Saturday, March 30, 2013

To the Health of the Goblin Master!

Painted: A few orcs o' the Old Skull Tribe

I'd like to post these two with a shout out to Kev Adams with wishes for a speedy recovery after his being assaulted a short while ago, and another to Goblin Aid, a charity set up to help out. Donations of goblin sculpts and the traditional sort are being solicited, and from what I understand there soon will be charity figures available for purchase, both the donated goblins and some great orcs Kev did for Renegade but were never produced.

Here's my take on some Adams greenskins:

Get the flash player here:
Get the flash player here:

Kev's figures were some of the first to capture my imagination many years ago, and today I've got more of Kev's greenskins than any type of figure from anyone. And if that doesn't tell you something of the esteem I hold this guy in, it also happens my nom de plume/callsign was also taken, way back then, from a figure in Kev's own greenskin army shown in the Warhammer Armies hardback.

This is also the first time I've posted figures here from my fantasy Citadel, or Oldhammer collection, which I believe remains by biggest collection of figures despite how many figures I've picked up for D&D in the past few years. And within the Oldhammer collection, the Orcs & Goblins here are themselves the most numerous faction. So far I've painted a Mordheim-sized gang out of what I hope will one day be a vast green horde. I call them the Old Skull Tribe.

I'm showing just three of these today as I was testing out a new background and didn't want to shoot too many, decide I didn't care for it, and have to reshoot. Actually, I was going to show just the two Adams figures but I had already taken pics of the following Perry figure too and hopefully no one would mind if I put him in, too.

Get the flash player here:

At any rate, this is a middle-gray background somewhere between the white I tried last post and the dark one I've been using up until then. This has been an ongoing dilemma—here's some previous thoughts—but the ballads, I believe, are now in, and the verdict, the middle gray background wins by a landslide. Not to say that you can't get good results against dark or against white, just that it's a lot riskier, in my experience. This gray background, by the way, is a sheet of Recollections brand 80 lb "smooth cardstock" paper I got from Michaels. The color name is not on the sticker.


The gang I'll be showing for awhile here were painted back in 2009-2010. I'm not sure when I'll be getting back to the project to do more. Part of the reason is a dilemma with regard to basing. You'll see I use thin, flat bases and my aim with the terrain on them was to represent generic ground that would look equally good in outdoor and underground games. This is a bit of a tall order, but I like the result of many of the figures in the gang. One of these too, the one with the green face on the shield, you'll have to excuse though, as originally I had a different terrain represented and then just covered it over with Sculptamold. His is a bit crap next to the others, and I've tried to distract your eye with a colorful bit of fungus. Generally these bases are Sculptamold with a little glue and a few bits of Woodland Scenics talus and course ballast.

I'm at a cross-roads regarding the basing. Part of me is being drawn back to using slottas and having the terrain be in the more traditional outdoor variety. Given how many figures are in the collection, the consequences of the decision are far-reaching, and that's one reason the D&D project (free of any concern for slottas) gets all the attention I have to devote to painting, these days. I might say more about this later.


Call me a traditionalist, but Citadel orcs aren't right unless they are John-Blanche-yellow-green. Browns, greys and olive hues are best saved for other figure lines and I have never been taken with the minty and shamrock greens currently en vogue. My recipe is to start over a black primer layer with a dark green. I put the dark green on my wet pallet and then build up through a brilliant middle green, through almost pure orange-yellow, and then put some few whitish yellow-tan highlights as needed. I experimented with glazes on a few figures but these and most you'll see coming up just use the straight build-from-black-to-light method. In recent times I sometimes do underpainting, and I plan to expand my use of this as I now have a quiet compressor for my airbrush, but as I said these orcs were painted years ago. The specific colors I used, from dark to light, were:

  • GW Orkhide Shade
  • P3 Necrotite green (this is the key for the intense color)
  • GW Snakebite leather and/or Bestial Brown
  • GW Tausept Ochre (careful with this one as the pigment is so strong)
  • GW Golden Yellow
  • For the gums, mix in a little GW Dwarf Flesh
  • Add a tiny bit of Vallejo Pale Sand if needed for final highlights


The shield designs are from old Warhammer publications. These are both from a color spread in the Warhammer Armies hardback.

As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.