An orky update…
Last week, I introduced you to two small hobby projects of mine involving greenskins. Now with a couple of models already built, the time had come to actually test the waters and get something painted.
To be honest with you, I was a bit nervous: After all, I had painted my last Orc over ten years ago, and those models haven’t really managed to hold up all that well. Still, I was reasonably sure that my painting had improved a fair bit since then, so I sat down, took a deep breath and started to work.
I started by painting my Mordheim test model:
Before actually getting some paint on this guy, though, I added a few bitz: Some pouches hanging from his belt as well as a Bretonnian helmet and an amulet in the shaped of the two-pronged comet of Sigmar. And a dwarven buckler, crudely reinforced with metal straps: I want my Orcs to look like they are scavenging whatever they can off the streets, taking all kinds of kit and every trinket they like off their defeated enemies. However, I took care not to go overboard with the additional bitz on this model, seeing how this was, after all, a test piece.
When it came to actually painting the model, I wanted this guy to have a gritty, battle hardened look, in keeping with the game’s background. I also didn’t want the Mordheim Orcs to look too much like something out of a comic book, so I kept the colour palette pretty limited for this project.
The model was undercoated using brown spray paint. Then the skin was painted (more on that later!), and the different pieces of armour were picked out in very dark grey (I’ve found that a pretty convincing start for an area that is supposed to look black or near-black on the finished model). The model’s clothes were either left brown or painted in a slightly darker tone. The weapons were painted silver. Then the whole model was liberally washed using GW Gryphonne Sepia (for the skin), GW Nuln Oil (for the armour and metallic parts) and GW Agrax Earthshade (for pretty much everything). I then added accents, scratches and overall grime (lightly drybrushing the brown areas with GW Graveyard Earth provided a nice accent while also making the model’s clothes look suitably worn and grimy). I even added one of the Orcs’ trademark sawtooth patterns to parts of the armour, using GW Bleached Bone.
So what did he model end up looking like, you ask? Here you go:
Oh, I almost forgot: The base was built by cutting up some piece of old model train terrain to get a couple of flagstones. Those were then combined with cork and modelling sand. The base was then undercoated black, painted dark grey, liberally washed in black and brown and then drybrushed with white. Easy enough, although I could see myself going with something a tiny bit more refined for the next few models…
All in all, I am really pleased with this guy: He looks like you wouldn’t really want to mess with him, which is pretty much the overall effect I wanted to achieve. I also think he seems right at home on the bloodied streets of a destroyed city.
This model basically establishes a baseline standard for the rest of the gang: Some of the other models will probably be looking more outlandish or be sporting an additional spot colour or two, but in the end, all of them will share the overall look established by this test model.
So with the Mordheim side of things taken care of, I turned my attention to my Blood Bowl Team: I would of course need to paint a test model for the Orkheim Ultraz as well, and my choice fell on this lucky fellow, one of my Blitzers:
Since the model had been kitbashed from all kinds of leftovers, it looked a little rough around the edges: As you can see, the right arm had even been painted in my own, early 2000s’ recipe for Orc skin. However, the rather sorry state of the model made it perfect to serve as a test piece, so I got to work.
I initially approached the whole matter exactly like I had with the Mordheim Orc: Brown undercoat, same recipe for the skin. Basic clothes in various shades of brown. However, to add a visual flourish that would be necessary to make the model look more like an actual Blood Bowl player, all pieces of armour were painted with GW Mephiston Red.
Let me take a moment to tell you that this is the red colour I have always wanted, because it produces a strong, quite vibrant red and works without a hitch, even over a black undercoat. It also still looks good after being thoroughly washed with brown, which clearly differentiates it from the old Mechrite Red – oh, and It also lacks the latter’s “chalky” quality, which is a definite advantage in my book.
Anyway, the red made the model pop rather nicely, even after it had been suitably dirtied and scratched up. Take a look:
As you can see, I went for a tan shirt to make the model look slightly less dark and gritty than the Mordheim piece. Oh, and I also added some pretty old Gorkamorka decals to the model’s armour, since the yellow nicely contrasted with the red.
When it came to doing the base, I wanted to emulate the look of a somewhat roughened up football pitch: still grassy enough, but with patches of trampled mud emerging here and there. So I mixed wood glue with small pieces of cork and modelling sand and generously covered the surface of the base in the mix. When everything had dried, the base was undercoated in black, then painted in brown, then washed and drybrushed to bring out the texture. Then I used a generous helping of static grass to actually make it look like a Blood Bowl pitch. Funny story: I actually got that bag of static grass more than ten years ago at the GW store in Cologne, yet I somehow never got around to using it. And while the strong, slightly synthetic tone of green would probably look wrong for 40k or WFB bases, I think it’s a pretty good fit for a fantasy football pitch
So with that, my two Orky test pieces were completed. Here they are, side by side:
While I’ll admit that they share quite a bit of common heritage, I think they still look different enough: The Mordheim Orc is slightly grittier and darker, as befits the setting. As I previously mentioned, both models were painted using the marvelous recipe for Orc skin posted by Brian over at A Gentleman’s Ones, and I simply cannot recommend that recipe enough: Not only did it provide me with the perfect skin tone for my models, it’s also possibly the only recipe I ever got from the internet that looks exactly as described on the finished miniature. If my 18 year old self had had access to that recipe, I might have managed to paint a whole greenskin army after all. Go head over there right now to check it out, if you haven’t already!
So with my first two models for my greenskin projects such a success, I found myself itching to proceed. So I sat down and painted two more models:
A couple of Night Goblins for my Blood Bowl team. These were built from the remains of an old plastic Night Goblin regiment, and while there may be more recent plastic Night Goblins in GW’s catalogue, I still love these guys to bits: Granted, their scale may be slightly off (especially when compared to human models) and the sculpt may seem a little clunky in places, but they are still absolutely iconic, in my opinion: Those pointy ears and huge noses, and those mean little faces — you simply gotta love ‘em! I’ve always had a soft spot for Night Goblins, and these models are perfect representations of all that’s cool about the race — whereas the newer models are just looking a little runtish, if you ask me…
Anyway, these were painted using the same recipe as the Blitzer above. In fact, I tried to push myself in order to see how fast I could finish these, using a slightly impressionistic – even slapdash – approach to painting. In the end, I was able to complete these guys in about one and a half hours, basing included. Not bad, huh? And they are certainly good enough for me!
Here are some additional detail shots:
His colleague, meanwhile, seems a little more dedicated to the task at hand:
And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!