Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Original Bad Guys

The big orc, spear in hand, leapt after him. But the tracker, springing behind a stone, put an arrow in his eye as he ran up, and he fell with a crash. The other ran off across the valley and disappeared. For a while the hobbits sat in silence.

At length Sam stirred. "Well I call that neat as neat," he said. "If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over."

"Quietly, Sam," Frodo whispered. "That is the spirit of Mordor, but it only happens when they roll a result of 1 on a D6 for their Animosity Test."

Mordor Orcs
It was all there in Tolkien...

I finally get to correct that shocking omission in my collection of greenskins - the Mordor Orcs!

These come in a set of twelve - no multi-pose, but they're all nice plastic sculpts, so good for a one-off project. In the game, they're cheap and expendable so if I had to paint them in the numbers actually required for scenarios, I'd probably get bored. But they'll mix up nicely with the Moria Goblins, which is how I think they should be.

Mordor Orcs
They're not mould lines. They're really long scars.

A mixed report to the plastic cast - very detailed in some places and completely lost in others - but at least that gave me an excuse to rush through it. A black undercoat, drybrushed with Ironbreaker and Tinny Tin. I then used every pot of brown I had, to give them a dirty look without any bright colours to lighten them.

Mordor Orcs
With Agrax Earthshade over everything, because obviously.

A new recipe for orc skin: Castellan Green with an Agrax Earthshade wash and a Elysian Green drybrush. I like it, and it may reappear when I finally get around to my GW Orcs.

Mordor Orcs
The only orc archer I have. So blame him for killing Boromir.

In terms of the look, I think they've gotten pretty close to how I would have imagined Tolkien's orcs to be. The clothes, weapons and armour all have that scavenged, thrown-together look and even the orcs themselves appear different from each other. The only issue is that the orcs are often described with long, ape-like arms, and these ones just look like New Zealand extras in prosthetics.

Mordor Orcs
In case the allegory isn't sinking in, the orc on the right is wearing a Wehrmacht helmet.

There's only one conversion: the set I got had two versions of the battle hammer + shield orc, and was missing an archer. Luckily my Gripping Beast set is a good match for scale, so I swapped his weapon hand for a sling.

I resulting pose does look quite sling-like (which is where a lot of actual sling models fail), with the added bonus of resembling an orc whip.

Mordor Orcs
Where There's A Whip, There's A Way

Seriously ... you should go and watch the Rankin Bass cartoon of Return of the King, which involves an orc musical number about whips. It's not a great cartoon, but it's a lot shorter than the Hobbit prequels.

And for more crimes against freehand, I did some work on the shields.

Mordor Orcs
"The Orcs in the service of Barad-dûr use the sign of the Red Eye... kind of."

These will be all the Mordor Orcs I'll paint ... enough to pad out a combined force, or just provide some disposable minions.

Mordor Orcs
This should be enough to give the Three Hunters a five-second workout.

And because I've not allowed myself to post any LotR updates without adding more goblins...

Moria Goblins
Moria Goblins
Moria Goblins
Moria Goblins

... MOAR goblins!


  1. "My precious!" said Gollum.

    "Listen, Smeagol," said Freagol, "this is an intervention. We've got you all the help you need to get through this."

    And they all lived happily ever after.

    1. Peter Jackson stroked his beard thoughtfully.

      "You know... maybe we shouldn't stretch it out to three films. Let's lose the bunny sled."

      And they all gained nine hours of their lives back.