This is my take on the orc minis known Bagrash and Magar Ironfist made famous through the Orc’s Drift campaign. You will find numerous examples of those two painted on the web and my take on them does not differ widely from what you will otherwise find. Nevertheless they were great fun to paint and prime examples of the wonderful orcs, sculpted by the Perry’s I believe, before the wacky Kev Adams-style took over.
Painting wise I would point out that the skin colour on both orcs was the same, but I gave the Bagrash model a yellow glaze for the sake of variation, which changed the hue of the skin tone completely. For some reason I really like the idea of my orcs and goblins having rather diverse green skin colours.
Both orcs have a ton of character and I’m not sure which one I like the best. However, when looking at third Orc’s Drift scenario, where they make their appearance, the choice of model to represent Bagrash is a bit odd as he is a shaman. The mini hardly screams sorcerer or tribal mage and I guess whoever selected the models for the campaign just liked the figure or simply picked a random orc to be Bagrash. Does anyone know the story behind the selection process?
Unless I at some stage get my hands on the fabled Hagar Sheol miniature and I get inspired to paint my Guthrum Mane giant, those were the last minis from the Orc’s Drift campaign I had to paint and thus my little endeavor has come to an end. Nice. Now I will have to see if I could not getting around to playing the campaign. In my group we have so far played the two first scenarios twice but never gotten around to playing the last two parts.
Tony Ackland’s drawing of his orc on wyvern
Wow, this one really challenged my photo set-up and skills. Sorry for the odd pictures!
What you see here is of course the orc on wyvern sculpted by Tony Ackland and released by Citadel back in 1984. This would indeed, to my knowledge, be the first model to pair those two and thus sparking a long working relationship between orcs and wyverns. The model a few years later came to represent the power-hungry King F’yar in the Orc’s Drift campaign. Nevertheless Ackland’s wyvern seems rarely to show up painted on the web. I am not sure why, but my guess would be that the style simply is too archaic and pre-“golden age” Citadel, even to the tastes of many within the Oldhammer community.
The model is fairly big, even by today’s standards, and the lizard-like wyvern completely steals the show. I really love the strange looking, winged beast. I had never seen the sculpt before I went to the first year of BOYL. I cannot remember who had brought the orc wyvern, but it certainly caught my eye and I captured one for myself on Ebay a few months later.
Tony Ackland is a magnificent artist, I love his drawings, and his sculpting on large models, like wyverns and war machines, is brilliant. His work in smaller scale however is not as good, and the orc riding the wyvern was quite complicated to paint. It has quite a lot of details, but all of them sculpted in very low relief, making then hard to interpret and paint. The fangs of the orc, for instance, are barely anything but hinted lumps and this you will find repeated in all other details as well. This leaves the orc somewhat unsatisfying to work on, and while I am very pleased with how the wyvern turned out, the orc is I bit frustrating to behold. But then again, this is some of the stuff you have to face as a collector and painter of old lead.
Nevertheless, I am quite happy to finally having painted Ackland’s wyvern. It is a striking sculpt, and now I also have the joy of finding a practical way to store this rather fragile chap!
I have been painting Orc’s Drift miniatures off and on for a while now and here you see two further specimens from that list of distinguished models. Two lovely chaps. To the left we have a dwarf elder who in the campaign scenario is named Gymlet. It is a splendid little sculpt with a ton of character. He was a pleasure to paint; especially working on his face was fun. The other mini is another villager – the baker – with all the old school charm of the entire ‘villagers’ range. Both sculpts are quite simple, without many details, but I guess this is exactly what makes them work so well. Unadorned and simple, yet full of life.
With those two painted I have finished most of the minis connected to the campaign, missing only a few orcs and of course King F’ar on his wyvern. In fact, I have finished those as well, but they still await proper basing, but they will show up in a blog post very, so if interested, stay tuned.
OK, I admit it, this is not the most interesting blogpost ever, but in order to get the ball rolling on the blog again I will show you my output as it gradually is finished. Here we thus have two orcs, mostly done a while ago, but they somehow stranded when it came to the basing, which I finished a little more than a week ago.
What you see is one of Nick Lund’s gloomy orcs released by Grenadier. These orcs don’t match perfectly with late 80’s Citadel orcs but when put together, like here, the difference in size or scale is really not a big problem – at least to my mind. Ideally I would love to have a whole unit of Lund’s orcs to be used along with my citadel orcs, but this will probably never happen and I thus keep painting these aesthetically very different orcs and pool them into one big pile o’ green menace with my citadel ones.
The other orc is of course one of the troopers from the Regiments of Renown set ‘Harboth’s Orc Archers’, sculpted by Mr. Adams and released in ’87. These are some choice orc archers and I love the set. I never actually bought the regiment as a box, but over the years I think I have collected what would be the contents of the box. Based on the numbers of these orcs floating around on online auctions this set must really have been one of citadel’s bestsellers.
By the way, the shield on the back of this orc is also by Grenadier – at least the original is. Grenadier has used it on a number of 80’s evil fighter types and I nicked it via press mould and green stuff and gave the shield to this happy orc chap.
Up next I will present our new fantasy campaign.
I found time to finish these two early slotta orcs by the Perry twins. To my mind this early generation of orcs are some of the best from Citadel. I really like their smallish stature and melancholy faces devoid of the later goofiness which Kev Adams later developed into the signature look of the Citadel greenskins.
The one with the shield came from the Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Monster Set from 1985 and I could not help myself, I had to try to emulate John Blanche’s take on the orc from the box cover down to the eye of Sauron on the shield. The other orc is roughly contemporary and a great little fella. I really enjoyed painting both them and hopefully they will soon be able to fight for King F’yar.
It is time to show some signs of life again on this blog. Things have been a bit busy here in Copenhagen lately but I recently had a chance to play a game of Rogue Trader with my goods friends Claus and Anders. The back-story was the following. Dr. Leo Powder (a genestealer hybrid magus) and his cult were discovered by the authorities of Hunger City and a military unit was sent in to clear out the cult-scum and all their off-spring. However they failed to capture Dr. Powder and his closest hybrid allies who by the help of their brood succeeded in fleeing from Hunger City. Cult members jumped into cars and six of the sacred pure strain genestealers were packed into the back of a truck and off they went. The army was in hot pursuit of the cultists who decided to take a detour into the desert in order to improve their chances of escape. This they should never have done because Dr. Powder and his brood headed straight into the territory of the ork ganger Jerzman da Nazdy who not only was unwilling to let the vehicles pass, he was also very interested in capturing the cars and particularly the truck – although he did not know what it was carrying.
In the battle we played, Dr. Powder and his cult had just arrived in front of the ork territory. They objective of the cult was to get passed the orks with as many vehicles, hybrids and genestealers alive as possible. Jezman and the orks on the other hand had to prevent this.
The game was a blast. Cars and bikes raced around on the table, boltguns cracked and genestealers crawled through the bushes ambushing orks. In the end the orks succeeded in stopping the cult but it was a close call and almost all of the orks had been killed when the last of the brood was finished.
Well, here you see some random snapshots from the game taken by Claus (the victorious ork player). I will try to upload som epictures of the minis and cars from the game soon.
By the way – the cotton is ectoplasmic mist created with great effect by Dr. Leo Powder
This Sunday I’m playing a game of Pulp Alley with Phreedh again – our second game and I’m looking forward to seeing what the planet of McKemmler IV has in store for us this time. I just finished this little gang of bad guys for the game. The gang leader – dressed in green – is the ever-charming scoundrel and opportunist Conrad Green. His closets ally or sidekick is the brute Demp (on the far right) and with along with them you see the three Ork henchmen Fenk, Gumbah and Larma – all muscle and no brains of course. Finally we also have Zyph – a docile being originating from the planet Schekyl, whose tentacles and flippers have proven quite useful when trying to force doors and the like open.
The Conrad Green model is of the Jerry Cornelius miniature from Citadel’s magnificent Eternal Champion box released in 1986, and the Cornelius miniature is one of my favorites from the set. A true little gem of vintage, high-cheekboned Jes Goodwin goodness. I could not help myself painting him up in the same colours as the image which inspired the miniature, as there can be little doubt that the mini is heavily inspired by the paperback cover of Avon’s Jerry Cornelius omnibus released in ’77. A great collection, absolutely worthwhile tracking down. The top-notch cover was illustrated by cool cat Stanislaw Fernandes and I would surely like to paint a pink car to go the Cornelius miniature the complete the picture.
Paperback, Avon Books 1977, with the cover painting by Stanislaw Fernandes
Demp and his gang are all Citadel Space Orks and all except Demp are troopers from the Space Ork Raiders boxset released in ’88 (I think); a great set which I managed to acquire for a quite reasonable price some months ago.
Finally we have Zyph and I must confess to be complete oblivious to the origin of the miniature. I suspect it is a Grenadier model, but I’m not sure, and I have no idea what is it supposed to be. In fact I don’t even remember from where I got the model. It has been resting in my pile of chaos stuff for quite some years now as I planned to use it as some sort of minor demon, but now he found use as a space alien which probably is a bit more true to the original intention of the miniature. Can any one of you identify it for me?
That’s it for now. Any thoughts?