Category Archives: Orks

Green Iz Best – Part 11

The moment has finally arrived! I fell under the sway of the Orks over a decade ago and the love affair has yet to end. Back then I came across two, entirely separate pieces of information which over time combined into one of the largest hobby projects I’ve ever undertaken. The first was a White Dwarf article (don’t ask me which issue now, I haven’t the foggiest) in which someone described how they had made every Orc boy in their WHFB army unique, swapping heads and so on to create the appearance of a truly ramshackle barbarian horde. I loved the idea, and the aesthetic it created, and was determined to do the same with my own 40k Orks.

At around the same time a friend gave me a copy of the rulebook for the first edition of Apocalypse. I’ve often joked that my preferred scales for 40k is Kill Team or Apocalypse, if it’s not a case of a small band of heroes undertaking a dangerous mission then it should be warfare on a truly grand scale. Not that I’ve ever played either, as regular readers will know I’m not really much of a gamer, but when it comes to a visual image it’s hard to beat huge armies of models carpeting the landscape.

My friend, incidentally, got the copy of Apocalypse from his brother who’d ordered a load of miniatures and received it by mistake. When he phoned GW to complain they sent out his correct order and told him to hang on to the book, which then made its way to me. If you happen to have ordered Apocalypse back then and ended up with a load of Imperial Guard instead, and have been wondering ever since what happened to your book – I have it. And no, you’re not getting it back. šŸ˜‰

Anyway, getting back on topic, in some of the Apocalypse rules released around that time there was a formation called “The Green Tide” in which at least one hundred Ork boys swarmed across the battlefield. Here’s what the accompanying text had to say about it.

Green Tide

Again the image spoke to me, partly because it captured the sea of angry green flesh that the background describes as an Ork invasion and partly because it sounded so ludicrously out of reach. After all we were in the middle of a recession and jobs for newly graduated students were like hen’s teeth. The thought of having the money to spend on buying all those Orks was simply ludicrous, not to mention the time it would take to paint them all.

Time, however, tears down all barriers. Recruiting an ork here, and a couple more there, the army has grown until, earlier this year, I released that I was within reach of victory, that long aspired to goal hovering mirage-like on the horizon. At that point various readers of this blog got involved, generally cheering and cajoling me into action and, as of a few weeks ago, I had only five boyz still to go.

First things first I turned my attention to my squad of shoota boyz. I’ve added the odd model here and there over the last few months, with the aim of completing a nice round twenty of them, and this next finishes off the squad nicely.

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With him done here we have them, twenty boyz ready to unleash a raucous hail of bullets at anyone unfortunate enough to wander into range.

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After that it was the turn of the slugga boyz. I already had two squads of these completed, each one thirty strong (this being the maximum size for a squad of ork boyz). By way of a reminder here’s the first squad…

…and here’s the second…

Meanwhile the third squad has grown to sixteen boys strong so four more would not only give me a round twenty (which sounds very organised for the Orks but there you go) but would also complete the hundred to boot.

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This one was a real nightmare to photograph, the way he’s holding his weapons meant that his face was almost constantly in shadow. He actually has a lot in common with the ork on the cover of the current codex, both in appearance and pose, not something which was a conscious decision. The artist has also clearly struggled, rather more successfully than I, to avoid the subject’s face being in shadow – something for which I now feel a huge amount of sympathy!

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The squad also needed a boss-nob, otherwise the boys would spend the whole time fighting each other trying to work out who’s in charge.

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Here he is next to his peers, the boss nobs of the other two slugga squads. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the names I gave the leaders of my three squads – but if I have I’m not above telling you again. When Warhammer Total War was first released I played a lot of it (by my standards at least, I don’t usually play computer games very much but this one hooked me entirely). Whilst playing as the Orcs I recruited three warbosses in quick succession, each of which the game gives an automatically generated name. Unfortunately it named all three of them Krugga, which soon became exactly as confusing as you’d imagine. Luckily the game allows you to rename your characters so I changed them to be called “Krugga”, “Da Uvva Krugga” and “Da Uvva Krugga’s Bruva” – names which I then recycled for these three brutes.

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Anyway, here’s the third squad of slugga boyz, now twenty strong and probably feeling mighty pleased with themselves.

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Which means of course that it’s time to discover, at long last, what one hundred ork boys actually looks like…

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Of course having gathered them all together and stood around admiring them and generally feeling smug and self-satisfied, I thought “why stop there” and broke out the rest of the army as well. The horde has now reached the point where it only just fits into my photography area, I’ll need to make some adjustments before I take next year’s group shot (in fact I may need to make some adjustments before I photograph the completed Skaven army at the end of the month…). I would have liked to showcase the army a bit more, rather than just cramming everything together into one mass, but in the end there really wasn’t space for anything else.

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Out of interest I ran the numbers and was pleased to discover that this little lot comes to 2336 points (or 171 power in new money) overall, although of course there’s a lot more I’d like to add in the future.

So there we have it, one hundred entirely unique ork boys and a long-standing hobby ambition achieved. Finally I’d like to say thank you to everyone who commented on this project and generally prodded me into action, if you hadn’t it might well have been a few years yet before I finally got myself into gear to finish it. A special shout-out is owed to Azazelwho’s been painting his own set of twenty-five orks alongside me – I highly recommend you take a look at them, especially if you enjoy an old-school greenskin.

Naturally this isn’t the end for the Orks, I still have plenty more greenskins and their wonderfully ramshackle death-dealing contraptions to work on. Plus I can hardly leave Slugga Squad 3 at ten boys short of the others can I – they’re bound to be picked on as weedy by the others if I do. I just need to dig around in my bits box to manufacture some more unique ork heads…


Green Iz Best – Part 10

Work on my mob of greenskins continues apace and my goal of completing all one hundred boys by the end of the year is now tantalisingly close. To recap, for anyone new to this, I’ve had a long standing ambition to own 100 unique ork boys – once it was a pipe dream, then it became a distant but challenging target to chip away at, and now it’s almost at my fingertips. Following a combination of challenge and encouragement by various readers of this blog – most notably Azazel who’s been painting along with me and whose old-skool orks are well worth checking out – I declared my intention to complete the project before 2019 rolls into 2020. Let’s take a look at the newest recruits.

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This one was something of a challenge to get right, the bonesplitters/savage orcs jaw ended up covering most of his face no matter how I positioned it, but after a bit of fiddling (and a fair amount of muttering) I ended up with something I was fairly happy with.

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I’ve always liked the idea of adding an orky gunslinger to the squad and I finally got around to it.

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And there we have them, five done – five more to go.

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Whilst I was working on the boyz I spotted this old mek, sitting at the back of the shelf and gathering dust. I built him at least a decade ago, when the plethora of bits we have access to for converting was far narrower than it is today, and my skills were considerably less. He really is past his best so I decided to take the opportunity to touch up his paint job and make a few adjustments (mainly in the form of a new head – what was I thinking with the old version?! I suppose I was young and foolish but I’m not sure I was ever that young…).

And here’s the new version, which you’ll hopefully agree is an improvement.

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Not a bad little burst of productivity if I may say so myself, and with the end in sight I’ll be aiming to get back to the boys sooner rather than later. First off though I need to concentrate on some Skaven – the Orks aren’t the only thing I’ve promised to complete by the end of the year after all…


Green Iz Best – Part 9

Well, Orktober has been and gone and to be honest it wasn’t quite as productive on the greenskins front as I might have liked. For over a decade I’ve harboured an ambition to paint up at least one hundred unique ork boyz and earlier this year I realised I was within stretching distance of victory, if I simply knuckled down and got on with it. By the start of October I had twenty to go but alas by the end of the month I’d only finished off another five (although giving myself credit I had painted quite a lot of other things). On the other hand all the orks are now built and undercoated so victory is a step closer, time to get my head down and paint the remaining fifteen. I’m not much of a fan of batch painting so I’ll be tackling them in blocks of no more than five – here’s the latest recruits.

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Lighting this one so that his weapons weren’t casting shadows over his face in the photograph was a real challenge but I got there in the end.

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A little bit of greenstuff work to change the mouth on this one. Nothing groundbreaking in terms of sculpting but I’m pleased with the results.

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With these done there are now only ten to go, so expect to see a few more greenies showing up here over the coming weeks.


Green Iz Best – Part 8

Waaagh! and all that! Yes, it’s Orktober and I have twenty ork boyz to paint if I’m going to meet my goal of having a hoard one hundred strong by the end of the year. Time to get a wiggle on then!

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Naturally I’m counting these towards Azazel’s Orky challenge, as well as to our shared commitment to adding 25 greenskins to our respective collections by New Year. When I agreed to this I had seven months to play with and 25 orks to paint, now I have three months to play with and 15 orks still to go so I’ll need to get painting! Hopefully therefore these five will just be the start. I’ve got a lot of angry green geezers waiting for some attention and my aim is to use this month to make some progress with getting them finished. I don’t really imagine I’ll get all of the remaining boys painted but progress is progress so let’s see how I get on.


Beam Me Up Orky!

I’ll confess I may have Orks on the brain at the moment. Despite intending to work on other projects *cough*BlackstoneFortress*cough* I seem to have found myself unable to leave the greenskins alone. I had thought that the five boyz I painted earlier in the week would be sufficient to scratch the itch but apparently that only wet my appetite for the violent, fun-loving xenos. When I remembered that this Big Mek was not only in desperate need of some attention, but also met the criteria for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge, I couldn’t help but shove those (unbelievably frustrating and tricky to paint) Negavolt Cultists a little further back on the desk and turned my attention to the big green lad instead.

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In fairness this particular Ork has been crying out for paint for a very long time indeed. I built him at the same time as his force-field lugging companion, back in 2017 and have considered him for every Neglected Model challenge and Ork-Tober since, to no avail. Indeed over the last few months it’s become something of a mental challenge to find ways in which he counted towards the theme of whatever challenge Azazel was running that month, and despite that he remained stubbornly unfinished. At last however he’s able to give up his seat on the shelf-of-shame and join the rest of the ladz in their unruly, painted ranks.

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Of course the real brains of the outfit was always going to be his oiler-grot sidekick. I’ve always loved this little guy but never got around to painting him until now so it was a fine opportunity to get him finished as well.

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Hopefully this has been enough to sate my love of Orkyness for a while and allow me to concentrate on some of my other projects. Of course, knowing me, I’ll be back to the greenskins sooner or later – I still need to get another twenty boys finished by the end of December for one thing.


Green Iz Best – Part 7

For a long time I’ve harboured an ambition to own a hoard of one hundred unique ork boyz. The last time I mentioned it here a few months ago it struck me that with seventy-five already painted at that point it would be fairly straightforward to get the remaining at twenty-five finished by the end of the year.

Ever-productive blogger Azazel even went so far as to declare that if I can get twenty-five orks painted over the coming month then so shall he. Of course, given the rate at which he paints that shouldn’t take him more than an hour (I jest – but seriously, he’s a painting machine and produces distressingly high quality results to boot! If you don’t already follow his blog then do yourself a favour and head over there now).

With that in mind here’s another five warlike greenskinned lads, cutting the number still to paint down to an increasingly manageable twenty.

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With the year end deadline still comfortably distant I’m not in a huge rush with this project but it would be nice to get it done at last so expect to see me continuing to chip away over the coming months.


Green Iz Best – Part 6

For a long time I’ve harboured an ambition to own at least one hundred ork boys. I remember seeing the datasheet for the “Green Tide” in Apocalypse years ago and it’s description of “wave upon wave” of ork boys had me captivated. At the time I couldn’t imagine ever owning so many greenskins but the idea of commanding such a mighty horde snuck into my heart and never left. Over the last decade I’ve added more boys to the army in dribs and drabs, sometimes allowing these most violent of space fungi to sit idle for years at a time, sometimes getting caught up in a full scale Waaagh! of enthusiastic energy. Recently it struck me that, although the long-dreamed of horde might not have reached full strength quite yet, triumph might not be quite as unachievably distant as I’d once thought. The boys now take up a sizeable chunk of shelf-space and, having already completed more than a hundred clanrats, completing such a mighty force no longer seemed quite so intimidating.

As it’s Army April I decided to take the opportunity to do a quick inventory the collection. Although the number of boys has been slowly growing even I was no longer sure exactly how many I’d painted so I dug them all out and arranged them into squads. First of all and, nicely straightforward, I separated out the fifteen shoota boyz.

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That done I counted out the first squad of 30 slugga boyz.

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That left me with twenty-five boyz left over, five short of another full squad. Time to do some recruiting!

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Just as important as the numbers is making sure each ork has its own personality. I’ve often suggested that I want to give each ork a unique head but really this is a crude way to describe my aspiration. Really I want each of the boys to be an individual, with its own distinct character, not just another rank filler.

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To do this I’ve been raiding all kinds of bits from other ork, orc and orruk kits, including the savage orcs and the old boar boys (sadly now discontinued – a shame as it was one of those kits I always aspired to but never quite found the time or money to get until it became too late).

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The barbaric, low-tech aesthetic of the orks means that these bits from the fantasy ranges fit in nicely here.

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And given the ork’s love of destruction it really was about time I gave one of the boys a rocket launcher, for those moments when an even bigger, louder explosion is called for!

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So there we have it, five new recruits ready to join the rest of the lads!

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Which means, of course, that the second squad of slugga boys is now complete.

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Time to find out what seventy-five rampaging orks looks like…

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Of course this does mean I’m only twenty-five boys short of that long-aspired to milestone. Could this year be the one I finally complete it? I commit to nothing, but let’s see how I get on…