Orc Big’Uns with Axe and Sword (WHFB 4th Edition)

Keeping up the tradition of Orcs vs Dwarves, today we have some more of the mean, green boyz. Specifically a trio of Big’Uns from the early 90’s – 1992-93 to be more exact, or the early days of WHFB 4th edition.

Orc Big'Un with Axe, Orc Big'Un with Sword 2

As befits orcs of this size, I’ve rebased them both on 32mm bases. They’re both just too big for 25mm bases – round or square. With a pair of duplicate sculpts here, I had the options of painting them the same, mass-assembly style, converting one for proper uniqueness, or giving them different shields and simply painting them a bit differently. I went with the third option, both because it’s an acceptable compromise and because these days I’m really loath to chop up old figures that aren’t already broken for conversion purposes. I mean, I cut a slotta out of all of these flat-topped 32mm bases rather than snip the slotta off the model!

Orc Big'Un with Axe, Orc Big'Un with Sword 2

The ogre-sun-face shield is (I think) from the goblins in the 4th Edition WHFB starter box, while the grinning goblin-faced shields are positively ancient – from the PBS3 Warhammer Fantasy Regiments plastic boxed set circa the late 1980’s. Damn, I wish I could buy a few of those boxes today.

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18 thoughts on “Orc Big’Uns with Axe and Sword (WHFB 4th Edition)

  1. Great work, really like paintjob you gave those fellazzz.
    I still remember impact caused by orcs armybook on me back days, one of few things which dragged me into the hobby 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I still have a real fondness for Kev Adams’ orcs, despite their cartoony look. My Orcs were the only full-sized army that I didn’t sell off during my great WHFB purges of the past. And now I’m going to (very slowly) paint them.

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  2. Very nice old school Orcs. The skin tone is a subtle variation to the often encountered “screaming” green. More of an olive, which really adds a bit of naturalism to these chaps. The basing also conveys well the idea of a waste land or something similar.

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    • Thank you. The green method I’ve been using lately uses a few different colours to my older Orcs as well as a slightly different method. The plan is to keep varying the type of green through the orcs to give a variation of skin tones throughout the eventual army, in the same way my Imperial Guard feature quite a few variations on natural human skin tones.
      The larger bases offer a lot more space to breathe and add scenic elements, which is another positive of the 32mm size.

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      • I see sounds like a good idea. Keeping with the traditional green, but adding a twist.

        I normally use some 1mm thick 25cm ~ 1inch diametre plastic card to base my stuff on, but lately I also enjoy 3cm MDF bases with beveled edge. It indeed allows much more scenic basing/ more details. Given I don’t really care too much about bases sizes (if I game Frostgrave or SoBaH I don’t think it will matter much), but as you know I care a bout visual appeal.

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        • Yep, to me basing is essentially a chore. I put a bit of extra effort in via tufts, slate, cables on the space-floor bases, etc because I think it’s worth the work, but with a time balance between taking my bases to the next level and getting back to the models, I’m almost always going to choose the models.

          I’ve also got a sort of bias against using overly-involved scenic or diorama bases on my own models for the same reason I very rarely use blood effects and avoid things like those little resin muzzle flashes – they put the models into too much of a specific place/time/action. It’s the same reason I only occasionally employ the ever-popular “plasma glow” on my own models. Of course on other people’s models I can relax and just enjoy the aesthetic. 🙂

          Large centrepiece models (Like the Talos, Bronze Bull, Dreadnoughts etc) are just about the only place I truly enjoy trying to add additional detail to imply a story. I’m so glad that Forge World’s Primarchs are removable from their diorama-bases!

          It took a hell of a long time for me to be able to bring myself to be able to use rocks/slate on bases. Especially hero models standing on a big rock. Those new GW Hero bases look nice, but I’d probably be using them as objective markers before putting heroes onto them.
          There was even a great deal of hand-wringing before I used the Sector Imperialis bases on my Iron Warriors, since they don’t match my table surfaces. And yes, I do think I have at least a touch of OCD.

          I like GW’s plastic bases and their various clones and almost-alikes, as they give a nice consistent finish and set of sizes to my models – to the point that pretty much everything regardless of manufacturer gets stuck on one. Unless it’s a display model/gift/etc 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fair enough. I think you are absolutely right with scenic basing. It does make the miniature less versatile. My Vlad will obviously always stand on a graveyard. The theme matchs, but it would be hard to put him in a game of Frostgrave or a dungeon. That said, I reserve the super fancy stuff for display pieces and stand-out characters. My Punic War stuff and Dungeon Crawl Heroes and Monsters will be based on either flagstones or Mediterranean terrain (Like the musketeer, but without the wall and the tree). This way they fit on the Dungeon Tiles/ Terrain board and are not too specific.

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        • Yeah. My “internal struggle” was literally “So, do they move that boulder they’re standing on around with them wherever they go?” Figures climbing on walls and ruins take that even further, but it’s much easier to be critical of my own models and easier to simply appreciate those of others.
          I originally started using the dark brown bases because of Space Hulk (1e). My models, and specifically Space Marines to that point had been based using green flock, and now the Terminators needed to fit in on those dark metal tiles, so I needed some sort of compromise that would work for both indoors and outdoors…

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  3. Gosh, the memories 😉

    I still remember picking up my first Greenskin army book — only to realise that building an entire army from metal models would be far more expensive than I could afford. But I still loved looking at the classic metal orcs in the army book’s ‘Eavy Metal section.

    The models have managed to age rather gracefully. They have a lankiness thatÄs absent in GW’s modern orcs, but it’s all good fun. You’ve also perfectly straddled the line between a classic retro paintjob and a couple of modern touches (the slightly more subdued skin colour, for example).

    Excellent job! Thanks for the nostalgia trip! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • My 3rd Ed O&G army got kickstarted by someone selling off their one. I can’t actually remember who it was, but it gave me a start that I was able to build on from there. Supplemented by plenty of the plastic Warhammer Fantasy Regiments Orcs and Goblins, of course.

      Like many things from those days, some of the models still stand up while others look a bit dodgy. Luckily the dodginess of the Orcs just adds to their charm. 😉

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  4. Nice, these definitely brought a warm nostalgic feeling. I started my miniature hobby with a 4th ed O&G army, and these guys were a part of my all metal Big ‘un unit – my pride and joy that was repeatedly destroyed by either dwarven artillery or elven magic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always a pleasure to see you taking on some classic green skins. I’m with you on the ‘neutral’ basing, and these models really do look great on the larger round bases you decorated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers for that mate. I’ve got a few more coming soon that are very much classic to come. Just gotta flock the bases, photograph them, crop the pics, write the posts and then we’re golden!

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