Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Asgard/Viking Forge Orcs

While on the subject of goblins I'd like to give a nod to the Asgard/Viking Forge ones. You'll see below I went an photographed the whole range, which may have been helpful back in 2005 when I took them as Viking Forge had smudgy, dark scans of the catalogs up at the time, but recently Viking Forge went and put up even better ones and made these redundant. Maybe the scale shot will be helpful, but mainly I'm just throwing up these pics along with this post as an excuse to plug the figs.

These are called orcs in the catalog but they fit my and I hazard to guess a majority of peoples' idea of goblins more so than orcs. Though the line between orcs and goblins is mainly semantic in Middle Earth, which was probably the main influence on the design of these figs.

Now, I'm eccentric even among miniatures enthusiasts I know because I collect various styles but don't mix them on the tabletop. You've seen some of my D&D collection so far but in terms of fantasy figures I also have a big, mostly old school, Warhammer fantasy collection, an Iron Kingdoms collection, a small Reaper collection, and a collection I intend to use in dark age game world inspired by metal, Norse and Celtic myth and sword & sorcery stories. These Asgard goblins helped launch this last collection, where they now sit alongside Red Box humans and elves, Confrontation Drunes, various stuff by Nick Lund and a few other things. It seems to me they fit even better with the grim vikings Tre Manor sculpts than his own goblins, and there's no doubt they fit a lot better with the Frazetta-inspired Confrontation Drunes than the weird, bobble-head goblins of the Confrontation line.

I get a definite sense of evil from these little guys, and that's not the easiest to achieve in a 25mm sculpt. I love their hunched backs, lanky arms, nasty expressions and that oh-so-finely rendered detail. You also get so many poses you can have a whole warband with no duplicates in sight, and you get a great variety of physique types as well between the alphas and the betas. There are many brilliant little details in the individual sculpts but the shaman holding out a possibly-still-beating heart is easily my favorite.

Jes Goodwin of Games Workshop fame is the sculptor and they have a tight, meticulous feel that he dropped by the way when he went to Citadel. Soon after he was doing much more stylized, chunky figures that became his signature and helped define the Warhammer style as a whole. As I was such a fan of his Warhammer figs for so many years it was a little strange to get a hold of these goblins, not having prior knowledge he did them, and putting the "JG" etched in the bases together with some vague tell-tale idiosyncrasies of the sculpting to arrive at the conclusion these were Goodwin's.

One day I'll paint these in a near-black hue and pit them against the Njorns.

Asgard/Viking Forge Orcs Asgard/Viking Forge Orcs Asgard/Viking Forge Orcs

A shot for scale:

Asgard/Viking Forge Orcs
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