Thursday, 28 February 2019

From NoelW for Thursday: An orcward post (270 points)

My second post this week is a return to Lord of the Rings, one of my favourite gaming arenas. To support the warg riders I posted before, today's offering is mainly a mass of ugly orcs. I'm hoping they'll be followed by another batch before the Challenge ends.

But first, four barrow wights. These are nice castings, though I'm not sure why I've two sets of them. I really like the blue and silver combination though, as usual, my poor photography makes them look rather lighter than in reality:

My notion of the LOTR orcs is dressed in all sorts of rags and scavenged garments, so they would be multicoloured but overall essentially be dark and filthy, with armour that was battered and rusty. There’d be a strong degree of uniformity across the army, despite all that underlying variety, and Tolkien's descriptions (which, as is usual with him, are not very precise) emphasise the darkness and filth of orcishness, so that's what I'm going for.

For priming I experimented with the zenithal method as advocated by Tamsin (thanks, Tamsin), but I didn’t get it right. Possibly I had the spray too close to the figures to get the best results or I chose bad angles. It did produce some interesting shading on a few figures, and so I've used washes in a few places to take advantage of that. But mainly the effects were unreasonable, so I had to ignore the shading that resulted and overpaint uniformly. I will, however, persist with the experiment.

Instead, I relied on Army Painter Dark Shade to do most of the shading for me and provide that army uniformity over the many different colours I used on each figure. I picked out some colours with selective highlighting but limited it to a few instances per figure. I definitely didn't want any colour to "pop" and attract the eye. My orcs are a morose, miserable, muddy mass. Armour was painted silver them washed with flesh wash for a rusty effect.

The end result is not the most beautiful army in the world but even so quite convincingly a mass of evil ragamuffins. Here are two of their captains:

And a smattering of archers:

And finally the marauding mass itself:

That’s 50 orcs and 4 barrow wights = 270 points  

What a great mass of orcs! Suitably gritty,dirty and rusty! They work really well! The wrights are great! The ethereal blue and highlighted black works really well together! 270 points it is,a slightly dirty boom!

All the best Iain


  1. Excellent dark forces Noel. I especially like the blue on those wights, I'm sure you come across the wight reason for the second pack.

  2. Nice Orcs and wights Noel :)

    Zenithal priming can be tricky - I'd definitely recommend watching a few vids on YouTube to get some tips on how to do it (Sorastro and Tabletop Minions have decent ones I think)

  3. the painting machine rolls on, love the wights

  4. Gondor doesn't stand a chance with you in charge of building Sauron's armies.
    Well done.

  5. AWESOME! That's a great productive output on these excellent painted LOTR stuff. Love it all. Cheers

  6. Oooh very good, the colours are well chosen!

  7. I really like your “morose, miserable, muddy mass”, they look great.