This miniature was my first project after I stopped painting for a year and a half between 2007 and 2009. I knew I wanted to paint something for the 2009 Golden Demon but I was not sure about what to paint. So I went to my local Games Workshop store and looked for a figure that could give me a good chance for conversion. I have always liked Orks and at that moment the miniature of Snikrot was just being released and, considering the high amount of orcs' bits and pieces that I had in my "BIitz Box" at home, I thought it was a go idea to go for another cut'n'paste conversion of a Warhammer 40.000 Ork.
Basically the figure is created by components of 5 different ork models: as mentioned the body is from Snikrot, the head from Grimgor, the left arm with the phone comes from a Forgeworld Ork pilot, the right weapon from an Ork warboss and the backpack from another warboss. Surprisingly the pieces fit quite sell together and I just needed to use very little amount of putty to fill some gaps between junctions.
The skin was going to be one of the three main focal points of the mini: with the red trousers and the blue can of gas of the weapon, so I knew that I needed to paint it in a bright green color. For the base I decided to use a mixture of Catachan Green and Camo Green (both from Citadel). For the shading I opted for pure Catachan Green, black and a bit of Red Gore (Citadel) in order to create come contrast. And for the highlights I continued with the Camo Green adding to it some Kommando Khaki (Citadel).
When the moment to apply some midtones arrived I decided to use some Desert Yellow (Citadel) almost all around the skin and some very diluted Red Gore in specific areas such as the back, the scars and some tension areas (between muscles). Also I used some purples in certain areas of the face (around the eyes) to give some drama to the mini.
Another focal point of the miniature is the trousers. I thought a good idea was to paint them in red with a checked stripe in the side like a mechanic: something very typical in the orks as they like fast vehicles and speed.
I used a very simple process for the red starting with Red Gore (Citadel), shading it with a little bit of Black and Dark Blue Sea, and highlighting it adding some Beige Red (Vallejo) to the base.
For the checked stripe I started with a thick black line (around 4mm wide) and afterward I added some little ivory color squares. Having in this way the basic desired pattern, adding shading and highlights was not a difficult process. I started shading it with pure black by applying very diluted layers of black (almost transparent) ensuring the brush strokes were applied in the direction of the shadows. In this way the black was going to darken slightly the white squares but not the black ones. The process for the highlights was almost identical but using very diluted Ivory color and ensuring the brush strokes were going in the direction of the highlights. Highlighting in this way the black squares but leaving almost untouched the white squares. This is a fast and very effective technique that delivers very good results.
Painting rust is a very easy and effective technique that can create a fantastic effect in just three simple steps, and I used these three steps in this figure. Usually rust happens on metallic surfaces (especially if such surfaces are not well polished, like the orks' weapons), so first of all we have to make sure that the metal underneath the rust is fully painted and finished (with its shades and highlights). The first step is to apply a layer of Scorched Brown (Citadel) in large random areas. Afterwards we will apply some Vermin Brown on top of it. And finally for the "fresher" rust we will use Fiery Orange. The combination of these three colors in the right places can create a very realistic effect, but other color can be used for other kind of rusts (for example turquoise and white for the rust of the copper).
The base itself is conformed by three main elements: the terrain, the tree, and the snow
The Terrain: This was quite easy to do. I used some Milliput to elevate the surface and some very thin beach sand for the gravel, adding some little stones. After it was painted in dark browns I added artificial grass an some flowers to give some color.
The Tree: Painting wood is always a fun moment. I used some real wood branches that I twisted and glued together to represent broken and rotten vegetation. Afterwards I used some oil paints (mainly dark browns and blacks) very diluted with white spirit to almost automatically create the wood grain effect. This is a very interesting and fast technique.
The snow: To make artificial snow used Woodland Scenics artificial snow mixed with PVA glue to attach it to the base. The biggest challenge was to “stain" the miniature with snow to give it a touch of realism. I've always been afraid to stain a figure with the effect of mud, dust, several scuffs, etc. Normally these effects are only applied in the lower parts of the figure, which are more in touch with the ground
I did not want to do fancy experiments in terms of color scheme or painting techniques with this model, I just wanted to demonstrate myself that after two years without touching a brush I could still paint something more or less decent. I do not consider this my best mini, however I am very proud of it as it was the first model I painted after one big break in my painting career. And once it was finished I realized I couldn’t live without this amazing hobby.