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Hey guys. This squad's a little project I've been banging together in my free time, and as it's nearing completion I thought I'd share it and get some feedback.
I decided I really wanted to have a squad of 'ard boyz in my army as I wanted a unit with a bit more staying power in close combat for assaults longer than a single turn. I've seen some really good 'ard boy conversions based on Black Orcs on these boards, and I love the helmets, so I figured I'd get some.
There always seems to be a conflict when you're making these black orcs into 'ard boyz. The shapes of the models give an inherently fantasy vibe which can be hard to shake as you try and update the models to fit in the 40k environment. However, there's a limit; some of the most '40k' looking Black Orc conversions I've seen have been so heavily converted that you probably could have started with a beakie instead and had the same results. Rather than undergo some sort of herculean effort to try and completely redo the models, I tried to strike a balance between the two looks.
I'll throw down a few photos of the entire group to help start things off. As always, remember that you can check my blog (www.the-warforge.com) for more photos.
This is the entire mob. There's 19 'ard boyz completed so far, with only the nob remaining. I'm aiming for a 20-strong squad for when and if I feel like putting them in a battlewagon, though I will probably use trukks more often. Having glanced at the new ork dex, I understand the wargear restrictions for extra heavy weapons, so I only made two 'ard boyz with Big Shootas. The big shootas were a tough choice - usually I use burnas in all my squads but it seems the boyz no longer have that option.
I figured out a couple things that I think helped.
First and foremost was the presence of guns. While they can look cheap by themselves, they're vital to the appearance.
Second is pouches and grenades. The 'loaded with gubbinz' appearance can help update these models to a degree, but it's easy to go overboard.
The third is stikkbombz. I'm still adding these in places, actually - I think they help the model a significant amount and balance out the waist-sheathed daggers a lot of the legs have.
Fourth? Barbed wire wrapped around the models. It definitely gives off a more futuristic vibe, as well as implying how 'ard the boyz are.
There are other tricks you can use like the occasional bionic replacement limb, and it'd be handy if you're pairing them with a painboss for the new cybork bodies upgrade, but too much and you start to wonder why you're working with black orcs at all.
I also tried converting some of the helmets to have filters rather than horns, or simply to give them a more varied appearance - replacing tusks with rivets, for example.
Here's a couple photos of small groups of da boyz:
I took a few photos of ones that I thought were entertaining by themselves, as well...
(beakie head stuck on the mace.)
I had the most difficulty with the special weapons boyz, as I wasn't sure how to pose them and what to make their big shootas look like. Here's some shots of 'em:
I can't honestly remember what the gun bit on the left one is made of. I think it's a warzones miniature.
There's a bunch I still plan on doing to these boyz. I see some mold lines that need attention. I also want to add a bit more to them in terms of conversions. I think those rounded shoulder pads would look a lot better if some had spikes. Some could probably do with barbed wire, at least on the plainer-looking ones.
The Nob is probably going to be made from one of the metal nob bodies I have laying around. It should be entertaining, as I'll be doing the reverse of what I have to these boyz - trying to make it look more fantasy, rather than 40k, so it doesn't stick out so badly from the mob. I considered using one of those 'Black Orc Big Boss' boxed sets, but it's expensive and it doesn't look too versatile in terms of what you get, anyway. It's just got a fancy axe and shield and bigger tusks.
You are my hero.
Could we see a face shot of the plasticard reconstructed ones face. (Front left in first pic) He looks really awesome.
I really like what you've done with them, nice balance between over-conversion and over-simplified. Can't wait to see them finished.
Gargrimz Green Deff
W:10 D:4 L:5
That is fantastic work, black orks have some great models, and with the extra conversion work you've put in, will make top of the line 'Ard Boyz.
Been banging together some ideas on the Nob, thought I'd put some pictures up.
I need to bulk the shoulders up a bit. I added some height to the bottom of the soles of his boots to make him taller, as he was pretty much on-par with the rest of the black orcs for size. It helped, but not enough, so I need to figure out a way to armor his shoulders up so he seems even taller.
He'll probably get a bosspole, too.
I'm considering snipping the horns off the jaw of the helmet and trailing wires out of it around to a backpack tank for oxygen or something similar. The 'big horns' approach helps him read a bit better as a nob, though, so I'm not sure what to go with.
What do you guys think?
Messed around with the nob a bit more. I think I'm sufficiently satisfied with the model enough to call it done, for now. Same goes for the mob, short of a few touch-ups and tweaks here and there, honestly.
Here's the nob:
It's hard to make him bigger than the other boyz because black orcs are so huge to begin with. I figured a bosspole was the best way of doing it, so he got a nice head trophy rack. The stikkbombz just seemed to fit, too. He got little upper thigh plates to match all the other black orc bodies - cutting those little glyphs was tricky!
I didn't tinker much with his shoulders because I had a hard time fitting any additional armor over them that looked decent, thanks to the pose the arms are in. I think it looks alright, all the same. I also sort've liked leaving the tusks on this guy just so he has a bit more authority.
Here he is in the mob, so you can get an idea of what I mean about being almost the same size as a black orc.
There'll be a couple small tweaks prior to painting. Probably adding a few dags (the triangular plates) to some of the boyz shoulderpads to make them a bit more visually interesting.
Wow, thats actually some pretty inspiring work. The Nob looks hard as nails right now and I still love the reconstructed face. Can't wait to see them completed.
Any ideas yet on how you want to paint them?
Gargrimz Green Deff
W:10 D:4 L:5
I'm going to finish painting my gargant first, though. I build on the weekends and paint during the week, which is why I've been working on these guys recently. Thanksgiving break will probably throw that all out of whack.
Alright sounds good. Looking forward to hearing about some 'ard boyz krumpin' some beakies.
Gargrimz Green Deff
W:10 D:4 L:5