Monday 10 June 2024

Space Orks!

 It's time for a new project! Not that I've finished the oldhammer Eldar, oldhammer Tyranids, Borovians, Mordheim terrain or anything else, but what the heck. I'm going to paint some orks.

I've got a few very old space ork models. Unlike the Eldar, I think these are a pretty varied bunch. The metal models have loads of detail and charm, but the old plastics are pretty crude. Games Workshop's orks went through several phases: first was the cartoony, cheerful models of the Rogue Trader and 2nd edition era, where they were smaller than humans and looked pretty goofy. Then came a brief interlude, around the time of Gorkamorka, when some orks were very small (Gorkamorka plastic "yoofs" in particular) and others were huge. And finally, GW settled on the hulking, inhuman creatures that we have today.

Most of my models are from the first period. They have a nice, silly charm, and look cool in bright colours and slightly piratey outfits. The first model I painted was a test miniature, made from an ancient Space Crusade ork boy. His mouth and one of his hands were damaged, so I replaced them with spare hands from a new-style ork and sculpted some new teeth. 

And here he is with paint.

I find ork skin quite difficult: I'm never sure how to highlight it, and for some reason it always comes out looking very flat when I try to photograph it. I also tried to add yellow to their outfits. For the first time, I painted yellow over a pink undercoat, and found that the technique works well. You still have to mix the yellow to shade it: to get darker shades, I use a very small amount of orange contrast paint mixed into Tau Sept Ochre.

Here's the second ork, a mek from the old days of the Citadel blue catalogue. I love all the details sculpted onto this guy. He's such a cool miniature. The paint scheme is a mix of Evil Suns and freebooter (ie space pirate) styles.

And here's a back view. He's got a little kettle or oil can sculpted onto his belt. 

The third ork comes from the slightly later Gorkamorka period, but I think he fits the style of the other two. I really like the pose, especially the way he's braced for recoil from his clunky gun.

I'm enjoying painting these guys so far. I think I'll do some more.


  1. Oh!!! They are all so awesome!! I specially love your work on the Space Crusade one, but I have to say they all are top notch. You can never go wrong with Orks!

    1. Thanks! As with the stealer hybrids, they're really nice models, full of cool details. Painting them was fun - for once, I even enjoyed doing yellow!