Sunday, 5 December 2010

Porky's new Orks

That's right, I have before me a new box of plastic Ork boyz from Games Workshop.

As most 40K players would no doubt admit, the Orks have a great model range. It's been developed over more than two decades and has really matured. For me the current style is the best it's ever been so working with these models is a little piece of hobby heaven. That said, I know some players prefer a classic look. If you do, there are plenty of old Citadel catalogue pages at The Stuff of Legends (listed also in memory banks on the right), though sadly a lot of the models shown are probably not produced any more.

While GW has given us a lot to work with I think more can always be done. There's so just so much background and so many cool ideas. John Blanche once admitted he can't sit down to paint a model without first changing it in some way. I like this approach. For me the basic kit is a starting point. Take something amazing and make it more true to your own vision, more personal. We're all the richer for it. After all, 40K is a hobby of imagination and
conversions have always been encouraged. Remember that legendary Grav-Attack Vehicle?

On the subject of realism in alien design, the Orks are clearly not especially alien. Once you get past the green skin, bulky build and rough-and-ready tech, they are not so different from a standard SF trooper. They also have features well suited to a fantasy monster, and more or less the same design is actually used in Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy Battle. This is a good thing for us now especially as it makes the modelling to come more relevant to more readers.

But first though I need to decide what I want to do. I've been thinking a lot about how the concepts I mentioned in the last post on the subject can be better expressed on the models. What are the concepts? If you've read the BTP article, you'll have a good idea. I'm thinking wacky weapons, junkyard-style construction and fungus, and that's not all.

I've decided to start with a basic weapon, the shoota. I plan to make it more unique and less recognisable to a 21st-century earth-dweller, as if customised by an Ork mek, or mekaniak, to the buyer's specs. (Orks use their 'teef' as currency by the way, another interesting idea.) These specs would probably be something like 'big and shooty'. To this I'll add 'choppy'. I also want to include a generic element or two made using greenstuff for anyone wanting encouragement for a project not involving Orks.

I'll leave you with a visual puzzle while I finish up. Here are the pieces I'm using.

Clockwise from top left we have a shoota arm, a choppa arm and a slugga arm. The kit contains enough parts to equip each Ork boy with either a shoota or a slugga and choppa so using this many arms now will not limit options later in game terms.

The question then. How might these arms be cut up and the parts combined to produce a big, shooty, choppy shoota? I see a way to do it which leaves bits for an arm with another classic Ork weapon, the stikkbomb. There's surely more than one right answer.


Cursed13 said...

You're entering dangerous territory here man. I always wanted to convert a Warboss with Power Klaw but never went for it, but when they brought out the plastic Deff Dread that was it. After I got a Deff Dread, I got the Warboss and made the Klaw conversion. Now 120 built and sprayed boyz later, with 18 Warbikes, 12 Burnas and 12 Lootas, I've used up all the base possible combinations to make individual Orks out of the kits, I'm looking into quick conversions. There's no end in sight at this point, and all because of a single Deff Dread.

Porky said...

It's a slippery slope, and that's more proof! Converting's great fun and very rewarding, if time-consuming.

As for my upcoming efforts, don't let me raise your hopes - I don't think I'm going to be winning any awards!

Papa JJ said...

Orks have been a favorite of mine for a long time, they just have so much character and personality. Even if they are no longer as oriented toward comic relief as previously, it's still nice having them run amok across the galaxy causing havoc and destruction. I've always appreciated that with them it's not malicious, that's just who they are. I've really enjoyed your analysis of alien lifeforms and look forward to more of your coverage of the Orks. Very curious puzzle, too. Hmmmmm........