Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finished - 'ard Boyz

I finished these Orks summer 2014 and never posted about them. Recently, I took out the old photo studio and tried to document them. I had some lighting issues in that I did it at night, in a poorly lit area wiht only two halogen lamps for lighting. I am still trying to get my photography skills to the point with it displays my painting skills. I have some programs that will allow me to edit photos (Apple has updated their camera software to include this recently too). Even though I can edit the photos, they still never turn out perfect. Seems that I am no better at editing photos than I am at taking them.

I knew that I was going to do a unit of 'ard Boyz (now called Boyz with 'eavy Armor) from the start and also knew that I was going to use WBF Black Orcs as proxies for them as soon as I saw a unit of the plastic minis. I fell in love with these models. What is more terrifying than a giant unstoppable green killing machine than a giant green killing machine wearing 100 pounds of armor. The kits also had very little Fantasy feel to them. Aside from little chainmail hanging out the cracks, they could easily be 40k Orks. 

With my Ork army, I am painting each squad as a different Ork Clan and trying to match the unit and Clan in ironic and interesting ways. Most people paint their Bikers as Speed Freaks but few people would think to paint their Lootas as Speed Freaks. I did not put that much thought into what Clan to choose for the 'ard Boyz. I had remembered seeing Orks with blue armor and that Orks think that blue is lucky. I thought that "the lucky blue clan" was Blood Axes and these Black Orc minis did seem to have a lot of axes, so I just started painting them blue. Turns out that I was right but the Blood Axes are kind of light on specific fluff at least according to the current codex and Lexicanum. They trade with the Imperium and use camo (poorly). They are most often Kommandos and are untrustworthy. their colors are OD Green and red but they ain't their faces and sometimes entire bodies blue. That's where I fell flat. No green or red on these models. It is not a big deal as I plan to have lots of units in lots of colors. Kind of like skittles or Power Rangers. 

I painted a couple of Boyz just to be sure I knew what I was going to do for a color scheme before starting on the Nob. I started by priming black and painting the entire mini Chainmail. After that I painted on my blue basecoat and tried to alternate armor between silver and blue. It is difficult and often times impossible to alternate armor plates with just two colors, so I also added in splashes of gold. 

Blue and silver was a little boring so I also used Simple Rust (Dark Flesh paint thinned down) before washing to give a two-stage rust.I like how the dark rust color contrasts with the blue. In retrospect, I wish I had some some Orky marking in brighter red to give some more color to these minis. 

After getting all my base colors down, the whole model got washed in Devlin Mud. After it dried, I drybrushed the entire mini in Mythril Silver. I touched up the blue areas and gave them a solid color of Ultramarines Blue. I did not use much hard edge highlighting but tried to make the raised edged bright and the recesses dark. 

For the Nob, I used an AoBR Nob because I had not yet bought a full Nob kit. I cut off his close combat weapon in the raised right ram and replaced it with a metal Power Klaw that I had spare. The down side is that it was missing the top two claws. They were easy enough to make out of some plasticard but I am still impressed with how well and believable they turned out. If I did not know better, I would not have known that is not a stock bit. 

With his weapon done and his pistol arm not needing any conversion, I wanted to give him a shield. Who says that the 'eavy Armor that the boyz wear has to all be worn. I carried this shield motif through the rest of the squad whenever able. For the Nob's shield I used a Space Marine Storm Shield and attached the spikes from the axe (previously in the Nob's right hand) to the front and back of the shield. Just because it is a shield does not mean that it is not also a weapon. #orklogic

Now this 'ard boy needed his 'eavy Armor and this is the part that I kind of phoned in. I could not figure out a good way to encase him in armor. He had shoulder armor and chest armor. all he needed was some armor on his legs and arms. Since this is a single pose kit, there was not much I could do, so I just stuck some armor plates on his arms and legs. I figure that a Nob is badass enough to just bolt some steel plates onto his legs and say " 'ere we go!"It is really just a plate on each thigh, one over his butt and one or two on his right arm. I also added an Ork glyph to his back.

The thing that I am really proud of is the head It is a banner topper from the Black Ork kit and I love it. I did not know that such an awesome bit was in this kit and as soon as I saw it, I knew that it was going to be someone's helmet. It is wildly out of scale even for a Nob but I made it work. Part of the trick was elevating the mini by placing an Ultramarine helmet under his boot so his head did not look so huge. Cheep trick but it worked. 

Up next is my Big Shoota Boy. I struggled to try to fit a Big Shoota convincingly into the hands of a Black Orc mini and fell short. I was about to give up oh having a special weapon entirely, when I made a trade on Bartertown for a big bag of Ork bits. In there were some Burna Boy bits and lot of Big Shootas. Taking some inspiration from the shields on Rokkit Launchas and Big Shootas on Battlewagons and more than a little from the game Army of Two, I thought about adding a giant shield to the top of the gun. For an 'ard Boy, why not? I used a Burna Boy head with face shield because I think it is the most awesome head of any Ork kit and I dare you to prove me wrong. I added some armor plating much like I did with the Nob and to round it out, this bad little Ork apparently looted an Ultramarine Tactical shoulder guard.

I did a number of other conversions to the minis I swapped out a regular ax for a motorized chainax to bring these Fantasy minis more fully into the 41st Mellinimum. You can't really tell from this picture but I added an Iron Gob to the Ork on the far left. I then built a helmet for the Ork in the middle out of two Iron gobs and a Space Marine should guard. 

I am pleased with how these minis turned out. I like how easily the black Orks convert to 'ard Boys, the effectiveness of the weathering techniques and how easy they were to paint. The only real conversions that I had to do to each boy, was to make sure that they had a pistol. That was easily achieved by chopping off the close combat weapon and sticking a Slugga onto the handle. After that, they were the perfect representation of 'ard Boyz. I am pleased with the simple yet effective weathering that I've developed. Who knew a little Dark flesh would work so well. These minis finished fast and with little drama. 

I dislike some of the awkwardness in these minis and the monotone look of them. I had to glue some guns to the hips of the Orks using their weapons two-handed. I did not have bits enough to give them all holsters so I just glued the guns on. I regret that a little. The shield on some of the Orks look a little tacked on as well. I also wish that I had added in another bright color to eliminate the monotone feel from these models. I think the dark rust helps but it is not enough. They are also a little big for boys and are about the size of Nobz. I can overlook that as they are awesome. 

To replace the Black Orcs would cost about $41. A single Nob is hard to price but judging on recent completed eBay auctions they range from $2.50 to $7.00. A single Big Shoota boy retails for about the same. The little extras and conversions are valued at about $10. The paint job is pretty good for me at an 8/10 and I value it at $35. Total replacement cost is $90. I feel that trade value is about $120 given that these are awesome proxies for 'ard Boys but given that most people just glue some extra shoulder pads and call them 'ard boys (or not even that much), I think that $100 is a good trade value for most. 

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