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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
It wasn’t just about greenskins either, I even managed to sneak in a few other models of a distinctly un-orky persuasion.
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!
The final hours of Orktober are ticking away and it’s time for me to down my brushes, or at least paint something that isn’t green for a change. I wasn’t sure if I would get these three finished in time but the impending deadline inspired me to make one final effort, faint heart having never won fair Ork maiden and all that.
I couldn’t resist painting up this brutal looking git, an Ork who’s clearly been on the receiving end of many a battering over the years but can still give as good as he gets with that massive axe.
Then we have this mean individual, kitbashed with spares from the Flash Gits kit. As it happens I intended to paint some Flash Gits this month (and various other things as well) but never got around to it – their time will come however…
Lastly this Nob was inspired by my co-conspirator and fellow Waaagh-lord IRO who painted a similar looking Ork earlier in the month. Is he a sneaky Blood Axe sent to infiltrate my collection on behalf of my rival, or is he just an Ork who knows fashion when he sees it and has copied the iconic look sported by IRO’s miniature?
And speaking of IRO I’d like to end by giving him a massive shout-out for being a fantastic sport and a great rival in our month-long Ork painting extravaganza. For those who’re only just encountering this for the first time blogger, kitbasher and Ork enthusiast extraordinaire IRO and myself have been spending the whole of this month painting as many greenskins as we could manage. IRO has produced some truly amazing pieces so do go and check out his work if you’re not already familiar with it. For myself this brings my total number of Orcs painted this month to 37 (a quite ridiculous number of models to paint in a month, especially by my standards). I think that deserves a group shot don’t you? I’ll try to get a round-up posted in the next few days.
He’s the biggest, the toughest, the meanest and quite possibly the greenest. He’s the Beast of Armageddon, the Prophet of the Ork gods, the warboss’s warboss, the bringer of the Great Waaaagh! He’s a force of nature, a figure of legend, and one of the most important characters to stride the galaxy in the 41st Millennium. No I’m not talking about my fellow Ork enthusiast IRO, although many of these things are true of him as well. Instead I’m talking about Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, undoubtedly the most famous Ork to have been (allegedly) named after a British Prime Minister.
Ever since I was a yoof Ghazghkull has been my hero, his struggle to unite the warring Ork tribes of his backwater planet and unleash them upon the galaxy at large reflected in my own struggle to paint a mighty greenskin horde of my very own. Sadly the model for old Ghazghkull really wasn’t all that, it appeared to be showing its age even when I discovered the Orks all those years ago (although in fact it hadn’t actually been released that long ago) and time didn’t really do much to put a gloss of nostalgia on it. Thus it wasn’t until early in 2020 that I seriously considered adding Ghazghkull to my own army. That was when a new model was released for him (stalled slightly by the outbreak of good old Covid but even Nurgle can’t halt our boy for long).
Ghazghkull, you see, is hard to kill. Shot through the head by a space marine when was just a young Ork he came back swinging, inspired by the voices of the Ork gods (that only he could hear) to spread the word; it was time for the boys to stop messin’ about and get on with the job of stompin’ the universe flat! During the Psychic Awakening series of books Ghaz went up against the legendary Ragnar Blackmane of the Space Wolves in a fight so ludicrously over-egged and heavy on hyperbole that both characters needed new miniatures afterwards. This time Ghazghkull ended up decapitated entirely and even that wasn’t enough to slow him down for long, soon his head was found and sewn back on and he was ready to roll up his (heavily armoured) sleeves and get back in business.
One of the main things I wanted to do this Orktober was add the big man to my army, even going to far as to paint up his little sidekick Makari in advance. Now, with the month almost over, the big man himself is finished at last. He’s a big lad so the pictures are a little larger than normal, give them a click to see him at his full, imposing, size.
Did I mention that he’s a big lad? Here he is towering over one of the ordinary boyz.
And of course, here he is next to his little buddy and personal flag-waver Makari.
I wanted to give this one my best efforts so although I was keen to get him finished this month I didn’t want to rush him. In the end I’m very pleased with the results, there were some tricky moments (the less said the better about the night spent painting stripes on all the cables only to realise in the morning that it looked terrible) but I got there in the end, and just in time for the end of the month.
Incidentally, if that’s still not enough Ghazghkull for one day I highly recommend you check out this version painted by Mcmattilaminis, it’s a real thing of beauty and was a big inspiration as I tried to get the big man finished myself.
Is he the last of the Orks on my painting desk? Not even close! That said he may well be the last one I paint this Orktober, although the month isn’t quite over yet so who knows…
So far this month I’ve painted a whole heap of ork infantry of all different shapes, sizes and styles. Now it’s time to turn my attention to something even bigger and uglier, with an even bigger, uglier steed. Even the boar boy I worked on earlier in the week would hesitate before climbing onto the back of this beast!
One of the newer models in my collection is this Nob, who – as the title suggests – rides into battle on a Smasha Squig, and has only been waiting a mere few weeks for paint. He’s not quite as mighty as some of the stuff my Ork painting rival IRO has been producing lately but he’s still big enough to loom over pretty much everything else I’ve painted over the past few weeks.
Big though he is he’s not the biggest, or scariest, Ork that’s on my painting desk at the moment although I’m really going to have to crack on if I’m going to get him finished by the end of the month…
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…
…and runnin’ boy…
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.
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!
Are these all the greenskins I have to show you this week? Nah – of course they’re not!
When Gorzag Gitstompa went on sale around Christmas 2020 as a limited run, commemorative series miniature I told myself firmly I wasn’t going to be buying him. No, I would not be tricked by the siren song of nostalgia that recalled (dimly) the original Games Day exclusive version of Gorzag, and the classic artwork (below) from Gorkamorka. Nor would I allow FOMO to cloud my judgement and lure me into foolish purchases. Well, we all know how this is going to end up don’t we..?
Yes, somehow, despite my best intentions, Gorzag found his way into my shopping basket and onto my painting desk anyway and you know what? He was worth it! In the end he was an absolute joy to paint. Just a pity he’s no longer available or I’d be recommending him to everyone.
Rarely is the question asked “How many Orks can Wudugast paint in a month?”. In part this is because I usually forget that Orktober is a thing and months, then years go by with my lovely greenskins gathering dust. This year however I’ve actually remembered about this annual celebration of all things Orky and am determined to use the time as a spur towards making inroads to my backlog of greenskins. It’s been a fantastic year for fans of the Orks/Orcs, with new Kruelboyz appearing in Age of Sigmar and a mighty host of warlike ladz stomping around on the 40k side of the fence, and as a result my already significant heap of unpainted Orks (and Orcs) has only grown.
Now as it happens a couple of the Orks I’d like to tackle this month come with little grotty, gobliny gretchin as sidekicks and we wouldn’t want them messin’ about, getting underfoot when we’re supposed to be concentrating on proppa boys now would we? Best to get them out of the way whilst we were still in September so we can spend next month laying about as many Orks as my paintbrush will reach. Readers familiar with the Ork range will recognise these two diminutive little gits and by extension guess which Orks I’m hoping to paint up – the rest of you will just have to wait and see.
First off here’s a sneaky little so-and-so called Nikkit.
Then we have Makari, arguably the most famous gretchin in the 40st Millennium (with the possible exception only of the Red Gobbo). Makari vanished for a number of years there, having allegedly been sat upon by his boss, but he’s back now with a new miniature and he’s as mean and stabby as ever. For those who’re wondering, the glyphs on his banner read “Boss” “Waaagh” (War) and “Goffs” (one of the Ork tribes). So that’s the Warboss of the Goffs then – I wonder who that could be..?
Right, now with those two little gits out of the way let’s get ready for a whole load of Orks! Waaagh!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.