On Sunday, I thought I’d switch over to painting some 40k, some Ork boyz to be exact. After painting a Mordor Orc, and trying a more realistic, muted palette (yes, yes I know, how is an “Orc” realistic!), I fancied trying something a little more vibrant.
Before I continue, I ought to set the scene a little. Although I’ve always liked the Ork aesthetic in the 40k universe, I never really had any interest in painting them at all – that is until I picked up the Assault on Black Reach boxed game many moons ago. I purchased this because I saw it as a cheap way to get a bunch of Space Marine models, and the latest rulebook (although I never intended to play, or have ever played the game!). This boxed game came with a ton of Orks too, I thought I could use them as practice, However I found that they appealed to be more than I expected, and I quickly placed a few orders for some other units that I liked the look of. I really like the appearance of a big horde of Orks, so I very much wanted to get a sample of each type of Ork unit and model, just for the flavour. I painted the first model, using it to decide the colour scheme, painted the next following a process that I could use to batch paint, and then batch painted the next three for a set of 5. I then started the next five, and then… well that’s exactly where they remained. For a number of years, until one day I’d added too much primer to my airbrush, and rather than waste it, I decided to respray the 5 half finished models, and start again.
Well now it’s time for the Orks moment in the sun!
Trying Something a Little Different
Rather than start one new model, and figure out the colour scheme, I went back to my painting notes (yes I took notes!), and decided I’d follow a similar colour scheme, and batch paint the five at once. This meant I’d have to put some forethought into what I wanted to do, and I hoped that batch painting would stave off both boredom of looking at the same model for weeks, and perhaps be both more efficient with time (which I don’t have much of), and paint.
There’s only one place to begin painting an Ork in my opinion; it’s green skin. This will set the tone for the whole model, so I wanted to make sure that it would have contrast and depth, but also the colour needed to be vibrant. I decided I’d do this in a very structured way, and see how it went, so to that end, I decided on the following Ork Skin recipe:
|Prime Zenithal||Stylanez Grey|
|Prime Zenithal||Stylanez White|
|Pre-Shade||Biel Tan Green|
|Wash||Biel Tan Green|
|Layer 1||Warboss Green|
|Layer 2||Skarsnik Green|
|Highlight 1||Skarsnik Green + Flash Gitz Yellow|
|Final Highlight||Flash Gitz Yellow|
As you can see, I’ve certainly not skimped on the layers! The initial idea here is to keep mixing to the minimum, however depending on how it goes, I may decide to switch things around a little, but this was my starting point.
Step 1: Priming
Priming was done a few months ago, following my now standard approach; first a solid covering of Stylanez Black, followed by applying Stylanex Grey from a 45 degree angle for a zenithal highlighting effect, before finally a top down spray of Stylanez White. All were applied through my airbrush for a quick, easy and smooth coat. I particularly love this primers, and I think they both settle and cover beautifully.
Step 2: Preshading
With the priming already done, I had a good idea of where I wanted highlights and shadows to appear. I’ve taken this approach now on a good few models, and found that the subtleties of the priming layer get almost completed wiped out by the basecoat, given how good coverage you get from the citadel base paint range. To that end, instead I decided to take my next new step; I started with a wash of Biel Tan Green all over the skin. This would act as a very, very thin glaze, with the strongest colour settling in the recesses, but with it being so thin, where the black and grey of the undercoat was most obvious, I’d get some initial highlighting effects.
I have in the past actually painted models completely using washes (we’re talking back when I was 15 here), and if I had an airbrush in those days, this might even be a reasonably sufficient approach to complete models entirely (considering my skills back then), but I’m looking for more these days.
I also added a similar preshade to some of the parts I intend to paint red; however, I decided at this stage I would no longer paint anything other than the skin, and would focus on one part of the miniatures at a time, rather than than to try and get all the baselayers in place. We’ll see if that’s wise with my level of brush control as we progress!
Step 3: Basecoat
This is the first “proper” painting layer. Now the slight variation here is that the basecoat would not be applied to the whole of the skin. Rather, the basecoat would only be applied to areas of the skin that weren’t original black (and tinted green via the wash). This would leave some deeper shading in some areas to bring some more contrast, and save having to go in and brush in shadows later. This approach may prove a little too rough in the final product, but I’m interested to experiment and see what the effect is for the time being.
I thinned the base paint Waaagh Flesh down with a drop of airbrush thinner, just simply to add a bit more fluidity to it, but without adding water. This made for quite a nice thin, but pleasing viscosity, and I applied the paint pretty quickly across all five models.
At this point, I decided to call it quits for the day, and took all five models downstairs to the photo-booth and took some pictures. With painting five models at a time, photographing them seems a lot more worthwhile, than the setup and resizing of one models pictures, but it does mean there’s way more pictures here than in a normal update! Obviously with only preshading and a basecoat applied there’s not much to write home about here, but it looks like progress, which is always nice!
You may not quite see the effect I was going for with the basecoat layer and the pre-shading as it’s quite subtle at this stage, but I’m going to persevere and see how it turns out.
Hard to tell at this point, but I’m hoping that the approach might work!