Thursday, May 17, 2012

Orcs, Dwarves and Ogres! Oh My!

At the weekend I played in the annual Hordes of the Things competition  held at the Beer and Pretzels show at Burton upon Trent town hall. I'm not the greatest of competition players and unlike last year where I finished at the top of the table (much to my surprise), this time I finished last out of 12. I'm not disappointed in any way because I had a bloody good time and can honestly say it was the fault of my dice.

This year was matched pairs to the theme of 'Traditional Fantasy.' I took the opportunity to use two armies that I have been planning for some time. Mantic Games produce really nice 28mm plastic figures for a number of fantasy races and as soon as they were released I realised their HOTT potential. The armies I took this year were Dwarves and Orcs.

The Dwarves
Dwarven Blades
The dwarven army was made up of the following:

1 x Blade General (Dwarven leader)
5 x Blades (Dwarven warriors with hammers and shields)
4 x Shooters (Dwarven warriors with crossbows)
1 x Lurker (Dwarven rangers with sniper rifles)
1 x Artillery (Multi-barrelled cannon with crew)
Stronghold: Mountain gateway

More pictures can be found on my Flickr photostream here. The basic colour scheme consists of blue grey tunics and cloaks with the sleeves of mid blue. All of the armour was painted a chainmail. Skin was a flesh colour and beards were painted mid range brown. The figures were given a wash of Games Workshop Devlan Mud for shading. The chainmail was then dry brushed and that was pretty much it.

The stronghold is centred around a rams head gateway from Ral Partha. Mounted on plasticard, the back is a rectangular piece of balsa wood. I stuck the gateway to the wood and then covered the bare wood with polyfilla to create a rock effect. Painted a dark grey and then dry brushed heavily with a light grey, the whole thing was given a brown wash.The path is created using milliput and the base flocked with a mix of brown basing material and static grass, like all of the bases on the figures.

The Orcs
Orc Warband
The Orc army is made up of the following elements
1 x Warband General (Orc warrior leader)
5 x Warband (Orc warriors with hand weapons)
4 x Riders (Boar mounted orcs with lances)
1 x Behemoth (Ogre)

More pictures can found on Flickr.

Orc Boar Riders
The colours for the Orcs apart from green for the skins are a mix of different browns for the cloth and leather parts, and chainmail, bronze, gold and copper for the armour. I randomly painted the figures to create a real mix so no two figures are alike. The boar riders aren't plastic as such but a plastic resin which was easy to put together. Gaps (and there were some) were filled easily with liquid putty. Although it isn't possible to see it in the pictures, or indeed on the actual figures, the flanks and bellys of the boars themselves are two different browns. I took the opportunity to try wet blending them together and it worked. Unfortunately only I know it is there!

Orc Stronghold
The stronghold is scratchbuilt. I wanted to try a wooden pallisade and worked out how to do it using balsa wood to create the two banks. The wooden planks are actually the spoon like things from Starbucks and other coffee places which I have slowly built a collection of. I then covered the balsa in a layer of milliput to create the bank and ditch. When that was dry I drilled holes for the spikes (cocktail sticks). The whole thing was then painted. In total it took about two evenings to do the whole thing. I have plans to refine it and build more sections including a proper gateway.

Each army is 24AP under the Hordes of the Things rules although I have extra elements for each one. The dwarves have another four elements of shooters and two more blades. The orcs have an optional rider general which is painted and another four elements of warband which need painting as well as an hero figure which is still in the packet it came in.

And somewhere down in the painting queue is the undead army which is sitting in a box somewhere.

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