Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Da 'Am Fists

"Da fastest and da smelliest Orcses. Dey rides about wiv da pork choppas, in one big rack, or two streaky rashers."

"Also, dey paintz a stripe down the middle of their 'eads, which iz symbolic of the Aristotelian principle of da golden mean. Waaagh!"

After much painting and assembling, all the Savage Orc Boar Boyz are now done. My original plan was just to smarten up the paint scheme of the handful I already had, and maybe switch around the banner and shields.

I should know by now that my meticulous (*cough* obsessive compulsive *cough*) streak would take over. And once I had the new boars on the chariots, I was always going to go the whole hog.

As for the new boars themselves - they make fantastic remounts (luckily the old metals fit onto them - I never thought to check), although their dynamic 'leaping forth' nature makes them a real pain to rank up (as do their long tails). This was why I had to assemble them all in one go, but I think magnets will help to keep them in place.

Classic Savage Orc Boar Boys

I was worried that, with only a single point of contact with the base, and metal on top (where they were designed for plastic riders), would be a sure recipe for snapping. But the boar model seems pretty well balanced, and the biggest danger seems to be the rider (or his shield) coming off - as it always was.

They were all undercoated Mournfang Brown, then given a wash with either Agrax Earthshade, Flesh Wash or Nuln Oil, just to mix up the coats a little. Drybrushed with Tallern Sand, and the manes were painted Scorched Earth, Chaos Black (or just left alone). For warpaint, I gave them little squiggles beneath their eyes - not fancy, but their plastic fur makes it hard for my basic freehand efforts.

Some of the manes needed greenstuffing, since they are modelled with gaps to allow the proper models to grab hold. The same goes for bare patches in their flanks (which are left smooth, to allow the plastic riders to tuck in neatly - but would it have been so hard to make it furry all-over?), which also needed greenstuff.

Compared to the poor little 'dormice' models, they now look credible as brutal steeds for orcs, and a proper heavy cavalry centrepiece.

Tactically, I'd say it makes more sense to run them in small units without full command. But since I've got a standard bearer, big boss and shaman models knocking about anyway, I thought: 'why the hell not?' and got them a 5x3 tray as well.

Three attempts, and that is still the best pig glyph I could manage.
Must be why you don't see a lot of pigs in art.

The standard bearer is just a smartening-up of the original model, although he's now swapped his purple paper banner for a nice Chaos Warrior one (because there clearly aren't enough skulls in this army). He's also gained tiger stripes - in fact, so did the whole unit, to add a unifying theme, although you don't see much of it when they're mounted with shields.

And now for the characters...


"Bigtrotta is da Big Boss of all da Paleolithic Waaagh!'s gruntas and snortas. Da nomadic Waaagh! was subdoogated subjewgated krumped by Bonekrunk and now 'ee 'iz in charge of anyfink wiv a curly tail. As a consolation, 'iz 'at is proper flash."

"Also, 'ee paints a big stripe down 'is face, which iz symbolic of the Heraclitian Philosophy of da Upward-Downward path."

Classic Savage Orc Big Boss on boar

Another repaint of an old model. As always, I replaced the garish red and blue colours for something more earth-tone, but I let him keep his yellow feathers (because it's such a nice hat he's wearing).

As Big Boss, he gets the pick of the best gear, which translates as having the shield design that I'm least unhappy with. He was meant to have a clenched fist (the Orky glyph for 'boss'), but when that came out like a steaming cup of coffee, it got shoved onto one of the boys, and he gets the teeth 'n tusks symbol instead.

Bigtrotta is the only character to share the same warpaint design as the rank-and-file. Between his hat, nose-ring and big grin, there was surprisingly little to work with (and I'd already used my best ideas on the first half of the army). I first tried giving him big stripes down either side of his face, but that just made him look like Marley's Ghost with a corpse headscarf - so a nice simple stripe it was.


"Shaman Pigwaaagh is da uvver voice of Da Big Waaagh! 'Ee rides around on 'iz trusty grunta, Snowdrop, and calls forth da mighty powers of Gork (or possibly Mork), as long as dere ain't no dangerous terrain to cross."

"Also, he paintz 'is gob wiv an extra-big jaw, which iz symbolic of the Hobbesian principle of Materialism."

Classic Savage Orc Shaman on boar

A final repaint. I wasn't keen on this model when I first got it (this was back when a Shaman gave an automatic +1 to ward saves, so having one in the boar boys was a must, whether you liked it or not), but with an improved paint job, he's growing on me.

It's still a bit weird that his head is crouched down right into his chest, his left arm is tucked in uselessly, and his bone staff  (which is the same as the Shaman on foot - they must use the same supplier in Diagon Alley) is thrust out at an awkward angle. This makes ranking up hard, and even with my taking care, his pig is still shoved over to one side of his base.

I decided to make him stand out more by giving him an albino boar (albinism being pop culture shorthand for weird or evil c.f. Da Vinci Code, Blade Runner, Matrix Reloaded, Cold Mountain, The First Law etc.). It came out so well, I might have to look at doing winter wolves at some point.

Like the Big Boss, this warpaint is a second draft after the initial attempt (tusks, I think) looked daft. Edit: And then I made a third attempt when I saw the photo on the blog and didn't like it. The acne warpaint went away, to be replaced with one that looks like an Armish beard.

And here he was, in his original '90s glory...

Classic Savage Orc Shaman on boar
His feet are almost scraping along the ground,
like he's riding a baby scooter, not a war boar.

And so another Savage Orc unit is crossed off the list (and the biggest one too, in terms of footprint). Just the makeover reveal, and we're done.

Classic Savage Orc Boar Boys
Classic Savage Orc Boar Boys
...ta da!

I'm off for a bacon butty.


  1. I do not want to be on the receiving end of that when it hits the table. Piggily ominous.

    And Glokta isn't evil. Just practical.

    1. It's only 21 S5 attacks with +3CR, a mere trifle...

      And I would not think of besmirching Glokta, one of the best anti-heroes since the Family Lannister. The albino I was thinking of was Practical Frost, the mute and hulking torturer's assistant.

      As it happens, the First Law audiobook is my current painting soundtrack. I think Steven Pacey's Glokta is character-defining, like Peter Woodthorpe's Gollum.

      It's pretty good voice work all round (although it is also quite funny when he runs out of ideas for the cast of hundreds and just starts doing impressions of Michael Caine and Richard Burton).