Monday 7 March 2011

An Orc-Goblin restoration project

August 8, 2018

My style of painting has changed over the past 30 years and my collection of Orc and Goblin armies do show their age. I decided to refurbish the collection and this is no small task as the collection is quite large. The figures are all metal Citadel/Games Workshop and Shadow Corps miniatures which are based as 15mm despite the figures being a standard 25mm.

As you can see from the ‘before’ photos, these were painted in the fashion colour of the time and to protect them were given a coat of high gloss varnish. One could almost describe the technique as ‘splash and dash’ as these took relatively little time to paint up.

The mounted arm of this collection are Snotlings (now Goblin) mounted on Necromunda rats and these you will see these based as light horse (LH), cavalry (Cv) and chariot (LCh) elements. Actual armoured Goblin figures, also mounted on Necromunda rats, form the elite element or knight class (3Kn) and can be seen on their larger bases (40mm x 40mm).

To make this task less arduous, I will paint them 12 elements at time. As a first step toward their restoration, I sprayed these with a matte varnish which did produce a subtle change but not enough that I would say – ‘done’.

After considerable research I decided to follow the description of the Orc skin colour as given by Tolkien in his novels. My first batch of twelve is nearly done and I am pleased with the result so far. Photos of ‘after’ should be uploaded either tomorrow or Friday. 


August 9, 2018

The first Orc/Goblin command is complete with a second command close on its heels (nr. 2 is also complete).

The base colour for these is Angrellan Earth followed by a wash of Athonian Camoshade with Nurgling Green used for highlighting. From my reading, this comes close to the description of ‘sallow-skinned’ Orc as given by Tolkien in his books; this can also vary from a dirty gray, dirty yellow or cream colour.

Weapons and metal items are painted a dark gray and highlighted with a mix of light blue/mid-gray. The effect is nice as most of the figures have chainmail armour. All leather equipment is painted in various shades of brown, red-brown.

Command nr. 1

Command nr. 2

I am pleased with the results so far, they certainly look menacing more so than the original colour scheme. More photos will follow as the restoration progresses, but next post will list an inventory of the collection to give readers an idea of the project size.

August 14, 2018

Command numbers  4 and 5 comprise of both heavy and light mounted troop types each supported by a small contingent of bowmen These offered an opportunity to experiment with skin tone variation by simply changing the highlighting colour; unfortunately this cannot be seen well in the photo. The Necromunda rats required very little work needing only some extra detailing.

Command nr. 3

Command nr. 4

Command nr. 5

I am fast approaching the half way mark as there are 11 commands and not thirteen as originally tallied; two commands comprise of horde which count as half of normal value. Each command of horde therefore requires twice as many elements to complete; both have a horde general. These are next on the 'to do' list.

August 17, 2018

Two Goblin hordes are now complete (commands 6 & 7). Each comprise of 16 horde elements supported by two behemoths, either Stone Trolls or Pump Wagons. At first glance, I was hesitant to do these as they total 80 smaller figures (17/18mm) which all require the same amount of attention as their larger brethren. Rather than apply an earth colour as a base coat I skipped that step and brushed Anthonian Camoshade over the original green. This created enough of a contrast that I could use Nurgle Green to highlight the figure, which worked well. Weapons and clothing were painted in a similar fashion as all the other groups.

If you have the 1993 publication of Warhammer Armies, Orcs and Goblins, you may remember Stone Trolls were painted with a medium to light blue colour. In keeping with the general theme of this project, these too were painted darker then dry brushed with lighter shades of gray and just a touch of light blue. The end result turned out much better in my opinion.

The Pump Wagons followed a similar treatment with wood items ‘washed’ with a deeper red-brown and crew figures were painted in a similar style as described above. Metal fittings were painted and highlighted in a similar manner as the rest of the collection. 

Command nr. 6

Command nr. 7

August 21, 2018

Commands 8 and 9 are modelled after the ancient Classical Indian list which include elephants, chariots, cavalry and archers. Here, giant boars with howdah replace the elephants and Orc warriors replace the Maiden Guard of an earlier DBA list and both commands are stiffened with a good number of archers and chariot.  

Command number 10 was also completed over the weekend and this contains a mix of mounted, Orc warriors and a few archers. This leaves the artillery, Squiggs, horde and the last three chariot models to make an enlarged command number 11.

Command 8 and 9

Command 10

August 28, 2018

The final command is finished and now joins the other 10 in their storage boxes. The Goblins are always fun to do (former Snotlings) while the chariots offered the greater challenge with tight spots that needed painting. The Squiggs were darkened and their teeth are not as pristine white as before, yet still retain a fierce appearance. The artillery pieces were painted a wood colour and a similar treatment was done to the palisade.

This took less than three weeks to complete with each day no more than an hour or two required for painting, texturing bases and flocking.

Command 11 before

Command 11 frontal

Command 11 rear

Project Overview

6 x Savage Orc (3Kn)
8 x Orc riders (Cv)
16 x Goblin scouts (LH)
11 x Goblin Chariots (LCh)
= 41

24 x Orc warriors (3Bd or 3Wb)
30 x Arrer boyz (3Bw)
6 x Skirmishers, Lurkers (Ps)
52 x Goblin Swarm (5Hd)
4 x Spear Chukkas (Art)
= 106

4 x Giant Boars (El)
2 x Big Uns (Beh)
2 x Stone Trolls (Beh)
3 x Squiggs (SCh)
2 x Pump Wagons (WWg)
1 x Spider (Lurker)
= 14

This brings the grand total to 171 elements or more than thirteen commands. 
NB. (Beh) Behemoth   



Goblin-Orc Parade Review

In the vanguard are the chariots (LCh) and skirmishing mounted goblins (LH), closely followed by the main body.

In the central column of the main body are Orc warriors (3Wb, 3Bd) with Orc bowmen (3Bw) marching to their front and rear. On the flanks of the central column can be seen the Goblin horde (5Hd) in standard march discipline accompanied by trolls (Beh).

Bringing up the rear of the army are the pump wagons, bolt shooters, Goblins mounted on large wild boar (El) and Squigg (SCh).

To the right of the column are two formations of heavy mounted Orcs; in the foreground are the “cavalry” (Cv) and to their rear behind the Angry Sun banner are the Big Boyz (3Kn).

On their way to an Elven banquet.

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