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Orkheim Ultraz: Pitch-perfect

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2019 by krautscientist

It’s time for another showcase post this week, as I have managed to finish another long running project of mine: As some of you may remember, I recently completed the last two Black Orc blockers for my Orc Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim Ultraz.

With the last two player models completed, all that was left to do was to give the entire team one last round of fine tuning. And that’s exactly what I did earlier this week, during one of my customary joint painting sessions at my friend Annie’s place:

I spent most of the session cleaning up the paintwork on some of the models, adding a few details here and there – especially painting the eyes on all of the models – and, maybe most importantly of all, painting a player number on each model. This turned out to be a slightly finnicky job, seeing how most of the models hadn’t been assembled with this step in mind, but in the end, I was able to wedge the numbers in there somewhere, even if I had to get creative in some cases ๐Ÿ˜‰

So it is with great joy that I can finally show you the finished team in all of its “pitch-perfect” glory. Meet the finished Orkheim Ultraz, everyone:

The Orkheim Ultraz
“Ultra ‘ard! Ultra-violent! Go Ultraz!”

 

I am really happy with the way the finished team looks. It’s also pretty cool how most of this team was basically assembled from leftover models, bits and pieces from my cupboard of shame, and cheap second-hand pick ups. I am not usually an extremely thrifty hobbyist, but this project was very much a case of producing a lot of bang for the least possible amount of buck ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, let’s take a closer look at the various models, shall we? I think we’ll just take it from the top:

 

Star Playa Gitgrim Sharptoof

The official line is that this guy was intended as my version of the “official” star player Varag Ghoulchewer. To be perfectly honest with you, however, I mostly just wanted to build a Blood Bowl model using the highly dynamic feral Orc boss back when I started my team, so that’s what I did. I am still pretty happy with this guy, even though I would probably do some minor things differently if I were to build him today (I think I would be a bit more corageous with the arms).

Anyway, with his eyes painted in and a few tweaks here and there, he is still a very nice focal point for the team, from a visual perspective.


 

For the rest of the team, my plan was to build the models in such a way that each model’s position and gameplay role would be fairly obvious just by looking at them.

Throwers

Gugmar and Rikkit are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Throwers, proud to perform the team’s first move during kick-off — although they are usually happy enough to have seen the last of the ball for that turn…

When it came to actually making these look like throwers, I decided to use pretty light armour and suitably athletic poses. The sports glasses were a spur-of-the-moment idea when building the first thrower, and I was lucky enough to find another head with glasses for the second model.


I also didn’t want to just mimic Rikkit’s pose for the second thrower, so I came up with a model that was preparing to throw a squig — because there are days when you just have to haul an ill-tempered mass of teeth into a gaggle of players, simple as that.

I am still rather happy with the way the squig turned out, by the way:

I just love painting those little guys…

 

Black Orc Blockers

Certainly the ‘ardest hitters in the team, Morglum Bruis’Arm, Grimgork Bucket’Ead, Borzag Ironskull and Azhag Ironjaw (from left to right) are as massive as they are resistant to fun.

The first two Black Orcs I assembled were mainly built right out of the box, with the removal of the weapons the only major change to the stock models. I got a little more adventurous with the other two, both because I wanted to make sure they looked suitably different from their buddies, but I was also influenced by the rather impressive new plastic models that had been released by then.

Anyway, these are definitely one of my favourite parts of the team: They look like a massive wall of muscle, scuffed armour and ill temper, which is exactly the look I wanted for them. The scratches on the armour also make for a rather effective look, if I do say so myself.

Blitzers

Gabnaz, Gorgrim, Gulgrit & Urrzag (from left to right) are the Orkheim Ultraz’ Blitzers and always the first ones into the fray. What they lack in tactical acumen, they make up for in sheer enthusiasm!

The Blitzers were built fairly early into the project — in fact, Gorgrim up there was actually the very first test model for the entire team. This is why they mostly use standard Orc boy parts. At the same time, I used three visual cues to try and differentiate them from the Linemen: The aggressive, dynamic poses on at least two of them. The armoured gauntlets on all models, save for Urrzag. And the American football-esque shoulder armour (simply repurposed vanilla Space Marine pauldrons) on all of them. In hindsight, they may seem just a bit too conservative, especially when compared to the “official” new plastic models, but I am pretty happy with them, nevertheless.

 

Linemen


At the lower end of the team hierarchy, Bolg, Urrg, Hergh and Garg are the team’s Linemen, referred to not so much by actual names, but rather by the amusing noises they make when going down during the game (Young Bolg there seems like he could be Blitzer material, though…).

Blood Bowl provides a great opportunity to inject some humour into the models, and the Linemen were my attempt at doing just that: I loved the idea that Orc Linemen should look like they were fairly incompetent when it came to handling the ball, so I made most of the models look like they were doing their darnedest to catch the blasted thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Even better was the fact that most of this was mostly achieved by exchanging some hands and carefully posing the models on their bases — it turned out the monopose archers and boyz from the sixth edition WFB starter set were just perfect material for this particular project.

Bolg was built a good while later and maybe just looks a bit too competent for a lineman? I still like the fairly iconic, Blood Bowl-like pose he has, though. And whenever I look at those guys, I just have to smile, so I think I can call this mission accomplished ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goblins


Don’t tell it to the boyz, but these sly little devils probably have more cunning than the rest of the team combined. Zatnig and Nogbli (on the left) are from the old neighbourhood and fit right in with the rest of the team. Snikrit and Skaskul come from one of the shifty underground tribes, and have yet to earn their own player numbers, as some of the boyz just won’t trust them…

…I knew right from the start that I wanted some goblins as part of my team, yet when I started out, I only had the old Night Goblin plastics to work with — which wasn’t really a huge problem, because I still like the looks of them a lot, and their poses worked pretty well for Blood Bowl. Even so, I was happy when I later managed to get my hands on some parts from the vanilla Goblin kit from the same era, as the models already look like they are wearing old-timey sports gear.

Apart from that, I tried a mix of models that look truly, almost comically, determined (Zatning and Skaskul) and two models that channel the rather mischievous nature of Goblins (Nogbli and Snikrit). I really like these guys, and it’s not even that noticeable that the four of them only share two facial sculpts between them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Big Guy

There aren’t many things, on or off the pitch, that Spleenrot has not yet confused with a ball. He is, after all, a troll…

This guy was a bit of a lucky discovery: While searching for suitable big guy models online, I found the old plastic troll from the 7th edition WFB starter set and thought he would be brilliant for the job — only the model was long OOP by that point. So it was a delightful surprise to discover him in a bag with second-hand models at my old FLGS — and for a song, no less.

The model may be a little small by modern standards, but I still think he’s the perfect big guy for the Ultraz. Converting and painting him was also a blast!

 

So much for the actual players — but wait, there’s more!

 

Da Medikal Krew

Doc Nipptakk & Medikal Assistant Whakkit

A gnarled veteran of the infirmary, Doc Nipptakk is an expert when it comes to getting players back on their feet. Whether his success is actually based on his famed injections of “Vitaminz” or players are simply afraid of the monstrous syringes he uses to administer them, and would rather stay healthy in the first place, the results speak for themselves. Whakkit is Nipptakk’s trusty assistant, and a practitioner of the fabled art of “‘Nasty-Easy-o-logy” — whenever he isn’t relaxing during a round of “Whack-a-Squig”, that is…

 

The Goblin medic is a wonderfully characterful Kromlech model and was given to me by my friend Annie. Painting this guy was a lot of fun, even if the many nooks and crannies of the sculpt lead to some swearing on my part ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whakkit, the little grot with the massive hammer, is a very recent completion, even if the model has been in my collection for years: It came from a mostly complete metal Doomdiver Catapult that I picked up as part of a larger job lot, and the model was so characterful that I simply had to rescue it from its somewhat drab older paintjob.

Before:

And here’s the freshly painted model again:



 

Da Ballz

These are actually my only concession to “modern” Blood Bowl models, although this was an easy exception to make: The balls were another gift, for one, plus there’s also the fact that Maxime Pastourel’s wonderful squig ball has to be one of my favourite models from the last couple of years! So including it in my collection was a bit of a no-brainer ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Re-rolls, tokens and turn counter

The new Blood Bowl teams come with themed re-roll tokens and turn markers, so it was obvious to me that I had to come up with my own versions as well. Building these using all kinds of orcish bric-a-brac was a fun project, indeed!

 

Squig-themed dice/tokens

These, along with the next model, were another gift from Annie. I really love suigs, so those delightful two critters above were a much appreciated additon to my collection, even though they cannot really be used as dice. Oh, Annie basically painted about 70% of them, too, to give credit where credit is due!

Da Fan


Sourbelch is a huge fan of the Ultraz, even though many – if not all – of the game’s finer points escape him. But as long as he can wave his flag, get drunk on mushroom beer and watch some skulls getting caved in, he considers the game a great one.

This massive guy was a birthday present Annie converted and painted for me a couple of years ago. The troll isn’t a GW model, yet it perfectly fits the vintage GW look. The beer barrel and straw setup was the result of an idle conversation about maybe converting a fan model wearing a beer hat. And now Sourbelch is here, proudly waving his flag and waiting to be joined by some additional fanz — hopefully you won’t have to wait for too long, buddy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

So that’s it — my entire Blood Bowl collection, at least for now. This project has been running for quite a while, but now I have a finished team. Incidentally, since I have recently started to re-familiarise myself with the rules by way of the Blood Bowl II video game, here are the Orkheim Ultraz in their digital form:

And here they are, once again, on the tabletop:

Of course, as Doctor Manhattan tells us, nothing ever ends. And while I am happy to call the actual team finished at this point, I will just as happily keep adding models to this collection: I still have plans (and WIP models) for some more hangers-on (a “kit-git”, as it were, plus some more fanz), a display base for the team or some smaller or bigger pieces of terrain. Plus there’s also that mystery teaser model I shared with you in my previous post…

And who knows, maybe I will even actually get to play the game again? We shall see… ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

For now, I am very happy with the finished team, however. And I would of course love to hear any feedback you may have! So please leave a comment!

Before I tune out for today, thanks must go to my friend Annie for keeping me motivated during this project and for providing neat little additions to my collection every now and then — one of these days, I’ll know the rules well enough be able to steamroll over that gorgeous Dwarf team of yours, by way of thanks (Ha-Ha, fat chance…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and lest I forget: The fact that these guys had been waiting for their finishing touches for years at this point probably qualifies the finished team for Azazel’s “Neglected Models June” challenge as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

State of the Hunt, Week 50/2018: Blood Bowl markers

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2018 by krautscientist

Hey everyone,

my original plan was to have a closer look at Blackstone Fortress as my next post, but seeing how I have decided to give myself the box as a Christmas present, I think this will have to wait until I actually have the models in front of me and can mess around with them a bit. For today, allow me to share something I painted earlier this week: When another joint painting session with my good friend Annie came up earlier this week, I knew I really wanted to bring along something for my Blood Bowl team, the Orkheim Ultraz:

As I have mentioned before, Annie is a huge Blood Bowl fiend, so getting her input on something related to the game was really helpful. Plus there’s an inherent goofiness and irreverence to the BB setting that can serve as a rather nice palate cleanser, every now and then. Fortunately enough, I had just the thing for our hobby session: a set of counters, re-roll markers and tokens I had converted earlier this year:


When the new Blood Bowl was released, I really liked how the team sprues include those nifty little counters and tokens. Now my original impulse was to just grab the Orc tokens via ebay, but in the end, I decided it was much cooler to create a couple of custom markers for my own team — I certainly did have enough Orc bitz knocking about, after all (granted, I caved in regarding the balls and just painted the new ones. But I did get them as a present, plus that squig ball is just too good…).

Anyway, the markers were already sitting in a drawer, all prepared and undercoated for an eventual painting session, so I was ready to go:


I was even able to add yet another marker to the collection, finding a bit that I had thought lost for good. Anyway, here’s what I had after our painting session:


A nice little collection, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s take a closer look:

First up, a couple of tokens based on fantasy orc shields. These are fairly close to the coin-like tokens that appear on the new team sprues as well. Nothing too complicated, really, but it was nice to find a use for those old orc shields at long last:


I also made two tokens based on a nifty troll-skull bit that originally came with the “Battle for Skull Pass” WFB starter set, and it looks like it was actually made to be used like this:


These are also a good match for my team because the Troll serving as a Big Guy in my team actually has the same design (as he’s from that same starter box):

You better give it your all, buddy, or your skull could end up right next to the others ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now on the last counter, I probably got a bit carried away, but I wanted to build something a bit bigger and more ostentatious, basically somethings the Ultraz use as a totem (to invoke the spirit of Nuffle, perchance?) as well as a trophy collection:


Again, this is really just a small collection of leftover bitz, with a WFB Black Orc standard at its centre — this also provided me with the chance to finally paint the iconic Evil Sun as part of one of my models ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also had a bit of fun adding the head of an unlucky human player to the base:


Seems like this guy has had his last Blood Bowl game…

Of course I had to make sure the markers fit the rest of my team, so muddy brown and static grass it was for the basing. I also replicated the colours and markings of the players’ armour on the bigger totem ๐Ÿ˜‰

When all was said and done, this was a really refreshing little hobby project, and a lot of fun to work on: Custom markers, objectives and similar objects often fall by the wayside in favour of “actual” models, but it can be supremely rewarding to give a bit more attention to creating them, making something that really rounds out your collection of models.

So that’s it for this week: I’ll be heading back to the painting desk to finish a few models for this year. And, of course, we’ll be starting with this year’s Eternal Hunt Awards next week, so keep watching this space!

Until then, I would love to hear your feedback, so leave me a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! ๐Ÿ™‚