Thursday, 14 October 2010

Take the Pain out of Painting - Orks

Painting. It's a Love/Hate thing. Some of us love it some hate it but if you live in the UK and want to play the tournament scene then chances are that you'll need to have a painted army. So what if you've decided on playing a Horde Ork Army then!? Damn, that's a lot of models you've got to get to a table-top standard. Well, I'm here to tell you that it may not be as bad as you first thought.

First of all Orks are fun to paint, not so much fun that if you hate painting you're going to change you mind on these guys though. However if you like to paint it's quick and easy to add your own touch to Ork models. Want to do some free-hand, tatoos, face paint etc, but nervous because you've never done it before? Go nuts, if it's messy it's more Orky. Want to do Death Skulls? Just paint something blue on each model (or every other model) and it looks good and cohesive! Likewise for Goffs (BLack), Snakebites (Brown) Blood Axes (khaki), Bad Moons (Yellow) or Evil Sunz (Red). Want to do you own tribe? Once again go nuts! It's hard to go wrong - have you seen Dash of Pepper's pink Orks ;) ?

Another little bit of personalisation can be achieved by doing some conversions and guess what, it's easy to make these look good on Orks even if you've never tried a simple kit-bash before. It just always seems to turn out looking good because the Orks look inherently chaotic anyway! Just give it a try and you might surprise yourself!

Back to painting now. So you've assembled 90-ish Boys and gone through 2 or 3 cans of primer getting them ready for your painting table. Even the most cheerful of painters is going to be somewhat daunted by this challenge but fear not there are ways to ease the burden. First lets start with Primer, I recommend that you use white but this will depend on the way you want to paint the skin (and whether or not you're doing Goffs!). I think you can get excellent results for skin tone over white primer with washes alone. The method I use is an initial wash of Thrakka Green, let it dry completely, then a wash of Badab Black, let it dry completely, then another weash of Thrakka Green.

That will do you but you can do another wash of either Thrakka Green to make them ... even greener, or you can use Gryphone Sepia to give them an earth tinge or even Ogryn Flesh which gives them a ruddy fleshy hue. This stage is up to you but if you use a mix of the optional stage on a variety of your models you can get some variety in skin tone throughout your force which can look very effective for only a little extra effort. This stage is very quick as you can just slop the wash on, the only time constraint is in the drying time but if you are painting 90 boys in one go the fist model will be well on the way to being fry by the time you've done the 90th!

Once the skin is done pick 2 base colours for the cloth items and Boltgun Metal for the weapons and do 10 Orks at a time. Once the base-coat is dry give them a final light wash of Badab Black and you're basically done. They will look great on the table top and if you spend a little extra time on painting the teeth, claws, eyes and tounge they'll look fantastic with what amounts to very little work for the volume of models you're putting out. Give it a try.


  1. Wait a minute, the guy who couldn't play Orks at Open War because they weren't going to be painted in time is telling us how easy it is to paint 90 Boyz? :-p

  2. Hey nice tips! I never tried to use washes from a white undercoat since...well white undercoat never worked for me really. I should give it a go (I have MANY spare orks) and see what happens.
    When painting my orks I like to stick to Foundation paints since they do the job much quicker. I mainly used drybrushing for the skin (Orkhide, Knarloc, Gretchin) and a wash of Devlan Mud.

  3. My excuse is my devotion to my new family :) ... and my love of Marines to the exclusion of all else!

  4. That's exactly the technique I use for my character models and the elite units like my Nob BIkers and Lootas. I just find it too slow for the rank and file orks.


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