Title: Making The Warlord On The 6th Ed. Army Book Cover!
Description: Article - Stage by stage with pictures
Roba-Fett - July 21, 2005 04:56 PM (GMT)
Here is an excellent talk through and breakdown with pictures of how an especially exceptional Orc model was custom made. Who else but the Warlord from the Orcs & Goblins rulebook himself!?
The pics are very large so that you can see the details carefully.
I would suggest this as an article for the main site and also for other uses such as e-zines etc.
This article is submitted to me by my friend and master artist/painter/sculptor Paul Cubbin and I bring it to you now.
The mandate was to recreate as closely as possible the Orc Warlord from the front cover of Games Workshop's Orcs and Goblins Army Book. He was going to be used as a unit (and presumably army) leader, so would have to be relatively sturdy and mounted on a standard 25x25mm base with not to many bits sticking out. He was also ordered to be extra large as it was hoped he would look imposing to opponents! This was a very tricky project that I really couldn't pass up and, frankly, was something that had been in the back of my mind for a long time. After studying the cover for a while it became apparent that the huge differences between what an artist will include on a great detailed picture and what a commercial sculptor is able to achieve would make for a very challenging and interesting time for me. For one thing, I knew a lot of the details would have to be changed or omitted altogether as the scale would make them prohibitively fiddly and fragile. I was also frustratingly limited by my own abilities and equipment and knew that, although confident I could do a good job, there would be some aspects that I would wish I had been able to copy exactly. But, never one to shy away from fun, I made my fiendish plans and dived in.
A1 - the base. I wanted to get a similar feel to the scene from the front of the Orc and Goblins army book but was mindful that to recreate it precisely would be impossible and also very boring (the figure is not in a very dynamic pose). With this in mind I used some bodies from the Empire Free Companies sprue with armour from the old Skeleton Horsemen sprue. The top figure has been chopped in half (mostly so his legs didn't dangle off the base!) with his (greenstuff) guts falling out in a most untidy manner. I originally gave him a broken cutlass but swapped it for a broken halberd later on. Both bodies have the heads dangling loosely to show their demised state and the bottom one has a cut throat (greenstuff again). There is space left for a shield and various foliage type things later, but for now we have an interesting base that adds a great deal of height for the main figure.
A2 - the main figure. Here we can see the mutilated body of a former Minotaur Lord with boot soles from the Ogre sprue and greenstuff boots, shins and leather strapping. The straps utilised a method that will be frequently used for this model; greenstuff is rolled out thinly onto a powered (talc) sheet of plasticard and left to dry overnight. When set it can be cut into whatever shape you want and is sturdy but flexible enough to work with. I usually don't like using Superglue as it doesn't give a very secure fit and is liable to be brittle, but in this case it is the best for the job. The cut straps were glued onto the ankle, held whilst drying, then wrapped around the leg and glued in place with each turn. The torso was also widened and a paunch added as I suspect the Minotaur was a bit more of a salad eater than your average Orc. Pin holes have been drilled into the wrists ready to take hands and the whole model is securely pinned in a great dynamic pose. The exposed wires will be covered later with foliage and debris.
A3 - the head. After spending ages prying the old minotaur head off the model, I finally decided to put it back on! The muzzle section has been completely cut away, leaving only a back 'plate' for me to build a greenstuff face onto. The bull horns were pared away and bent round to match the picture and the entire top of the head and surrounding neck/fur has been cut back to the skull. The front spike is a long piece of pointy wire that has been bent and penetrates all the way through and secures the head to the torso. Using the rolled greenstuff again, plates and strips have been added to the model in imitation of the armour worn in the picture. The Orc sports a huge amount of small spikes all over his gear and I knew from the start that 1) they would be very fiddly and would take ages and, 2) it was no point trying to attach them until the end as they would be forever knocked off during sculpting. The spikes would, I decided, be the last job before painting and it was not a task I was looking forward to. A chest strap with a loop from the end of a Space Ork axe is added and knee pads and a belt buckle are also added (pared down from Orc shield bosses). At this stage I have to be very patient and plan each stage in advance. I cannot risk putting too much detail in as it could be damaged during the next process; conversely I must make sure that I don't miss out a bit that will awkward to put in later because it is partially covered by other stuff.
Next stage - the head details! Stay tuned!
Paul Cubbin is available for commission requests via –
Magic-Arnold - July 21, 2005 05:03 PM (GMT)
Looks very impresive (spelling?) can't wait for the follow-up.
Lord Gorfasil - July 21, 2005 05:09 PM (GMT)
Which orc is this? The big one with the axe? 'Cos I don't recognise the model right now.
Roba-Fett - July 21, 2005 05:14 PM (GMT)
The Prominent Army Book Cover orc, yes.
Garbag - July 21, 2005 05:23 PM (GMT)
Paul - July 21, 2005 07:01 PM (GMT)
Hello to all. Yes, it is the large Orc Warlord from the front of the Orcs and Goblins book. He's in a yawningly boring position so I thoguht I'd jazz him up a bit to something more dynamic. Rob will keep you posted stage by stage and if you have any questions let either of us know and I'll do my best to accomodate you. Have fun, Paul.
Snotstaff - July 21, 2005 07:31 PM (GMT)
Warlord Ghazak Gazhkull - July 21, 2005 07:55 PM (GMT)
It looks very nice, I see forward to the rest( stands that on a normal 25mmx25mm base :blink: ).
DRESSWEARER - July 21, 2005 08:21 PM (GMT)
SWEET! Great job and welcome back Fett :D
Groshnak - July 22, 2005 12:45 AM (GMT)
Oh damn! In-f*cking-credible! :wub:
I can't wait for the update!
Roba-Fett - July 22, 2005 08:44 AM (GMT)
Well folks, here comes the next exciting instalment of the article.
A4 - the head (and other stuff). The Orc Warlord obviously has a very distinctive helmet with jawbone cheekplate decoration. This was something I was a little nervous about. After having a quick peek at the bits and pieces in my.....well, bits and pieces box, I realised there was nothing suitable, so I'd have to do them myself the hard way. I cut out the shape of the cheekpieces from rolled greenstuff and then built a jawbone on it with more greenstuff. It was actually a little easier than I imagined. With that safely out the way I set about constructing the head itself. I actually enjoy making faces with greestuff as its elastic texture makes it easy to pull a facial expression into your subject using a cocktail stick. The nostrils and mouth will move about in a natural way until you have achieved the desired effect. The nose ring is a link off a brass chain (more on that later), and the mouth was left deliberately toothless (a la Gareth Thomas, Wales Captain) to take prosthetic fangs later. Similarly the eye sockets are empty. A little work went on smoothing out the horns and general detailing on the helmet, but not too much. Some more brass chain (but not all) went on his 'leash' for the collar (more rolled greenstuff) and fun with beading wire and plastic heads completed his gruesome ornaments on dislay. I was happy to leave all the loose ends round the back of the model as I knew a fur cloak would cover all sins.
A4 rear - the left shoulder and back. On the picture we only get a teasing peep at the left shoulder armour as it dangles down. That gave me free rein to make up something interesting. I opted for armoured plates (from cardboard) joined by lengths of chain (see, that's where the rest of it went). I love working with chain on my models as it is very easy to manipulate and never fails to give you a striking effect. My top tip is to trail your chain through a small superglue puddle and dangle it to let it dry in a straight line. When dry it is actually pretty flexible and can be manipulated without it flopping around annoyingly (please, no rude sniggering). I think the whole thing looks great and the loose ends will again be covered by the cloak.
The model is really starting to come together and all that it requires is a great big set of paws to look ready for business, which brings us to that very special axe of his. It is a mini project by itself and is the subject of the next instalment.
Garbag - July 22, 2005 09:00 AM (GMT)
Looking even better now.........
mar-win - July 22, 2005 09:01 AM (GMT)
omfg! f^#&&%^ great article and astonishing work!!!! :D lovely gs-job there!
Groshnak - July 22, 2005 02:45 PM (GMT)
Yeah, it's indeed one of the most interesting GS-works I've ever seen. I really like it! The model is massive, and when he gets his axe he'll look M-E-A-N!
Keep up the good work!
Lord Gorfasil - July 22, 2005 04:08 PM (GMT)
Awesome. The face is incredible.
Sloory - July 23, 2005 03:29 AM (GMT)
That is unbelievable!! i've been out of it for a while now,
but i can always trust roba-fetts work (or friends work) to throw me straight back in!!
well done sofar eh!! :D
jimbob1066e - July 23, 2005 07:12 AM (GMT)
Man o man - that is looking GREAT!!!!!
I really dig the base too....
Warlord Ghazak Gazhkull - July 23, 2005 09:00 AM (GMT)
Holy sh*t that is awesome I see forward to the rest I really like it. I will maybe also make one.
Roba-Fett - July 23, 2005 11:05 AM (GMT)
A5 - the axe. Firstly, I tried to cut corners by using an existing axe....any axe. No dice. Despite frantic scouring I realised that it was just too damn big and nothing in my bits box came close. Fine, have it your way, I'll make my own! A piece of plasticard was painstakingly carved out into the correct shape and the curves smoothed out. Plasticard and I have a love/hate relationship; I love its flexibility and sturdiness and hate having to cut and shape it. That done I set about lookiing for a suitable shaft and hand. Eventually I plumped for stuff from the Ogre Bulls sprue. The shaft below the hand is from the standard and the small section above the hand is a part of a club. Both sections had some nice metal spikes as per the picture so some time was saved there. I had to bend the shaft slightly to match the cover and the whole was secured with a single length of thin wire running throughout and poking out the top to form a spike. It would have to be thickened up some later but that wasn't a major problem, the main thing being that the foundation was complete.
A6 - axe detail. I really wasn't sure how much detail I was going to be able to get away with on this one and fairly soon resigned myself to the fact that the tiny spikes on the inner curves of the axehead were too small and would add nothing to the model - so they got the chop (no pun intended). Stage 1 was to thicken the shaft with some white Milliputt (it gives a smoother finish when wet than greenstuff) with some more to form the top spike. A backplate of spikes from a Space Ork axe was glued on and the leather strapping was, yes you guessed it, a long strip of rolled greenstuff. The 2 rings in the blade were, believe it or not, the hardest part of the whole model so far. The holes were easily drilled and some beading wire was chosen to form the rings. By wrapping the wire round a cocktail stick to form a spring-like shape I could cut off a circular section and just pop it in, closing the link with pliers - easy huh? Oh, no. Try as I might, I could not get the flippin links to thread through the holes; and when I eventually bullied them into submission the pliers kept slipping when I tried to pinch the links closed (it didn't help that I had one eye on late-night boxing at the time). Much naughty language was forthcoming and I suffering a sharp reprimand from my usually patient wife. After what seemed an eternity of purgatory I finally closed the rings and glued them with the cut sections hidden in the holes. The detail on the axe blade was fairly simple, although patience was required. Firstly a central pointy strip of rolled greenstuff was glued in place and matched on the opposite side. Pliers were used to pinch the points together as it overhangs the blade edge slightly and I wanted them to form a single spike. Then more rolled greenstuff was cut and glued on as the pointy horns of the outermost skull motif - this time I didn't bother trying to allign them but kept them as separate spikes on each side of the blade. When all this was dry the skull motifs were built on with greenstuff and tweeked around with a spiked piece of wire (very useful) until the correct proportions were achieved. The biggest headache was having to wait for each tiny bit to dry before moving on - once for each side!
With the bits now separately arranged all I had to do was put them together and I would be in the home straight.
Garbag - July 23, 2005 11:08 AM (GMT)
One word - cr@p B) .
I told you I would slag it!!!
monk_farmer - July 23, 2005 11:10 AM (GMT)
Now this is coming along exceptionally well, I can't wait to see the finished product! He is very good with his greenstuff...very good ^_^
Roba-Fett - July 23, 2005 11:12 AM (GMT)
Naughty boy Garbag , you said you'd slag it before it went up. :unsure:
*waves finger at naughty behaviour*.
Warlord Ghazak Gazhkull - July 23, 2005 11:23 AM (GMT)
Very very nice axe, I love it :wub: .
Roba-Fett - July 23, 2005 11:31 AM (GMT)
Don't worry folks, he decides to build the hand up with green stuff and sculpts the whole thing. it looks incredible. You will get to see that and it attached to the model with even more dettails now added in tomorrows update.
Paul - July 23, 2005 11:50 AM (GMT)
GARBAG - it ain't over till the fat lady sings fella. Save your heckling from the cheap seats until the final curtain - then give some good ol' fashioned feedback. For any artist, good criticism is a free pass towards improvement.....and yes, I am overly defensive of my work. Each one is a tiny child to me.
Have fun, Paul.
Lord Gorfasil - July 23, 2005 03:26 PM (GMT)
Wow. I love the bangles (correct word for O&G? :P) and strap :)
Snotstaff - July 23, 2005 05:38 PM (GMT)
jimbob1066e - July 23, 2005 06:49 PM (GMT)
Hmmm... I can not believe I am defending Garbag - but I was under the impression he was being sarcastic - I.e. he really loves it... but I could be wrong. In fact, as I am very protective of paint and hobby, Garbag - you were teasing correct... If not... "now where did I place that little red button?...." :P
Roba-Fett - July 23, 2005 08:51 PM (GMT)
Yup he contacted me on msn and gave a " :P " regarding him about to post it, just for public knowledge purposes there. Still a cheeky sod though :P
Paul - July 23, 2005 09:04 PM (GMT)
I can't be too careful with you young wippersnappers, gotta keep you in your place. Bring back the birch! Bring back hanging! Bring back Battle of the Planets!
Groshnak - July 24, 2005 03:06 AM (GMT)
Oh damn, that's one sweet axe!
Unfortunately I have lost my O&G army book so I can't compare the model to the original picture, so I have to trust you. ^_^
If anyone has a picture of the real picture, please post it, I'd like to see how similar it looks. :)
jimbob1066e - July 24, 2005 06:10 AM (GMT)
Or... you (someone) could host the picture yourself, and just provide a link that includes ALL CREDIT TO GW.... etc... to save Da Path a little trouble...
ok... takes of mod had...
Roba-Fett - July 24, 2005 03:39 PM (GMT)
A7 - the rest! The weapon hand was built up with some greenstuff (as it became apparent that even an ogre's hand was too small!) including the thick rings as shown on the picture; the left hand was a clenched fist (ogre again) that was similarly built up and both hands were glued in place with strengthening pin wires in the wrists. When set, the wrists were covered by another strip of rolled greenstuff and armour plates (made of the same) were added to the knuckles and back of the hands. The large shoulder plates were made, after much deliberation, from layered card and holes were drilled in them for the spikes. The spikes themselves are various shafts from my Orcs 'n' Goblins bits box sharpened into points and glued in place with 2 part epoxy resin. The whole was then glued onto the shoulder with more resin. I really didn't want this to go anywhere as it stands out atop the figure and is sure to be knocked about a bit in handling. 2 Part Epoxy Resin is the business if you don't mind waiting for it to set and require a really strong join with a little flexibility. 'Araldite' is the best known brand name (if you are unfamiliar with this type of adhesive) but I use any brand that I can get as I see little difference between them. The heads were a human skull, an orc skull and an unfortunate Empire Free Company lad who forgot to wear a reinforced collar. Another skull was added to the helmet and I think that's all the heads he's going to need.
A7 rear - the cloak. What cloak? Where? Well, I thought early on that I would like to re-use a method for fur that is a favourite of mine - static grass. All I needed was a base skin for it to glue onto. Much chin-rubbing ensued before I went to great lengths to obtain the perfect material (I leaned over and grabbed the South Wales Echo and started ripping). By tearing the shape with my hands I was able to achieve a good rough 'n' ready feel that looked organic. I was also able to hold it in place and make various trimming adjustments easily before rubbing PVA into the whole thing and sticking it down. Job done. A couple more spikes were added to the left shoulder (Orc sprue) and things were almost done.
Nearly there at the final construction stage.
Warlord Ghazak Gazhkull - July 24, 2005 04:07 PM (GMT)
It looks awesome I love it :wub: , will you paint it also in this article?
Groshnak - July 24, 2005 04:13 PM (GMT)
Holy testicle's tuesday! You keep amazing me, the model's hilarous! :wub:
And of course he'll paint it, or we'll have to 'persuade' him.. ^_^
Snotstaff - July 24, 2005 04:28 PM (GMT)
:o :o :o
Oh man that rocks! :wub:
Garbag - July 24, 2005 05:24 PM (GMT)
Ha he has no teeth :lol: .
Roba-Fett - July 24, 2005 05:41 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (garbag bighorn @ Jul 24 2005, 05:24 PM)|
| Ha he has no teeth :lol: . |
Next stage (tomorrow) in goes the teeth.
Paul - July 24, 2005 06:06 PM (GMT)
Yes, GARBAG, he is currently toothless, but then so is Gareth Thomas and he just captained Wales to their first Grand Slam in 27 years, so perhaps it's not all that bad. Anyway, I thought I'd leave the door open for you, completely accurately, to say that he sucks (cue groans and shaking of head). As ROBAFETT so rightly pointed out, the teeth are one of the last stages as any pointy or fiddly things are likely to be knocked about during the rough handling it receives during construction. I will be painting the model, of course, but not stage-by-stage. You'll get a quick 'matt black' in undercoat (alongside a Bretonnian for scale) and then the finished article some time later.
Perhaps this is not quite pertinent yet, but I'm in the early stages of making an Ork Battlewagon for ROBAFETT - would there be any interest in a similar sort of step-by-step series for that (assuming Rob doesn't mind)?
Have fun, Paul.
Lord Gorfasil - July 24, 2005 08:52 PM (GMT)
That would be great ^^
He is awesome. Absolutely awesome. BUT it's gonna be hell to paint! :lol: