Archive for orcs & goblins

For the love of Grot!

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob, WIP with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2019 by krautscientist

My previous post showcasing my finished Ork Blood Bowl team must have been my least successful post this year, both in terms of views and comments, unfortunately enough. So, in a move that probably borders on being suicidal, I am following it up this week with yet more Blood Bowl content. Oh well, what can you do…

Anyway, painting that little snotling with the hammer recently – this little fellow here -…


…must have lit a bit of a fire under me, because I really felt the need to add some more, slightly humorous, grots to my collection. And sometimes you just have to go with what feels right in this hobby of ours, right?

Fortuntately enough, I didn’t have to dig deep into my cupboard of shame, because there was this little guy here, set aside as a part of my Blood Bowl project years ago:

I loved the idea of having a massively overburdened little greenskin lugging around the team’s extra equipment/trophies/snacks, and the model perfectly fit the bill! It’s basically a stock model, one of the “bonus gnoblars” that came with most of the Ogre Kingdoms kits. It was already quite characterful enough and didn’t really require any conversion. Even so, I grafted an ornamental wing to the head sticking out from the backpack, making it look like the remains of an unlucky player from an opposing team…

When it came to painting the model, it was mostly a question of blocking in some base colours, then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Dark Tone and watch it do most of the work for me:

Not bad, eh? And a few more tweaks and touchups later, I had a mostly finished model:

At this point, it was mostly a matter of adding some subtle “special effects”, so I added some Tamiya Clear Red to the severed (?!) human head, and yet more Tamiya Clear Red, albeit thinned down, to the big chunk of meat on the model’s left shoulder, making it look suitably juicy and …erm “tasty” πŸ˜‰

All that was left was to quickly finish the model’s base. And afterwards, the Orkheim Ultraz’ “Kit-Git” was finished:




In terms of gameplay, this little guy could be a model for an assistant trainer (haha, yeah right! πŸ˜‰ ). More than anything, however, it’s a characterful little piece with just the right amount of humour, and hence an ideal addition to the Ultraz! πŸ™‚ Also, seeing how I’ve had this guy in my bitzbox for ages, I would say he also qualifies as a neglected model for Azazel’s June challenge.

But wait, there’s more! For instance, I still want to address this mystery model I shared with you a while ago:

Now what is this supposed to be, I hear you asking, some kind of sneaky special weapon?

One thing I immediately noticed when playing the Blood Bowl II video game were the little goblin cameramen appearing in every other scene (and during the actual games):

I thought these were such a wonderful little touch, and – avid kitbasher that I am – I couldn’t stop wondering how difficult it would be to come up with a little “camgrot” of my own.

Before I actually started converting, I tried to get a couple of proper screenshots of the camgrots from the game (which turned out to be rather tricky, seeing how they are only ever in the frame for a couple of seconds, or so small that you cannot get a good enough look at them), but I ended up capturing a few pictures of the sneaky gitz…

Blood Bowl 2_20190504160150

including a closer look at the actual camera setup:

Blood Bowl 2_20190504161300

My own model was then painstakingly grafted together from all kinds of odds and ends, mostly bitz from the Ogre Kingdoms catalgoue, really, that came from a rathe big job lot of ogre bitz I bought a couple of years ago. Those gnoblars are just incredibly useful conversion fodder!

Anyway, here’s the conversion I came up with:




There was no actual necessity to make the camera look mechanically sound, but I did want to add just a dash of plausibility, so I added a little crank on the side there, to hint at some kind of inner workings — in all honesty, though, the cameras from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (with little gremlins inside actually painting the pictures *really* fast) was foremost on my mind when building this model πŸ˜‰

The candle was added as a last little touch, either to suggest the “red light” on modern TV cameras, or to simply make the whole thing look even more like a weird magitek contraption.

The camgrot itself is not even the end of the project, however, because I had another idea idea: A couple of years ago, I picked up this goblin hut (that used to be part of the “Battle for Skull Pass” WFB boxed set) as part of a bigger bitz drop:

And, thinking of the camgrot, I asked myself whether this could be used as a cool “camera tower” for him, the better to capture the best possible footage. So I made him a little platform from a couple of odds and ends:


I definitely want to keep the platform optional, though, so I can still swap in that huge half-moon and use the hut in, say, HeroQuest or similar games. But it’s a nice way of making the most of that pretty characterful little piece of terrain:

For now, I wanted to start by painting the actual camgrot, though:

The undercoat did a wonderful job of pulling all of the different parts together into a coherent whole:

One effect I want to point out is the camera lens: I covered it with several coats of Tamiya Clear Water effect, which I think makes for a somewhat deeper and “glassier” look han mere gloss varnish would — but maybe that’s just what I would like to imagine…


And here’s the finished model (without a finished base, seeing how the little guy is going to end up on that camera platform of his):








And because there’s always time for a little fun, I even added a little Cabal Vision logo to the back of the little guy’s shirt:

All in all, these two models were a really cool way to explore the Blood Bowl universe beyond the borders of the actual pitch! Here’s a picture showing both of the finished models:

And while I was having a roll anyway, I also worked on a couple of “fanz” for the Orkheim Ultraz: These will be used as cheerleaders for the team:

The two guys on the left were built ages ago, and they are basically just the repurposed standard bearer and musician from an old mob of Orc boyz. They seemed like a great match, though — I merely turned the standard by 90 degrees, turning it into a flag. The guy (or rather, guys) on the right I am pretty proud of, however, because that was quite a finnicky conversion:


I loved the idea of carrying a spectator carrying another model piggyback, and while this is obviously an Orc carrying a Goblin, I did very much want to invoke the impression of a dad taking their kid along to a game — just look how happy that little guy seems! Dad, on the other hand, already has a bottle of fungus beer prepped and ready πŸ˜‰

So yeah, that’s it for today: Just a couple of weird greenskin models. I surely hope this week’s update won’t perform quite as abysmally as the previous post… So it goes without saying that I would love to hear your thoughts on these models! Please feel free to drop me a line! πŸ™‚

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

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

 

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! πŸ˜‰

 

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… πŸ˜‰

 

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…) πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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

State of the Hunt, Week 21/2019: Meanwhile, back in the Dugout…

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2019 by krautscientist

Back to Blood Bowl for a bit this week — if it seems like I am frantically jumping from project to project in full hobby butterfly mode at the moment, the truth is that I am rather making the most of my current hobby motivation and productivity in order to complete some long-running projects. Case in point, my Blood Bowl Team, the Orkheim Ultraz: I started these back in 2013 and have kept adding a few models here and there ever since. After my latest bit of working on the team, I was basically down to two last missing players: These Black Orc blockers here:


While the models are based on the standard WFB plastic Black Orcs, they were still built with the new, rather more massive Blood Bowl models firmly in mind — hence the added bulk and extra-vicious look. And when it came to painting them, I hoped that my recent success with painting hulking monsters in jagged red armour would pay off here as well πŸ˜‰

So I took them along to one of Annie’s and my frequent hobby sessions and got to work.

One was my painting water, the other my drink. The colour match is obviously far too close for comfort…

The main challenge with the models was to make sure the paintjobs matched the colours of my first two Black Orc blockers. Since my Orkheim Ultraz have been such a long running project, maintaining the same look across the entire collection can be a bit tricky from time to time — but the fact that my recipe for these models is a rather fast and loose affair really helps: At the centre of it all is still the recipe for green skin I nicked from A Gentleman’s Ones many moons ago, and still make frequent use of. The skin is also just about the most sophisticated part of my recipe.

Apart from that, it’s mostly a case of blocking in the main colours (various browns for the leather and cloth, rusty silver for chainmail or similar metallic parts, and Mephiston Red as a basecoat for the armour), then adding a heavy wash of Army Painter Strong Tone over everything that isn’t skin and letting it do most of the work. After that, I only need to add lots of metallic scratches with a bit of Leadbelcher. And that’s about it, really.

Fortunately enough, the first Black Orc blocker I painted seemed to fit right in:


I also really liked the brutal look of the model, even more effective now in full colour πŸ˜‰


Here’s a picture with all of the Black Orcs in a neat row — neat for Orcs, at least. The model on the right was still about a third through the painting process at this point, as you can see.


Like I said, the main ingredient for my Orkheim Ultraz painting recipe is a liberal use of Strong Tone wash. To wit, here’s what the armour plates on my Blood Bowl Orcs look before and after washing:


Anyway, the two Black Orcs turned out to be a blast to paint, so I just needed to finish their bases (using the contents of the exact same bag of static grass I bought at the Cologne GW store about 20 years ago), and the two last player models were finished:



All in all, I am really very happy with these. They fit right in, as you can see from this picture of all four Black Orc blockers:


What a delightfully brutal looking bunch! Now these are certainly the least humorous of my Blood Bowl models — but that’s really as it should be with Black Orcs, right?


And, like I said, the completion of these last two models means that all of the player models for the Orkheim Ultraz have been painted. So meet the finished team:


I really rather love the finished collection, if I do say so myself! And with the exception of the balls (including Maxime Pastourel’s brilliant squig ball, one of my favourite Blood Bowl models of all time), each model in this army has been customised and kitbashed from non-Blood Bowl models, which almost feels like a matter of perverse pride to me πŸ˜‰



Of course this doesn’t mean that I am done with creating Blood Bowl models now — far from it! I have all kinds of ideas for cool hangers-on, fans and sideshow pieces. But it will be nice to be able to build them around the solid core provided by a finished team!

In fact, I have one last teaser picture for an upcoming, Blood Bowl related project to share with you:


Also, while all of the Ultraz’ players have now been painted to a reasonably high standard, there are still some tweaks that I want to perform on the team (such as making sure all of the eyes are painted, adding player numbers — stuff like that). And when I am done refreshing my knowledge of the Blood Bowl rules (my current experimentation with the Blood Bowl II video game I picked up during a recent sale has been …encouraging so far), I might just get in another game or two…

Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the finished team! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Orkheim Ultraz: New signings

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2019 by krautscientist

Now I don’t know about you, but getting back into the swing of things in a new year always takes me a while, and this holds doubly true for the activity of painting models. So I spent quite some time in the last weeks hemming and hawing and choosing which model(s) to paint next. I am now in full swing again, I am happy to say, but it’s always a messy start. What helped me, in the end, was to have a bit of fun with the lighter, more comedic side of our hobby, as I added some models to my bumbling team of Blood Bowl players, the Orkheim Ultraz. So let’s take a look at the latest additions to the team:

The first two models have actually already made a small appearance on this blog, as part of my 2018 recap, as they were the very last models I painted last year. But I think they deserve their fifteen minutes of fame, so here they are: Two Goblins with a mean streak and a chip on their shoulder:

Both models were built after I played a round of Blood Bowl 2 on the Playstation 4: I really liked the endearingly mean look of the Goblins in the game, so I decided I needed some more of those evil little guys. The model on the left was very much inspired by the fact that the armour on some of those old WFB Goblins already perfectly looks like some kind of old-timey sports gear — I just had to swap in some Kroot shoulder pads, and the look was all there. His buddy is daring you to kick that ball, and he’s definitely not going to pull it away — grot’s honour πŸ˜‰ Seriously, though, I think I owe the Charles M. Schultz estate some royalty fees for the character concept…

All in all, this brings me up to four Goblin players for my team:

The first two were built as Night Goblins, back in the day, mostly because I still had a lot of bitz for those knocking about. I rather like the added variety, though — and my troll now has more playfellows to chuck at the opposing team. Sounds like WIN-WIN to me πŸ˜‰

Oh, and for the sake of completeness, let’s not forget the Goblin Medic, of course, another 2018 addition:

While the two goblins were the last models of 2018, I’ve also managed to complete some more members for the team in the new year — two Orc players originally converted back in 2017:


These are actually a part of my plan to round out the various player types in order to give me enough flexibility in every given situation. On the left is a thrower, on the right a fourth (and likelyfinal) Orc Lineman.

The thrower was basically a fun attempt at creating a model that suitably resembled my previous thrower to instantly communicate the fact that these two share the same role:

At the same time, I also wanted him to be his own man, err, Orc, so I thought it would be fun if he were in the process of lobbing a squig — either at a waiting teammate or at member of the opposing team…

In any case, the squig seems less than thrilled at the prospect…

I really like painting squigs, by the way, and think they are one of the best parts of GW’s greenskins — I may need some of those brilliant new plastic squigs, come to think of it…

My Orc Linemen all have a very dynamic, if bumbling look — as though they were desperately trying to catch the ball. By comparison, the new guy seems just a tad more focused:

I am rather pleased with the action-filled pose, to be honest.

So with four new models, that leaves me with only two Black Orc Blockers left to paint, and then my Orkheim Ultraz should be completed:


I still have a couple of ideas for accompanying models, hangers-on and small terrain pieces, however — it’s always great fun to explore the somewhat more humorous side of our hobby, and like I said, a Blood Bowl Orc team is the perfect occasion of doing just that!

So three cheers for our latest transfers! I would love to hear what you think about the models, so please leave a comment! And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more! πŸ™‚

Orkheim Ultraz: Don’t feed the troll, pt. 2

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2016 by krautscientist

It’s been a rather long while since I have last talked about the Orkheim Ultraz, my Orc & Goblin team for Blood Bowl. And as luck would have it, I now have a new model to show, right around the same time that GW is putting their redesigned Blood Bowl starter box up for super-secret sneak-peek pre-order πŸ˜‰

This is no clever strategy on my part, however, but rather a bit of a happy accident, because I have wantedΒ  to get today’s model painted up for ages — ever since I picked it up in a secondhand deal, back when my dear FLGS was still alive and kicking (*sniff*). I am referring to this guy:

Lucky purchase (2)
Most of my Orc Blood Bowl team was assembled using leftover models and bitz from an old WFB greenskin army project that never quite materialised. But while that gave me enough parts for most of the boyz, I needed a suitable model to serve as a big guy in the team. And I was fortunate enough to find the model you see above in the deal bin at my FLGS one day. The model was originally a part of the “Battle for Skull-Pass” starter set for Warhammer Fantasy:

skullpass-boxed-set

Made of only two parts, it’s a pretty cool (if slightly dated) example of the time when GW started to do really clever things with their snap-fit starter box models. At the same time, the troll also struck me as a brilliant base model for a Blood Bowl player: The pose is already perfect, and it only took a few orc armour plates to mock up some reasonably convincing football armour for him.

So anyway, to make a long story short: I’ve had this guy for years now, and when I recently sat down with my good friend Annie for a painting session, it was actually a matter of honour to finally complete the model (keep in mind that Annie was the one who got me involved in Blood Bowl in the first place).

I did some research online to decide on a general approach for painting the troll, but when the time came to actually get started, I surprised myself by going for a pretty spontaneous, fairly loose painting recipe. This made for a very entertaining painting session with lots of impromptu experimentation. At the same time, I also tried my best to both make the troll look suitably toadish and swamp-ish while also trying to maintain some visual coherency, in order to tie the model together with the rest of the team.

So here’s what I came up with:

blood-bowl-troll-2
blood-bowl-troll-1
blood-bowl-troll-3
blood-bowl-troll-4
I am really happy with the finished model, and it’s a great feeling to have finally completed this particular piece. And even though the troll’s a fairly old model at this point, I still think he holds up rather well, to be honest. Here’s a comparison picture showing the troll next to one of my Black Orc Blockers and one of my Orc Blitzers:

orkheim-ultraz-2016-4
The photo shows the progression of skin tones and model sizes between the various team members, from the standard orcs to the bigger (and ever so slightly darker-skinned) Black Orcs. And there’s the troll, of course, serving as the biggest model in the team. Granted, he could be bigger, but I think the model has loads of character and makes for a perfect addition to my Orkheim Ultraz.

While the models are quite different in size and bulk, the dented and scratched red armour still manages to pull them together into a visually coherent theme. In fact, I really like the look of the finished team. So here are the Orkheim Ultraz in their 2016 incarnation:

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Back when I first started painting the army, some of the concepts and designs from the Blood Bowl video games really helped in developing the look for my team. And I think there’s a clear resemblance between my models and the look of the greenskins from the current Blood Bowl game — even if GW’s new models are arguably even closer to this particular look:

pc-blood-bowl-orc-team

Oh, and here’s the Orkheim Ultraz with their star-player, based on one of GW’s clamshell characters for WFB/Age of Sigmar:

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It is with a certain feeling of bemusement that I realise that this team might actually be the closest thing to an actually finished hobby project I have – at least where the last decade or so is concerned. And even so, I have ideas (and bitz) for at least half a dozen additional models knocking about, from two more Black Orc Blockers to some fans and a “Kit Git”. We’ll see…

Speaking of fans, however, let’s not forget the amazing Fan-Troll Annie created for my birthday two years ago:

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Anyway, while I didn’t really plan to return to this project right in time for the new Blood Bowl, building and painting some models for the Orkheim Ultraz always provides a nice occasion to return to the more humorous side of GW’s intellectual properties. Plus it feels good to channel the spirit of the WFB greenskin army I could never finish every now and then πŸ˜‰

So that’s it for today. 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!

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An Orc is an Ork is an…Orruk?! A look at the Ironjawz release

Posted in Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2016 by krautscientist

Oh my, it seems like I am really lagging behind with those reviews and in-depth explorations of GW’s recent releases. Sorry for that! In my defense, however, it just takes a certain dedication (not to mention motivation) to sit down and do detailed writeups about new models, particularly when it would probably more instantly-gratifying to build new stuff! πŸ˜‰

Then again, there are just some thoughts about GW’s recent offerings that I would like to share, so I hope you’ll indulge me, even when the models I’ll be talking about have been with us for a while.

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So for today, let us talk about the Ironjawz, GW’s first Age of Sigmar foray into the greenskin faction: In the interest of full disclosure, let me just preface this post by saying that I have loved GW’s greenskins ever since I got into this hobby: I loved the greenskin models in HeroQuest, even though there were basically only two designs. I loved the greenskin armies back when fantasy armies were still predominantly made from pewter models (so I bought the pretty expensive army book as a lad, only to realise that an army really wasn’t an option, given the limits of my monthly allowance). I loved the fact that GW included an Orc starter army in the 6th edition box and wanted to start an army — it didn’t really happen. But I still like GW’s greenskin designs to this day, whether they appear in 40k or AoS — I even created a kitbashed Blood Bowl team from plastic GW greenskins. So yeah, I am a fan, and have been for quite a while.

For me, GW’s greenskins have always managed to straddle the line between legitimately scary and darkly humorous. I am aware of the fact that some hobbyists, particularly in the Oldhammer scene, prefer the slightly more lighthearted take of the yesteryear to the heavily muscled and more intimidating modern Orcs (or “Orruks”, for that matter), but I like the modern look well enough, and I think having the greenskins be both funny and scary at the same time actually adds to their character.

So this release was interesting for me, both due to my general affection for the greenskins, but also because I was curious about how GW would bring the greenskins over into the Age of Sigmar setting: So far, AoS has mostly seemed like an escalation of vintage Warhammer designs to me: Like a redesigned Warhammer by way of videogame tropes, Masters of the Universe and particularly cheesy heavy metal album cover art — and this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, mind you!

The problem is that Age of Sigmar doesn’t really seem to have found its own voice yet, mostly due to the seeming lack of depth to its lore and setting: So far, it has mostly seemed like “Warhammer turned up to eleven”. This is a problem that should arguably diminish with each army and faction getting more fleshed out, so looking at the way GW has chosen to revisit one of its most iconic factions should be interesting. And, to address the elephant in the room, how much will the new greenkins resemble something out of World of Warcraft?

This is a really obvious question, of course: A wealth of anecdotal evidence suggests that Warcraft was basically born out of heaps of inspiration taken from GW’s greenskin designs. Some rumours even say that the whole Warcraft franchise might been intended as a GW-licensed Warhammer game at some point. Whether or not that’s true, there’s more than a little overlap between both universes, and now GW redesigns its own Orcs, with a feature length Warcraft film just around the corner — interesting times, indeed!

With those thoughts firmly wedged into the back of our collective head, let’s take a look at each of the new kits in turn:

 

Godrakk, the Fist of Gork

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Every new release needs that huge centrepiece model, and the Ironjawz are no exception. They do get quite a beast of a model, though, and one that is, at once, pretty different from the Orc warlords on huge beasts we have seen so far and also fits right in. Allow me to explain:

For the last couple of releases (and, for that matter, editions), Orc warlords would invariably be riding on some kind of ambiguously serpentine reptilian — mostly a Wyvern. During the early 90s, those creatures shared the same precarious posing and general “S-shape” as all of GW’s dragons, and I imagine the similar design outline was mostly due to the problems of producing a huge metal model that wasn’t just a solid lump of pewter while still looking like some kind of dragon.

And somehow it never quite worked out: There was just some kind of visual disconnect between the burly, heavyset Orcs and those serpentine mounts. Which makes me like the new orcish — pardon, “Orruk-ish” riding beast, called the “Maw-Krusha” looks far more massive and imposing, as this just seems a far better match for the rest of the catalogue!

At the same time, it’s great how the Maw-Krusha manages to incorporate elements of various creatures that have been part of Greenskin armies for a long time: It even resembles the old wyvern to some degree, yet manages to replace the slightly awkward, serpentine look with something more fitting. The overall body shape and scaled hide also manages to recall the plastic River Trolls, which makes for an extra bit of visual consistency.

The kit provides two different heads for the Maw-Krusha: The one intended for “Bigteef” is masked and muzzled and features some slightly strange cloth drapings — I originally thought this was supposed to be some kind of enemy banner being devoured by the creature, which would have been pretty cool, but it really seems to be a decorative element. Oh well…
The alternative, unhelmenetd head, on the other side, may just be one of my favourite monster heads ever produced by GW:

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It’s suitably monstrous, sure. Yet it also has that “crocodilian inquisitiveness”, for lack of a better word: You can definitely imagine the creature staring curiously at something before some neural switch at the centre of its tiny, tiny brain goes from “0” to “1” and it just goes crazy — just watch any documentary about crocodiles or alligators, and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Anyway, the head just captures that expression perfectly, while also adding some subtle humour to the whole deal — which is, once again, a great fit for the greenskin faction!

In addition to the huge creatire, we also get an equally impressive Orruk warlord on top, of course. One option would be to use the kit to build Gordrakk himself:

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And he really looks the part: From the massive armour to the impressive twin axes, this guy really looks like he means business! I also really like his screaming, one-eyed face:

Ironjawz Release (20)Greenskin models are often sold by the quality of their faces, really, and this one has a lot of character. Jolly good show! The necklace with the dwarven beard and the back banner may be a tad much, but that’s not really a big problem, seeing how it should be easy enough to just leave those parts off, or replace them with some alternate bitz.

Speaking of which, the kit also provides alternate parts to build a generic Ironjawz warlord, and it’s certainly nice to have the extra options!

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However, the idea of pairing a massive spear/halberd/thing with a monstrous knife/sword/thing (held in a reverse grip, no less), seems kind of nonsensical to me, even for an Orruk warlord (and believe me, as a World Eaters player, I am no stranger to modeling audacious weapon combinations). The alternate face is also slightly less interesting than Gordrakk’s ugly mug, unfortunately:

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Then again, the iconic iron jaw bit and different back banner are interesting enough alternatives. All in all, though, it’s clear that Gordrakk was the focus of this model. And, in any case, there’s only so much leeway and customisation that the kit will allow, due to the specific poses of both the Maw-Krusha and its rider, so building three of these that look totally different would be quite a task indeed!

But all in all, the kit certainly provides a massive and impressive and thoroughly orky – or should that be “orruk-y” – centrepiece model for any greenskin force, and I really like the audacity of this guy. Very cool!

 

Orruk Megaboss

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In addition to the massive warlord on Maw-Krusha, we also get a generic warlord on foot, and the easy way of looking at it would be to say that this is basically the Maw-Krusha rider without a Maw-Krusha πŸ˜‰

But seriously, what’s great about this model, right out of the gate, is that it marks the concept of huge Orcs (or, again, “Orruks”) finally arriving in the GW’s fantasy setting: In 40k, the idea of Ork warlords being far bigger and more massive than their followers has long been a staple of both the lore and the actual models, yet in the world of WFB, orcish generals weren’t that much more imposing than their soldiers — and it’s great to finally see that remedied with this model.

I really like the look of the massive, crude armour. It seems a bit more extreme than the greenskin armour we have seen in WFB, but it’s still well within the parameters of GW’s established design without seeming as stylised as something you’d see in, say, WoW. Even so, a certain “escalation” is clearly obvious in the design. But it makes for a nice enough looking model.

My one substantial complaint about this model is that it would arguably have needed alternative weapons more urgently than the Maw-Krusha rider, seeing how this guy is meant to represent your generic Orruk warlord. Granted, it should be easy enough to swap in some weapons from some of the other kits, but it still seems like a bit of an oversight.

On a slightly less serious note, don’t get me started on those skulls,…

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Aw, screw it, I just can’t help myself, so here goes: The obvious thing first: The model’s whole silhouette and look is really dominated by that huge saurian skull strapped to its right shoulder, and it’s an element that not everybody will be keen on. I have to admit that I would probably carefully cut it off myself, and replace it with something slightly less ostentatious.

The real headache begins once you start thinking about where that skull came from, however: It looks like the remains of some kind of Lizardma…ehhh Seraphon creature, doesn’t it? But aren’t the Seraphon ghostly creatures now? So how do they leave any skulls in the first place?

Sure, this could be the remains of any huge predator from any of the new realms, and not really a Seraphon skull. But what’s that on the Megaboss’s other shoulder? A Bloodletter skull? But aren’t Bloodletters daemons? Then how do they leave skulls in the first place…? Like I said, it’s best not to even start thinking about it — how can an Orruk Megaboss make creatures without bones leave bones? Because he’s just that awesome! ‘Nuff said! πŸ˜‰

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Semantics aside, however, it’s a nice enough model and certainly one of the release’s most interesting pieces of conversion fodder. One or two parts of the model may be a bit too cartoony for my taste, but those should be easy enough to get rid of, so this guy gets a pass.

On a semi-related note, wouldn’t you agree with me that the model just looks so much better with red armour…?

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Orruk Weirdnob Shaman

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Shamans and magicians have always been a thoroughly weird part of greenskin society — it’s even part of their name there, see? – and so this guy’s slightly spastic look and pose are a great fit! He really looks as though he were being controlled by powers beyond his control (or by far too much fungus beer, but yeah…), and the model does a great job of communicating that feeling. Maybe the best part of the shaman is the priceless look on his face:

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On the other hand, there are two parts of the model I really don’t like. One is the pair of horns or tusks awkwardly bound to the shaman’s head. A quick look at the sprue reveals that this part should, once again, be easy enough to get rid of, though.

My least favourite part is that smoke effect emerging from the top of the staff: It just seems silly – as sculpted smoke and magical effects are wont to do – and I’d get rid of it in a heartbeat. Kudos to the ‘Eavy Metal Team, though, for managing to paint it exactly like something from the cover of a 70s prog-rock album! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, all in all, it’s a nice enough model, and having a plastic Shaman/Weirdboy available should be very useful for both AoS and 40k players alike.

 

Orruk Warchanter

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This is probably my least favourite part of this release: The concept of a drummer/chanter/shaman type character seems pretty tired and unoriginal at the best of times. What makes matters even worse, however, is that, while the other models from the release manage to carefully flirt with the cartoony, videogamey Warcraft look, this guy just embraces it as hard as he can and ends up looking like some kind of WoW reject: The armour, those clunky bones — my immediate feeling was that this wasn’t a GW model at all, but a model produced by some other, smaller company during the late 90s. He just seems overly cartoony and bland to me.

The model’s only saving grace is, once again, the face: It’s really rather lovely:

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But all things considered, it’s not enough to excuse the clunky, unoriginal rest of the miniatured. The Warchanter is easily the weakest part of this release, in my opinion, as the model seems more like an afterthought.

 

Orruk Brutes

Ironjawz Release (24)At first galnce, this basically seems like the fantasy version of 40k’s Ork Nobz kit. And just like that kit, this box allows us to build five rather massive …Orruks that are armoed to the teeth — so far, so good!

The bulky models in their massive, crude armour should be quite a sight on the tabletop, and I really like the juxtaposition of the heavily muscled bodies and the jagged, primitive armour plates:

Ironjawz Release (27)These guys really seem tough as nails, and they manage to fit the new Age of Sigmar aesthetic while also fitting in with older greenskin models, which is certainly not mean feat! I also like the wealth of options provided in the kit, at least according to a closer look at the various sprues!

If I have one gripe with the Brutes, it’s that some of the weapon designs just seem a bit too much: That massive, two-handed cleaver? The strange crab-claw? Those look more like toys than weapons, really — like the designers were trying just a bit too hard to make those weapons “uber-awesome”:

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Maybe the problem is that these guys are just a bit too serious: They seem to be trying just as hard as GW’s sculptors πŸ˜‰

All in all, however, the kit itself seems to provide a lot of options and a wealth of extra bitz, so it still stands as one of the best parts of the release, in my opinion.

 

Orruk Goregruntaz

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This kit seems like an interesting addition, mostly because the plastic Orc Boarboyz are one of the more recent greenskin kits — and arguably one of the coolest. And now we are already seeing yet another escalation of the concept in the shape of even bigger and more heavily armoured Ironjawz Boarboyz — or rather, “Goregruntaz” (*sigh*).

The overall concept of a more heavily armoured greenskin cavalry is pretty cool in and of itself, though, and so are the riders: In fact, they are possibly my favourite part of the kit for a somewhat strange reason: Call me crazy, but their armour seems strangely reminiscent of the vintage Horus Heresy Cataphractii design , complete with the topknot sadly missing from FW’s Cataphractii. The jagged spears are, once again, ever so slightly over the top, but it’s less obvious here than with some of the more outlandish brute weapons. What’s more, the kit also seems to be packed to the brim with excellent bitz and faces. I mean, just check out that guy with the eyepatch. That has to be one of the coolest greenskin faces around:

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The kit’s bigges weakness, on the other hand, are the boars, unfortunately: GW already had the perfect boars with their plastic Boarboy models, but it seems like they needed to turn this design up to eleven for the Goregruntaz, and they weren’t entirely successful with that. Some parts of the boars are quite cool (the armour matching the riders, for instance), but then you get to those enormous, far too large heads with those teribbly clunky beards and OTT dagger teeth, and you just cannot unsee that part.

Granted, the problem is less prominent on some heads. The armoured one is looking quite okay:

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But the one with the wide open maw is easily the worst offender: It just seems clunky and, once again, overly cartoony to me:

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Which brings me back to one of my main points of cricticsm about quite a few AoS kits, really: In order to make them ever more extreme and ultra-awesome, some of the restrain that makes a truly outstanding model is lost. If anything, those models need to be somewhat less extreme and over the top! I would argue that the Goregruntaz would have profited from a slightly more restrained design — or maybe even from reusing the existing boars with some additional armour plates?

As it stands, the kit is hurt by the somewhat silly design of the mounts and doesn’t provide the more awesome version of the Boarboyz it was probably iintended as.

 

Orruk ‘Ardboyz

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Right, these obviously aren’t new, they are merely the “old” Black Orcs with a new name. I’d still like to discuss them in this review for two reasons: One, it’s interesting to see how these originally formed the most heavily armoured, badass Orcs and are now relegated to the position of fairly standard footsoldiers — this nicely shows the kind of escalation we are dealing with, in a way. The other aspect that stands out to me is that, surprisingly enough, they still manage to hold up fairly well, all things considered! I think they would need some leftover trophies and extra skulls to bring them in line visually with the newer kits, but that shouldn’t really require that much work, so the kit still seems to work fairly well!

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Conversion ideas:

Let’s get the obvious things out of the way first: One, even if you have little love for Age of Sigmar and stick to the older rules, many of these models should still work in your army from a visual standpoint, as they are still recognisably GW greenskins. So there’s nothing stopping you from using those Ironjawz models to build, say, a particularly vicious looking Black Orc army — in fact, I like that idea a lot, come to think of it…

The other overarching idea for these kits is that it has never been so easy to create a really awesome Feral Ork army for 40k: Seriously, many of the new kits should be really easy o 40k-i-fy with a chainblade here and an exhaust pipe there, and I can easily imagine a fantastic looking Feral Ork force based on these new kits!

Beyond these broad approaches, let me also share a couple of more specific – if rather rough – ideas:

Gordrakk on Maw-Krusha

I think that Maw-Krusha would also work as a huge Squig (or even a small Squiggoth, maybe?) Anyway, wouldn’t it be fun to use this monster as some kind of Feral Ork attack beast? Or an alternate trukk? Or just mount some crazy contraption on its back and use it as artillery or a war machine or what have you? The possibilities are really endless here! πŸ™‚

Orruk Megaboss

Now this guy is possibly the most versatile and useful kmodel for converters. Possile uses for the model include…

  • using him as an Ork Warboss in mega armour: Seriously, he’s huge and intimidating, and tech-ing up that armour should be lotsΒ  of fun! Just add a mean-looking circular saw or a claw and a huge shoota and you’re golden!
  • while we’re at it, why not go the extra mile and turn him into a plastic Ghazghkull? In fact, just check out this incredible WIP conversion by JeffyP to see how well this works!
  • on a similar note, I imagine the model would also work well as a basis for a huge and hideous mutant warlord for all our LNTD players and/or INQ28 aficionados! Sure, you would need to get rid of some of the more obviously orky elements, but the armour definitely looks crude and nondescript enough to work for some kind of big mutant!
  • speaking of INQ28, why not use this model as a “true scale” Ork as a worthy opponent for all those true scale Marines floating around? Or as a suitable end-boss for your Ordo Xenos Inquisitors to fight against?

Orruk Weirdnob Shaman

This one’s obvious: the model provides an excellent plastic Weirdboy for 40k, with as much or as little conversion work as you like involved πŸ˜‰

Orruk Warchanter

Maybe, just maybe, if one were to get rid of those stupid bones and some of those surplus horns, I think he could make for an intersting gladiatorial type — he does have a suitable “Are you not entertained?” pose, after all. Yeah, on second thought, maybe that would be the best possible use for this model: Use him to convert a particularly huge and ugly pitfighter for INQ28 or Necromunda (Bull Gorg anyone?).

Orruk Brutes

These would be great as Ork Nobz — or even Meganobz, for that matter. I think they more original looking armour could make them look cooler than the stock Meganobz, especially if you take the time to add some suitably brutal weapons and augmetics to them. Once again, by the same token, the model could also become mutant overlords, provided you swap in some less orky weapons and heads.

Orruk Goregruntaz
You know what? I just cannot get that Cataphractii resemblance I mentioned out of my head. Therefore, what I would really love to see is a kitbash using those Goregrunta riders to make a squad of Ork Cataphractii, complete with orkish versions of classic Cataphractii weapons and corrupted Astartes iconography. I think that woul be an amazing project — and arguably a fun way of bringing Orks into the 30k timeframe?! If anyone does this (or discovers somebody else doing this), please feel free to send me a link! πŸ˜‰

 

All in all, I am fairly happy with the release: There are a few missteps here and there, but what we have here, at the end of the day, are greenskin models that are still recognisably GW greenskins. Now this may not seem like a huge achievement, but I beg to differ: I think there was actually a pretty big danger of these guys basically ending up as Warcraft models. There’s a clear tendency visible in the models created for Age of Sigmar so far to feature designs that are slightly more videogame-y in nature than GW’s classic fantasy models. I am not saying that GW’s sculptors are consciously aiming for WoW as a design template (which would be fairly ironic, giving the somewhat intertwined past of Warhammer and Warcraft), but there is a certain visual “escalation”, for lack of a better word. And maybe the greenskins were in danger more than some of the other factions because Warcraft provides this large cultural influence — or maybe I am just imagining it All, who knows?

What I am getting at, however, is this: The new Ironjawz models still clearly read as greenskin models in the Brian Nelson school of design. They are still their own thing. And I am beginning to see what GW may be going for with the look they are trying to establish for Age of Sigmar, a design eking out a niche for itself between the established visuals of vintage Warhammer on the one hand and the more cartoony visuals you might expect of a videogame like Warcraft. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, certainly, and they may not be getting it right all of the time, but I can repect it for what it is now, instead of just considering it a mere Warhammer-knock-off. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, whether or not you appreciate Age of Sigmar as a setting or a game: If, like me, you enjoy GW’s greenskin designs, then you should find something to like about this release. And you can always get rid of the parts you don’t like with a trusty hobby knife πŸ˜‰

 

So what is your take on the Ironjawz? Do you love them or hate them? Or something in-between? And is there a cool conversion idea that I missed? Feel free to let me hear your opinion in the comments section?

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

Orkheim Ultraz: Growing painz…

Posted in Blood Bowl, Conversions, Orcs & Goblins, paintjob with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by krautscientist

I recently played my second game of Blood Bowl, giving both the Orkheim Ultraz and myself some much needed practice. My opponent was my colleague Annie with her brilliant Lustria team (more on that in a minute), and in contrast to her husband Mike, she certainly didn’t pull her punches this time around.

Which was really all for the best, since I really need to learn this game the hard way. That said, she was still nice enough to point out some of my more imbecilic tactical decisions before it was too late, talking me through the different game moves and explaining what did and didn’t make sense.

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One of my Blitzers swinging a right hook at a Saurian — doubtlessly in frustration…

All of this didn’t stop me from getting thoroughly annihilated on the pitch, however: The Orkheim Ultraz spent most of the game knocked onto their asses. Not all of this was due to my dubious tactics, however, I just seemed to have a knack for rolling ones for the entire duration of the game: often several of them in a row, in fact…

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A rare moment of triumph: One of my field players has managed to catch the ball. His buddies are preparing to shield him from the oncoming lizards. Shortly after this picture was taken, things got rather ugly…

The game ended with my team failing to score a single touchdown, while Annie’s lizards had managed to score two. If I hadn’t been so slow during the game, I might have lost even harder.

My utter annihilation aside, it feels like I am – slowly – coming to grips with the game. While there’s quite a lot that does not yet come naturally to me, I believe I am beginning to understand some of the underlying mechanics and getting an idea of what to do and when to do it. If this all sounds extremely cautiously optimistic to you, bear with me: I am not a rules guy, and it takes ages for me to learn the intricacies of basically every tabletop game (except maybe for HeroQuest — I think I have that down by now πŸ˜‰ ).

Anyway, I’ll need more practice, of course, but I may be starting to understand what I am actually doing during the game, which is a pretty good development, all things considered.

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A typical scene from the game: Almost my entire team lying around on the pitch, groaning in pain…

So, instead of putting you through more of my lamentations and tactical ineptitude, I thought it would be nice to spend the second half of this post to show you more of Annie’s Lustria models, originally conceived as the Raakmoor Venom Vipers. The team is full of great little ideas and beautifully painted, so you’re in for a treat.

And since you already got a look at the regular players in my last post, I’ll be focusing on the supporting characters this time around, since they are really something to behold. Because Annie has this habbit of spending at least as much money and work on her support staff as on the team proper. It’s madness, to be sure, but it’s a good kind of madness, if you ask me πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer: Just to be perfectly clear on this: None of the following models were built or painted by me, and huge thanks must go to Annie for allowing me to post them here!

So, with that out of the way, let’s take a closer look:

First up, the trainer of the team:

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I already showed you this guy previously, without his floating chair. But now, finally in his true seat of power, the model is even cooler. For some reason, the bloated, froglike Slann immediately seems like a great trainer or manager.

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And you can almost imagine the skink at his side whispering recommendations in his ear, evaluating certain players and the like. The model has lots of detail and different textures, and I think Annie has really managed to do it justice with her paintjob:

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And that dapper little cap, done in GS and painted in the team’s colours as well as featuring its initials, still has to be my favourite part! A great addition that instantly transforms an otherwise unconverted model into a suitable piece for Blood Bowl:

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Then there are the cheerleaders:

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A very clever little conversion, involving some stock chamaeleon skinks and a bunch of pipe cleaners. I also love how Annie managed to paint the beady little eyes, complete with pupils, no less!

Now, what happens when the Raakmoor fans have to accompany the Vipers on an away match? Not to worry, because they have their very own fan bus to take them wherever they need to go:

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Using that huge metal model just for the heck of it is totally nuts, of course. But you just cannot ignore the brilliance of the idea: The fans commandeering a huge dinosaur to take them to each game of their team. Plus the model is, once again, very nicely painted! Check out the flags with the team logo! Brilliant!

And finally, possibly my favourite of the bunch:

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Whenever one of the Lizards get beaten to a cold-blooded pulp, no need to fear, because the team has a flying medic on standby at all times.
Now the idea in itself is already fantastic: Just imagine that terradon swooping in every time one of the players gets hurt. But the little details are what really takes the cake here: The terradon has a flashing blue light modeled on its head, and the skink has a flag and a bag of medical supplies. Brilliant!

All of these were made from stock Lizardmen models and a whole lot of creativity! And all of this showcases both Annie’s creativity and prowess at painting stuff, but also something I think is great about Blood Bowl in general: You only strictly need a dozen models to play the game, but there are all kinds of occasions for additional models to accompany your team. And there’s so much potential for adding humourous little tidbits to your collection of models: Have an idea for a funny mini-diorama? Heck, you may as well throw it in: Chances are, you’ll actually be able to use the model in some capacity, if only as some kind of cool turn marker.

So with that, my exploits in the wonderful world of fantasy football continue. Thanks again to Annie for letting me show these models! And, as always, thanks to you for reading and stay tuned for more!