Sunday, 3 March 2013

Savage Orcs Makeover

With one unit of Savage Orcs completed, I started work apace on the second (less than two months to WoffBoot VII).

This one required a different approach. While the first unit comprised of stripped-clean miniatures that I accidentally bought in huge amounts on eBay, the second unit was all painted and ready to go. Unfortunately, I had chosen the painting scheme as a feast of technicolour.

Savage Orc regiment, metals 1993
They are red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and grey and purple and white and pink and orange. And blue.

I honestly don't know where I got the idea to paint them like that.

Savage Orc boyz, 'Eavy Metal
... honestly.

There were 16 Savage Orcs to repaint. The good news was the weapons, bone detailing, and some furs were still good, so that was one time-consuming aspect I wouldn't have to repeat. But the tattoos would have to go, and with the lighter shade of green flesh, that meant recovering all the skin.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
Say goodbye to the Rainbow Connection.

Also scheduled for replacement were those purple shields with the Undead skull transfers.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
General Calrissian! Their shields are down!

In TV makeover terms, this is called the 'reveal'.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
"I've been on such a journey, Trinny."

Let's take a closer look at how that was done...

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993

Normally I do the skin first, so I can be as sloppy as I like with the base-ink-drybrush to make sure I get the colour right. In this case, I had to be extra careful not to cover any of my existing work.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993

After removing the myriad of pattered blue and red tattoos, I opted for a unifying style of warpaint - a simple half-covering of the face. What it lacks in imagination, it makes up for in ... me not having to use any imagination.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993

About half of the furs were still good to use (the other half were in bright primary colours - clearly I knew nothing of natural history), the rest were repainted. For this regiment, I went with a variety of orange-browns-yellows - to distinguish them from the grey-black furs of the Big 'Uns. Different Savage Orc tribes hunt and skin different animals, was my rationale.

Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993
Savage Orc boyz, metals 1993

The shields are from the 6th ed. Goblin regiment box (which provided three times as many shields as I needed). The 'square board' shields (as modelled by the chap on the left, above) had the corners roughly chopped off, as the perfect right angles just weren't feral enough.

Where there was a surface area to work on, I added some Orky glyphs. Unlike the tattoos, I made each one of these different.

To further mix up the variety a bit (I realised - after the purple shield debacle - that savages were unlikely to have mass-produced wargear), I flipped a couple of the shields over. These Goblin shields have no 'reverse' side (i.e. no peg hole for the shield boss), and the back end has some 'wicker' texture that is just as good a surface area to work on.
(a missed opportunity by Games Workshop there - they could have sold twice as many sets if they had removed that damn versatility)

Although I did need to put some peg holes into the shields, so I could securely attach them. The holes needed to be very, very, very shallow, but the hole circumference was too wide for my hand drill. So I whipped out my trusty Black-and-Decker power drill, attached a Number 3 bit and set to work.

Did anyone else see that coming?
Nonetheless, with a steady hand, and steep learning curve, I managed to get 16 shields neatly drilled and attached.

The old Savage Orcs are now based, flocked and magnetised, so that's more than half the regiment done.

And for those keeping score: I first painted this unit in 1998, I had the idea to repaint and attach new shields in 2005, so at this rate I should be looking at full completion by 2019.

Addendum: When pressed to give an opinion, Mrs Stylus approved of the new colour scheme: "They look more like warriors now - and less like Ninja Turtles."

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