05 December 2016

The HeroQuest Hero Quest: The second Orc

Sitting on a rotten bench

Eyeing little grots with bad intent

Snot running down his nose

Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes


It was such an honor to be invited to join the HeroQuest Hero Quest on such an august group as Scale Creep. Okay, maybe "invited" is a bit of a mischaracterization. Maybe it's a little more accurate to say that I begged and whined until they couldn't take it any more and let me participate. If there is one thing I've learned from my children, it's that if you whine long and loud enough, you will get what you want!

Those that heard me on the Veteran Wargamer Podcast will know that I grew up with HeroQuest. I'd dabbled in Science Fiction and Fantasy prior to that, but it was the introduction to HeroQuest that set my course forever. This was the first fantasy game that I would sit around the table with my parents and/or friends and play. I've even been working on my own HeroQuest project to paint all the models from the main set and Return of the Witch Lord.

So when it came time to choose what model to paint, I was left with a bit of a conundrum. I've already painted all the undead and goblins. I didn't want to be rude and request a hero, those should be left for the bloggers that are actually part of scale creep. And the same applies to the Chaos Sorcerer and the Gargoyle. So that left the fimir, the chaos warriors, and the orcs. Several of the fimir had already been claimed and I felt uncomfortable claiming a chaos warrior; so an orc it was!

I've been removing all my HeroQuest models from their integral bases and attaching them to some very nice Dragon Forge bases. So the first step was to choose several orcs from my pile (I always batch paint) and attack them with the razor saw. 

Here he is removed from his plastic stand

For anyone attempting this at home, always be careful with a razor saw! This is my finger the next morning, after it finally stopped bleeding. This orc has been consecrated in blood; lots and lots of blood.
As I said, I batch paint most everything. I get too impatient to wait for things to dry. So I painted up four orcs, each with different clothes, but largely identical otherwise. It was a pretty standard procedure. Painted earth tones for the clothes, leathers and browns for the accessories, and dark metals for the sword blades. For the orc flesh, I used a modified version of the old citadel recipe I found in a painting guide in my collection: 50:50 mix of Dark Angels Green and Warboss green followed by a thinned wash of Orc Flesh Ink from the old hex pot range, then I repeated the base coat and highlights were applied by mixing more and more sunburst yellow. The lip was painted with Terracotta (the bolter shell pot version) mixed into the base flesh, and highlighted by adding in off-white. 

After finishing the weapons, I applied a series of rust colored pigments to the blades and then some buffable Mr. Metal Color paints from Gunze Sangyo (which were obviously buffed after they dried!). 

Then the bases were airbrushed with a dark grey and highlighted by mixing in Space Wolf Grey. After that was dry, I applied a series of glazes and washes, using both of GW washes and oil paints.

At this point, I wasn't happy with one of the orcs, but I couldn't choose between which of the other three to continue on with. So I snapped a couple of pictures and consulted with the Funky Wenis himself. He liked the one with the non-traditional clothing colors, so I continued to embellish him.

Initially, I attempted to paint a black and white check patterned stripe along the bottom of his shirt. But it looked horrible. I just could not get the squares correct. So, I repainted the shirt and added a red stripe. At this point, I had planned to add some snot coming out his nose, since much of the early GW art had snot nosed orcs and goblins. And that's when it hit me, with his outfit and a snotty nose, he reminded me of this:

Now, if you aren't familiar with Jethro Tull, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go listen to this. Go on, we can wait. 

Back? Okay. This is where my brain interrupted my painting and started filling in backstory. I wasn't just painting an orc, I was painting Grishthro Wattalung. An orc sailor, renowned for his ability to stay under water for amounts of time that would drown a hippopotamus. Not by holding his breath mind you. Oh no, his lungs can just hold that much water. But, tired of life on ships, Wattalung decided to retire to employment by the wizard Zargon (Yes, you read that right. Zargon!).

So now that I had this in mind, I added the snot, which is just a mix of inks and Uhu glue, and some blood to the blade. But I wasn't happy with the large boring left arm. I initially thought about adding blood to his arm, like he'd just ripped someone's heart out, but I thought of an excellent way to tie the backstory in--an anchor tattoo! Normally, when painting tattoos, I mix the flesh tones into the tattoo tones, but because this was done after the fact, I didn't have much mix left so it looks a little less natural. But it is an orc, so who's to say what tattoos look like on orcs, amirite? Finally, I added some more blood to the base, attempting to give the appearance that it was draining from something just "off screen." 

Anyway, here he is and I hope you enjoy him:

If you like him, I'll have pictures of the other three orcs I painted on my blog (eventually).


  1. I had a flashback to primary school back in the early eighties when I saw that crusty, snotty nose. It genuinely made me slightly revolted.

    Job done. Bravo!

    The anchor tattoo is a laugh. Great work Andrew :)

  2. I love it, the rusted blade and the little details that all give life to it !
    I'm also very proud you blessed the model with your own blood too. That's how it should be done.
    Great job andrew.

    1. Oh and there's a childish shameless fun side in this guy I just can't resist. ^^

  3. Love the little nasal 'embellishment'! It adds the right note of comedy and personality to a figure which is, by game function, a nameless and anonymous being.

    Love the bloody rusty sword too :)

  4. I know it's quite probably considered heresy to say this on here, but I'm not a fan of Heroquest....even though I've had it since I was a teenager. I played it to death, bought one of the expansions and painted up the minis poorly.

    Years later I decided that I needed a few more Orcs to bulk out my ranks. So I looked in my Heroquest box for donors, but their all mono-pose bastards! So I cut some of their arms off at the shoulder and reattached them in different positions. It helped a little with their "look" :)

    I don't know why I decided to bore you all with this tale? I suppose what I originally wanted to say was that there's another way to get these guys off of their bases, that's a lot easier and safer than sawing them off. Side cutters, just cut the base off in small chunks at a time. When you get to the point where it's only their feet that remain, you just carefully cut the bit off of their sole with the side cutters in one steady cut.

    You did a great job on painting him up Andrew. I hope that's your blood on the base and blade? That'd be so hardcore if it was :D

    Anyway, I'll leave you all in peace now.

    Cheers :)

    1. I had thought about using clippers, but went with the razor saw anyway for two reasons: 1) my clippers aren't long enough, so I would have to buy new clippers and 2) I'm pretty klutzy (shock!) and would likely have snapped some legs doing it!

    2. I used clippers to bite smaller bits of the base as I went.

      Once it was close to the feet I removed the majority of the platform sole, also with clippers, and filed the underside of the feet flat.

      It was a rapid process, but unfortunately it did mean that the miniatures were not anointed as boogerface was.

  5. Excellent work here Dyer and a lovely back story at that!

  6. Haha, pure genius! The sailor reinterpretation opens so many doors! Cool!

  7. This is a solid follow-up to the greenskin HeroQuest contingent. The snotty nose is great, the rusted blade is great, my advice was great and the blood all over the floor means he definitely bagged himself a wizard so his standing with MORCAR is bound to improve from 'nameless disposable thug' to 'fondly recalled disposable thug'. I sense a bright future for this one!

    1. Jim (can I call you Jim?), You're totes on fleek with that last point. ZARGON is definitely going appreciate his skills in dispatching heros.

    2. You can call me what you like, just don't call me late for breakfast. MORCAR is an evil wizard of distinction and only hires the best of the worst.

  8. Really like him, fun and cool, and just lerfect to run nto in a room as we knock the door down! Also,like the tat, ood way to liven,him up!

  9. Sterling work, that nose is just great/gross. I'm all for making nameless minis into characters. Wattalung is far superior to orc 2.

  10. Great stuff, you really managed to inject a lot of character into him....EEEEWWWWWWW! :)

  11. Nice. I vacillate between cutting game pieces off their integral bases or not all the time. I still can't decide. I'm glad I read through your description, because I couldn't figure out the snot for the longest time.

  12. An orc sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent?