Tag Archives: Ork

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.

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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.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

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.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

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.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (6)

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.

Ork Boyz Line-up Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (7)

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 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…


Green Iz Best – Part 5

I just realised that it almost the end of the month and I haven’t painted anything for Januwaaaghry. I’m not even sure if Januwaaaghry is still a thing that people do or if it’s entirely been replaced by Orktober. Certainly when I first got into orks about 10 years ago it was popular but as you know I’m not up with the kids! Anyway having left it a little late I didn’t have a lot of time to paint anything but it seemed remiss of me to let the occasion pass entirely, especially as I can always use the push to get a few more boys done.

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As an aside writing this got me thinking about the pronunciation of the world Waaagh! Listening to other people in the broader hobby community it seems to be generally pronounced with a soft “ah”. I on the other hand always believed it was pronounced as in war, which after all is exactly what the Orks are shouting about. “Waaagh! Wot is it good for? Krumpin’ lotas humies! Say it say it say it again!” To me the latter makes more sense as well as being a better approximation of the guttural cry of an Ork. The former sounds more high pitched, the sort of thing a goblin would shout, but it does seem to be more popular and certainly ties in more closely with the pronunciation of January. Anyway, I now feel I’ve written the word “Waaagh!” more times than a grown man can really get away with so if you have any thoughts on this, perhaps the greatest issue of our age, the floor is yours.


Green Iz Best – Part 4

Just sneaking in another model in-between all the terrain (even though sneaking isn’t something an ork nob usually approves of!). According to the new ork codex an ork nob with a Waaagh! banner (a model with which regular readers will know I have something of a love/hate relationship) is no longer part of a squad but instead is a lone individual. Not that I pay too close attention to the rules but any excuse to paint another ork ought to be seized upon right? Surely I wasn’t expected to tolerate my poor nobs squad being a man down?

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There we go; the nobs are back to being ten strong and balance has been restored! Of course now I’ll have to start work on a second squad…


Green Iz Best – Part 3

Orktober is rolling to a close and its almost time to hang up the greenskins for another year but before it’s gone completely there’s still time for one last update. First off here’s another new nob, bringing the squad up to ten.

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I also finished rebasing the older models in the squad. As mentioned last time this is for aesthetic reasons and not to exploit some clever gameplay shenanigans, although since last time we discussed this GW themselves have announced that Nobs, and indeed Boys, will now be released on 32mm bases. Now for the Nobs I think this is great news but the sword of ” aesthetic reasons only” cuts both ways, I certainly won’t be rebasing all those boys any time soon!

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That does leave the one with the Waaagh! banner needing to be rebased but as he breaks every time I look at him I’ll leave him alone for now in the interests of efficiency and sort it out next time I’m repairing him anyway.

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Of course any ork army could always use more boys so I’ve not been idle on that front either. Here’s the latest additions to the mob.

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I’ve no idea how many ork boys will make a unit in the new codex but, with 70 of them now painted, there is undoubtedly room for another boss nob. For some reason I always find painting boss nobs a bit of a chore. Aesthetically I’ve no idea why this might be but somehow I always find myself a little less enthusiastic about them than I would a normal ork boy. That said I’m still pleased with the end result. Do you have any models in your own collections which you like the look of but find yourself struggling to muster the enthusiasm to paint?

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Here he is posing with his colleagues, the other two boss nobs in the army.

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And given the new recruits a proper bossin’…

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With it looking unlikely that I’ll get the chance to finish any more orks by the end of the month (but fear not I’ll have plenty of other models to show you over the next couple of days) here’s a roundup of all the models I painted for Orktober. Not masses I’ll admit but solid progress nonetheless and considerably bolstered by that Deff Dread.

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As I mentioned in a previous post, the orks were the first of the 40k factions to really grab me. I’ve been adding units to it for over a decade so, in celebration of our new buggies and codex (not to mention to round out Orktober in style) here’s the whole army gathered together.

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For those who count points I’ve no idea how many that comes to, although I’ll probably tot it up at some point just for fun once I’ve seen the new Codex. In the meantime however I need to put the finishing touches on a few other, smaller, greenskins and hopefully by tomorrow I should have a post finished showcasing progress on my goblins. Just don’t tell the Orks about my affiliation to their smaller kin, they might start thinking I’m a weedy git…


Stomp ‘Em Flat

For a year or two there October became synonymous with Dreadtober. Conjured up by Greggles at FeedYourNerd in 2015 it was a fairly straightforward painting event, calling for participants to paint a Dreadnaught (or similarly sized model) during the month of October. Perhaps simply because it was the first time I’d participated in anything of this nature I found myself captivated by the whole event and painted up a berserk Khornate helbrute (which I returned to and repaired back in May of this year).

However running an event like this takes considerable effort. It stands or falls on the sense of community involvement, of many people around the world participating together. The baton passed to Broken Paintbrush in 2016 when again it proved to be a great success but since then things have been pretty quiet and, like many others, I found myself struggling to maintain my enthusiasm. In the end I didn’t even finish the model I’d attempted in 2017 – a Death Guard Bloat Drone – until this May when a different community challenge – Azazel’s first Neglected Model Month – saw it resurrected alongside the aforementioned helbrute.

Anyway, I must confess I’d quite forgotten about Dreadtober until I spotted Thomas from HighTimesOnTheEasternFringe was working on one of my all time favourite miniatures – the Tyranid Carnifex – and discovered that Dreadtober has risen again in 2018.

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I almost finished this Deffdred for Azazel’s Jewel of July challenge but somehow it fell through the cracks, and then just kept falling. Back then it didn’t need much to be finished but somehow the months have passed and it hasn’t seen a single brush stroke. I’d already been wondering about trying to get it finished as part of Orktober (for anyone struggling to keep up with all these challenges that’s the annual celebration of all things greenskinned which has this year been co-opted by GW alongside their Ork releases) but the rediscovery of Dreadtober and the enthusiasm of the early years gave me the shove I needed to actually pick it up, overcome the inertia and get it done at last.

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“A Deff Dread’s pilot will take any opportunity to show the destructive power of his new metal body, if only to make himself feel better about the fact that he has to eat all his meals through a straw”.

Codex Orks (5th Edition)

And on that note all that remains to say is “best of luck” to everyone taking part in this year’s Dreadtober and of course a huge thanks to those who’ve stepped forward to keep the event alive in 2018.


Green Iz Best – Part 2

I’m still riding along on a wave of enthusiasm for all things Orky (as indeed all true greenskins do when a big Waaagh is in the offing). Next to come roaming across my painting desk, clad in their finest patch-work of looted armour and ready for a big scrap, are a couple of Ork Nobs – the first that I’ve painted in a number of years.

Here’s the first…

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…and here’s the second.

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Naturally as an Ork nob is a large model, roughly the size of a primaris space marine, I stuck him onto a 32mm base. At this point little did I realise that I might be flirting with controversy. It wasn’t until I was looking at some of my older models that I realised they are supposed to sit on the smaller 25mm bases. Most humans will be shrugging their shoulders at this point and thinking “so what” but trust me, for some people out there this kind of heresy makes the sort of shenanigans that Horus got up to seem like no more than a storm in a teacup. The size and type of base that a model is placed on is the sort of thing that gets a small sector of the population very worked up indeed. Personally I couldn’t give a monkey’s. I’m only raising this to clarify my position in advance, just in case anyone reading this thinks I might be trying to exploit some loophole or other. Naturally if you are one of those people who is distressed by this kind of carry on then please direct your hate mail to me via the usual channels.

Regardless I reckon this makes the models look an awful lot better than the silly little bases they were perched awkwardly on before so I went ahead and started rebasing all my old Nobs. Of course some of them could probably use being repainted whilst I’m about it but if I allow myself to get drawn into that I’ll probably never get anything done.

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Personally I think this improves the look of the models hugely, and of course it makes them a little less top-heavy into the bargain. I’ll try to sort out the rest soon – watch this space.