Tag Archives: Orruks

Back To The Primitive – Part 4

One of the main things I wanted to do this Orctober was paint up a warband of Savage Orcs to use in games of Warcry. Now the warband is pretty much done – and the final thing I needed to add was someone to take charge of these gits. For that I decided to call upon the talents of a Wurrgog Prophet. These are the leaders of the Bonesplitter clans, and it is through their demented gibbering that the will of the Orc gods is interpreted. Each one is a powerful shaman in his own right, just the kind of guy I want to lead my mob of maddened primitive greenskins.

However, just like the Savage Orcs themselves, I’m something of a traditionalist. To me this model will always represent Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu – the Great Green Prophet who roamed the lands of the Old World, raising up tribes of Savage Orcs, seeking out worthy warbosses and spreading the word that the Green Gods were coming and it was time for some propa’ fightin’!

Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu

When WHFB met it’s untimely end I expected that would be the end of old Wurrzag too, but although the character died the model lived on, rebranded as the Wurrgog Prophet just as the Savage Orcs were rebranded as Bonesplitter Orruks. When it became obvious that the axe was about to fall on WHFB I picked up old Wurrzag because I really liked the model, and the character, and I firmly expected the miniature to be discontinued. At the time I had a scheme to put together good old fashioned Orcs and Goblins army, something I’ve often considered over the years but never quite got around to. As it turned out I didn’t need to rush, and the model remains available even now. Anyway, old Wurrzag ended up tucked away safely for a rainy day and there he remained… until now…

Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

With the Wurrgog Prophet painted up I now have everything I need to unleash a frenzied pack of underdressed loons in games of Warcry. Not burdened by frivolous things like armour, clothes or sanity these boys are spoiling for a fight and with wintry weather drawing in I reckon I’ll soon get the chance to roll some dice and let them unleash their crazed barbarism on the tabletop. Don’t strain your eyes, click on the picture below for a proper look!

Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

These aren’t nearly all the Savage Orcs I have tucked away however, although I think it’s a safe bet that they’re all the ones I’ll be painting this month. Still, Orctober isn’t over yet and I still have a few more greenskins I’d like to get done if I can…


Kruel and Unusual – Part 2

The Kruelboy Orcs are, based on their name at least, both cruel and poor at spelling. Perhaps in an effort to combat this failure of the education system they appear to have embraced a kind of “bring your child to work day” – as we shall see below.

First of all however we have the leader of my nascent Kruelboy clan, a wily Killaboss. Lacking the raw brawn of most Orc leaders these lanky individuals make up for it with ruthless cunning, dirty tricks and a hell of a lot of spikes.

Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (1)Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (2)Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (4)

One of my favourite details on these models is the way that they have more armour on their backs than on their fronts on account of the fact that they are far more concerned about being stabbed by their own followers than they are by the enemy!

Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (3)

With foes in front and foes behind who can blame an Orc warlord for recruiting a “trustworthy” little squire in the form of a Stab-Grot.

Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (5)Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (6)Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (7)

Seen side by side of course it’s hard to shake the image of a father taking his diminutive offspring to the office.

Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (8)

Gathered together with their Gutrippa underlings and Hobgrot allies, this little warband already looks set to trouble Sigmar’s realm.

Kruelboyz Killaboss Wudugast Convertordie AoS Warhammer (9)

I managed to snag the Orc half of the Dominion boxset so don’t think you’ve seen the last of these nasty gits, there are plenty more boys lurking around the painting desk waiting for their moment…


Kruel and the Gang

Another weekend, another Warhammer preview – this time devoted to the Stormcast Eternals and their latest adversaries, the scheming orc Kruelboyz. Now the Stormcasts do look nice, it’s a range that’s come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, but being essentially a filthy orc myself my attention has been squarely focussed on this new breed of swamp-lurking greenskins.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of my regular readers but I like these a lot. They’re nasty, spiky gits, much more in keeping with the wicked hordes of older fantasy fiction than the “misunderstood” tribal barbarians popularised by World of Warcraft and other modern sources. They look exactly like the kind of evil scum that might be found lurking in a wild and overgrown swamp, ready to carry off their unfortunate victims to a terrible fate. It may say nothing good about me at all but that’s exactly the kind of qualities that draw me to a faction and so of course I’ve been watching this release develop with interest, my fingers hovering expectantly over my sadly over-worked wallet whilst my pots of green paint shove their way to the front of the desk ready to be liberally applied.

Beyond this rabid enthusiasm however two things have struck me whilst looking at these models; where are the normal orcs and why are these ones looking so damn serious all the time?

Kruelboss

In Praise of Normal Orcs

Over in the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium the greenskins are also gearing up for war. This time around the new models will be bring a range of new hunters and beast-wranglers to the faction – the so-called Beast Snaggas, some of whom even ride into battle on giant squigs.

New Orc

In the world of Warhammer 40k all orks belong to a tribe (that’s your personal collection – my army, Da Murdaboyz, being one example). Most orks are also part of one of six major clans (the Goffs, Evil Sunz, Snakebites, Bad Moons, Blood Axes and Deathskulls). A tribe may be made up exclusively of orks from one of these clans or it may contain members of several or all. Each clan has its own idiosyncrasies and defining traits, Bad Moons are wealthy show-offs for instance whilst the Deathskulls combine a superstitious obsession with the colour blue with a hunger for stealing everyone else’s property as soon as they can get their hands on it. Adding a third layer of complexity are the various ork “kultures” – the Kult of Speed for example, or the new Beast Snaggas. Some of these kultures tie themselves in well with certain clans but, and this is the clever thing, it’s not an exclusive arrangement. Take the Kult of Speed. These orks take their species’ love of hurtling around at a breakneck pace, something every ork enjoys to some extent, and turn it into a lifelong fixation. As a result they find a natural home amongst the nomadic petrol-heads of the Evil Sunz clan. The Goffs meanwhile are the meanest and most brutish orks of all, serious and ill-tempered they like the simple things in life – straightforward fighting with muscles and fists doing all the real work and none of that fancy nonsense getting in the way. They may take a dim view of the Speed Freeks and their time wasting antics, tinkering around with motorbikes or having silly races in the dusty wastes outside the camp when they should be concentrating on proper things like fighting. However that doesn’t mean that a few buggies or bikes will be out of place in a Goff army. After all it stands to reason that a Goff who races his way into combat atop a speeding bike will be able to enjoy a lot more fighting than his mates who have to walk all the way, and probably won’t reach the site of battle until the best killin’ has already been done. Meanwhile a Bad Moon might find himself tempted by a vehicle of his very own, and if he is he’ll buy one that’s fancier than anyone else’s – at least until the local Deathskulls steal it and paint it blue…

In practical terms this means you can make your army your own, choosing the parts of the Ork background that you find most appealing without finding yourself “locked out” of adding particular models to your collection. This works because, stripped back to the bare lead, plastic or resin, all these orks look relatively similar. There’s not much to distinguish a Bad Moon from a Goff until you’ve decided whether to paint him in garish yellow or cover him in black and white checks. These clans and kultures which have brought excitement and pleasure to so many hobbyists over the decades are rarely more than a coat of paint deep.

Over in Age of Sigmar however the differences are rather more intrinsic. A Kruelboy is a lean, spiky creature…

Gutrippa

… quite different to a hulking brute like an Ironjaw.

Ironjaw Brute

They’re both orcs, and they can certainly look good mixed together in a large army, but what they really need is something to tie them together – a missing link as it were. Where are the ordinary orcs?

Back in the old days of Warhammer Fantasy Battle the Orcs and Goblins range had at its heart mobs of Orc Boyz. The kit, when it was retired with the coming of Age of Sigmar, was well past its best but it continued to serve a key function – tying all the other orcs together thematically.

Normal Orcs

With these green lads at the heart of your army you could add in some Black Orcs (disciplined orcs in heavy armour), Big ‘uns (orcs but even bigger and tougher) or Savage Orcs (orcs who distain clothes and other trappings of civilisation and go into battle with nothing but bone clubs and loincloths). Standing side by side the Black Orcs looked very different to their Savage cousins (they were wearing a bit more for starters) but a mob of Orc Boys created a visual link that brought them together. As the greenskins have migrated across to Age of Sigmar the various specialised “types” have lived on – the Savage Orcs rebranded as Bonesplitterz, the Black Orcs as ‘Ardboyz and the Big ‘uns getting a swanky new range of models and becoming the Ironjaws. Now there are swamp themed orcs as well. What we don’t have however is the missing link, the ordinary boys who may not be fancy or particularly original, but who bring everything together – who take the disparate mobs of Kruelboyz, Ardboyz, Bonesplitterz and Ironjaws and forge them into an army.

Why So Serious?

For the most part the various settings and games under the Warhammer umbrella are on the one hand very serious, and on the other very silly. Take Blood Bowl for instance, a game which the players can – if they so wish – take very, very seriously indeed, developing for themselves the mindsets of chess grandmasters, whilst at the same time playing with undead footballers, drunken dwarves, pogo-ing goblins, chainsaw-wielding loonies and orc cheerleaders. Warhammer 40k paints itself as a very serious business (look no further than the 700 novels that make up the Horus Heresy series) but it also includes space vampires, space werewolves, all kinds of demons and other craziness that more sober sci-fi would never abide. Orks of course are the ultimate expression of that silly side. Even when 40k is trying to be sensible and grown-up, picturing the grand narrative of a declining and stagnating empire brought low by the flaws within our all too human souls, the orks just fart around at the back enjoying themselves. Collectively, they are the whoopee cushion on Roboute Guilliman’s chair.

Orc Cheerleader

Warhammer works well when it can be taken very seriously – look no further than the reams of historical and cultural background in the “House of…” books for Necromunda for example. However it needs that spark of silliness to bring out the flavour. All that Necromundan nitty-gritty is wonderful but it’s still a game of punks vs. aliens, and it still includes the character Smartacus, an ogre who leads an uprising after an accident turns him into a genius.

If the Kruelboyz have a flaw then it’s that they’re not very silly. Indeed for the most part they look serious and scary. Now there’s nothing wrong with that – as I said I really like that aspect of them – but really the Ironjaws aren’t particularly silly either, the Black Orcs/Ardboyz were always grim and dour and that only leaves the Savage Orcs doing their best to keep things daft and looking ever more out of place. But if the orcs aren’t silly then who is?

Gutrippa 2

To me that’s the one remaining problem with Age of Sigmar. The setting has grown from its challenging birth into something genuinely interesting and impressive. When it first launched six years ago it felt unfinished; the backstory little better than fan fiction, the models borrowed from WHFB with confusing new names and the rules leaning as much on players yelling at each other as on rolling dice. Nowadays it’s grown into an engaging, complex world in which even cynical old hands like me look forward to discovering the next chapter of the ever developing story. However these days it’s a sensible world for grown-up people. The goblins – in the form of the Gloomspite Gits – are as silly as ever but the Orcs have their serious faces on, and much as I love the look of the Kruelboyz I miss those daft old orcs. Perhaps in time though we’ll have both – serious orcs for serious battles and silly old orcs farting under the noses of those snooty Stormcasts.


Gonna Smash ’em – Part 2

Roight! How about some more of dem orcs eh! After painting my first dwarf in years I naturally had to balance the scales by with a couple of the big green lads. First of all here’s a brute boss with a suitably wicked looking jagged claw.

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These orcs will be joining my Warcry warband which already has a perfectly suitable leader in the form of “not Gurzag Ironskull”, my personalised version of the Orc boss from Warhammer Underworlds (and if you need a reminder of how he looks here he is!)

That said I’m all in favour of having plenty of options so an alternative boss seemed like a good move. Inevitably I’ll now have to paint an even bigger and badder orc to keep the two of them in line, otherwise they’ll be sure to turn on one another in a brutal battle for dominance. In the meantime however, here’s all the brutes I’ve painted so far.

Orc Brute Group Wudugast ConvertOrDie

Speaking of options I also thought that an ‘ardboy with a shield would make for a nice addition to the crew. I used to really like these models but they’re definitely showing their age now, especially in comparison to the far more detailed and textured Brutes. I still have a soft-spot for them though so I may well do a few more at some point.

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That’s all the orcs for today but I’ve still got a hunger for the forces of destruction, I won’t eat up any more of your time by making a meal of things just now but expect to see another brutish warband lumbering over the horizon in the not-too-distant future…


Iz Dat Da Dokk?

Let’s be honest, some miniatures are just a bit duff. Take the Bonesplitters Wardokk for instance (which used to be a Savage Orc shaman of some description). Let’s not beat about the bush, it’s past its best. In fact, it’s hard to say exactly when it’s best was…

Wardokk

For those unfamiliar the Wardokk is essentially an assistant shaman amongst the Bonesplitters. This faction of Orcs are lead by cabals of savage mystics, with a Wurrgog Prophet (the model for which, confusingly, used to be the special character Wurrzag, Da Great Green Prophet – something I still find takes a little getting used to). Each Wurrgog Prophet has a few acolytes around to assist in imposing his orders (however mad they may sound) on the recalcitrant boyz, to whip the clan up ready for battle and to perform the secret dances by which they channel the power of the greenskin god. One of these so-called Wardokks will go on to become the Wurrgog’s successor, to quote the army book, “should the Prophet fall in battle or accidentally blow himself up”.

At first I found myself wondering why GW continue to give the Wardokk miniature a place in the ranks of the Orc (or should I say Orruk) Warclans range. There’s no denying it’s letting the side down a little, when compared with some of the brilliant models that march alongside it. However after giving it some thought I came to realise that actually they made a smart move here. Keeping the Wardokk around adds another option to the range, and kitbashing your own version from the Bonesplitters set, plus a few odds and ends, is actually pretty straightforward and a lot of fun.

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The key elements to capture were the skull mask (taken from the Ironjaws Brutes), the dancing pose and the bone-fetish rattle (made from bits and bobs in the savage orcs kit, rather than wire wool as the original appears to have been). The army book describes how the Wardokk will do whatever is required to get the boys in a fighting mood (surely not that hard) including, but not limited to, a quick punch in the face – something I thought the clenched fist on his free hand conveyed rather well. I might raise him up on something to make him stand out a little amongst any future boyz but otherwise I’m pretty pleased with him (although as ever I’m open to any and all feedback). In fact he was so straightforward to build that I’m now feeling tempted to make a couple more – the book does describe multiple Wardokks in each clan after all. Not sure when I’ll get around to painting him but he was great fun to make, and he’s certainly given me the itch to tackle some more green boys soon.


Whither Now Destruction?

What with it being Orctober I find myself thinking about greenskins even more than usual, from hulking boyz to stabby little gobbos, and even their big – and distinctly pink skinned – friends the ogres. In combination these form the Destruction Grand Alliance, the warlike hordes who smash their way through the Mortal Realms in a riot of brute strength and low cunning.

Orcs Brutes Ironjaws Wudugast

Over the past year or so Games Workshop have given Age of Sigmar some much-needed housekeeping. The myriad factions of yesteryear have been pared down into something much more manageable and less intimidating to a newcomer. In the early days of AoS each Grand Alliance (for the uninitiated that’s Order, Chaos, Death and Destruction – the overall groupings of factions by which the setting is defined) contained dozens of mini-factions, some of which contained only a single model (the Shadowblades or Firebellys for example). For a veteran of the Warhammer era that had gone before it was totally baffling and formed an almost impenetrable barrier between people like me and the brave new world that GW were developing.

Naturally they wanted to look to the future and to get to work on the new and creative ideas they had been cooking up. However before they could really get on with it they needed to put their house in order. If you want your pudding you have to eat your greens and if they wanted to concentrate on the next Idoneth Deepkin or Stormcast Eternals it was getting harder and harder to do with the survivors of the Old World hanging around and embarrassing GW in front of their fancy new friends.

In order to resolve this many of the small factions, with only a handful of models to their name, were rolled together and, unlike the higglety pigglety, anything-goes approach of the early days, found themselves combined like with like. The humans, elves and dwarves who survived the destruction of the Old World have been clumped into the Cities of Sigmar for example, whilst the disparate clans of the Skaven have been reunited into a single faction. At the same time various models were removed from the range, some not a moment too soon, some well before their time, and some were kept on which surely should have been replaced decades ago. At times the logic behind which models were cut and which were kept was hard to fathom for a fan without insider knowledge of the company. The orc boar boys for instance got the chop as part of the dissolution of the greenskins faction. At the time it made a degree of sense to me, despite being relatively modern – not to mention rather nice looking in comparison to many of the other greenskins kits – they didn’t really fit in with either the Ironjaws or the Bonesplitters, both of which had their own version of boar boys anyway. With the arrival of the Orruk Warclans army book however one wonders if more could have been done to save their bacon. With the orc factions rolled back together again surely the boar boys could have found a home amongst them? Most likely the answer comes down to shelf space, combined with the aforementioned alternative boar boys but I’m still sorry to see them go.

Boared Already

I’m just a boar boy, nobody loves me
He’s just a boar boy from a boar family

However whilst I can suggest a logic behind the removal of the boar boys I’m left confused as to why this goblin shaman was shown the door…

Goblin Shaman 2

… whilst these two weren’t.

Night Goblin Shaman

Is it just the lack of Night Goblin accoutrements like a big hood? If it really bothers you a head swap isn’t hard to accomplish. Speaking as a fan of the Gloomspite Gits I’d rather have a nice looking shaman with a bare head than this duff-looking duo (although looking again the one in the foreground isn’t quite as bad as I remembered him). At least I have a couple of alternative shamen I can call upon however.

Age of Sigmar deserves to tap into its potential for creativity but it was tricky to do that until the ghosts of WHFB were laid to rest. Now that that task nears completion we can turn our attention to the future and start to ask just where that creativity might lead.

Until now GW have reserved the greater part of that creativity for the Order Grand Alliance. In part however I suspect this reflects the ideas of the past and the areas in which they felt their line was at its weakest. After all the Skaven, or the warriors of Khorne, are far more distinct to GW’s IP than elves or dwarves which can be found through fantasy fiction. Thus the company has focused on Order and Chaos, the former requiring perhaps the most work, the latter already well-formed and desperate to stretch its wings in AoS’s new universe and tap into the vast potential which previous iterations had seen stifled. The other two Grand Alliances fell behind although Death is starting to come into its own through the Nighthaunt and the forthcoming Ossiarch Bonereapers. As it stands order contains eight factions, chaos seven and death just four with the inclusion of the Bonereapers*. Destruction also has four at the moment although it’s safe to assume that two of these, the Beastclaw Raiders and Gutbusters will be rolled into a single Ogors faction soon.  Likewise the Orcs of the Ironjaws and Bonesplitters have recently become the Orruk Warclans (with any old Orcs from the greenskins faction herded to the exits). Similarly the goblins, trolls and squigs have been gathered into the ranks of the Gloomspite Gits. The result is three neatly packaged factions; orcs, goblins and ogres.

*For those who want to check my workings, I’m counting as supported those factions which have been given their own section on the GW website and a book – not anything  that’s currently discontinued or anything from Forge World. Based on that we have;

Order – Cities of Sigmar, Daughters of Khaine, Fyreslayers, Idoneth Deepkin, Kharadron Overlords, Seraphon, Stormcast Eternals and Sylvaneth.

Chaos – Beasts of Chaos, Blades of Khorne, Disciples of Tzeentch, Everchosen/Slaves to Darkness, Hedonites of Slaanesh, Maggotkin of Nurgle and Skaven (treating Everchosen and Slaves to Darkness as one faction and leaving Creatures of Chaos out because that’s not a proper faction round my house, that’s just some monsters conveniently gathered in the same place!)

Death – Flesheater Courts, Legions of Nagash, Nighthaunt, Ossiarch Bonereapers.

Destruction – Gloomspite Gits, Orruk Warclans and Mawtribes (or whatever the Ogors end up being called).

Ogre

I’m sexy and I know it

Where do they go next then? There isn’t a natural and obvious answer to this. When Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch were given army books of their own it was safe to assume that Slaanesh would get their turn sooner or later. The same can no longer be said. A tipping point has been reached and we find ourselves stepping off the edge of the Old World’s map and into the uncharted lands of the new Age of Sigmar.

As hobbyists we often pull at loose threads of information, trying to second guess what might be released in the months and years to come. In the past it was easy to say “this faction or that faction ought to be coming soon” simply because they haven’t had any fresh releases in a while. This was never a very reliable way of divining the future but it had its merits, and those who made a habit of such guesses where right often enough to weave themselves an illusion of foreknowledge. Nowadays you might as well try to read the tea leaves in the GW staff canteen.

By naming the Orc faction Orruk Warclans rather than Ironjaws and Bonesplitters (or some more pleasing and marketable equivalent) the implication is that these are all the Orcs we’re going to be seeing for the next little while. Beastgrave contains a rather lovely looking warband of goblin wolf riders (that’s part of the Gitmob in the modern parlance) but my gut tells me – with nothing more than an intuitive guess to go on – that these are more of a nod to the past than a hint of things to come. The goblins certainly have potential for further exploration – I’m still surprised that we didn’t see a new plastic kit for the doom-diver catapult as part of the Gloomspite Gits release for instance – but much like the Orruk Warclans I suspect that the Gloomspite Gits are a packing up of the existing gobbos, for now at least.

Snarlfang Gitbiters

Nor are there any subfactions which seem like contenders for establishing themselves as fully-fledged factions in their own right. The trolls have made themselves at home amongst the Gloomspite Gits and, thus established, have really come into their own. The giants may have enjoyed a brief stint as a one model faction in the early days of AoS but the big oafs have been reined in by their destruction colleagues and I’d be surprised to see them go it alone again.

If it was up to me I’d love to see the snotlings brought back and explored in full but I can’t imagine that anything other than wishful thinking. Then again at least they could double up as Orks in Adeptus Titanicus!

Of course, I can’t miss an opportunity to make my pitch for a Destruction themed version of Warcry. Just imagine the fun that could be had shifting the setting from the Chaos wastes of the Bloodwind Spoil to the rust warrens and dank caves of Skrappa Spill. Instead of Chaos warbands we could see examples of the various types of Orc, Goblin and Ogres that must be found in the Mortal Realms, fighting it out for the sheer joy of it.

Meanwhile, lurking in the corner of the Destruction Grand Alliance, overlooked and underloved, we have the Fimir. These weird cyclopean beasts have skulked on the fringes of Warhammer since the early days, never fully accepted into the game, never entirely kicked out. Every time you think they are gone for good they pop up again, shoving their snouts briefly above the parapet every decade or so before vanishing once more into the gloom. Earlier this year I even painted one, a model from Hero Quest that’s almost as old as I am.

With the launch of AoS the Fimir abandoned the overcrowded Chaos raft and found themselves a new home amongst Destruction (rather than vanishing once and for all, as I was expecting, with the purging of so many other things GW wanted rid of). Thanks to Forge World we even have a few Fimir models and as ever there is speculation that they might make a comeback. Honestly I wouldn’t hold my breath (unless I was standing downwind of a real Fimir that is).

Fimirach Noble

One thing the Fimir do however is emphasise that from here on out we no longer need to expect the Destruction forces to adhere to tradition. For these warlike races things have remained pretty much the same for a very long time. The Orcs and Goblins, and Ogres, were well established in WHFB and stamped into AoS as if nothing much had changed. Whilst a time traveller from a decade ago would barely recognise the flying dwarves and fishy elves as descendants of the game they knew the greenskins and their allies remain much as they ever were, just with a few nice new models to show for the passage of time. It’s easy to believe that nothing need ever really change. Yet a glance towards the Order Grand Alliance reveals this need not be the case. The once hide-bound, subterranean dwarves now zoom through the skies, carving out trade empires above the clouds where once they carved mines beneath the roots of the mountains. Some elves are half snake, others are eyeless and aquatic. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Ulthuan anymore…

I’m not for a moment suggesting that we are about to see aquatic orcs or half-snake ogres, simply that the expansion of possibilities that was applied to Order could just as easily be lavished upon the other Grand Alliances. What is certain is that GW aren’t done with the brutish followers of Gorkamorka, and that, after decades of popularity they’ll be cast aside. Equally we can’t guess with even a scrap of accuracy what form those future releases might take. We could see orcs, goblins or ogres of a kind completely unknown to us, or we could see something entirely new. Good or bad the future is looking like a very different place from the past. After so many years of seeing the same old factions from one decade’s end to the next that’s something that we’re going to have to get used to. I still can’t begin to get guess what it might look like, but I for one am agog to find out!


Showcasing Sam: The Old World

So, after all that talk about greenskins and the world of Warhammer last week I realised I’d never got around to the second half of my little ‘Showcasing Sam’ mini-series. Strap yourselves in because a lot of pictures lie ahead!

To recap; Sam has been a good friend of mine for over a decade and remains one of the best painters I know. Recently he’s found that time for painting miniatures is hard to come-by. Always on the lookout for content for this blog I took a load of photographs of his models to put together this showcase of his work. This time we’ll be looking at his fantasy models, mostly for the Warhammer world. For his 40k models click here. I’d also highly recommend his blog, although it’s not been updated for a while it’s full of information about how he painted every model.

First up we have Grimgor Ironhide – famously the most warlike of all Orcs (yeah, you heard me Azhag ya mad git!). I really like the pallid skin, especially on the face, and often wondered if this was chosen to reflect all the time Grimgor spent underground fighting the Skaven.

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Of course if you’re going to have ‘da best’ of all Orcs then you need his equal amongst the Goblins; Skarsnik (and Gobbla of course). I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt the loss of Gobbla during the End Times with the kind of intensity normally reserved for family members. I’m also secretly rather impressed that Sam has managed to make the model look so good in spite of painting him with quite a lot of pink.

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Standing stalwart against the depredations of these greenskins we have this impeccably dressed Empire Captain.

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Another of my favourites is this gorgeous skink. Just look at that jewel on the end of his staff!

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I’ve always been impressed with Sam’s range as a painter – everything from that Lizardman to this unit of scabrous Plague Monks.

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Pretty much everyone in the world has converted the Nurgle Lord but Sam decided to break with tradition and painted the fat man as originally intended.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of Warhammer bad-guys from the pie-loving Nurgle Lord is this sleek Dark Elf Dreadlord.

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I love the way he’s leaning into the strike – someone’s going to get their head chopped off for sure.

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For the last part of this showcase I wanted to leave the world of Warhammer and take us instead to Westeros, the setting of Game of Thrones. This is one of my absolute favourite pieces by Sam, a diorama recreating the infamous clash between Oberyn Martell and ‘The Mountain’ Gregor Clegane using models from Dark Sword Miniatures.

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I love all the little details that have been included to set the scene. To my eye the balance between creating context without overwhelming the characters has been struck perfectly. The fallen leaves and tumbled masonry creates a sense both of the changing seasons as the characters prepare for a harsh winter ahead and of the waning of their civilisation, the passing of glory and the inevitable yielding of their endeavours to history.

Prince Oberyn shields his head against the Mountain’s swing, making getting a picture of his face almost impossible.

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GoT 1

The Mountain lines up to do some chopping. Damn but he’s a tall lad isn’t he?

The Mountain That Rides

Finally, whilst I’m allowing the blog to be taken over by my talented friends, allow me to point you in the direction of Iriselsewhere who, inspired by my recent review of the new Orruks, drew the Weirdnob Shaman performing Hamlet. As one does…

Orruks Iris

Until next time, hope you enjoyed this little showcase of my friends’ talents, do check out their blogs and feel free to make any comments in the box.