Saturday, June 23, 2012

[Project Ork] Finis

Many moons ago I blogged about drinking the Kool-Aid and embarking on a Warhammer 40,000 collecting and painting project. At the time I promised pictures as the project unfolded.

What ended up happening was that rather than slowly building the army up over the course of the year, as intended, I painted everything up all at once in a stretch of about three weeks and then essentially put the figures aside, where they proceeded to sit in my display case without a whole lot to say or do. I felt unmotivated to take pictures and felt disappointed in the work I'd done.

So I've decided to sell the collection. Ironically, in the course of taking photos of the figures I've come to appreciate the paint jobs that I did, as well as the modeling and conversion work. I think my demoralization came not from the quality of the work, which in retrospect was up to my standards, but rather the realization that I wasn't going to use them for anything. It's a nice collection and I hope it finds a good home, but the project taught me that Warhammer 40K just isn't for me. I intend to use to proceeds generated by the sale of the Orks to fund a return to World War II skirmish, albeit in a scale new to me in that genre: 28mm. I've already bought a couple sample figures from Artizan and I'm quite excited to be working in the larger scale. Pictures (and hopefully some battle reports!) will definitely follow for this project, albeit at a slow pace. I'm determined to pace out my WWII project as I had wanted to do for the Orks.

But enough of future plans; let us take a moment to bask in the glow of what-might-have-been, Project Ork. The conversions and paint jobs were based on World War One German forces, inspired by an influential 'Eavy Metal spread from a White Dwarf of my youth featuring the work of the late, great Carl E. Cordell, aka the Orkmeister. On with the show, then - click and ye shall maketh the pictures to become larger.

Three Nobz with resin heads. I was very pleased with the Micro Art heads - without them, my concept wouldn't have worked nearly as well.

A squad of Stikk Boyz. Note the gunner of the Heavy Bolta and his gasmask!

I couldn't resist adding a unit of Shootas with a Rokkit Launcher and all those big guns!

Another Nob. I exercised my experience with painting WWII figures to add fun little details, like the chipped paint on his shoulder plate.

The other unit of Stikk Boyz.

Kommandos. "They're doin' their best, do what they can..." I was particularly pleased with how their masks turned out. The ones with goggles had their lenses painted with day-glo green paint to make it look like night vision.

The Kommando Nob, a resin monstrosity from Forge World. That axe is the most 40K element in the whole army. Ridiculously wonderful.

Killa Kans. I had a blast painting the WWI-style camouflage.

Looted Leman Russ tank. I added an Orky flame-thrower on the sponson mount, an Ork heavy bolter on the co-axial, and bolted-on armor. I was also quite happy with how the hand-painted Blood Axe logo on the turret turned out.

A bit of weathering, too.

I found this Cybork Mechboy on eBay, complete with the little helper  Gretchin; I added the dynamite chucker in the backpack.

My warboss. A mashup of the plastic Boss from the Assault on Black Ridge set, the resin banner pole from the Forge World Kommando Nob, and the original metal Kommando Nob. The cigar clenched in his teeth made him the perfect Patton-esque Blood Axe boss.

Another view of the first unit of Stikk Boyz.

I drilled out the barrels on all the guns. Maybe I did get a little carried away...

The Shootas again. I was really pleased with how the Rokkit Launcha turned out. The "rokkits" added a nice splash of color to all the earth tones.

Kommandos! You get a nice view of the night-vision goggles in this shot.

What a bad-ass.

I've always loved Gretchin.

I was quite happy with the bolted-on armor plate. It looks suitably funky and rusticated.

I have to say that Killa Kans with WWI camo was my original mental image around which the collection coalesced, and this shot pretty much matches that image exactly.

And we can't forget the Death Koptas! I patterned the paint jobs on German biplanes from Richtoffen's Flying Circus. My only regret here was that the Koptas didn't have more surface area to show off the colors!

In the end, the project was a success, but ultimately I realized I'm just not going to be playing any 40K and I'm not enough of a collector to be okay with having a display of minis that never get used for a game. So the Orks are off to find a new home (maybe your own?), one where they can hopefully do all the shootin' and stikkin' and blastin' their little green hearts desire. On to the next project!
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