Orktober!

Orktober sees the gauntlet thrown down between Wudugast and Imperial Rebel Ork to paint the most orks, the rest of us being mere bystanders apart from an intrepid few who also use this challenge to increase their number of painted minis with green skins (regardless of whether it’s heresy to spell it orc or ork I’m going with the latter at the risk of not being inclusive)! Since I remain committed to my historical armies, painting an ork this month was not going to happen! Or maybe it was!

I thought “why not have a go at painting an ork?” followed up with “because I haven’t got any”! So I thought I’ll get one, paint it and give to Wudugast because he likes orks, he could do with a badly painted one in his collection and he has to put up with the same bunch of poor comedians running the country as me! So as September became Orktober, I looked on Ebay for an ork and found there were none listed as “Buy it now” so I settled down to watch some of those being auctioned. I happened to mention this to one of my colleagues on the phone and he said he’d got one I could have, which was very generous of him! He’d bought a box of five and he and his wife had painted two each leaving one spare, so he posted that one to me. Eagerly opening the small package that arrived, my first thought was “that’s a big ork”, followed by “it’s got an awful lot of detail on it that I have not a clue about what it is or how to paint it” (bearing in mind I usually paint smaller, 20mm figures)! Subsequent research indicated that this mini was a Flash Git and had a lot more detail than your normal run-of-the-mill ork (well that’s how it appeared to me).

I was lucky in that my colleague had done a cracking job of cleaning up the figure and sticking it all together, so all I had to do was paint it! It was virtually impossible for me to tell what all of the detail partially hidden by the extremely large gun was, so I undercoated the whole model in Vallejo German Camouflage Black Brown to keep those bits of it in shadow that I couldn’t reach or work out how they should be painted (last 28mm figures I painted would have been for Warmachine and probably 10 years ago)! I had trouble working out where trousers ended and boots started and what were straps and what weren’t! The only things I was certain of were that 1) the skin needed to be green, 2) the gun needed to have red bits on it and 3) the shoulder pads needed to be yellow!

I had a look at a selection of Wudugast’s orkz on his blog and decides muted colours wouldn’t look out of place (handy given that all my paints tend to be for historical figures), the skin tone shouldn’t look too bright and that the base would be best done in a drybrushed grey with a black edge. The plastic base had little texture so I added a very thin layer of Vallejo base material where I could. I bought some Vallejo Game Color Goblin Green, but this was far too bright for the flesh, which in the end had Bronze Green mixed with it to tone it down.

Since I knew I’d never be able to get into certain areas of the model, I planned on using a wash for the shading. Risky, since me and washes on figures tend to not work! This turned out to be the case as the test victims figures suffered various indignations in the form of Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade and some of the Army Painter shades, all of which produced the same results for me – complete crap! Plan B was to use the method I use to weather/shade some of the tanks I paint, a thinned mix of Humbrol black and chocolate enamel paint left until it starts to dry and then wiped off with a brush dipped in thinner. This left bits like the shoulder pads looking grubby but didn’t really shade much, so it was back to adding highlight layers to everything and shading with German Camouflage Black Brown as required. With hindsight, the highlights could have been lighter! He’s actually got red eyes as well, but they’re quite difficult to see!

So, here he is shown supporting some of my 20mm Paraguayans in action against the Brazilian army. For me, he’s a relatively large figure. My plan was to put some paint on him every night while I worked on other stuff in parallel, so he took two weeks to finish and then it was a case of carefully package him and send him off to Wudugast in time for the end of Orktober. My first ork! Probably my last ork! I’ve always been impressed with everyone who paints fantasy and sci-fi 28mm figures, and painting this figure myself has just increased the respect I have for those people’s creations! You know who you are!

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42 comments

  1. I think you did a stunning job for your first Ork John, and it was such a great gift for Wudugast as well. I think the shading of the difficult to get to areas was a clever idea, and not knowing what all the bits are would make it difficult for anyone, there are bits that appear on these models, that have me scratching my head, and I’ve been following along 40K since the days of Rogue Trader ! LOL

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  2. First post?! I don’t know if I’ll keep it because my mind is racing with things to say. First off, it’s super interesting to read your thoughts not tackling this (32mm?) mini when your usual fare is much smaller. I’ve had many of those same thoughts when I returned to painting and really delved into GW’s minis. It’s also very cool seeing the mini photographed under two different environments. I couldn’t quite make out the highlights under Wudu’s stronger lights, but they appear really nice under your lighting setup. Though because Wudu has a stronger light, the colors are brighter. Couple questions, if I may. What Vallejo basing material did you use? I love their stuff, but never seem to quite nail the texture I want, but this looks really close. When you undercoated the mini, did you brush or spray/airbrush it on? Lastly, I think you did a great job! I also have a feeling you might have tied with me for Orktober!! πŸ˜€

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    • Thanks Faust! πŸ™‚ I must admit, I prefer Wudu’s pictures! Easy question first – I always brush paint! The only spray I ever use is matt varnish at the end. As far as Vallejo texture’s concerned I think I used Brown Earth 26.219 – there wasn’t much room to get texture on and that one is still “gritty” but much finer than the Vallejo White Pumice I usually use. I painted it in Black Grey and then drybrushed some lighter grey on it. If I come last in Orktober I don’t mind as I quite enjoyed doing something different and passing the mini on! πŸ™‚ As far as your minis are concerned I enjoy following your Blood Bowl team posts since that’s something I don’t play! πŸ™‚

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      • Thanks JNV! Brush would be hard to get into those crevices for sure. I’m running into that more with the 28mm minis I’ve been working on. Makes me glad that I have an airbrush to prime them with. Ok, I have the Brown Earth too. I’ve used it a lot on Blood Bowl minis, but you must be applying it a bit differently as the texture looks better. I have so much to learn there. I do use the Rough Grey Pumice and the Grey Sand quite a bit now. The Rough gives some nice clumps and the Sand is about the texture I’m looking for. Yea, doing something different can be quite fun and especially when it turned out so well! I would have thought your Ork was painted by a regular Warhammer40k enthusiast! πŸ˜€

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        • If I’d have been assembling this figure from scratch I’d have painted bits before final assembly, even though I don’t like doing that! Using the black brown overall meant anything I missed would stay in shadow and not be as sever as if I’d used black! I found that there was so little clearance between bits on the model and the plastic base that I had to smear the texture very thin, probably leaving very little in some areas. It just happened to come out like that so if it looks OK it’s more by luck than design! I’m pleased you think my ork makes the grade! πŸ™‚

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          • Oh yea, I used to paint “sub-assembly” style with all my GW minis in the past. With all the little bits though, it ends up being too time consuming. Especially if you’re painting a team/unit and have to keep track of them all. I eventually gave up on it and started priming or painting the shadowed areas darker. Sometimes watered down black paint or thinned black contrast paint as well. Yea, getting texture paste under 28mm minis has been a big chore as of late! I’m on the verge of doing the bases beforehand and then pinning the mini to the base. I did that with a lot of the Blood Bowl minis and it worked pretty good, but pinning adds another whole step in the process.

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  3. I have to say I wasn’t expecting an orktober post from your corner of the internet, but you definitely delivered a cracking ork! Seeing it next to your Paraguayans did the opposite for me, it made me even more impressed you paint so well in 20mm! These guys are tiny compared to my usual fare.

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    • Thanks Eric, that’s much appreciated! πŸ™‚ I do have 25mm Ming Chinese and Sengoku Japanese armies, along with 28mm Warmachine troops, but it has been a while since I’ve painted any figures in those scales! I do quite like the larger figures!

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  4. +100 points to John. He moves into first place in Orktober with mere days left for Wudu and IRO to catch up!

    In all seriousness, you did really well painting up a mini that is way larger than your typical miniature, John. Now you know why some of my projects take so long too πŸ˜‰ I think the skin tone on the ork came out perfectly and if you ever heard of Black Orks in Warhammer Fantasy, they were tougher than regular orcs and had darker green skin which fits this mini well (other than that he’s Sci-Fi, of course!).

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    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ I’d maybe just forgotten how much extra time it takes for bigger minis – my simple brain says the surface area of a 28mm figure is twice that of a 20mm figure (i.e. (28/20) x (28/20)) and I’d paint at least one extra layer (so three instead of two i.e. takes 1.5 times longer), meaning a single figure takes three times longer than normal, which actually sounds about right to me! Your projects take you so long because the results are brilliant!
      I did look at Wudugast’s other orkz and their skin was a darker shade so I tried to match that! IRO’s latest orkz have a brighter looking skin – I like both!

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      • You are too kind and you’re spot-on about the extra time it takes to add those extra layers. I wouldn’t dream of painting an army style game at the current Warhammer scale! I think you copied Wudu’s style perfectly so mission accomplished! πŸ™‚

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  5. Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think he’s phenomenal and I’m chuffed to bits to have him in my collection. If that really is your last ork then the orks’ loss is the tiny Paraguayans’ gain. As others have said seeing him next to the Paraguayans makes me even more impressed with your smaller figures, I knew they were small but I hadn’t realised they were that small.

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    • Thanks Wudugast! πŸ™‚ I’m glad I painted him and had the chance to pass him on so he could part of an army! I like orkz as a force because they are entirely undisciplined and mad (whereas I’m only a bit mad) so the complete opposite to forces/armies I’m more used to! I still think one of the best pieces of kit cobbled together for them is the Shokk Attack gun!
      I never think of 20mm figures as small, whereas I think 15mm figures are just way too small!

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  6. South American history isn’t my strong point but I’m sure they actually have an Ork army within there ranks. πŸ˜‰ Splendid work John and well done for stepping outside of your comfort zone to do something different. A nice touch to send it to Wudu too who seems highly delighted with your gift. πŸ™‚

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  7. Excellent work John, nice to see you trying something different and really kind of you helping your fellow blogger out!
    I.must say I really like the orc, you got the classical cools down perfect but also managed to get them looking realistic rather than cartoony which they often become.
    I hope you enjoyed it!

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