Posts Tagged ‘orks’

I’m slowly getting to the point where the Morkanaut is done.  Right now I need to finish a few sections and then go over the model and make sure I haven’t missed anything.  While it may not be great in-game, the model is incredible and really fun to work on.

Photo Jul 13, 10 39 49 PM

Photo Jul 13, 10 40 13 PM


One of the most frustrating things in the hobby for me has always been seeing photos online in which the poster asks for criticism or comments on his painting.  You click on the picture, and… it’s blurry.  Totally out of focus.  Or not lit well enough.  Or sitting on a cluttered desk in the middle of a dozen other projects.  At that point, offering any sort of help becomes almost impossible.  Usually, the photo is accompanied by a quick “Sorry, phone camera pic lol”.

ork nobz jul 01

This picture was taken using an iPhone 3GS.

grots jul 01

So was this one.

Right now, the phone I’m using is several generations behind, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s still capable of taking miniature picture reasonably well.  Here’s how I do it:

lightbox jul 01

This is my lightbox – it’s about $45 on Amazon, and comes with two small lights(you can see on the right side, next to the tall desk lamp), and several different colored backgrounds.  It folds up for easy storage, and it’s what I use for all of my miniature and dice bag pictures.

You can find tutorials all over the place for how to make your own light box – I find it easier to just acquire one on Amazon.

The next thing you notice is probably all the lights – I have four lights set up around the light box.  These help to eliminate shadows and get the inside area lit as brightly as possible.  The two smaller lights provide a side light, and the desk lamp and the other work lamp(on the left; you can just see the shade) help with top light.  It’s a lot like lighting a stage for theatre – you want the actor(or miniatures in this case) to be well lit from as many sides as possible.  Now, it’s entirely possible to get even more technical and discuss color correction after taking your photos, but that may be a topic for another day.

To actually snap my photos, I use an app called Google+Snapseed – a search in your app store for “Snapseed” should bring up results.  It offers a ton of really useful ways to correct and modify your photos, including cropping, adjusting brightness and saturation, and more.  From the app, you can post your pics directly to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Note the Moleskine notebooks I’ve set up in front of the miniatures – that’s what I balance my phone on to correct shakiness and get a good image.  If you do get a blurry picture, you can always delete it and try again – there’s no point in asking for criticism on a photo that you know is blurry.  Once you have a picture you’re satisfied with, I’d recommend cropping out as much of the empty background as you can.  One of minor pet peeves is when I see a picture of a space marine, and there’s a ton of empty space around the mini.  Crop it out; nobody needs to see empty desk/background.  After that, it’s a simple matter of saving the picture to your phone, emailing it to yourself, finding some way to get it to a place where you can post it anywhere you like.  I find Dropbox useful for this, personally.

And that’s about it for a quick and dirty primer on how to take good miniature pictures.  You can of course take this further, getting an actual tripod, a camera meant solely for photography, macro lenses, the works.  But this’ll do in a pinch, and goes a long way to eliminate “potato quality” pictures.

Flash Gits slowly getting assembled. It’s taking a while to put each one together, just because the guns are so customizable.

For the Slaptimber Painting Threat on the Waaagh Forums I threatened to paint my warboss and a mob of 21 boyz, the start of Waaagh Uzdreg. I have one observation so far: all that Bad Moon yellow is going to take me ages to paint. Good thing it calls attention to itself, so I can worry a little less about small slip-ups on the rest of the model. Plus, once the entire shoota mob is painted it will look great on the tabletop.

My current ork skin recipe: Basecoat with P3 Thornwood Green, and then cover with P3 Traitor Green. On the nobs and characters I’ll probably do something similar to Warboss Uzdreg, where the Traitor Green is carefully painted to leave a darker Thornwood Green in the recesses between the muscles.

My way of doing metals: I basecoat in Boltgun Metal, and then take a very thin coat of P3 Bloodstone and sort of wash/stipple it on. Makes the metals look a bit more dull and used. I may also do a super-thin wash of a green, and then another Bloodstone wash, to add even more dimension.

I’ll be trying to link to these update posts in the Slaptimber thread on the Waaagh Forum as well. Feedback would be awesome, but is not necessary.







In other news, I completed several costume commissions for Dragon*Con, and both clients loved the work I did.  I’ve already been in communication to do a second costume for an anime convention in November, which is going to be exciting.

I’m planning several new print designs for dice bags, and have picked up some great Halloween fabric – a checkered purple and neon green that I’ll be combining with a deep purple fabric for a “Joker Edition” dice bag.  I’m really thrilled to see how it will come out.

As always, you can find my dice bags at


Happy gaming!

I’ve had a chance over the past two weeks to start collecting a Warhammer 40K ork army, beginning with two mobs of ork boyz(20 boys total, which will be combined into one mob of shoota boys), and a metal warboss with a twin-linked shoota and big choppa.  I had wanted to collect an ork army for the longest time, simply to paint and model, because orks have always been one of my favorite armies in the Warhammer universe, but I’d put off the army for a really long time.  Finally, I decided that it was time to start collecting, even if I won’t play for a long, long time.

The older metal warbosses and nobs(ork nobles) in particular had always appealed to me, so when I found a new-in-blister ork warboss on Ebay for $9+shipping, I jumped on it.  I’ve decided that the army will be a mix of Bad Moons and Death Skulls, whose colors are yellow and blue, respectively.  It should look great on the tabletop, when everything is said and done.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that my warboss is Uzdreg da Bloo Bearded, who got a hair squig stuck to his face and earned the admiration of the Death Skulls that snuck aboard his space hulk.  I’ve modeled the beard onto the warboss’ head with green stuff, and I’m excited to see it painted and done.  The body of Uzdreg is also slowly getting finished, and I like how the skin and armor turned out.

The yellow Bad Moon armor is done in a series of consecutively lighter brown coats, starting with P3 Battlefield Brown and ending in several washes of GW Yriel Yellow.  It’s going to take me forever to paint all the ork boyz.  But the end result will be stunning, I think.


Check out the pictures:


This is Uzdreg and the ladz.


It’s hard to make out, but here is Uzdreg and his beard.


Body of Uzdreg with a boy next to him for comparison. Warbosses are ‘uge!


And finally, Uzdreg’s choppa arm and some of the body armor he’s wearing.






A troop of boyz had come back to the hulk’s crash site with good news; there was a humie settlement nearby!  There had been resistance, and the orks had returned to Uzdreg to report and bring back more dakka.  A fight was just what was needed, so Uzdreg grabbed his retinue of nobs, along with a few of the ladz, and moved out.  He didn’t trust those superstitious Death Skullz, so they were the ones that got to come along.  If a few of them got killed, so much the better.  They were all weedy gits anyway…

The space hulk had left a wide swath of trees tumbled, broken, on fire, and devastated, so that was the way they went to start off.  Orgrash said that the town was a ways off, and had a wall around it.  That was fine; they had stuff to take care of the wall.  Uzdreg grinned and swung his big choppa at a tree.  The whirring teeth in the blade bit and chewed through the trunk with ease.  Maybe the humies had never encountered the orks before.  His ladz were monsters, killers every one, and were always spoiling for a fight.  This had better be a good one.  A scuffle broke out in the ranks, and one of the nobs smashed heads to keep order.

Uzdreg thought it was important to keep the boyz in the fight whenever he could; bad things happened when there wasn’t enough fighting to be done.  His Bad Moons had been doing just fine, and then they’d discovered Death Skulls freeloaders on the hulk while they were in transit.  Some of the nobs were all for throwing the lot of them out of the airlocks, but bigger fists prevailed in the end, and the gits got to stay.  The way Uzdreg saw it, they were cannon fodder for the front lines when the fightin’ got serious.  Of course, this backwater planet was pretty empty so far, but that could change.  All he needed to do was get a big enough Waaagh going, and the humies would come to him by the thousands.  After he took care of those, all that was left was regaining space and finding even more places and planets to bash heads.  Think ahead to the next fight, that was the warboss’s job.  Uzdreg was good at that.  His ladz often said that he had the cunnin’ as well as the fightin’.

Orgrash was good at navigatin’, and the squad soon made it to the walled town.  Uzdreg eyed the place under cover of the trees.  Lots of activity.  It looked like the humies were preparing after last night’s raid from his boyz.  A few pieces of dakka were set up along the walls, and the gates were barred shut.  They were made of thick iron, good for holding off shoota fire but not much else.  The walls were only about 10 feet high – not enough to stop a determined ork, not with the power klaws that several of his nobs carried.   Uzdreg signalled to the ladz, indicating that the Death Skulls go in from the front, and his nobs near the back.  He waited several minutes for everyork to get into position, and then joined his Bad Moons.  Snagrot flexed his klaw, and blue flickers of power licked along the vicious blades.  He was ready.  Uzdreg took careful aim with his big shoota, and pulled the trigger.  A burst of shells annihilated the gun emplacement on the rear town wall, and with a throaty “WAAAAGHH” everyone charged.

Snagrot was first at the wall, with Krashnak right beside him.  They were experienced veterans, and their klaws quickly tore a gaping hole in the wooden palisade.  The duo pushed through, opening fire immediately on anything that moved.  From the town’s front gate, loud gunfire erupted as the Death Skulls made their own charge.  A lot of humies were screaming, the sound almost covered by the deeper ork battle cries and the enormous volume of shoota fire.

Uzdreg entered the nameless town with his nobs, and the brutes spread apart to sow chaos and terror.  Uzdreg stalked between two pre-fab houses, rounding the corner just in time to meet a squad of soldiers coming the other way.  Shocked, they took seconds too long to react as his orky instincts took over, and the big choppa scythed through cloth, flesh, and bone.  The gun in his other hand fired at point blank range, and two more soldiers disintigrated under a hail of bullets.  One of the humies dropped his weapon and ran, and Uzdreg let him go.  He’d learned decades ago that if you let some of them live, more would back for the fight later.  That was all part of his cunnin’ plan – his Death Skulls had orders to let some of the humies escape and make their way out.  They would spread word to other settlements that the ork tide was coming, and return with more men, weapons, and vehicles for the looting.

A few blocks down, a garage door clattered open, and a large flat-bed truck gunned to life, gaining speed as it roared toward the town gates.  The ork warboss grinned.  Everything was going according to Da Plan.  He called out a “Waaaagh” to let the boyz know, and flicked his choppa to whirring life to get the blood and bone off the grinding teeth.  He couldn’t wait to see what came back.

I think I’ve been bitten by the ork bug.  Again.  For those who might not know, orks are Games Workshop’s big greenskinned baddies, at times silly, crude, clumsy, hysterical, and brutal.  Someone on the Dakkadakka forums posted to see if there was interest in a kustom greenskin dice order from Q Workshop.  The greenskin dice are custom ork dice, with an orc skull on the 6 face and crude slashes on the other sides, counting up.   I looked at pictures, and they are some of the purtiest dice you’ve ever laid eyes on.  Naturally, I want in.  The last several times that kustom orders were placed, there were a ton of different color options; you could get black dice with white marks, green dice with yellow marks, and so on.  They look really, really cool!!  I get excited about stuff like this.  It looks like there is enough interest in an order(about 2K dice have to be ordered to make it worthwhile), so I’m looking out for the thread detailing how/when to order.  Dice cost is apparently somewhere around $1.30/die, which isn’t bad for fully custom dice.  At least, to my limited knowledge it isn’t.

In the meantime, I got bitten by the ork bug.  I have a Warhammer Orcs and Goblins army in Texas, and I’ve always really liked the greenskins.  In Fantasy I prefer goblins, but in Warhammer 40K it’s all about the orks with guns.  Lots and lots of loud, crude firearms in the arms of 7-foot tall green monsters.  I haven’t played Warhammer 40K in about a decade, and have been sitting on a chaos space marine army for ages that I’m trying to trade/sell.  6th edition just came out, so I thought that this year might be the time to start collecting.  So I’m looking to begin an ork army at some point, because I love all the ork miniatures out there.  Playing the game will probably be secondary to just having a huge horde of orks.  I get a lot of enjoyment out of painting miniatures, so it’s something to look forward to.

Orks are a fungus/animal hybrid, and they spread wherever they go.  They’re born with intuitive knowledge of mechanics, firearms, etc.  They’re big, and they keep growing throughout their lives.  Ork nobs are the bigger orks, who’ve been around for a battle or fifty.  As orks age, their green skin also gets darker.  Orks love a good fight, and going fast – a lot of ork hordes(or Waaaghs) consist entirely of orks in trukks or on bikes, traveling as fast as they can from battle to battle.  They’re simplistic, but fun.  From what I’ve read, orks don’t win too many battles on the tabletop, because they’re a complex army to play properly.  That’s alright though – a ton of the ork players I’ve seen online seem to collect orks purely for the fun of modifying and scratchbuilding.  They are some of the most creative modelers out there, and it’s always fun to see what an ork player will come up with next.

As I said, I got bitten by the ork bug.  I channeled some of that energy into a creative endeavor, and made some orc skull print dice bags, both for myself and for my Etsy.  I used a screen printing tutorial I found online, a cheap and easy way of doing it that doesn’t require a ton of money to set up.  I think materials and supplies cost me less than $20 – the most expensive items are the Mod Podge glue and the fabric paint(at about $7.99 each).

Ork skulls are easy to draw – lots of straight choppy lines, and big teeth(teef).  Take a look at the pictures below to see what I came up with, and check them out at Greyed Out, my Etsy shop.