Monthly Archives: December 2014

We Don’t Need No Water…

Well, for all my boasting in the previous post about finishing my Orky-revamp before the New Year it looks like I’m set to fall short (blame Christmas!) Still, I’ve come pretty close, with these Burna Boys completed there’s only a mob of Stormboys and three Deffcopters still to do – and in fact they’re pretty close to done as well. Fingers crossed they should be finished off early in the New Year (and – he says scrabbling for excuses – I think I did say I planned to have them done by ‘New Year-ish’).
Anyway, enough justification, let’s look at some models!
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My squad of Burna Boys started with these two metal models and they remain two of my favourites. They just have so much Orky character in spite of being somewhat lumpen and poorly proportioned by modern standards.burna-3My preference is to avoid having two identical models in the same collection, especially when you’re dealing with a force as (small ‘c’) chaotic as the Orks. Thus the squad remained rather under-strength until the release of the plastic boxset allowed me to expand the ranks.Thankfully the ‘orky character’ survived the transition into plastic – this boy in particular becoming another firm favourite of mine.
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burna-1I reckon this boy in his welding mask is probably the boss.
burna-4When it came to restoring them I hummed and hawed over this next one for quite a while. As I’ve mentioned previously many of these models, in their previous incarnation, were pretty gaudy and hard on the eyes – this Burna being a prime example. Toning him down would have called for quite a bit of work that I wasn’t sure was needed, especially on the gliffs decorating the strap. In the end I left them (and the bright yellow hose) alone, but repainted the metal work and other elements to keep him in line with the rest of the collection.
burna-5One more Burna completes the squad.
burna-6Here’s the whole mob, gearing up to satisfy my unhealthy interest in fire!
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Anyway, I’m off now for a few days holiday, but – if all goes according to plan – we’ll see the last of the Orks restored and ready for action in the early part of the New Year. Until then!

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I Like Trucking

The Ork Truck was the first really big kit I tackled. Like a lot of people I think I was (and still am) a little intimidated by vehicles, preferring small (read: forgiving) infantry models.
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I was never terribly happy with the results of my first attempt to paint it. I loved (and still do) the idea that ‘red uns’ really do go faster – the Ork’s belief that painting their vehicles red will give them a boost of speed translating into an actual effect in the game. However, a little foolishly, I attempted to give it a ‘red paint job’ without actually painting it red. When I started work on it I had an image in my mind’s eye of a rusty, oily hulk, held together mostly by a combination of filth, corrosion and luck and that was what I aimed to paint. Then I made random bits of it garish and red in an attempt to make just enough of appropriately coloured to count as a red paint job. The result was pretty mismatched and hideous but then, it was my first ever vehicle so give me a break eh? Bet yours was pretty rubbish as well!
Anyway this time round I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again and threw my efforts into creating the rusty wreck I’d always wanted.
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Whilst I was about it I took the chance to add a few extra details, including this cheeky grot who must have chosen the most dangerously impractical place to sit imaginable.
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So there we have it, the rusty wreck is back on the road. As for the rest of my Orky revamp, with Christmas (and a holiday) just around the corner, time is tight but I’m starting to feel that success is possible. Nearly there…


The Fixer

Like the Painboy I showed back here this Big Mek is a model I was initially proud of, then fell out of love with over time. As we shall see the similarity doesn’t end there, he too shall shortly loose his head in spectacular fashion. Anyway, to begin with here’s a few shots of him in his previous incarnation. Big MekBig MekBig MekIn the main I’m still quite pleased with him, the kustom force field on his back still works for me and only an Ork, having already lost one hand and had it replaced with a hook would chop off the other one and graft on a power claw (especially if his job involved comparatively fiddly jobs like tinkering with machines). My dissatisfaction was mostly with those enormous Mek tools, they’re just too disproportionately huge, going beyond ‘comically huge and Orky’ and becoming ‘just a bit much’. They had to go and be replaced with something a little more believable. Whilst I was about it I ended up taking the chance to chop his head off as well. I didn’t have any particular issue with the head he had (in fact I’ll probably reuse it on another Nob) but when I stumbled across the chance to make a new cybork head instead using the control gubbins that normally attach to the mek’s tools I jumped at it. For the organic rear component of the head I used my least favourite of the Nob heads from the Assault on Black Reach kit (the one with the goofy expression, eye-patch and truly awful topknot). As an aside if you remove the topknot the model is improved straight away so I might try using the head like this at a later date. Anyway, having removed the wacky hairdo I shaved the rest of the face back a little to create a flatter surface and stuck the ‘gubbins’ straight on. To avoid it looking too much like a welding mask and clarify that it’s not something he’s wearing but actually part of his head I did a bit of greenstuff work across the crown so it looks like at some stage his whole cranium has been opened up and tinkered with. Here’s the result. Mek HeadHere it is painted prior to being stuck back on. Mek HeadAnd here he is reassembled – Big Mek Megagutz ready to get back to work. Big MekBig MekBig MekBig MekBig MekBig Mek The new mek’s tools, swiped from the mega-nobs kit, really fit the scale of the model much better and I’m really pleased with the new head. What do you think? Did I lose my head on this one (boom boom) or have I fixed ‘im up good? As always I’m happy to hear your thoughts so keep them coming. Until next time – cheers for reading!


Boyz Just Wanna Have Guns

These lootas were some of the first Orks in my collection and, to be honest, the paint work on them was pretty terrible. I’m not going to inflict any ‘before’ images on you, just take my word for it, they were garish and crude (and when I say garish I do mean ‘don’t look at them too long or you’ll knacker your eyes’).ork-loota-convert-or-die-40k-4Some of them are still a little garish and crude for that matter, this next boy in particular. I debated whether or not to tone down the red and yellow stripes but in the end I kept them, they’re just such a big part of his style! I also notice that between finishing him and taking this photo his gun has broken again. I’ll fix it when I summon the patience to do so, in the meantime I’ll rely on the fact that slightly wonky weapons aren’t as noticeable on an Ork as they are on some other races (pity the player whose Eldar turn out less than immaculately dressed).ork-loota-convert-or-die-40k-3This one is pretty loud as well (his gun used to be bright red, with blue, yellow and green bits for good measure. It may actually have been looking at it in a heady combination of nostalgia and disgust that set me down the path of fixing up my Ork collection in the first place). Anyway, look at him now, much more stylish – and combining bad-ass (his cigar) and safety conscious (his ear defenders).ork-loota-convert-or-die-40k-1As I said these were very early additions to my Ork collection. This boy came roughly at the same time as I started to delve into the Ork background and discovered that Lootas are often Deffskulls (hence the last minute decision to paint his helmet blue). I suspect I was also suffering a heated internal dispute about which clan to join – in the end I went for a sort of mix-and-match approach, elements of all of them, but not actually taking the plunge and sticking with one colour scheme exclusively. Such divided loyalties appear to be a recurring problem for me, you’ll note that I can’t seem to pick one Chaos God over the others either (so will undoubtedly end up as a Spawn) and my Space Marines are fairly tenuously connected to the Imperium. Possibly I have trust issues?ork-loota-convert-or-die-40k-2Lootas often hang out with Meks so, in probably my crudest segue yet, next post should be about my (new and improved) Big Mek. Until then, cheers!


Snakes Alive!

Poor Old Zogwort. I always rather liked him, he was a quirky, interesting and extremely Orky character and, although I never actually played a game with him, his ability to turn an enemy character into a squig sounded too funny to ignore. Unfortunately for the great warphead Game’s Workshop felt differently and now he’s been turned into a squig himself (or possibly a squat) and retired from the current codex for the crime of not having his own model.

As is now widely known it’s become Games Workshop’s policy with 40K to remove any unit without a model from the codex, something of a blow to the character of some armies but generally streamlining things for new players (I myself was new to 40k recently enough to remember how confusing it could be trying to work out what was official, what was discontinued, what was converted, what was and wasn’t WYSIWYG and so on). In the clear-out Zogwort got the boot and, for those who play Orks by the rules, conversions were relegated to gather dust on the shelf or demoted to standard Weirdboys.

Someday it would be excellent to see a series of articles in White Dwarf showcasing these purged characters and units, combining a gallery of particularly good fan-made conversions with some official rules. Obviously I’m not so naive as to think this is anything other than wishlisting but it would be nice wouldn’t it?

Anyway, I was one of those who had a Zogwort conversion in my Ork collection. Luckily I a) don’t play much anyway and b)thumb my nose at the rules, so I’m not too disenfranchised. Plus as my Ork collection developed they began to acquire their own character and Zogwort started to seem like something of an outsider in the ranks anyway.

Nonetheless I wasn’t going to leave him to moulder in dusty purgatory whilst the rest of the boyz got refreshed paintjobs. Compared to the conversions I produce now Zogwort really does look a little rough and ready but that’s progress for you. Once upon a time I couldn’t imagine making anything better, now I can see dozens of areas of improvement. Still I’m rather proud of myself for being ambitious enough to tackle something so complicated back then, when I was still in my infancy as a converter. Here he is, complete with a team of grots to hold him down and try to direct his output of Waaarg energy towards the enemy.
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old-zogwort-convert-or-die-5So there we have it. RIP Old Zogwort, long live converted, house-ruled Zogworts everywhere. If you’ve stubbornly refused to retire your own conversion let’s see a link to it in the comment box below (after all, I showed you mine as it were). Home-made rules and particularly funny stories about Space Marine Captains that turned into Squigs are also welcome. (Who am I kidding – Space Marine Captains turning into Squigs is always funny).
‘Til next time, cheers and thanks for reading.


No Guts, No Glory – Part One

Well those Orks aren’t going to get finished if I keep getting distracted like this… Nonetheless, inspired by the recent wave of Nurgle releases for Warhammer I decided to kitbash a few more servants of the plague god to join my Black Crusade.

The Putrid Blightkings are just such an exciting kit both on their own merits as assembled straight out of the box (which is impressive enough) and as a spur for creative activity (and sure enough there are brilliant conversions popping up all over the internet). My first conversion is based directly off this kit, albeit with a number of modifications to transform him from a denizen of the Old World into a citizen of the 41st Millennium. In doing this I’ll admit to being heavily inspired by the likes of Jeff Vader at Officio Convertorum and KrautScientist at Eternal Hunt – check out these in particular (both blogs well worth checking out and – without wishing to sound sycophantic – home to some truly exceptional painting and converting).

This guy will be the first of a squad of Chosen with the Mark of Nurgle. I know – you don’t need to nag me Internet, I’ve not painted my Dark Vengeance Chosen yet. I’ll get to it! Jeeze Internet, you don’t half go on you know! Anyway here he is, a shameless take off of conversions by better men but hopefully unique enough that you won’t all piss off to their blogs and leave me to weep alone.
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Next we have something that doesn’t have anything to do with the Blightkings at all, being based instead on the Corrupters of the Apocalypse from Avatars of War. It’s a really simply conversion really, just the standard model with a Chaos Marine backpack stuck on but I’m rather pleased with him all the same.
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Once he’s painted he’ll be a Dark Apostle with the Mark of Nurgle. I think the designers intended him to be a musician but rather than carrying an instrument he’s just belching which, as well as making me giggle childishly, also caused me to think that prayers to Nurgle probably sound (and smell) pretty flatulent. This guy appears to be actually burping out his worship of Nurgle, a concept that’s both disgusting and silly – just like the plague god himself.

Last of all we have this terminator. Far more than the other two this guy really is a ‘Work in Progress’. The basic structure is all there but I feel some development is needed beyond simply slapping Blightking bits onto a terminator chassis and calling him done. It goes without saying then that any comments or ideas you have are welcome in the box below.
Nurgle TerminatorNurgle TerminatorNurgle TerminatorNurgle Terminator
Since taking these pictures I’ve started weathering the armour on the legs a little which has helped but I think it needs more than that. Perhaps some kind of tabard to increase his bulk a little? For the moment I’m trying to avoid the ‘guts out for the lads’ look that seems to be pretty standard fare for Nurgle models now, if only because I think we’ll be seeing a lot of it and I don’t want to overdo it.
Anyway, get your thoughts in the comments box. More Orks soon!


Masters of Waaagh!

With just a month to go (and a lot of other things to do in that time) my campaign to ‘fix-up’ all my Orks before New Year(-ish) is starting to look like quite the challenge. Nevermind – if it happens, it happens. The latest models to escape the production line are these Nobs – a combination of plastic models from both the current kit and the Assault on Black Reach boxset. Frankly there’s only so much you can say about an Ork Nob so here’s some pictures to look at instead. First up here’s one from the Black Reach set.

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ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-9And a couple more.ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-6

ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-5This next one gave me real headaches trying to make the boss-pole stand straight without it fouling the axe slung over his shoulder. I suppose I could have just dropped the boss-pole but I liked it and was stubborn. Anyway it occurred to me to try it at this slightly jaunty angle and I think it really works – in a quirky, orky kind of way – as though the beast skull is peaking over his shoulder.ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-11

ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-10There’s a faintly embarrassing story to go with this one. Whilst assembling this old metal beast I blue-tacked the arms on to get a feel for how the model would look once completed and then completely forgot I’d not glued anything. Not such a major error really, except that I then finished painting him and stuck him on the shelf with the rest of the Orks. One hot day in the middle of summer he just started to relax. Looking back it was rather funny, as though the banner had just got too heavy to hold up and he was going to put it down, he slowly lowered his arms. Finally, whilst I watched stupidly, my suddenly animate Ork gave up all together and his arms fell off. Sadly it took him a while to recover from this, he’s lived in the drawer in bits for at least two years, until last week when I put him back together again (this time using glue… you know…for a change of pace…). ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-4

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ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-2Just to keep the squad together in one place here’s a couple of pictures of the two Nobs I showed previously.ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-13

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ork-nob-40k-convert-or-die-7Finally here’s a group shot of the whole mob, accompanied by their Warboss.Nobs

And there you have it, my Nobs squad as it currently stands. In time I’d like to add in a few more (I’m a huge fan of the – highly versatile – plastic Nobs kit and I’ve still got a few unpainted models from Black Reach kicking around). However I’m trying to stay strong and deal with everything else in my Orky challenge first. Having said that there are a few Chaos projects on the go as well so expect either them or Old Zogwort next. Until then, thanks for your interest. WAAARGH!