Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Seems like a theme!

This #therapy post is my first attempt at putting the concept for my Ork army into words. It was enough for me to keep an idea or rather a feeling in my mind but I see this as an opportunity to crystallise it for myself and share my view on this aspect in a humble hope that it will help some poor soul.

Mood soundtrack:


Frankly speaking I haven't been very productive with the hobby as I have many some other interests and see it as a kind of meditation — 40K becoming a place to hide from the reality if you wish. I've been buying and assembling Orks when I felt like without final goal or a plan in mind. Inevitably I came to the point of painting them and that meant choosing a paint scheme and thus an army theme. It took me quite some time to find mine with the options being virtually endless: Evil Suns/Speed Freaks with lots of fast vehicles and bikes (Mad Maxy); Snakebites — steam-punky and savage, Deff Skulls that loot everything up to Carnifex (sick) and so on...

I've always enjoyed to see armies that have a personality compared to those that are put together and painted just to play the game. The whole idea of assembling and painting an army by yourself meant it has to be like that. Fluff is definitely the part of 40K I like the most and from the collecting perspective it provides very rich and detailed background yet leaves enough free space for interpretation.

Systemising Unsystemisable

Having seen tons of Ork armies I definitely knew what I didn't like:

Motley: Armies featuring models that look absolutely different from one another. Making each Ork unique is fluffy ambitious and time consuming... But can end up looking like a circus or as if it was made by different people (which is often the case with army either bought painted or being commissioned to different artists).

Clones: Contrary to the previous approach: boyz painted absolutely the same. This seems very unOrky with probably Goffs painted black-green beeing the only (dull) exception. Most of the other armies' troops wear uniforms and must look the same — why Orks then?

Clean: Armies that look like they're just back from laundry/spa/carwash. I find it strange that even pro-painters sometimes make Orks sterile. Without weathering and battle damage army looks too detached from the fighting (which is not propa for da Orks and is quite fine with beakies who brush their teeth twice a day).

LOL: Funny armies with mass media references or themes. Orks are definitely the humour of 40K but I like it mild (see: Deff Squadron / DoW campaigns).

Extreme: Ork-Genestealer kult, mutant Orks, Chaos touched Orks, red-skinned Orks and so on, female Orks. I wanted to stay purely Orkish.

Understanding the NOs helped me to narrow down the YESs. These are more of a mood than an actual ideas or theme:

Alien, dangerous, warlike, fierce, robust, barbaric...

Ragtag yet consistent: On one hand Orks should look different but the army should look as one.

Probable: I don't need my models to look realistic — probable will be quite enough.

Universal: I didn't want to min-max any units — just have some variety to play different. So the theme should not by to limiting from the point of army lists.


The most funny thing is that now as I've got the idea it seems absolutely obvious. I decided to go with what I call 'generic Ork tribe' or 'all-klan' as it is more commonly referred to. Intended impression is — 'These are 40K Orks'. According to the fluff Ork population is represented by tribes consisting of all kind of smaller groups that are united by some brutal or kunnin' (probably both) individual. Klans and cults are always competing for the power yet come as one when they face external foes.

The army is going to be somewhat abstract so I'll be able to represent any kind of Ork force. Choice of units will make it specific in each case and I want the army to be story forged. When the four of us met we decided to try and create our own part of 40K. We will start from small skirmishes escalating the narrative as our armies will grow. At the moment the background is still in its embryo form but we already know that it will start on a backwater wasteland planet of Cheebur. We've already bought a gaming mat (recommended) to represent the planet and basing all of our armies in the same style should add to the overall visual.

Paint Scheme
Using different klans will help make painting tons of boyz (there should be lots of them) less boring and make them look different as Orks should. At the same time I developed some guidelines for myself that will help the army look consistent and good together — thus I'll also be able to use models from different klans in a single unit.

I make a separate post about painting not to loose the point. I'm not an artist so my paint scheme is relatively simple but satisfactory — I want it to show the army's mood rather than my painting skills.

With blah-blah done there's nothing stopping me from publishing the picts, so keep an eye for the greenskins as they'll be hitting the web soonish!

Just a crappy sneak peek...

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