Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

Orktober 2021 – Da Big Round Up

So having announced just yesterday that I’m embarking on another painting challenge I thought it was high time I padded my post count took a look back at the last one. Last month was Orktober (sometimes spelled Orctober – but never, ever spelled October because that’s for wimps!). I had a plan for the month; to paint as many of my unpainted greenskins as I possibly could. Then I discovered that my fellow warboss and blogger, the legendary IRO had the same plan and from this a contest was born (more on that below).

Now as the dust settles I find myself looking at 37 newly painted Orks. Want to see what they look like as a group? Of course you do! (As usual don’t do your eyes a mischief by peering at the pictures, click on them for a proper look).

Orctober Orks Orcs Greenskins Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

Quite the mob isn’t it, but with so many green bodies crammed together it’s hard to make out what’s going on so let’s take a closer look at some individual groups. My Ork army for Warhammer 40k is my longest-standing collection (that I still have anyway). It was the Orks that first got me into Warhammer 40k back in 4th Edition when I stepped from being a casual observer of the 41st Millennium to being a full-blown addict. Back then the Ork warlord Ghazghkull and the Second and Third Wars for Armageddon were intrinsic to 40k (nobody talks about the First War for Armageddon on pain of being taken away by the Inquisition…). The struggle to control that planet remains one of my favourite 40k storylines and so it was a real pleasure to add Ghazghkull to my collection at last, alongside a whole bunch of other boyz.

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It wasn’t all about the grim darkness of the far future however, I worked on a warband of Savage Orcs (or Bonesplitter Orruks if you prefer) to run riot in games of Warcry.

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I also added a couple of models to my Kruelboy collection, enough to turn them into a Warcry warband as well. These two very different greenskin philosophies will have to determine which is best soon in the only way they know how – by battering each other silly on the tabletop.

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I already have a small collection of Ironjaw Orcs, the bigger, more heavily armoured breed of Orc living in the Mortal Realms (although even a paper bag is more heavily armoured than the Bonesplitters, many of whom forget to even wear clothes). Three more joined the ranks this month, including a pair of Brutes and a hulking Warchanter.

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Long before Orcs started looting tanks in the 41st Millennium or sneaking around in the swamps of the Mortal Realms they were indulging in a spot of hobbit-bothering and ransacking the civilisations of Middle Earth in Tolkien’s masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. As I’ve commented many times the LotR miniatures range (or the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game as it’s known currently) never really hooked me in, but I do have a few Orcs to paint from that range too and this seemed like a fine moment to be working on them.

Orctober Orks Orcs Greenskins Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

 Sport has been described as war by other means as nations prove their superiority over one another through teams of athletes rather than armies of soldiers. Of course, if you’re a Black Orc playing Blood Bowl there probably isn’t much difference. This month I motivated myself to get the Orc half of the team painted, and I’ll aim to work on the goblins that accompany them soon.

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Of course a team needs a few cheerleaders to keep the fans on side, and no-one in the crowd is going to dare to misbehave with this lady keeping an eye on them!

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It wasn’t just about greenskins either, I even managed to sneak in a few other models of a distinctly un-orky persuasion.

Orctober Orks Orcs Greenskins Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)

And there we have it – 37 greenskins, and 4 other miniatures, not bad for a month’s effort. Of course I didn’t do this alone. A good adversary is vital to an Ork, giving them someone against whom they can test themselves. The more an Ork fights the bigger, tougher and meaner he becomes. Faced with a good enough enemy an Ork who might otherwise have been just a weedy little yoof can grow into a warboss whose tread shakes the galaxy itself. The Commissar Yarrick to my Ghazghkull Thraka was that mightiest of warbosses, the mean, green antipodean, the Imperial Rebel Ork himself. We set out at the start of the month to see which of us could paint the most Orks in a single month and against all odds battled each other to a draw. Really there’s only one thing to do in a situation like that and that’s come back for another go next year!


Army of Mordor – Part 1

Orcs, it turns out, come in all shapes and sizes and dwell in all sorts of places. We’ve already seen Orcs from the Mortal Realms (both hulking armoured behemoths and underdressed nutters), Orks from the savage war zones of the 41st Millennium and even Orcs that just want to have a kick about on the Blood Bowl pitch. Even that old plagiarist JRR Tolkien got in on the act. Borrowing heavily from Warhammer, D&D and other contemporary sources he cooked up some Orcs of his own to serve as baddies in The Lord of the Rings. 

I’ve previously noted that, much as I loved the Lord of the Rings (both the books and the films) I never really got into the game. For the most part the miniatures just didn’t do anything for me so I passed over them in favour of other things. I’m told that the game itself is great and the tournament scene very friendly but given that I’m barely a gamer and wouldn’t go to a tournament unless I was carried there kicking and screaming by a band of Uruk Hai that doesn’t really sway me much. I do however have a bunch of Mordor Orcs which I acquired for some reason (I blame GW’s saturation advertising of the game several years ago combined with one of my periodic infatuations with all things Hobbity). I feel that the least I can do is get them painted up and there’s no time like the present is there? 

LotR Mordor Orcs Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)LotR Mordor Orcs Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

I admit they’re not my best work but the small scale of these models combined with the less-than-amazing quality of sculpting doesn’t exactly inspire. By the time I got to the one with the bow I really couldn’t be arsed any more, although looking at him I get the impression whoever sculpted it felt the same way. Anyway I’m happy enough though and I might even knock through a few more before the month is out. 


Orcs Are Back On The Menu Boys

Once upon a time I had a plan that I would spend a good chunk of Orctober painting either my long-untouched Orc Blood Bowl team or bolstering the number of Orks in my 40k army (or possibly adding a few more Orc Brutes to those available as part of my Warcry collection). As it turns out I ended up focussing on other projects instead, although I did manage to at least make a start on the Blood Bowl team (at last!) and hopefully I’ll be cracking on with the rest of them soon. However just when it looked as though that was going to be all the Orcs I managed this month I stumbled upon these four disreputable lads lurking in the bottom of a box; dusty, part-painted and in need of some love. How could I resist getting them painted up at last?

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I’ll confess I didn’t try to go mad painting these to the best of my ability, as I’ve commented here before on several occasions I’ve never really been that enthusiastic about the Lord of the Rings miniatures but credit where its due, these were fun to paint. Being so small and lacking in detail compared to modern models they called for a more “quick and dirty” or sketchy style, and they certainly fit the stereotype associated with the Middle Earth range of being a little bit of a step down in comparison to the quality of the models elsewhere in GW’s stable (something that, in all fairness, the more recent releases have done a lot to counteract). That didn’t stop them being entertaining to work on though, and my hat is definitely off to anyone who can manage to produce really nice looking results with them. I’m pretty sure the rest of the set is still around somewhere, stored away after an abortive attempt to try out the LotR miniatures game many, many moons ago – I’ll keep an eye out for it and, when I find it, get the rest of them painted up.


An Hour of Wolves and Shattered Shields

Just a quick one today, something a bit different that I spotted in amongst some other models and took a fancy to painting; a warrior of Minas Tirith. To the best of my knowledge this is the first Lord of the Rings model I’ve painted (that hadn’t been converted into something else – more on that soon). I received it as part of a bits drop from fellow blogger IRO and rather than cannibalise it for components for other projects decided to just paint him as is.

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I don’t really know why I’ve always steered away from painting Lord of the Rings models. For me the books were one of the key moments in my introduction to fantasy fiction and something which has proved to have a lifelong influence, and the films are, in my view, amongst the greatest movies ever made (I even enjoyed the Hobbit trilogy, although I admit there were a few moments that missed the mark). However the aesthetic of the Middle Earth models from GW have never really done anything for me so although it all sounds great in theory I’ve instead ended up focusing my interests in the myriad other possible settings. Still I did enjoy painting this brave warrior of Gondor so who knows, perhaps the age of men isn’t over quite yet.