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!