Friday, 13 November 2015

Grooving in Green

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to be sent parcels from friends for my birthday. I'm really stoked to have so many friends who skate and either used to, or have an active interest in little men. By some strange quirk of fate, two of these packages included classic Ork kits and models; more specifically 90's Kev Adams Bad Moon sculpts. I've always had a soft spot for the early aesthetic of Games Workshop Orks, particularly through the medium of Paul Bonner's wonderful artwork and Kev Adam's characterful modelling. Although GW fluff makes it clear from the start that Orks are brutal killers, there is something childishly naive and charming about the Ork background during this period.

All getting along together then

Paul Bonner's artwork was everywhere at one point and he had an excellent style that could portray any of the Warhammer 40000 races with accuracy and personality. His work on the Deathwing expansion in particular is excellent. However, it is his Orks that his work really shines through. It would be hard to reconcile the rather 2D characterisation of the present Orks with these creatively comical fellas. Bonner captures the naturalism of Orkish nature as a tumbling, bumbling dangerously out-of-control boulder of a force that crashes from one planet to another in a never-ending pursuit of war - because that's what they do. There is no over-arching, galactic political motive, no honourable quest, just Orks fucking things up. And that's beautiful in it's simplicity.


Anyway. Back to the miniatures. Having no (urgent) projects on the go, I've decided to put together a little Ork army to try and capture the spirit of Bonner's illustrations. Using only Kev Adam's sculpts (which should be easy as he sculpted nearly 99% of all the Orks until 1994) I'm hoping to get the majority of the force done before Christmas. This may seem a little optimistic at first glance, but I've just discovered that painting green is actually really, really good fun.

I'm serious, it's such a good colour.

Since I can't seem to get away from painting yellow and that I've ended up with several specifically Bad Moon figures, it's going to be a pure fluff Bad Moon gathering. Thankfully I don't need to be as nearly as precise or as clean with the colour as I was with the Alaitoc Eldar, so that should save on many agonising hours of holding my breath attempting not to ruin or smudge yellow areas!

The boyz.

So far I'm planning to keep the war band really small and simple. Thankfully I've not needed to spend much on additional bits as I've had a few models kicking around for awhile now. The only additional purchases have been some vanilla boyz and a Shokk Attack Gun with Snotlings. I'll probably add a few character figures in due course, but here is what the first phase looks like,..

Warboss Azzbutt

10 x Ork boyz
1 x Battlewagon
1 x Dreadnought
1 x Shokk Attack Gun
4 x Snotling bases
20 x Gretchin

The Gretchin are going to be mostly made up of the smaller proto-Gretchin 'Runt' figures as they have so much more character than the later models. Plus, it makes more sense in my head to have a rabble of badly armed little guys running around trying to impress the Orks. Obviously this list is not meant for play, but I imagine if I did play them, it would be a hell for leather 'ere we go, all guns blazing not hitting anything tactic - because that's well Orky. So far I've the Warlord painted along with a few Gretchin and some boyz - shall do a proper photo-drop when there's more to show!


The painting style is going to be as close as I can to the RT greens, but pretty rough and ready for everything else. I'm really looking forward to modelling and weathering the original Battlewagon, which in itself is an amazing kit for the time - thanks to Pob and The Melon for being so rad and sending me more rad old stuff to paint, you guys are the bestest.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Armies on Parade 2015

So I did eventually manage to just about finish off the Eldar Alaitoc army off, but only just! It was a 2am painting session the evening before that finally saw the last of the work completed. Overall I'm really happy with how they came out and it's been a really good learning experience. Here's the very last units that were completed before the force was displayed at the local GW in the annual Armies on Parade competition.

Insert zooming noises here.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the possibility of adding some of the old jet bikes to the force but didn't actually come across any at a reasonable price until a month before the deadline.  These were good fun to paint and really add some mid-level height to the army as well as the opportunity to whizz around the house like a dick with them. They're really simple four-part figures (not including rider) and have a proper weight to them. The castings were a little off in parts, but nothing a little greenstuff and filing couldn't fix.

Proper flying bases! I always preferred the old hex style base.

Bonus shrieker cannon.

I would have preferred to spend a little more time on them and come up for a slightly more exciting design for the carapace, but they look okay and fit with the rest of the army. I really feel as if I've (finally) cracked using yellow with this project too and I've started adding glazes into the painting process so that should be something fun to play around with in the future. I can't describe how much of an epiphany it was when I realised how much more vivid they made certain colours pop, which is especially useful when painting 1990's inspired armies!

Last of the boy Scouts

The very last thing to finish was the last group of five Scouts. These were okay to paint, but nothing particularly special and felt like a bit of a chore (as the last of any project is want to be). I also had to do quite a bit of modelling work to clean them up as some of the casting was iffy. Still great figures though and it's nice to have had the chance to paint up all nine of the Jes Goodwin Scout models! Anyway, here are some of the entries from the event.,..

Chaos Iron Warriors with Thunderhawk.

Amazing Khemri Undead Army.

Fantasy Ogres on an amazing display board.

Fantasy Goblins on another great board - love those Squigs and Trolls.

Chaos Thousand Sons force that won - some rad airbrush stuff going on with these guys!

My Eldar on the day - stoked to have finally finished them!

The guys at the local shop really do go out of their way to hype up the event and it really paid off, with 18 entrants this year which turned out to be a record for the country! There were loads of other great boards that I didn't get to photograph, including a rad Werewolf-themed Fantasy display and an Undead graveyard scene.  I was really impressed at some of the scratch-built boards and the amount of narrative that was happening in some of them (something which my board had none of). In the end I didn't place in the top three, but wasn't really fussed as the event is always used as a deadline rather than a competition for me - seems to be the only way I manage to finish stuff off! In true hobby style, I've already started working on the next army and will be posting an entry on that in the next few days as there's some really exciting stuff to start working on! If you've never done an Armies on Parade project before I'd defiantly recommend it -nothing better than seeing other people's work and chatting about little men.