Tag Archives: Ork boys

First Snag Your Beast…

A lot of the Orks I’m planning to tackle this Orktober are models that I’ve acquired over the years but never got around to painting up (bad me!). However there’s also quite a lot of new models that have only recently been added to the range and you know what – I’ve got a fair number of them too! Amongst the recent additions we have the Beast Snagga boys – primitive Orks who live for the thrill of the hunt. To old timers like me these are essentially Skarboys from the Snakebites clan. I couldn’t resist getting a few of them painted so here we have thump gun boy…

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…shootin’ boy…

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…and runnin’ boy…

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What’s more Games Workshop also recently released a set of new Ork Boyz, something I’ve previously discussed at length. Needless to say I’ve painted up one of them as well.

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He’ll be the first recruit to my fifth squad of Ork boys, a squad to be lead by the notorious Gorzag Gitstompa. They’re even striking the same pose!

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Are these all the greenskins I have to show you this week? Nah – of course they’re not!


Ork Boyz Old And New

Fans of the Orks in Warhammer 40k have long been familiar with the humble Ork Boy. Mobs of these green thugs have been forming the core of Ork armies since the very earliest days of the game, and the miniatures have remained pretty much unchanged since the 3rd edition, making them older than many of the people currently playing. With the Ork range currently seeing its biggest shake-up in at least a decade many people are casting a critical eye over their Ork mobs and naturally, I’m one of them.

First things first, let’s remind ourselves of the models I’m talking about. This is an Ork Boy, built especially for this article and armed with the standard gear – a slugga and a choppa. He originates from the Assault on Black Reach set, the starter set from the 4th Edition of Warhammer 40k but aside from being “push fit” he’s identical to the Boyz you can pick up from your local GW store today.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

I have a long-standing affection for this kit, in fact I’ve painted 100 of them and will undoubtedly paint a few more in the future. Want to take a look at what 100 angry greenskins looks like? Of course you do!

For the most part these lads have stood the test of time fairly well but, with the quality of modern miniatures improving on a seemingly daily basis, I’ve started to expect that Games Workshop will soon decided that they should be shuffled off to wherever Orks go when they retire and replaced by something newer (and possibly also greener and meaner). Of course, as those who’re familiar with Games Workshop’s sometimes anarchic, sometimes simply arcane, business decisions will no doubt have already surmised, that would be far too straightforward. Yes, new Ork Boyz have indeed been released but no, the old Ork Boyz don’t appear to be going anywhere. Rather than just discontinue the old kit and release a new version like normal people (and I’m sure that it’s because I make comments like this that puts them off from sending me cool stuff for free like they do with those fancy-pants Youtubers and Instagram kids) GW decided to release their new Ork Boyz exclusively in a new box set: Combat Patrol: Orks.

Ork Combat Patrol

Now in all fairness this box has a lot of good stuff in it. Alongside the boyz there’s a warboss in mega-armour, three new deffcopters and a deffdread. In fact there was no way I wasn’t going to buy myself one, so the fact that the Boyz are currently only available there is no real skin off my nose. However Boyz are something that many Ork armies contain a lot of. This box will get you 20 of them, but my army contains 100. I’m not much of a list builder and I don’t have access to the latest points values, but based on my fairly rough calculations you could get almost 400 Boyz into a 2000 point army. Would it be any “good” in 9th Edition 40k? Would it get you to the top tables and the big prizes at your next tournament? Buggered if I know but it would surely impress your opponent and you’d have to employ a team of people to roll all your dice for you. However to assemble this mighty green hoard you’d need to purchase 20 of these boxes, which wouldn’t just be hard on the wallet but would leave you with a lot of spare plastic from all the other models that come packaged as part of the deal. Quite what GW are about here isn’t entirely obvious (beyond wanting to sell more models as fast as possible) but then isn’t that often the case? I’m sure it’ll all become clear in time…

That aside let’s take a look at the new Boyz. Here’s one I made earlier.

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I chose to build this one specifically because he echoes the old Black Reach boy I showed above, even going so far as to hold his slugga and choppa in the same hands as his predecessor. Now let’s now beat about the bush – much as I loved the old Orks this beats them hands down. As miniatures go he looks fantastic, full of character and crisp details whilst still maintaining the various traits iconic of his faction.

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Standing next to the old boy he’s clearly superior, a little bigger and more natural in his pose. The old Boyz could often end up looking a bit static and awkward, whereas this lad practically breathes, his warlike bellow almost echoing from the plastic. If I planned to paint just one Ork the new lad would win over the old hands down. However he’s not without his flaws. For one these new Boyz are all “easy to build” with tabs that can be used to push them together without using glue. It’s a clever idea, when it works, but usually I just snip the tabs off and glue them together properly like an adult. All too often the tabs aren’t quite the right size for the holes they’re meant to fit into and pieces get stuck, necessitating fiddly cutting and pushing to rectify things, by which point some fragile detail or other has been irrevocably damaged. However the real issue I see here is that each of the Boyz in the Combat Patrol box is designed to be built in one specific way. Unlike the old Boyz which could mix and match heads, arms and so on freely these Orks are designed to go together in one way only and woe betide if you start changing things.

Now it only takes a quick glance at the name of this blog to realise that I’m a convertor at heart. I like my models to be unique. The Combat Patrol box contains two sets of sprues to make two sets of identical Ork boyz (the boyz with heavy weapons and the Nobs can be built in one of two different ways but the other 8 models on each sprue have one “correct” build each so if you stick religiously to the instructions you’ll end up with 4 unique models and 8 pairs of twins). Obviously that’ll never do for me, I made sure that every single one of my 100 Ork boyz was unique and even to the 100th Ork it remained a fun challenge. With these guys it’s going to be harder work and I don’t see myself reaching 200 without things changing. That’s not the same as “impossible” of course, and I’m damn well going to find a way to convert every last one them, but it won’t be easy, and there will always be a risk of the converted version loosing something of what makes the unconverted version great without really gaining anything. For now however that challenge still lies ahead.

It’s also worth noting that Boys can be armed with either a slugga and choppa (that’s a pistol and an axe or big knife for those of us who don’t speak ork) or a shoota (a gun). These new lads are mostly armed with sluggas and choppas, although some are armed with shootas. If you want to convert a shoota boy into a slugga boy with these you’d better bring your converting A-game and even then you’ll be pushed – whereas with the old kit it was simply a case of choosing different arms from the sprue. Presumably someone in an ivory tower in Nottingham can explain why this was done but we mere mortals can only guess.

At the end of the day I’m very happy with the new Ork Boyz as models, but as replacements for the old kit they’re pretty terrible. What would delight me would be if GW kept these models as exclusives to the Combat Patrol set and released a new kit for making Ork Boyz separately, something which combines the quality and character of the new boyz with the ease of making lots of unique models that the old kit provided. I think it’s safe to say this isn’t going to be happening anytime soon, but someday – who knows?

Now as it happens these are not the only new Ork Boyz to have been released over the last little while. We’ve also recently seen the arrival of the Beast Snagga Boyz – orks who supplement their lives of fightin’ with wrangling any savage animals they can get their hands on. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear I’ve built one of them for this article too!

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I’ve heard these referred to a lot as “Primaris Orks” – a nod to the Primaris Space Marines which were released over recent years, and which are considerably bigger than the old Space Marine models which preceded them. This seems to stem from a misunderstanding that the Beast Snaggas are much bigger than the Boyz so let’s put that to bed once and for all – they aren’t.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

Indeed, apart from a few bits of fur which any Ork might choose to wear these aren’t that much different to the other new Ork boyz. That aside there’s not much to add here that I haven’t already said about the Boyz – they’re lovely models and I’m looking forward to painting them but they’re not multi-posable – if you want lots of these in your army you’d better either accept a lot of clones or get to work converting (naturally I strongly suggest the latter). They’re damn cool but I don’t really know what they bring to the range that couldn’t have been achieved by just branding them as Ork Boyz. They’re nice to have and I’m not going to turn my nose up at them but they’re not what I was asking for any more than the new Boyz are.  I can’t help but wonder if they sprang from some piece of concept art depicting Boyz from the Snakebite clan – which in turn makes me dream of seeing Boyz themed around each other the other clans (snazzy-looking Bad Moons, hulking Goffs, wild-eyed Evil Sunz running full pelt and dreaming of the day they can save up enough teef to buy a motorbike of their own). I know it’ll never happen but if I’m going to dream I might as well dream big right?

Anyway, you’d think that these lovely (albeit imperfect) new kits would be all the new Ork infantry we’d be getting in this wave of releases but you’d be wrong about that because I’ve been saving the best for last. New Kommandos have come sneaking out of the undergrowth and they’re perfect – everything I was hoping they would be and more.

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Despite being an elite unit, which is only likely to appear in small numbers in most armies, these are the most poseable and convertable of the lot. Each Kommando has two “standard” builds straight out of the box – that is to say just by following the instructions you can build two radically different miniatures around each body and if you bought two sets you could build two entirely different looking units. Compare that to the new Boyz which have one standard build each from which you diverge at your peril. GW would have done very well to have applied a few lessons from these to the rest of the new infantry but never mind. Expect to see me painting lots of Kommandos in the future.

Sneaky though they are I managed to coerce this one into lining up with the rest of the ladz for a nice comparison shot.

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Anyway, with that I’m going to draw my ramblings to a close. Needless to say, strange though some of the decisions GW have made here seem to me as an outsider, I’m still going to be having a lot of fun with these green gits over the next little while. After all, Orktober is just around the corner…


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.

Apocalypse

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. 😉

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…


Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 8

Time to tackle something nice and straightforward that doesn’t require too much brainpower, something to scratch the itch to paint without actually demanding any real effort – and with that remit nothing fits the bill quite so well as a couple of orks!

Ork Boy Convert Or Die

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Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 7

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For a long time I’ve harboured an ambition to own a horde of at least a hundred ork boys, with every one of them looking distinct from the rest. As much as possible I’ve tried to ensure that every ork I’ve painted has a unique head (although the aim of the exercise isn’t to make my life tough, if the odd bonce gets duplicated in the army I’m not going to be lying awake at night worrying about it). With the new additions I’ve made over the past week I’m up to sixty-three angry greenskins, which means it’s definitely time for a group shot.

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As ever before you give yourself eyestrain click on the pictures to get a proper look at them. You may also wish to play a version of ‘Where’s Wally’ with that old-skool Ork from last week…He’s lurking in there somewhere…


Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 6

Shall we take a look at one more Ork before the week is out? After all I’m fairly certain that one cannot have too many Orks. Unless they’re all charging at you of course, in which case even one is too many…

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Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 5

I’m on fire this week (figuratively – natch!) – here’s two more painted Ork boys! Waaargh!

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As always your feedback is appreciated.


Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 4

Another Ork comes stomping off the shelf of shame and goes to join his painted mates.

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Boyz Will Be Boyz – Part 3

Blame it on the Oldhammer Ork I painted last week but my attention has turned to the small group of Ork boys that have been gathering dust on the edge of the desk since my last burst of Orky enthusiasm waned back in January. Waaargh!

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Never Enough Dakka – Part 2

When I first started my Ork collection (seven years ago now? Longer?!) I set myself the challenge of never using the same head more than once on any of the infantry models. It’s a subtle little trick but it really adds to the sense of (small ‘c’) chaos and lack of uniformity in an Ork army, and helps to maintain that general aesthetic of unruliness in the face of unifying elements like a common colour scheme. It’s also very practical to achieve, there are just so many Ork heads available between the 40k and AoS ranges, without even starting on all the third-party companies out there.

Until now I’ve managed to stick to it. This gasmask from Spellcrow though – just too cool not to use twice!ork-bruvas-convert-or-die-1

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