proper — alas, it was not to last…

After blocking out the main colours, I added quite a bit of weathering and battle damage to the poor guy, along with a copious amount of Tamiya Clear Red.

Here’s Angron with the finished Ultramarine:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (54)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (55)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (57)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (59)
Now the blue might be a tad on the dark side, but I think the guy still reads as an Ultramarine reasonably well, wouldn’t you agree?

As for the gore, I didn’t want to go overboard with this, but there was also no getting around the fact that the Ultramarine had been torn in half, so I did my best to make the effect suitably convincing without looking cartoony or too crass:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (60)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (61)
Now most of this is hidden from view by that belly plate, at least when seen from the front, but there’s certainly a bit of splatter going on there, if you know where to look…

I already told you that I wanted the Astartes to still look alive, if only barely, so I painted the eye lenses bright red:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (62)
I also really like how, depending on how you look at the model, Angron either seems to be focusing on the Ultramarine, probably preparing to devour him, or is already looking at his next opponent, merely gripping his fallen foe as an afterthought…

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (63)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (65)
One last thing to paint, and that was the axe blade. After giving it a bit of thought, I realised that I had already seen a brilliant inspiration for this particular part a while back: ElDiablo’s/Midian’s Bloodthirster axe from when he painted his own Bloodthirster:

painted by ElDiablo

painted by ElDiablo

Now ElDiablo is a fantastic painter, but what I love especially about this axe is how he has used the somewhat organic design of the weapon to hint at a fusion of metal and daemonic flesh, and I definitely wanted to incorporate this effect into my own version as well!

And while I am not as neat a painter as ElDiablo, I think it worked reasonably well. Take a look:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (9)
I changed the colour of the organic “teeth” to match the rest of the bone present on Angron’s body, and there was also no way to avoid some blood on the blade — but all in all, I think Ive come up with a fairly balanced look that retains my favourite parts about ElDiablo’s axe!

And with that, apart from a few very minor touchups, Angron was finished. And I am not going to lie here: I am over the moon about this guy:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (1)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (2)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (3)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (13)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (14)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (8)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (4)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (6)
Daemon-Primarch Angron (7)
What can I say? I know I am hopelessly biased, but this guy certainly does look like Angron to me:

Daemon-Primarch Angron (11)
Do you want to hear something funny, though? We are not nearly done here! For one, there are those minor touchups that I already talked about. But even more importantly, a model of this caliber certainly deserves a suitably impressive base as well. And I’ve already let the Bolter & Chainsword crowd cajole me into doing something far more involved and opulent than I had originally planned on that account — I swear, those guys will be the death of me one day…

 

But that is a story for another time — for the next installment of this series, to be exact. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the painted model! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Daemon-Primarch Angron (5)

Lord of the XII Legion – A Triptych, pt. 2

Posted in 40k, Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2016 by krautscientist

Prologue

So here we are with part two of this mini-series centered around Angron, the Lord of the XII Legion, and today I would like to focus on my interpretation of Angron in his post-ascension form as a Daemon-Primarch (a project already teased in my last post). Now it may seem counter-intuitive to deal with this last and (canonically) latest version of Angron first, but I have long stopped wondering about when and how inspiration strikes, electing instead to just go with the flow. And in this particular case, there was ample inspiration to be had, indeed — but we’ll be getting to that in a minute!

Let me start by telling you that this particular project has been long in the making. It actually started over a year ago, when I received a second plastic Bloodthirster as a gift. Back then, my first Bloodthirster (bought immediately upon the new kit’s release) had already been assembled, and I didn’t really want to merely build another one. But I also didn’t want to just put the kit away into my cupboard of shame, so my mind started wandering…would it actually be possible to build a version of Daemon-Primarch Angron using this kit…?

Following my usual approach, I started by doing lots of research. And a huge part of this progress was to check out what had come before. Like this guy:

Angron by Wade Pryce

Angron by Wade Pryce

Wade Pryce’s Angron conversion, based on the old metal Bloodthirster. Now for those of you who don’t know Wade’s army, it’s easily one of the most spectacular 40k World Eaters armies of all time, and one that played a huge part for creating the concept of Khorne’s Eternal Hunt, when I got back into the hobby. And true to the quality of his World Eaters, Wade served as a trailblazer once again with his Angron conversion, being just about the first hobbyist with the actual audacity to tackle such a project.

Now while the model may seem a bit dated, given the ever escalating quality of models we have been seeing over the last years, it still remains important in that it serves as a proof of concept that Daemon-Primarch Angron is possible in model form — to wit, Wade’s model basically served as GW’s quasi-official 40k Angron for quite a while, even being featured on their homepage until fairly recently.

Speaking of official models, there was that hokey Epic 40k model of Angron, of course:

image source: SOLegends

image source: SOLegends

But seriously, it didn’t feel like I could take lots of inspiration from this guy, right? Keep this particular model in mind, however, as we’ll be encountering him in the unlikeliest place before this is over…

I. Research and main inspiration

But anyway, GW wouldn’t be a big help here, at least not when it came to models. So I turned to the hobbyists, and while Daemon-Primarch Angron certainly isn’t a super-popular subject for converters so far, there are some conversions of him floating around. Among this, some seemed especially noteworthy to me due to their quality: VonKessler’s truly monstrous Angron was quite stunning, as was Rumplemaster’s Angron. I am also a fan of this version of Angron in Daemon-Primarch form by Renaes, while we are on the subject — but while all three versions are very cool and rather inspiring, they all use very different base models from the Bloodthirster I had chosen as my starting point.

And then there was Reg, French hobbyist extraordinaire, who, I was flabbergasted to find out, is responsible for more than a dozen different Angron conversions (don’t believe me? Go check up on him — I’ll be waiting). But what’s more, his Angron conversions are among the best interpretations of the character you can find online. And when I recently saw this latest Angron from Reg on CMON, based on the Bloodthirster, no less, I was simply blown away:

Bloodthirster-based Angron conversion by Reg

Bloodthirster-based Angron conversion by Reg

Seriously, this is probably the best Daemon-Primarch Angron I have seen so far, and really, really close to my own interpretation of the character! A part of me actually hated Reg for having come up with this before me — where was the point in even starting my own project now? But then I calmed myself and started to think and plan and throw around bitz, and while I would be using this as one of my main inspirations and …erm “borrow” quite a few ideas from it, there were also some things that I wanted to do slightly differently. Plus I wanted to incorporate some different sources as well.

The second major inspiration for my own Angron conversion was what I believe is the only official atrwork to date depicting Daemon Primarch Angron, a piece by Alex Boyd (who was obviously channelling his inner John Blanche when painting this piece):

Daemon Primarch Angron by Alex Boyd

Daemon Primarch Angron by Alex Boyd

I understand this artwork originally appeared in the Visions of Heresy artbooks, but I first saw it back when it appeared in White Dwarf, accompanying some rules for using Angron in games of Apocalypse.

I think it goes without saying that Reg seems to have taken quite a few cues from this piece of art (as did Rumplemaster). And both have come up with models that are looking wildly different from one another while also both being reasonable interpretations of the art. Because what’s really rather amazing about the illustration is that the style is loose and painterly enough to be up to interpretation to a certain degree.

I also really, really love how the art features callbacks to Angron’s human form, as depicted by John Blanche and Wayne England (see my previous post): The three-spiked crest above Angron’s head, the curved shoulder pads and the axe are all elements drawn from those earlier pieces of artwork. The axe, in particular, seems like a daemonic version of the huge two-handed axe appearing in the earlier Horus Heresy artwork, decorative wing ornament and all. What a brilliant sense of continuity!

So I chose this illustration as my second main influence when building and painting my own Angron. But there was one more source that became a major influence:

MINOR SPOILERS for “The Emperor’s Gift” follow!

The description of post-ascension Angron that appeared in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s “The Emperor’s Gift”

β€žAnd there it was. Behind the diseased humidity and stench of fresh blood: a shadow that stained the horde’s core. It rose from the wreckage of a temple, spreading monstrous wings to the sky.

One of my brothers breathed the words +Throne of the Emperor.+ It may have even been me.
Bone and ceramite armoured its sweating flesh in equal measure, while its skin was a scorched and cracked display of inhuman red meat, strained by pulsing veins of black iron. A thrashing mane of dreadlocked cables rose from the back of its malformed head in a daemonic crest. Some became brass chains ending in bound skulls. Others were connected to the creature’s ornate bronze-scale armour.β€œ
(…)
It turned its eyes to us. The skeletal landscape of its face turned with a slowness I could only describe as bestial, but it most definitely saw us. The coal pits of its eyes steamed as blood bubbled and boiled in the thing’s swollen tear ducts. Slowly – still so very slowly – its jaws opened to reveal a quivering tongue the colour of spoiled meat, with pinkish saliva roping and stretching between rows of sharkish teeth.β€œ

END SPOILERS

So these were my main sources when planning the conversion. And they provided me with many ideas and cool influences, turning this into a very enjoyable, if challenging, conversion.

II. Getting started

After assembling all the ideas and bitz I needed, I started by putting together the plastic Bloodthirster’s body. I had already done this once with my first Bloodthirster, so this part was easy work. I knew that I wanted to change the look of the model as much as possible, however, and the main area of interest to sell the conversion as Angron would be the head. So that’s where I started the proper conversion — with a very early, slightly ridiculous looking mockup made from poster tack:

Daemon Primarch Angron very early mockup (3)

Daemon Primarch Angron very early mockup (2)
Daemon Primarch Angron very early mockup (1)
Based on the various descriptions and depictions of Daemon-Primarch Angron, I decided that the standard “human” Bloodthirster face would work perfectly as a base for the conversion. However, I wanted to make two substantial changes to it: One, open the jaws far wider than on the stock model, for that extra bit of madness and body horror. And two, elongating the neck protion quite a bit, both to change the silhouette of the model and to make room for the mutated cables and tendrils representing Angron’s “Butcher’s Nails” implants.

Early during this step, I decided to lose the smaller horns and ears on the stock face, because I really wanted to make the head look different than the standard Bloodthirster face. I also wanted to draw more attention to the sculpted area of the head, but this also meant I would have to come up with some decent sculpting, which seemed like a pretty daunting task. But I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, so I started by using some GS to build up the basic shape of the head and neck:

DPA early WIP (4)
DPA early WIP (3)
DPA early WIP (2)
DPA early WIP (1)
Admittedly, the model didn’t look like much at this point, and I was briefly afraid of having ruined a pretty expensive kit. But when I tentatively posted these early WIPs on various forums, people immediately recognised the model as a WIP Angron and seemed very enthusiastic — phew! πŸ˜‰

Another part of “The Emperor’s Gift” refers to Angron’s “saurian head”, and I liked the idea that an elongated head gave him a bit of a reptilian look without completely superseding the human origins of the character.

The next part of the conversion was to build up several parts of the model at the same time: More and more cables were added to the head, some of them GW bitz (all the cables from the Space Marine Centurions really came in handy here), while others were sculpted from GS using a fine-tooth comb and lots of patience (thanks to a neat tip from fellow hobbyist Mechanist). At the same time, I also added the various planned armour plates to Angron’s body. Here’s what the model looked like a short while later:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (1)
My original plan was to use the Ogre Bull gut plates resembling the World Eaters’ legion badge as kneepads (to emulate the kneepads of Forgeworld’s Angron model), but then I realised that the gut plate also worked really well in its intended function, providing a piece of armour that fit very well while also differentiating the model further from the stock Bloodthirster.

As for the spiked crest you can see above Angron’s head, that is a shout out to several pieces of artwork, as there was alwaysΒ a three-spiked crest above Angron’s head in the older artwork, both in his mortal and immortal incarnation. However, Simon Egan’s Angron model has slightly redesigned this element into a World Eaters symbol framed by what seems curiously like a chaos star. Therefore, I felt that would be cool to hint at the updated design, and so I used a part from the WFB warshrine of chaos as a crest.

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (5)
The shoulder pads were a part that confounded me for quite a while, and I also felt that this was the part where many Angron conversion, even the truly excellent ones, faltered, trying to add pauldrons made from GS that ended up looking slightly too gooey and awkward.

After much consideration, I discovered some chaos shields from Maxmini.eu which Augustus b’Raass had sent me a while ago in my bitzbox, and they really seemed like an excellent compromise, recalling the pauldrons in the art while also fitting the Bloodthirster model surprisingly well (and featuring the same amount of detail as the rest of the armour plates):

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (2)
The most involved part of the conversion was to keep adding more and more cables to the head, and this also took far more patience than I normally have. But I forced myself to work in several sessions and kept adding more and more detail to build up the head. You may notice the cables’ different textures. This was a conscious choice, as I wanted to capture the feeling of various cables at various stages of “transformation”, for lack of a better word: There are the more slender, clearly metallic cables, slightly thicker cables that already have a distinctly organic look (and somewhat more gooey texture) and, finally, fleshy tendrils that no longer really look like cables at all. I wanted this ensemble to look like the nails had actually become a part of Angron’s very being upon his ascension, and I planned to underline this even further during the painting stage.

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (3)
So with the model’s body finally taking shape, this was also the right moment to think about the weapon I wanted Angron to wield. Canonically, Daemon-Primarch Angron is armed with the Black Blade, a massive daemonsword forged for him during the Heresy by Vel Kheredar, at the behest of Lorgar.

Coming up with a suitable blade would have been a rather neat challenge (I considered Nagash’s sword for a while, or the sword from the Nemesis Dreadknight), but the longer I thought about it, the more I realised that I really wanted to incorporate that huge axe that appears both in the early Horus Heresy artwork and in Alex Boyd’s illustration.

I knew from looking at Reg’s model that this could work really well, using one of the Bloodthirster axes. However, I diverged from his design by using the big, two-handed axe rather than one of the smaller ones. Here’s the finished, slightly tweaked axe:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (6)
The haft was shortened and straightened a bit to make the axe seem slightly less unwieldy (I also thought the crooked haft did look slightly silly). And I definitely needed that huge wing ornament on the axe head — I took inspiration from Reg’s model here, using a wing from a Dark Vengeance Ravenwing bike and gluing it to the axe.

So here’s a mockup of Angron holding the weapon:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (7)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (8)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (9)
And as you can see in the pictures, there’s also a little something in Angron’s right hand: This is perhaps the second rather substantial difference from Reg’s amazing version: I really wanted to do something with the empty hand, and it seemed like the perfect chance to incorporate another shout out to Alex Boyd’s illustration: The artwork shows Angron gripping an unlucky Astartes, probably an Ultramarine, in his off-hand, so I chose to create a similar effect on my own model. A Grey Knight would have been an interesting alternative, but I ultimately chose an Ultramarine, both as a callback to the art and because using a Grey Knight would have “dated” the model:

You see, Angron was one of the first Primarchs to ascend to daemonhood, during the Mid-Heresy. Yet at the same time, it stands to reason that his appearance as a Daemon-Primarch would still be roughly the same several millennia later. So using an Ultramarine here would ultimately allow me to use the model both for 30k and 40k (as a piece linking together the two versions of my World Eaters, if you will), which I thought was a pretty nifty bonus!

Towards this end, I tried to make the Ultramarine’s armour look like it could have originated during the Heresy, mainly using Mk IV components:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (24)
I do realise that gory trophies like these can be a bit of a divisive feature, but I chose to cut the Ultamarine apart at the waist, showing how Angron must have torn his opponent in half moments earlier. I think having an entire Astartes dangling from his fist would have ended up looking rather awkward, so the legs will appear on the base. I tried to keep the splatter factor pretty low though, avoiding lots of dangling innards and limiting myself to a barely visible spine and one coiled rope of entrails:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (25)
My take is that the Marine is still alive, by the way, if only just barely — “Only in death…”, and all that: I reckon this guy has one last swing left in him, not that it’ll do him any good. This is also the reason while he is still facing towards Angron:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (26)

So with both hands completed, it was time to attach the wings and add the final details before the conversion was ready for paint:

The most important part to tidy up was the head, although I found I didn’t even want to add lots and lots of additional cables, as I was really rather happy with the way it looked. In addition to the cables, some small chains and several skulls (both from the Empire Flagellant kit) were nestled in between all the cabling and fleshy tendrils, in keeping with both the art and ADB’s description. As for the face itself, the two final additions were some gruesome spikes on each cheek and some studs carefully added to the forehead, both as a way of approximating similar elements appearing in the artwork:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (34)
And there was one last “special effect” that I wanted to add to the model: Because I had made such a lot of changes to the model’s head, there was no way to use the crest of fur that normally runs down the stock Bloodthirster’s head. So I used this area to add another detail differentiating my Angron conversion from the stock ‘Thirster, while also serving as a shout out to my plastic Angron conversion.

As you might remember, my plastic Angron kept the exposed spine from the Slaughterpriest model:

Angron WIP (21)

Now I thought it would be a cool, if somewhat grisly, in-joke to use the same element on my Daemon-Primarch Angron, so I used the big spine from the AoS Bloodsecrator of Khorne and some GS to create this:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (35)
And with those final additions, the conversion was finished. Let’s take a look at how the model looked before painting:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (36)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (37)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (38)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (39)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (40)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (42)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (44)
Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (47)

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (48)
Here’s a comparison picture showing Angron next to my Bloodthirster: Considering the fact that it’s basically the same model, I do think I’ve done a reasonable job of making the conversion look different:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (49)
All in all, I am really extremely happy with the conversion: While it’s very obvious that I have taken a fair bit of inspiration from Reg’s Angron conversion, I also think that I’ve made enough tweaks on the formula for my model to be able to stand on its own. At the same time, I also feel the model is a pretty fair, if not 100% picture-perfect, representation of Alex Boyd’s artwork, even if I’ve had to switch hands on my model, for the sake of practicality:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (45)
I am particularly happy with the face and head:

Daemon Primarch Angron WIP (46)
Yup, looks like Daemon-Primarch Angron to me πŸ˜‰

Now, do you still remember that silly Epic 40k version of Angron shown at the beginning of this post? Now what if I tell you that my buddy Biohazard is currently working on his own version of Daemon-Primarch Angron (because the both of us seem to be having a bit of an Angron conversion arms race going on at the moment), and his version is actually based on that Epic 40k model?

It is also completely awesome:

Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion by Biohazard

Daemon-Primarch Angron conversion by Biohazard

As you can see, Biohazard’s even arming Angron with the proper Black Blade, having made a fantastic kitbash utilising the Nemesis Dreadknight’s sword. I love the fact how we’ve chosen to build the same character and use the same stock model, yet our respective interpretations should end up looking wildly different! Keep track of Biohazard’s brilliant conversion work here.

As for my own version, there was one last test to pass: We are all prepared to cut a conversion some slack while it’s still in different shades of grey and green, but the truly magic moment comes when it’s all brought together by the same colour — or not. So it was with some nervousness that I spraypainted the entire model black:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (2)
Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (4)
And yet with only the black undercoat in place, I think it’s already obvious how the different parts of the head (and, by extension, the conversion) merge together fairly seamlessly, wouldn’t you agree?

Once again, the armour plates were being kept seperate during the painting process, in order to make painting easier and avoid hard to reach nooks and crannies:

Daemon Primarch Angron PIP (1)

Right, time to get this bad boy painted, eh? πŸ˜‰

So stay tuned for the next part of this series, when I’ll be walking you through the painting process. Until then, I’d really love to hear your feedback on the conversion so far and my working process for this project! And a heartfelt thank you to all those who have provided the necessary inspiration – or bitz – for this particular project!

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

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

Posted in Chaos, Conversions, Fluff, Pointless ramblings, WIP, World Eaters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2016 by krautscientist

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!