Since starting up on OoM towards the end of January, I’ve made some fair progress with the first stage of this plan – to finish off the bulk of the figures that I’d started painting over the course of 2015 but, for assorted reasons, fell by the wayside before they were completed.
Most of the models that fell into this category were bits and bobs of the 40K Bad Moon Ork army I initially started putting together way back in the days of 3rd and 4th edition, and I’d set about sprucing up and updating last year, following a decade-long break from the hobby. Also, several were additional members to add to units I painted the bulk of in 2015, so my first couple of update posts seemed like a good opportunity to show off the army so far, and share some thoughts regarding what’s changed since I was last having a crack at it.
This time round, I’m going to concentrate on the Troops choices – these were always what served in the past as the biggest stumbling block to me in terms of staying disciplined about completing an army. I’m pretty pleased with having overcome this to a sufficient extent to have well in excess of the bare minimum requirement.
First up, a lone additional ork boy for a biggish mob armed with shootas. Now, when I last played 40K, in about 2005, orks with shootas were rubbish. Partly out of contrariness, and partly because I couldn’t get behind the idea of a Bad Moon warband eschewing shootiness in favour of twatting people with oversized axes, I used them anyway. And then they mostly failed to hit anything, before dying in droves. Oh well. I’m shortly to crack back into the latest edition of 40K, now I’ve mustered enough painted models, and it looks like these guys might have got less useless than they used to be, given the tweaks to the weapon’s profile in the intervening time. Not sure how much this will do to alleviate my tactical ineptitude though.
Lots of these models received their initial paintjobs ten or more years ago, but I went through them trying to get things a bit more coherent, and taking advantage of the fact that yellow paint seems to have come on leaps and bounds in recent years to make them a bit more colourful. I also popped the boss on one of the new 32mm bases and I’m pleased to report he’s stopped face-planting any time anyone stands up or sits down in an adjacent room.
This lot were pretty much the first batch of figures I painted last year when I was tentatively dipping a toe back into the hobby, and I think this shows. Along with the fact that not all of them were painted from scratch, this means they’re not the most coherent-looking bunch, but hey, they’re orks so that’s probably fine, right?
Next, a couple more shoota boyz, this time sporting heavy armour. By the time I got round to these, I’d nailed down a pretty fool-proof method for painting ork infantry, and also got to plan the overall look of the unit a bit more, so I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. Though they were largely built from spare sprues (and some metal bits) I had lying around from back in the day, I took advantage of the online bitz retailers that have sprung up since GW stopped letting you order any old combination of nonsense to vary the look of the individual members a bit and distinguish them further from the regular, non-armoured lads. This led to the exciting discovery that there is a much greater variety of ork heads available now than there was in 2005. Again, the boss for this unit was an old metal figure who benefitted from a bigger base to stop him tipping over.
In time, I think I’d like to add some more guys to this unit, as I’ve got a few more suitable heads I want to use up, and I think the more of them there are, the cooler it’ll look. However, those aren’t on the spreadsheet so, for the time being, this lot will be staying 12-strong.
One of the things that I think slowed down my previous attempt at this army was when I hit the annoying speedbump that was trying to construct a Gretchin mob exclusively comprising the Gorkamorka-era metal figures. The amount of time and effort that needed ploughing into prepping and painting a 3-point model seemed excessively laborious and was one of those instances of a hobby project that really saps your enthusiasm for the whole enterprise.
The first new figures I bought last year were a box of the “new” plastic grots, which I resolved to use as a project to hone my batch-painting skills by blasting through them as quickly, and as non-preciously, as possible. This went better than I anticipated and, buoyed up by the fact I could smash out a plastic grot at an average speed of around 40 minutes per model, I resolved to also paint the leftover metal guys from before my hiatus. They were a bit more fiddly, thanks to the more intricate sculpts, but the practice paid off and they seemed like way less of a chore than I remember them being.
I now had more grots than a single Runtherd could handle (at least, according to the latest 40K rules) so I cobbled together a mate for the one from the plastic kit, using leftovers from that, added to some spare fantasy orc legs and a torso. I deliberately left this guy’s clan allegiance a bit ambiguous, as I’m toying with the idea of adding some orks from different clans to the army in the not-too-distant future – I feel like it’s not going to be long before I feel like I’ve earned myself a break from painting yellow.
That’s the bulk of the lads done. Next up, the rest of the orks so far!