Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

I’d planned to take new, better group photos of the Iron Warriors for today’s post, but unfortunately I was feeling under the weather yesterday, and am still that way now – so it didn’t happen. With a solid week of work ahead of me, it’ll hopefully happen next weekend!

In the meantime, here’s a model where I already had the photographs ready. This guy is another of my renovated models. Having been painted back some number of years ago, the overall palette I’d used was more than a little too garish and had a few too many colours for my modern, more refined taste. The solution? Repaint parts of the model, tone some of it down, and give it a new base. Ergo! A new lease on life for this previously rather sad model.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

The slotta dates this model as sculpted back in 1995. It’s a hella-chunky model, and the huge shoulderpads really give him some heft. I think the rather plain helmet could have been a lot nicer, though. As with much of the old-school stuff in my collection, I purchased this model back in the 1990’s. Part of Kev Adams’ post-GW output, I find it odd that someone like RPE hasn’t re-released it alongside the other Heartbreaker stuff that they have.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

Originally I’d painted him as a Black Orc, which means I started him before the current line of plastics or their predecessors that share the current aesthetic in metal. I rebased him onto a 32mm base, which fits the figure much more betterer. I also lightened up his skin from the near-black that it was and repainted many of the “soft parts”, making his leather and cloth accessories much more appropriate. Purple pouch? Yellow wristbands? Ugh! Much nicer this way…

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar (RPE 2004)

The next Orc off the rank is this guy. A Kev Adams sculpt from shortly after he left GW, and originally from Heartbreaker in the 1990’s (when I purchased it), this figure is still available today from RPE/Ral Partha Europe as “2004 Orc w/scimitar” for a very reasonable 2 quid.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

I’ve painted him with quite dark skin, though he’s nowhere near the size of a Black Orc. It’s a fairly simple paint job that gives him a little bit of individuality compared to the Citadel models I’ve been painting lately while being similar enough for him to fit in wherever I need to drop him down.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

It’s a simple figure, all in all – but I think it’s a cracking sculpt that doesn’t need to reply on the character of old-school models, nostalgia or the act of painting it to endear it. Those things all add to this model, but I think it stands confidently on its own even without those additional elements.

 

 

 

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.

ORC1 Oldhammer Warrior Orc “Slyss” (1987?)

This time I have a very “Oldhammer” Warhammer Orc Warrior, known as “Slyss” from the 2nd-3rd Edition era, sculpted by Kev Adams. I bought this guy and started to paint him long, long ago and only recently found him in a Chessex case and made myself complete him.

As can be seen, he’s one of those models with the huge, spiky shield boss. A big part of getting this guy finished was simply deciding what to do with it. The easier option would have been to make it a big, nasty spike. The other obvious option, though a little more involved was to follow Oldhammer tradition and turn it into a 3-D shield, and use the boss as the basis for a nose. Obviously, I went with the latter. I built up very slight brow ridges, bridge of the nose, cheekbones, lower lip, teeth and nostrils with liquid greenstuff. Mostly so the shield wouldn’t look like a completely flat piece with a big spike sticking out of it. The Bridge of the nose and nostrils then, were the most important aspects.

The earliest reference I can find of this guy is in the 1987 Citadel Journal, which pretty safely dates the model to 1986-87. He’s an evil-looking bastard, alright – and a good example of the whole “older models have character” thing that people like to bandy around – and overuse at times. With such squinty eyes and a weird-as-hell mouth – he fits in here. He’d work okay these days as some sort of Chaos Mutant, painted in more human skin tones.

Rear view shows the slightly crude, but still detailed sculpting of Kev Adams’ early Warhammer Orcs. Along with the crocodillian mouth and face that is oddly reminiscent of some renditions of trollface. Also, my awesome handpainted woodgrain shieldback. :p

This pic is the money shot – my show-off pic for the freehanded Ogre-Face shield design. No radiating black sun lines or chequerboard on this one. Just the nasty face, scowling at the world in front.

Marauder MM27 Giant Black Orc

Marauder MM27 Giant Black Orc

Today’s figure is another that was finished back in 2016, that I’m only just getting around to sharing. Like it says in the title of the post, this guy is one of Marauder Miniatures’ MM27 line of Giant Black Orcs.

Marauder MM27 Giant Black Orc

One of the many ranges released by Trish* and Aly Morrison’s Citadel offshoot Marauder Miniatures were Orcs and Goblins. The Orcs, with their scale mail and Mongol-style helmets were a real highlight of all of their ranges, with a style that remains distinctive even today. Subedai has recently showcased some fantastic looking converted boar boys using these same models.

Part of the Orc range that was a little more limited were the Giant Black Orcs, released around about White Dwarf 128 (August 1990). There were apparently only four sculpts, and so they seem to be designed more as an appendix or supplement to Citadel’s existing line – though back then Black Orcs were an ill-defined thing as far as actual models go. Just pick out your bigger orc models and divide them between “Big’Uns” and “Black Orcs”. I’ve got to say that these Black Orcs were not Marauder’s finest work by a long shot.

Black Orcs of course derive from Tolkien’s Uruk Hai, which GW had a range of, though those seemed a bit “normal sized” even back then. The only distinct Black Orcs to that point were Nick Lund’s Giant Black Orcs from 1985 – also a pretty indistinct set, and Lund’s Regiment of Renown: RR18 – Eeza Ugezod’s Mother Crushers. Citadel’s Black Orcs wouldn’t get their own distinct style again until the mid-1990’s, when they launched that terrible range with the huge horns and ridiculous looking axes. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s when the current, heavily armoured design debuted with the metal range, to be updated a few years later with the current range of plastics – now called “Ironjawz ‘Ardboyz”. The current/2004ish design is easily the best iteration of Warhammer Black Orcs in my opinion, being both distinctive and badass looking.

Games Workshop Black Orcs. Now known as Orruk Ironjaw 'Arboyz. Because of course they are.

Games Workshop Black Orcs. Now known as Orruk Ironjaw ‘Arboyz. Because of course they are.

What does this mean for the Marauder model above? Well, he’ll eventually be rolled into whatever Mantic call Big’Uns in Kings of War (hm… Ax, Greatax, Morax… nothing there that really works for Big’Uns or Black Orcs… I might have to fudge something for our friendly games.) He may occasionally be used in RPGs, skirmish gaming or maybe even Silver Tower. Do they have an Orc character for that yet? I’ll figure it out later…

*Now Trish Carden

 

A pair of Kev Adams’ Citadel Orcs (and a little rant!)

Today I have a couple more orcs to share. These were started god-only-knows how long ago (seriously, I have NO idea) and finished during the long period recently where I was too busy and burnt out by work to post much – but still doing what I could to get some painting in.

Citadel Kev Adams Orc with Sword, Big'Un with Mace

The smaller one is from 1993, so the early days of WHFB 4th edition. He’s definitely a variant sculpt to the commander to the 1992 Rock Lobber. I’ll have to find, build and paint it. I may have even painted the other crew in the past few years, so that should theoretically be an easy unit to reunite and complete. Anyway, he’s listed in the Black Catalogue 4 (1994 filled with 1993 models) as “Orc with Sword 4”.

Citadel Kev Adams Orc with Sword, Big'Un with Mace

The larger orc is found in the same catalogue. Called “Orc Big’Un with Mace”, this pair is clearly from the period where the interesting names of 3rd edition and before had been dropped to be replaced with upfront descriptions. I actually rebased him recently onto the 32mm, as there was quite a lot of overhand on the 25mm round I had him on. I plan to continue to drop large orc models onto the 32mm bases.

Both will eventually find use in various games including Kings of War, though I’m not sure what as exactly for the big guy. Their orc list is lacking pretty severely in decent analogues. When I recently read that KoW plans to add more units to the Orc and Goblin armies, I suggested to some members of the RC that they add something to represent the archetypes of “bigger meaner orcs” and “barbarian/berserker orcs” I was brushed off since they were clearly analogues to Big’Uns/Black Orcs and Savage Orcs, while they want to go in a more original direction. This from the people who started out by bringing us a range of alternative WHFB models for Orcs, Dwarfs, Elves, Chaos Dwarfs and followed up with the highly original Space Orx, Space Skaven, Forge Fathers (Space Dwarfs/Squats), and the Uncharted Empires book filled with rules to use your formerly-WHFB armies. I mean, I appreciate the rules, but don’t even pretend that there’s a precedent of being particularly original.

No, instead, they’re going with this:

The RC wants to do a new unit for each of the core races (main rulebook + Trident Realms + Nightstalkers), but also bring them all up to the same number of units. This means some armies, such as Orcs and surprisingly Goblins, will get multiple new units. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Ronnie did agree to flying gore riders for Orcs.

and later:

Also, I should clarify that flying pigs = flying gore riders. Background wise something along the lines of an Abyssal Dwarf interbreeding experiment (like ADwarf halfbreeds) that was uncontrollable by the ADwarfs and a flock escaped, but they’re now bred extensively by Orcs.

Yep. No orc berserkers or bigger, meaner orcs. Those are too derivative! Instead – flying pigs!

Oh, Mantic...

Oh, Mantic…

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

Here’s a model I apparently completed last year. I figured this out because I just found the photos dated 4th July, 2015 in my “Orcs” folder.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

I purchased this model back in the 1990’s, left it to sit in a box for a decade or so, and then started it – only to leave it in that part-painted limbo for a few further years. Given that it was completed last year in May-June, it would have been one of the initial models that led me to my “finish things off” push of the second half of 2015. Back int he day it was a Heartbreaker model, from the people who brought you WarZone 1st and 2nd edition. These days the model is owned or licenced by Ral Partha Europe, who prefer to be called RPE since they now have little to nothing to do with the original Ral Partha. Thankfully, we can safely ignore the convoluted backstory and still simply and easily just buy the model if we’re interested, along with its brethren. And no, I’m not affiliated or reimbursed by RPE – or anyone else for that matter!

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

The yellow and black dag pattern is something that dates the model as well. I probably wouldn’t do the same these days, I’d keep the copper/bronze scales, but the patterned trim would probably just be done in a quick and simple cadmium red-brown. Similarly, the skulls would probably be done in a metal – either copper or steel – rather than as carved bone. I’ve moved away from painting every skull or bone I see on armour as bone. Regardless, it’s a great armoured orc figure, and I feel that it still stands up well today. The default sculpt looks quite 2D, but simply bend-rotating the axe head forward helps that aspect out a lot.

I’ve been doing some rebasing of “leader”-type and larger figures onto 32mm bases of late. I’ll have to have a proper look and decide if this guy is an appropriate candidate…