Thursday, 25 April 2013

Who's Da Boss?

(or, if you're reading this in the UK, circa 1991: "The Upper Hand")

Despite having a considerable amount of Savage Orcs to paint up, it became apparent very early on that I had no model that would make a suitable Warboss (putting half my command models on chariots probably didn't help that).

I know it is heresy to spend your money anywhere else than GW, but their only representation for a brutal chieftain of a barbarian tribe was this twinkle-toed prancer...

Tr-la La-la-lally!

Preferring my Warbosses to have both feet on the ground, I looked elsewhere, and discovered a rather splendid 'Orc Brute' from the Avatars of War range (it's no Mantic Games, where you can pick up massive numbers of troops at a good price - but the character models are superb).

Avatars of War Orc Brute
Behold my treachery.

There were no comparison shots to go by, so it was with some relief that I unpacked the Brute and found that he was the same scale as the other Savage Orcs - albeit big enough to look dominant. I did some basic greenstuff filling to reposition his head and right hand, and we were ready to go.

Avatars of War Orc Brute

Time to throw on some paint. I've never subscribed to the theory that character models need vastly more attention - adding many layers of shade and highlight - than the rank and file get. This is partly because 1) I am bone idle and pushed for time and 2) it's not fair on the poor footsloggers not to give them my very best (or very mediocre, which is the best I can manage).

The third reason is character models always come with so much extra detail, they always manage to get the lion's share of painting time anyway. And this was no exception - he was dripping in bones and skulls and assorted savage goodness.

Avatars of War Orc Brute
Now in 3D!

For the warpaint, I wanted to expand on the 'skull face' of the Da Bone 'Eadz, since the Warboss would clearly be the leader of the tribe's Big 'Uns. So I gave him a skull face, then continued with the warpaint to give him a full skeleton.

Avatars of War Orc Brute
My knowledge of orc skeleton is no better than my understanding of human ones.

I'm really happy with the finished model. It fits with the rest of the army, yet stands out as brutal and monstrous, like any Lord character should.

Terrifying. But send them against the Fellowship of the Ring and they're useless.

Bonekrunk Stonesplitter

"Da Warboss of all da Paleolithic Waaagh! iz Bonekrunk Stonesplitter. 'Ee got to be top orc when 'ee krunked all 'is rivals wiv 'is bone club. And 'ee got to stay top orc when 'ee split all 'is enemies wiv 'is stone axe."

"Also, 'ee paintz 'is body wiv a skeleton, which iz symbolic of death as a sentient entity. Waaagh!"

Avatars of War Orc Brute


"Rokhamma is da Big Boss of da Paleolithic Waaagh! and acts as Bonekrunk's lefftenant lootenant flunky. 'Ee 'as da most warpaint of da whole tribe, 'cos 'ee iz a flash git."

"Also, 'ee paints exactly 'alf 'is body, which iz symbolic of the Daoist principle of Dualism."

Savage Orc Big Boss

The first leader of my Savage Waaagh!, launched around 1998. This one got a repaint and a demotion for inclusion in the new one (he might have fared better - but how is he supposed to rank up with that hammer sticking out to the side?).

Also his raised fist doesn't look that menacing. It looks like he's missing his whip.

Here he is, in his original multi-colour glory...

Savage Orc Big Boss
Shield your eyes!

It was the usual job when repainting my old savages: a subtler flesh colour, a Badlands base, replacing reds and blues with creams and browns. The biggest difference made appears to be removing his pink tongue (not literally - I'm not a monster, or an Egyptian Pharaoh) and giving him a dark green one. Makes his mouth less prominent, but it had to be done.

I wanted to try a half-body warpaint on at least one model. Since Bonekrunk gets a skeleton to lead the skull faces of Da Bone 'Eadz, it seemed right that Rokhamma would get a half-body to lead the half-faces of Da Brave 'Arts.


"Shaman Ramgut is da voice of Da Big Waaagh! 'Ee can call forth da mighty powers of Gork (or possibly Mork). 'Ee also makes a fantastic mutton vindaloo."

"Also, he paintz 'is face on both sides, but not down the middle, which iz symbolic of the Aristotelian principle of the division fallacy."

Savage Orc Shaman

This one was comparatively simple: no repaints, no conversions. Just a plain shaman model to paint up. I had to put a leopard print all over the back of his cape, just to make life difficult for myself.

My Savage Waaagh! finally has someone to lead it, and not a moment too soon. I may not have finished my Savage Orc army yet (and may not pick up a paintbrush for the rest of the year), but I have a newly-painted force on schedule for WoffBoot VII (a massive 1,289 points to whittle down), so there.

Gentlemen, I shall see you at the tables.


  1. Wow.

    Funny, I was just looking through the Kings of War stuff the other morning, admiring their Totally Not Warriors of Chaos (Armies of Apocalypse, or something) range. If the scale match is that good, I may have to go and look again.

    1. Without putting the hard sell on you, their Warriors of Chaos proxies look awesome, the scale match is good and the actual sculpting is cracking.

      You'll need some patience (or an eBay seller) to get the models, as the company is based in Spain. So if you do want one, plan ahead.

  2. And kudos to Leofa for pointing out that the Warboss' right hand was holding his club at a really weird angle - a bit of corrective surgery later and he looks better for it (updated images).

  3. Excellent - 5 years of undergraduate anatomy finally pays off! :-)