Monday, 30 October 2017

Tale of Middlehammer Gamers: Orctober 2017!

Credit to Russ T Painting for the lovely monthly challenge posters!
Howdy folks!

So, the theme of the Tale of Middlehammer Gamers (ToMG) painting challenge for Orctober has been basing. I thought this was a great idea from Russ in terms of helping people keep up productivity and actually get armies fully table top ready. Improving my basing has been something I have been working on (having previously only painted my bases, and often not even bothering to fill in the gaps in slotta bases!), so following on from the success of my project for Da Great Snot Off! I was full of enthusiasm for this one!

I pledged to paint from scratch/re-touch and then base up:

4 Orks/Gretchin for Shadow War Armageddon
3 Ogre Mercenaries (2 existing paint jobs needing rebasing)
4 Assorted Oldhammer Orcs
6 Assorted Old/Middlehammer Goblins
3 Goblin Fanatics
1 Blood Bowl Goblin star player (proxy Goblin Fantatic)
Azhag the Slaughterer's Wyvern (existing paint job needing basing)

I then added two more Blood Bowl Goblin-Proxy Fanatics with existing paint jobs that needed rebasing right at the end... sheesh, that was a lot of basing!

Sorry/Not sorry
Below you can see (almost) my total output for the fantasy side of the Orctober challenge. I also did some Red Period style 40k Orks for Shadow War: Armageddon, which you can see here.

I must apologise for the quality of the photos in this post - for some reason pictures that seemed to display fine on my phone have come out really blurry when uploaded. I'm edging closer and closer to biting the bullet and buying myself a decent digital camera, proving once again that this hobby gets expensive in so many different ways!

First up are three Mercenary Ogres. Two are Blood Bowl Ogres that I had painted quite some time ago and have just been rebased as part of this challenge. The one with the massive sword is a Tim Prow sculpt available for a bargain price from RPE at the time of writing. He's a little shorter than the others, but I like that as it makes Ogres seem more diverse as a race. The look is pure Oldhammer if you ask me. I wanted these guys table ready as I'm planning on including them in my O&G Middlehammer Fantasy tournament force* which is due for a practice outing in November.

*Interesting question here, which I have put to my fellow Middlehammer tournament buds already, but what is the minimum unit size for Ogres in 4th edition WFB? I'm sure I have seen units of three in photo shoots in old WDs for example, but when checking the O&G army book it doesn't have the same exemption as Trolls specifically do about having units of less than 5. But then, neither does the listing for Giants, also under the Units heading, yet we all know they don't have to come in units of five! Let me know your take on this in the comments! :)

In terms of basing these got the previously standard treatment of a base of thin Humbrol Acrylic Matt Green 88, followed by a thin wet brush of Citadel Snot Green, and then a final dry brush of Citadel Sunburst Yellow. It makes for a really vivid green, and is how the majority of my fantasy models have been flocked - but it is wasting my precious Citadel Snot Green, so these are probably the last that will get that version of the treatment.

Other basing components I try and keep consistent include the field stone, which is Citadel Shadow Grew, washed with black ink, then dry brushed with Shadow Grey again, and finally Elf Grey. Together with the bright red toadstools and sunburst yellow dry brush (which I always think looks like it might be tiny flowers mixed in the grass), this field stone treatment forms part of what I think of as the 'fantasy meadow' treatment. I know that sounds naff, but I like the idea of a wooded dell, or mountain top meadow being defiled by battling forces of Orcs and Elves etc... Bwahahahahaha!

The broken weapons and discarded shields and helmet are all from the ever useful Frostgrave Soldiers sprue and were added to emphasise the fearsome nature of the Ogres having caused their opponents to throw down their weapons and run!

As the month wore on and REAL LIFE began to take it's toll this challenge definitely became one of quantity over quality. For a while this was bugging me, and I can see loads of things that I could/should have done better when looking back over these photos. But as JB/Asslessman said in his excellent recent blog post on his entry for a 4 pot painting challenge: "Done is better than perfect." In that spirit I am really happy with my output this month as it has moved me closer to having a second tournament ready force for November.

Next up were some Goblins and Night Goblins. I have large blocks of 4th Ed monopose Gobbo Spears and Archers, but am still in need of more command figures to turn them into fully functioning units. Apologies as I forgot to take a picture of the reverse view, but you aren't missing much.

Basing wise I have swapped to using Coat D'Arms Goblin Green over the darker Humbrol green. This is less lurid than my preferred thinned down Snot Green formula, but is much more sustainable across a large force. Dry brushed with Coat D'Arms Putrid Green, these are now getting the same treatment as my 40k/SWA Space Orks, which is in turn my attempt to match my existing 2nd Ed Ork forces which were painted by a friend's uncle in the early 90s... So Anna B, in anticipation of your objection to the lack of Sunburst Yellow dry brush - it is still "auffentic Ork fashionz from da 90s, right!"

Next we have assorted Orcs; one of Harboth's archers (I think?) which was my second ever metal Oldhammer Orc archer and both have been really lovely models to paint; a member of the Man Mangler crew who, as I sadly don't have a Man Mangler (yet!) will have to do duty on a Skull Crusher instead, an Orc casualty who I have also come to think of as a member of the Skull Crusher crew (lying on his back trying to fix the winch mechanism like a mechanic?); and a Standard Bearer that had been damaged and needed some work. I got the chance to test my new pin vice and fixed in a good length of paper clip.

Basing wise they got the Coat D'Arms Goblin Green/Putrid Green treatment. A piece of loose field stone made sense for the Man Mangler crew, and the Archer and Standard Bearer both got toadstools made out of lentils - all to try and tie the new colour scheme back to that common landscape with the rest of my finished minis.

More apologies now as these photos are both blurred and contain duplicates of the chainsaw wielding loon, but you can see the same strong red and yellow accent colours that dominate my goblin forces are repeated, as are the basing elements of field stone and toadstools - I particularly like those elements for the fanatics, both to emphasise their fungus fuelled mania, and give them something to trip over.

Here you can see the two even more basic paint jobs on two other Blood Bowl Goblins I like to use as proxy fanatics, which I have rebased to fit in with the updated O&G forces.

I have a real penchant for using Blood Bowl minis in WFB as you can see with the two ogres above, and even in RT/40K as with this beast! But, only one of these proxy fanatics looks like a Night Goblin, which led me back to a point I have always wanted to argue - why do only Night Goblins get fanatics!? Yeah, I know it is to do with the special fungus brew etc. but if you think about it, Goblin Doom Divers are just as suicidal (if not more so) and they don't have to be Night Goblins? How much would you object if an opponent wanted to field proxy fanatics in a non-night goblin unit if it seemed in character with the army? your thoughts would be welcome in the comments :)

Finally we have Azhag's Wyvern - who was one of my first purchases from the OTC and painted up straight away ages ago for a special appearance in my D&D campaign, but who remained unbased since then, and still remains unmounted (soon Azhag, soon!).

I wanted to keep the base in keeping with the rest of the force, but needed to break up the block of green to give more contrast against the scales of the Wyvern.

A larger area of broken field stone has helped with that a bit, and has helped disguise the fact the right foot sat quite proud from the base, but given free reign I would have used something other than green as the main colour for this one. Never mind - it's not perfect, but its done, and so is my Orctober 2017 painting challenge!

Big thanks as ever to Russ for running the ToMG challenges, and to everyone who is taking part each month via the Middlehammer facebook group - it's amazing to see so many people taking part!


  1. Nice one! Love the paint jobs mate, some solid middlehammer paint schemes there, especially like the ogres.

    Yeah great turn out and still more coming in!

    1. Cheers!

      Credit where it is due for the success of the painting challenge mate! :)