Tag Archives: Gretchin

Ugly, Brutish and Short

I made these aaaaages ago, as part of an early – abandoned – attempted to make some traitor guard. However, as I’m back to working on traitor guard again I thought now might be a good time to dig them out and let them see a little limelight.
Back then Imperial Armour 13 was a distant dream so I was basing my ideas off the (previous – not current) Imperial Guard codex (yeah, that’s right, none of your Astra Whatsits here, you’re in the Guard now son!) I had an idea for some little mutant bandits attempting to prey on my Chaos forces after they made planetfall on some crumbling scrap-world and, when the Chaos Marines moved on, a few of the bandits went with them, hiding out parasitically in the hold. Soon they would start following the Chaos Marines onto battlegrounds to pick over the corpses of the fallen, scurrying away with their ill-gotten loot to their lairs in the bowels of the ship. Eventually they would become just another part of the warband, albeit held in contempt by the Chaos Marines themselves, their skill as snipers held in high regard (but don’t ever eat what they cook!).
Essentially, then, these would be Chaos Ratlings. Here’s some pictures.
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convert-or-die-traitor-ratling-5Quite pleased with the little powerclaw on this guy.
convert-or-die-traitor-ratling-4By the way has anyone ever heard of someone making an all Ratling army for 40k? I love the little space hobbits and I know I can’t be the only one. Plus there’s all those Lord of the Rings hobbit miniatures out there, surely, surely someone must be doing something with this? If you know of anyone don’t leave me in the dark, put a link in the box below. Cheers!

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Like A Surgeon

I mentioned in the last post that I’d made myself a promise that I wouldn’t buy any new Orks until I’d finished fixing up the ones I already owned. I also confessed that I had broken this promise almost straight away, but that I felt justified in doing so. Facing the facts I decided that I really didn’t like the new plastic Painboy (I may have been a little critical in my review back here and the passage of time has only seen my opinion of this model worsen). Having a suspicion that when it went out of stock it wouldn’t be replaced I decided to snap up the old (and perfectly serviceable) finecast model before it went the way of the Squat and was replaced altogether by this plastic monstrosity. (Some people would have you believe that purchasing a model in “Failcast” is a similar, but slightly less preferable, experience to having a GW exec come round to your house and punch you in the gullet. I found there was nothing wrong with it* making the need to replace it with the unimpressive plastic version less than pressing. Why, why could we not have had a new plastic Warboss**, rather than this grinning loon absurdly obsessed with his own disproportionally huge hand?)

*In the interest of full disclosure I’ll admit there were a few bubbles in the resin, but liquid greenstuff was enough to patch them up and I managed to restrain myself from throwing a major tantrum on every forum I could think of.

**Don’t even think it pedants, a limited-run boxset-only slightly altered version of a model from the old Assault on Black Reach starterset doesn’t count round my house!

Anyway, before my ranting starts to frighten everyone away, here’s my freshly painted Painboy.
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painboy-convert-or-die-4And here’s his grot-orderly sidekick/assistant.
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painboy-convert-or-die-5The Painboy was always one of my favourite Ork models but one I never got round to buying. I’m really pleased to have him now though, especially as he marks the first new model of my return to the Orks (apart from the Nob – built from bitz – that I showed last week but that’s splitting hairs!). Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the current wave of Orks on the blog because there’s more on the way!


Meet The New Boss

The campaign to ‘fix up’ my rather worn out looking Orks continues apace. Having sorted out those grots the next thing on my to-do list were some Runt Herds to keep them out of mischief and lead/push them into battle.
This first Runt Herd was built without any conversion and to my eye does a grand job of capturing what it is to be an “irascible, infirm and often incontinent old warrior” (as the Fantasy Orcs and Goblins army book puts it).
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ork-runt-herd-convert-or-die-2Now frankly, this guy doesn’t look like he’d share bossing his grots around with anyone else. However the rules (which I admit I rarely pay much attention to) call for one Runt Herd for every ten gretchin. Plus I reckon he’d need some backup, otherwise these little rascals are going to give him the run-around. I also rather liked the old fiction that described how Odd Boys (Painboys, Runt Herds and Meks) like to get together and talk shop, in spite of their radically different fields. Each would then go back to his work feeling like he’s learned something useful. Chatting to his Painboy and Mek mates my Runt Herd would have come to the conclusion that, rather than allow another Ork to help him with his grots, he’d ‘promote’ one of his more ambitious and useful charges by wiring him permanently into a miniature version of a killa kan.
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gretchin-convert-or-die-6Here he is lording it over his smaller charges, all of which are undoubtedly lining up to take him down a peg or two as soon as the boss’s back is turned.
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Incidentally by building this Runt Herd I didn’t need the one that came in the box so I turned him into this Mek (more on him here).
ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-1This also left me with a number of spare parts, including this squig which I rescued from the bits box and turned into a nasty, yapping squig hound. Not really brain surgery here, I just carefully cut away the runt-herd’s hand and replaced it with some extra hair in the crest, using part of a Boy’s topknot cut to shape. To cover up the damage where the harness had to be cut away I sculpted a ragged ear, presumably scarred by the bite of a rival in a high-octane squig fight.
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squig-convert-or-die-5As always, thanks for reading and feel free to put any praise or abuse in the comments box below.


Weedy Little Gits

From one of the biggest, toughest Orks around to the smallest; my Gretchin. Undervalued, underfed and, more often than not, under foot they’re known simply as the ‘Orrible Grots.
Lately my painting desk has been home to all kinds of Chaos which I’ll try to show over the next few weeks (including a Helbrute, cultists, converted Obliterator and this Chaos Knight). However, partly inspired by the excellent Ork collection of Viktor Svard shown in this month’s Warhammer Visions* there’s been a bit of a swing back towards the greenskins. I’m still chipping away at the boys (who knew I had so many of them?) but, in an effort to avoid too much of a production line situation arising I changed gear a little by taking on this swarm of grots.
*Still not convinced by the magazine overall though…gretchin-convert-or-die-18

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gretchin-convert-or-die-21Feeble and incompetent they may be but I’ve always loved the little grots that scurry alongside the Orks. They’re the source of a great deal of the slapstick silliness that stops the Orks from being entirely brutish and unpleasant. We all secretly know that, in the universe of 40k, no matter how much martial strength the Imperium brings to bear, how vast the devouring Hive Fleets become, how grand the designs of Abaddon or Ghazghkull, how many Necrons wake, the end will come when some cheeky gretchin unplugs the Golden Throne whilst trying to electrocute his mate for a laugh.gretchin-convert-or-die-20

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gretchin-convert-or-die-23Experimented a bit with the bases on some of these. Rather pleased with the results.

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gretchin-convert-or-die-22And here’s some ammo runts. You can never have too much dakka after all, and no self-respecting Ork is going to carry it himself when there’s a grot could lug it around for him.gretchin-convert-or-die-19

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Escape from New Orks

The first Games Workshop miniature I ever painted was an Ork Nob in Mega Armour. I still have him around somewhere, but unfortunately can’t put my hand on him at the moment or I’d upload a photo of him to the blog. Suffice to say I’m thrilled that, at last, the Meganobs are back with a nice stompy new plastic kit. Unfortunately my old metal Meganob always looked a bit runty next to the newer plastic Nobs so it’s great (if not unexpected) to see that the new Meganobs are an altogether larger and more imposing beast. The option to turn one of them into a Big Mek is also good news, and (in spite of some early misgivings when blurry photos appeared online) both the Kustom Force Field and Tellyport Blasta look excellent.

The kit also comes with a cracking new oiler grot, a nice touch and a fitting replacement for the (now discontinued) metal version. Not wanting him to feel entirely disposed by this swanky newcomer I dug out my old Oiler and fixed him up with a slightly nicer paint job.oiler-grot-convert-or-die-1

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oiler-grot-convert-or-die-3Meanwhile, my other efforts to restore my Ork collection are still rumbling along, although I’ve also got a few Chaos projects in the works (hopefully more on them next week). First off here’s a couple of Meks, the first one built straight “out of the box” using the parts in the Burna/Loota kit.ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-4

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ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-6This second Mek Boy is a conversion based off a spare Runt Herd. Not sure if the helmet is supposed to magnify his ideas or stop the other Meks stealing his thoughts . You can’t be too careful with those sneaky Deathskulls around after all.ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-1

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ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-3I’ve also worked on restoring a few more boys. Rather pleased with the kill markings on the first boy’s helmet. I wonder if, rather than simply representing enemies slain, these markings might be specific to the weapon, in this case the number the boy has head-butted to death.ork-boy-convert-or-die-40k-7

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ork-boy-convert-or-die-40k-30I’m also really pleased with this mad-boy – I built him years ago and he still looks suitably deadly and demented now.ork-boy-convert-or-die-40k-9

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I Fought the Waaagh (and the Waaagh Won)

Last week saw the release of the Flash Gitz, the most preposterously and excitingly overarmed Orks of all. Seeing these smug show-offs finally getting the miniatures they deserved fired me into action and I decided to dig my own converted Gitz out of the box where they were residing and get to work restoring them. Chaos fans shouldn’t despair though, although I’m currently riding a wave of Orky enthusiasm I’ve got a few Chaos projects on the go as well, so I’ll be back to posting about spiky warp-worshippers in no time.
flash-gits-convert-or-die-orks-1This was the first Flash Git I made. I’m still not sure if I like him or not. At the time I didn’t really have a plan, or much idea of how to make a suitably snazzy gun, so I decided to make him a gunslinger, making up for having more “normal” guns by giving him two. He’s still one of the squad that I’m least sure I’m happy with (although I love the cheeky grot in his backpack).
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flash-gits-convert-or-die-orks-6This is more like it. I even tied him into my Space Marines army (then in its very early days) by giving him a suitable trophy. I decided that at least some of my Gitz would be former Bad Moons, known for having more teef than sense and a love of outsize weapons. Back then the rules didn’t call for one of the Gitz to be a Kaptin but I always reckoned the pilfering skills of this guy’s monkey sidekick might be enough to keep him one step ahead of the other ladz.
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flash-gits-convert-or-die-orks-3This one started life as a standard nob but as I added extra gubbins to his gun he evolved into another Flash Git. The Parrot Squig is another favourite component of mine.
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flash-gits-convert-or-die-orks-5Flash Gitz should have the biggest guns around and it’s hard to get bigger than a cannon. It also fits in nicely with the pirate theme of the Gitz. Take that ‘ummie scum!
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flash-gits-convert-or-die-orks-8This chap, with his outsize arms, was a bit of an experiment. My idea was that, wanting to increase his personal firepower, but already struggling to lift his own monstrously proportioned snazzgun, one of the Gitz decided to recruit himself an “assistant”. After one of his mates suffered “a little accident” and ended up minus his head he hauled the body to the nearest bad-doc and they set to work customising. Adding some vat grown arms allows the unfortunate “recruit” to carry his spare gun into battle whilst the inclusion of a cybork brain stops him from getting up to any treacherous high-jinks. His favourite grot perches on his shoulder to work the controls. Of course, grots being naturally disloyal, it’s only a matter of time before he starts taking on airs and graces and commands his Orky steed to blow their master to bits. For the Flash Git this element of risk only makes the relationship more exciting!
Flash Gits
I also notice that the new Flash Gitz come with larger bases than the Nobs. At some point I may upgrade my Gitz to larger bases, especially if I buy new Gitz to add to the squad. If nothing else it might stop them falling over all the time under the weight of their guns.

Mek Guns/Big Mek
As I have over the last couple of weeks I’m also going to talk a little about the new Ork kits which have just become available for pre-order; the Mek Guns and a Big Mek. Unlike the Gorkanaught/Morkanaught – where all we had to compare it to was the Stompa – and the Flash Gits – an all new kit – the Mek Guns (formerly called Big Guns) and the Big Mek with Shokk-Attack Gun both replace miniatures previously available. In the case of the Big Mek that miniature is one of my favourites in the Ork range (and one that I’d never actually got around to buying for myself). Let’s take a look at it first. I certainly like the new body more, covered in cables, dials and other gubbins it goes a long way to making him look suitably like a master of all things mechanical. The head looks pretty gormless though (having said that the old head wasn’t amazing either). I’m also really not a fan of trailing smoke, fire, electricity etc on a model so that would probably have to go if I was painting one of the new version. Overall though, for the fairly minor hassle of clipping off the trailing electric currents and replacing the head it’s pretty exciting to have this most iconic Ork model in nice, easy-to-work-with plastic. By and large, I’m happy.

No such conundrum exists with the Mek Guns – the old models were nothing to write home about with their only real Orky character coming from the grot crews. Those however are utterly outshone by the grots that crew the new kit. The one wearing a welder’s mask is a particular favourite, although I’m also really taken with the spotter and the foreman leaning on the drum of cable. The weapons themselves are also cracking, really capturing the Orky vibe of high-tech equipment badly constructed out of scrap.
The old Big Guns came in three flavours; kannons, lobbas and zzap guns. The rules still allow all three options, as well as adding some new alternatives, all matching the faintly-ridiculous character of the Orks. Take the Traktor Cannon for example, a weapon capable of dragging aircraft out of the skies and smashing them to scrap in an instant. It’s utterly typical of the greenskins that such a weapon, which would grant anyone total control of the skies were it crewed by a team of disciplined soldiers, is instead left in the care of bickering grots.
As it happens I already have a Mek Gun in my collection, having made a Lobba of my own a couple of years ago. Obviously it’s a lot smaller than the new Mek Guns but I’m still rather pleased with it and its comparative lack of scale won’t really matter much in a ramshackle Ork army.
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lobba-convert-or-die-orks-6On a final note regarding the Mek Guns it seems there’s still no sign of any new Warbuggies being released, which is rather unfortunate as the current models weren’t so much sculpted as hacked out of the rock sometime in the early Mesolithic. However should none appear the Mek Gun chassis should provide a good starting point for creating home-made alternatives. Anyway, with the codex still to arrive let’s keep our fingers crossed for more cracking Ork miniatures next week.