Archive for November, 2015

Painting Da Boyz

Posted: November 9, 2015 in 40k
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As promised, here’s a look at the expanded Ork Project and the painting plan I’m following. I’ll see if I can remember to take some in-progress photos as I work on the next batch.


I’m not sure how I tricked myself into drilling out every gun barrel on a giant pile of orks

This is one of the first times I’ve worked with a grey primer coat en masse. I find that it provides a base that colors like the ork’s green skin cover over much more easily than black, while still not looking as crazy stark as white would. It does lose the ability of black to create shadows and hide any missed spots, but I’ve found it’s not a huge problem since the scheme makes heavy use of washes. I’ve used Army Painter Uniform Gray spray.

The base color for the skin is Army Painter Greenskin (huge surprise) but I’m applying it solely with a brush – most of the orks have only their faces and arms exposed so there’s not enough skin area to justify using Greenskin as the primer color. The first step is just a quick-and-dirty coat around the face and neck to get any areas I won’t be able to reach later.

Shirt and pant colors are the first major step, and are mixed and matched haphazardly as befits the orks. The most common color is based on the paints I used on the Bommer, but applied by hand for the sake of neatness. It uses a base of Vallejo Surface Primer Red Oxide, followed by two coats of Model Air Rust. It doesn’t work quite as nicely as when it was airbrushed on the Bommer, but gets the job done here and keeps the same rusty-red palette. These will be Evil Sunz, but once again I’m trying to stay away from the traditional crimson red and give a more worn appearance.

Other colors for the clothing are mostly P3, but I haven’t bothered to keep particularly close track of which ones I use where since I want things looking properly orky. They’re drawn mostly from a pool of Bootstrap Leather, Cryx Bane Highlight, Beast Hide, and whatever other browns and greys catch my eye.

I’ve been using Dark Flesh as an accent color for wristbands, weapon hafts, etc but I’m now leaning towards mixing it in to the clothing colors just to bring out the red shades a bit more, which are perhaps a bit lacking with the first few batches. Dark Flesh is a really great color and it fits very well into the effect I’m trying to achieve.

The straps are done with Model Color German Camo Black/Brown, although it’s effectively the same color as Game Color Charred Brown and I could really use them interchangeably.

About here is where I’ll go back with Greenskin and finish the rest of the flesh areas – the paint has pretty good coverage over the grey base so it usually only takes one main coat plus occasionally another over the more exposed areas.

The finish for metal areas is pretty heavily dependent on later washes – the base is a simple coat of Model Air Gunmetal (if you’re not familiar with the Model Air line, this is a pretty standard Boltgun Metal kind of color).

There’s only a couple more details to wrap up before the wash stage – black or the leather strap color for boots, Dark Flesh for wristbands and wraps etc, Game Color Brassy Brass on shell casings and earrings, and Bleached Bone on any skulls (I leave the teeth and claws for later).

The first of the wash steps is over all of the skin – I still have a bunch of this older Citadel Wash color around, but my preferred substitute would be Army Painter Green Shade. This does most of the work of adding depth and richness to the skin.

The primary wash is Army Painter Strong Tone (the water-based dropper bottle one, not Quickshade) over all the rest of the figure – this finishes a lot of the model in one go and in addition to shading grunges things up very nicely. This is my go-to replacement for Devlan Mud and I use the two pretty much interchangeably.


The rust red color (as used on the Bommer) can be seen on this shoota boy’s shirt and helmet

The Strong Tone has dirtied down the metals a bit, but to finish them off I apply a deliberately blotchy coat of Soft Tone/Gryffonne Sepia shade. This is also applied over any bone areas, and I’ll usually pause before this wash to paint the teeth and claws in bone – those areas will then receive two coats of the sepia wash.

Since I have like a million of these little bastards to paint I’ve limited myself to one main highlight step, on the skin. The color I’m using is Citadel Warboss Green – one of the very few of the colors from the updated range that I commonly use. I think I understand the idea behind the formulation of the layer paints, which seem to have universally poor coverage…they’re made specifically as a highlight paint, where their lack of opacity can be an asset for smoothing the transition between layers. It works OK here on my ork skin, but it’s not really difficult to thin down a regular paint and use it in this manner. This leaves the Citadel range a bit hamstrung when you consider that so many of their colors can’t be used effectively as a base layer.


I tried to make the Nobs appear a bit darker by mixing the Warboss Green with the original Greenskin base at roughly 50:50. The result is OK but I’m not sure if it created enough of a difference to bother with.

Lastly, any final details or touch-ups. The eyes are done with a small dot of Army Painter Pure Red.

So about 20 orks down and probably like a hundred to go. I’m still wrapping up building and conversions on the first batch of vehicles, but my plan of attack will likely start with an airbrushed basecoat of Gunmetal. I really like the effect of the washes on metallics and this is probably the easiest way to cover the most area quickly. Rust-red will be the primary accent color, but I’m undecided if the best way to apply it will be via airbrush like on the Bommer, or by hand for greater control.

Can’t find out til I finish building!



Return of the Ork Project

Posted: November 2, 2015 in 40k
Tags: , , ,

I’m sorry – I’ve been neglecting the blog for too long. I’m back, starting with some more 40k…

The ork project has changed character a bit since I started working on the Bommer. Near the end of the summer an old friend of mine mentioned that he had been looking at getting back into 40k. I approached this with some trepidation, which means that I was like “well I have all these models still lying around so I guess I could get in on that without a whole lot of investment”. I am told this is referred to as “enabling”, which kinda seems like BS but whatever…

So yeah, a couple of friends and I have been working away at 40k again, which I don’t think I’ve really done since high school. The key thing for me here is that we’re not looking at the current edition for rules – the plan is to go back to 4th Edition, which was we last played before we all put the game down. I think there’s still a lot of interesting game space there that we never explored, and while there are some really neat rules added in later editions (such as overwatch before assaults, running, and expansion of psychic powers) they also started tacking on more and more stuff that I really don’t want to deal with. The game has continued to scale up (literally) with all sorts of flyers, giant robots and ridiculous detachment rules that hand out bonuses for free, on top of a system that now seems to think that “randomize EVERYTHING” is the best way to go.

Primarily, the last thing I want is back on the Games Workshop treadmill – the structure of the rules and years of over-the-top price increases make that even less sustainable than it was back in the day. But to be honest, I have missed 40k. It was one of the big entry points to this hobby (and industry) for me and something that we had a lot of fun with back in the day, so I hope we can capture a little bit of the magic I remember while still dodging the thousand-ton merch monster that is GW.

Anyway, back to orks. As I mentioned, thanks to my earlier collecting of bits and pieces of an ork army just because I thought they looked cool, I already owned much of what I’d need to build a playable force. The Bommer looks really cool but I never wanted or intended to use it in a game, so I’ve put it on hold while I start work on the more practical elements.

My first Ork conversion, nearly finished.

Converted trukk, nearly finished.

I am really happy with how this came out.

I am really happy with how this came out.

My planned collection will be largely mechanized, since Speed Freeks are basically Mad Max with giant angry green guys (awesome) and it helps keep the sheer number of boys I have to paint a bit more manageable. As you can see above, I’m still working on construction of most of the vehicles, but I’ve already got a start on some of da boyz:

I may change the colors on the bases slightly - so far these are the first boyz "finished"

I may change the colors on the bases slightly – so far these are the first boyz “finished”

The paint scheme seems to be working well so far and I think I’ve struck a decent balance between level of detail and simplicity for the sake of getting stuff done. We’ll see how that holds up against the horde of models I have to paint, especially considering that one of my buddies in on this 40k plan is doing Deathwing and is already halfway done his army…

The first batch of Nobs - this is the first time using Citadel's amusingly named blood effect paint - I quite like it

The first batch of Nobs – I hadn’t tried Citadel’s amusingly named blood effect paint before. I’m quite impressed with the result!

I’ll have some more information about my painting plan and color scheme in an upcoming post. I’m quite pleased with the results so far and I’m looking ahead to figure out the best way to adapt it to the vehicles I’ve been building.

The horde so far - the painting is all done, now for the bases...

The horde so far. The paint on these is done, now for the bases…

More details on casting and new building designs are in the pipeline too – thanks for reading and thanks for sticking with me!