Some months ago I saw this mini in my local GW store and I have to say that I was very surprised with the dynamism, movement and strength that it shows. I purchased the mini and when I started putting the different pieces toghether I realized how much better is the GW plastic in comparison with the Finecast™ (but that’s a different story).
I did not want to do any kind of conversion, as it is such a beautiful mini (if an orc can be beautiful) that ruining it with a conversion would have been a shame.
I undercoated it with a thin layer of light grey (XF-54) colour from Tamiya applied with the airbrush. I like this colour as it shows you quite fast a general view of the volumes of the piece.
“THE EYES ARE THE MIRROR OF THE SOUL”
The first thing I paint in every mini are the eyes. Basically because the eyes are the centre of the model, the first place you look at…
I invest more than 1 hour trying to find the right sight and giving some life to them.
For this model the skin is key: 75% of the orc is skin and I wanted it to be as realistic as possible (again, considering how realistic an orc can be…).
I started by using the airbrush with the following mixes (this took me around 1 hour)
Shade: Burnt Cadmium Red (Vallejo) - Base Color: Catachan Green (Citadel) - 1st Light: Desert Yellow (C) - 2nd Light: Desert Yellow (C) + Basic Skintone (V) - Midtone: Catachan Green (C) glazes
After I did this I had a good overview of the different volumes of the muscles and I could start emphasising certain parts with the brush using the following colours in the following order.
1st Midtones: Desert Yellow (C) + small part of Catachan Green (C) - 1st Light: Kommando Khaki (C) - 2nd Light: Basic Skintone - 2nd Midtones: Red Gore (in wrinkles of the face, ears,…) - 3rd Midtones: Snakebite Leather (C) (general skin) - 4th Midtones: Snakebite Leather (C) + Red Gore (C) (general skin) - 5th Midtones: Oxford Blue (V) (In the deepest areas in shade) - 2nd Light (Again): Basic Skintone (V) - Shade: Scorched Brown (C) + Dark Sea Blue (V)
Everyone knows that Savage Orcs wear tattoos, right? Right…? So I started searching on the Web for some references and I found some nice tribal examples. And the rest was simple: patience, steady hand, plenty of time and slow dryer medium (very helpful in case you make a mistake). For the colour I used Dark Sea Blue (V) and Basic Skintone (V).
There are many different ways to paint leather and for this case I wanted to paint the tabard as suede and the belt on the chest as polished leather.
For the tabard I used the following.
Base: Burnt Umber (V) - Shade: Black Ink + Dark Sea Blue (V) - 1st Light: English Uniform (V) - Midtone: Snakebite Leather (C) - 2nd Light: Green Ochre (V) - 3rd Light: Green Ochre (V) + Ice Yellow (V) - Final Details (Drawing): Burt Umber (V) + Deck Tan (V) - (Here is very important to have a matt finish. If you do not accomplish it you can always use some matt varnish afterwards)
And for the belt on the shoulder the process was even easier!
Base: Vermin Brown (C) - 1st Shade: Black ink + Chestnut ink (C) + Glaze medium (V) - 2nd Shade: The same as step 2 but without any fear or remorse!!! - 1st Light: Snakebite Leather (C) - 2nd Light: Green Ochre (V) to do the scratches effect
These are two very easy ways to paint leather. But there are much more. Do not hesitate to experiment!
In his right leg the orc has a very small piece of cloth that I wanted to create some contrast, so I decided to paint it yellow (but maintaining the general tonality of the mini).
I started from an English Uniform (V) base and from there I created volume with shades (mix of Brown Ink + Oxford Blue (V)) and highlights with Japanese Uniform (V), Ice Yellow (V) and Ivory (V).
BONES AND FANGS
Most of the pendants that the mini has around his body are mainly bones and fangs/claws. I wanted to paint them white so I went for a very effective mix.
Base: Space Wolves Grey (C) + SS. Camouflage Black Brown (V) - Shade: Base + SS. Camouflage Black Brown (V) - Highlights: Ivory (V) - 1st Midtones: Snakebite Leather (C) glazes - 2nd Midtones: Some Hawk Turquoise (C) and Red Gore (C) gazes in the shadowed areas.
This election of colours is very effective and it works well for either for bones than for clothes.
The handle of the axe had a slight relief that could help me when creating the wood effect with just some minor glazings (making the darkest colour going into the deepest areas). I used the following colours.
Base: Burnt Umber (C) + Deck Tan (V) - Shade: Brown Ink + Black Ink glaze - Highlights: Base + Deck Tan (V) with pure Deck Tan in the point of maximum light
AXE GLOWING RUNE
While I was painting the handle of the axe I realized about an amazing detail: there is a carved snake in it! The first thing that came into my mind when I saw it was: glowing effect, this is asking for a glowing effect!
I was not too sure about the colour though. My first idea was red/orange, but I was sure that I wanted to paint the hair in red, so I decided to go for a very bright green.
The process was the following:
1. Hawk Turquoise (C) glaze all along the carving to mark out the drawing... - 2. Hawk Turquoise (C) + Yellow Fluo (V) inside the rune - 3. Hawk Turquoise (C) + Yellow Fluo (V) in the borders of the rune to start creating the directional lighting effect. - 4. And a thin line of Yellow Fluo (V) in the center of the rune to create spots of shining.
After this, and in order to create the appropriate glowing effect I had to paint the surrounding areas nearest to the rune in the same way, emphasizing the brighter colour in the points closer to the rune.
BLOOD SPLATTER AND SCRATCHES
I painted the blade of the axe with a neutral brown and a mix of brown and black glazes and drybrushing (yes, I said drybrushing…) with grey. So after it was done I wanted to put some blood effects on it. I used Red Ink and Black Ink with some gloss varnish and I just splattered the mix hitting the sid
For the scratches in the skin I did the following.
1. Thin line with Red Gore (C) + tiny bit of Black - 2. Volume applied with Kommando Khaki (C) - 3. Red Gore (C) glaze around the wound, a bit of Gloss Varnish.... et voilà
As I said before, one of the first things I knew for sure was that I wanted the hair to be red, to create as much contrast as possible but I wanted to keep the general warmness of the mini. So I choose the following mixes.
Base: Red Gore (C) + Orange Brown (V) - Shade: Base (C) + Dark Sea Blue (V) - Highlight: Orange Brown (V)
Summary: Only three colours and an effective contrast.
“ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”
The preparation of the base would require a different article, however I would like to mention that I had to prepare two bases. The reason? Well… Basically when I finished the first terrain and I put the miniature on it I realized that the main view of the orc was completely lost as the figure was leaning much more than expected.
The solution? Easy. Removing the mini from the terrain and creating a new base that fitted my requirements and preserved the main view.
I have to say that I am very proud of this project. I do not think it is my best mini, but it was a real pleasure to paint such an amazing and, at the same time, simple figure. It took me one month in the making and I posted the different WIP pictures in my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Karaikalstudio