Saturday, 12 October 2013

Angron: WIP 1

This post being titled 'Angron: WIP 1' may be appropriate, but, as you can see, while there's been a certain amount of 'W' completed, there's really too much 'P' already done for my liking. But I need to stop neglecting this blog and update it with something. Got to please my fans after all. You're both welcome.

I ordered the Angron model from Forge World as soon as it was available since the opportunity to build and paint actual Primarchs was just too tempting. I have pledged (to myself ... it still counts ...) that I'll paint up all 20 of the Primarchs. Well, all 18 anyway. Or is that 19 ... ?

But, as usual, Forge World upped the awesome and their Horus Heresy Character Series won't just contain Primarchs, but all manner of characters from the Horus Heresy. So I'll no doubt include many of them in my painting schedule.

Still, the first one is The Red Angel himself, so let's get on with the WIP shots. On this project I very much wanted to paint in as many sub-assemblies as practical, but not so many it got fiddly. Therefore I broke it down into Angron, his cape, the main miniature's base, and the extended diorama base.


Simon Egan's work on Angron himself is absolutely top-notch. He has packed so much dynamism into the pose into the model. He really looks like he is sprinting full tilt and nothing is going to stand in his way. I've not got the angle quite right to properly appreciate that in my photos due to the painting mount I've attached the model to, but Forge World's pictures give a better idea. The armour is great too: very gladiatorial in nature.

The model was a joy to put together. I thought it would take a fair amount of time and sat down for a long session of work but found that the model didn't need all that much cleaning up and slotted together beautifully with nice strong joints when glued. Surprisingly strong, in fact, for the axes.

Painting Angron was a lot of fun too. And fairly simple, surprisingly. I had planned to go nuts on the armour and painstakingly layer it, but when I came to paint it the detail made me realise that approach was beyond my talent and patience to consider. My 'quick and effective' experiences with my Space Wolves made me realise I might get some good results with a simple basecoat-wash-drybrush approach. I followed the same process as the gold/brass/bronze on my Wolves1, only with a warmer sepia wash at the end. The detail on the armour meant that with this method it pretty much painted itself. I just had to be careful not to put the paint on too thick as some of the details are very shallow.

The reds were shaded with blue as I find that gives a great depth and tone of shade. I didn't highlight the reds up too brightly as I didn't want them to approach orange or pink in hue. Besides, I'm trying a more muted and natural style for my painting these days rather than the traditional 'Eavy Metal approach.

The flesh tones used my normal recipe2, only with a tiny hint of red added in. This was just enough to tint the mix, and give Angron a very slightly ruddier, blood-flushed colour than my normal flesh tones. I also used white to create highlights rather than Bleached Bone just because I'm exploring using white to highlight to see if it gives a more natural washed-out look.

The cape

Well, I guess it's a cape, but it seems like it's more of a furry skull hanger. Excuse the painting mount holding it upside down, by the way. The fur was basecoated, washed, and drybushed but again not highlighted up too far. I wanted it to look quite dark and grubby, and not to distract too much from the main Angron figure.

The reverse of the cape was painted Steel Legion Drab, then washed with Agrax Earthshade. Then I very gradually added white to the basecoat to created layered highlights. I wanted to go very subtle on this so that you can't really tell it's even highlighted. While that may sound like a complete waste of time (and it probably is ... ), I think it kind of works here.

The sword scabbard was the biggest pain in the arse of this project so far. It's not necessarily that it's especially hard to paint, it is just doing it properly takes so much time for something that is barely visible on the completed model, I must admit I lost patience with it as did a bit of a half-arsed job with it. So I guess that made it only a pain in half my arse.

The base

I'm keeping with the officialy Forge World version of the painted model with my scheme for this project, so the fallen Astartes on the main base is a Death Guard. I must say, I really enjoyed painting something that wasn't an Ultramarine or a Space Wolf. The armour was painted Karak Stone, washed with Agrax Earthshade (geez ... I use that wash a lot ... ), then layered up by gradually adding white into the Karak Stone base until it was an off-white colour.

The green of the shoulder pads was some odd and improvised mix of green paints I simply can't remember! But it worked out. They are very very slightly highlighted on the upper sides to aid the eye. As with all my shoulder pads, I add a little wash (Agrax here ... again ... ) between the trim and plating to make it 'pop'.

I'm keeping the detail of the painting a little down on the base models as I'm planning to weather them up a lot and only really want a decent base to work with for now.

Diorama base

Credit for the technique used on the white armour of the World Eaters on the diorama base goes to Marius Rösch, whose fantastic World Eaters recently featured on Games Workshop's White Dwarf Daily blog. Unfortunately, I had already primed these guys black when I read about it so had to paint them back up to white.

Like the Death Guard before, these guys aren't the finest painting I've done, but the finish is somewhat beaten up and rough which I think should be a good base for some weathering. I don't feel World Eaters should look too parade ground ready anyway, even at the best of times. I seem to remember reading something like 'they wear their scars like badges of honour' in one of the novels.

I really like Simon Egan's sculpting work on these guys. While they clearly are attached to the base, they give the illusion of being flung aside by Angron very well indeed. They really sell the scene and when painted as World Eaters evoke the moment in Galaxy in Flames when Angron butchers his betrayed sons on Isstvan III. Simon's sculpting makes these warriors look like they were nothing, merely flies swatted aside by Angron.

Also, this guy isn't even dead yet. Angron's too blinded by rage to care.

What's next?

Obviously, I need to paint the bases – all the rubble and so forth – but after that I'm going to try several new things with this project. The first is the use of decals. Freehand is most definitely not my strong suit. I can just about get by freehanding the Ultramarine 'U' Ultima symbol and the various basic squad markings, but beyond that I very quickly run out of talent. The World Eaters and Death Guard legion badges are totally beyond me so I will use Forge World's decals, which I must say are a pretty spectacular A4-sized collections of about a bajillion individual decals, though you do pay for them. It is somewhat extravagant to buy a two whole decal sheets for just a few uses, but I may use them again one day, who knows. And I am not painting those damn badges.

Following that, it will be weathering. I have never weathered any of my miniatures, aside from a little mud splash on tanks, so this will be a new experience for me. I've armed myself with Forge World's weathering powders and will be keeping a close eye on GW's new additions to their paint range next month. I'll also be following Tale of Painter's blood and gore tutorial for all the gore and blood. It's Angron – what do you expect?

As for display the finished piece, I'm going the whole porcine and mounting the diorama on a plinth. I picked up a rather lovely one from, so I would recommend this great little company if you're looking for something similar.

I'll also be adding a brass plaque to the plinth for which I have Timpson's to thank. They did a most able and timely job with the custom-sized brass sign I ordered (check out the page here). I can't imagine what on earth the person who engraved this thought it was for, especially as it seems their usual trade is in workplace signage and trophies.


That's all for now. Thanks very much for reading this and please do comment if you wish to ask me something, or just say lovely things.

I know a post was long overdue, and this is certainly a bumper one after the break. I've been being very slack with the hobby lately and playing a lot of PC games instead. Still, I want to crack on with Angron now and then see where the future takes me with these great Forge World Horus Heresy miniatures.


1) Base with Balthasar Gold, wash with Agrax Earthshade, drybush with Golden Griffon, drybrush with Necron Compound, light wash with Agrax Earthshade.
2) Base with 60/20/20 mix of Ratskin Flesh/Fortress Grey/Bleached Bone, wash with Ogryn Flesh, wash with Agrax Earthshade, layer up highlights with the original mix adding in Bleached Bone until you're happy (you can give a light Ogryn Flesh wash to tone it down if you take it too far).


  1. Wow. You disappear for a few months and then drop in with this!

    I really like the restrained palette, especially the muted red. The armour looks excellent and is spot-on colour-wise. All in all, another great job! I also really like your work on the dead/wounded Marines, the armour colours are spot on. The only thing they lack is weathering, but you've already covered that! However, I'd like to ask you not to go OTT with the blood and gore. I've seen too many people ruin models after they've splattered them all over with red stains and it just doesn't look good.

    Anyway, that's all there is from me for now. Looking forward to your next update :)

    1. Thanks, Luke. I don't plan to go OTT with the blood and gore as I know the sort of problem you're referring to. It will just be around any wounds, the axes, and a little splatter here and there. No more than necessary.

  2. Always great to read your posts. This is looking really good. Can't wait to see the final product on the base plinth. I am collecting all the Primarchs too, but it will be a while before I start painting them - which is good - it means I can steal a few great ideas off you in the meantime :) !!!

    1. Hey, I don't own any ideas, so take what you like! I've taken ideas from countless people, yourself included no doubt.

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

    2. Could you tell me wich colours you usesd for the Armor?

    3. Sure: it is a base of Balthasar Gold, washed with Agrax Earthshade, drybushed with Golden Griffon, drybrushed again with Necron Compound, then finally a light wash of Gryphonne Sepia.

    4. Thanks. Now i can start painting my Angron :)