Diorama Ork Casualties

‘Ere boss, Zagbog’z off iz ‘ead again, hur-hur!

Ork “humour”.

Following on from the post about my Armies on Parade 2021 entry, I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at the Ork casualties. The two that were front-and-centre are pictured above. The one of the left has just taken a headshot from a bolter, while the one on the right is fleeing from the Crimson Fists and has just been shot straight through the centre!

The technique I used for these two models is just my Simple LED Muzzle Flare technique, only instead of the flare coming out of a gun, it is coming out of the their bodies! I did originally consider mounting the Orks directly on the display board, but I decided to put them on bases instead for three reasons. Firstly, not being on bases would make them significantly shorter than the Marines. Secondly, if their positions were fixed on the board then I couldn’t make last minute tweaks to their location during photography. And thirdly, having them separate means that I can reuse them in future dioramas, or simply as an accessory to future battlefield photography.

As you may have noticed, the Ork who still has a face has had his expression and his pose altered to make him look like he is running away in panic. The expressions of the current plastic Ork Boyz are actually quite neutral, and therefore easy to alter. To make him look alarmed I simply applied a tiny amount of modelling putty to his forehead, altering his eyebrows so they were raised in the centre and down at the sides, which – along with the open mouth – is an expression we read in humans as distress. The Ork who has taken a headshot has been rocked back on his feet slightly, while his right wrist has been rotated to make the axe appear a bit more slack in his grip. I was trying to give the impression of the headshot having just happened that instant with the Ork still on the process of pitching backwards.

I also made a few Ork casualties to scatter around. Again these are made from the plastic Ork Boyz box. I ended up repositioning or removing limbs to make them appear to be sprawled on the ground as a result of being gunned down. They’re not glued to the board, again to allow repositioning as required. All the Ork casualties were intentionally painted with a muted colour scheme so that they didn’t draw the eye away from the Marines too much – the Crimson Fists were the stars of the show after all! They certainly didn’t receive my best paint job, but the submission deadline was looming and I knew they weren’t going to be the main focus of the photographs.

Lastly I had a bit of fun by adding the skeletal remains of an Ork to the ruined farmhouse. The first edition of 40K was more RPG-like than current editions, and in the original ‘Battle at the Farm’ scenario the GM was supposed to give the Ork commander – Thrugg Bullneck – a secret objective to retrieve a bag of hidden loot that was buried in the farm house. I thought it might be fun to add a little nod to this in the diorama. Thrugg’s remains are made from an Ork skull from the Citadel Skulls set, a modelling putty helmet and a spare Ork boy arm, all buried under lolly stick floorboards! The sack of loot is also sculpted entirely from modelling putty.

That’s all for today. I hope you’ve found that insight into the Ork casualties interesting.

Kaptin Gron, Kommando Nob

I klawed my way to da top, hurr-hurr-hurr!

– Kaptain Gron, Kommando Nob

Next from the Octarius Kommando Kill Team Orks we have Kaptain Gron, Kommando Nob. This is a fantastic sculpt and originally I was going to leave it untouched. However I have been mulling over the idea of attempting to create an “crackling electrical surface discharge” effects with LEDs on a power fist or power klaw, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl! I did also consider making the backpack radar dish rotate, but in the end decided that would be a little too much effort!

Painting & Assembling

So how did I make the crackling electrical discharge effect on the power klaw?

  1. I drilled through the model’s leg, torso and arm to add three Blue Ultra Nano SMD Chip LED (3V) from the website Small Scale Lights. They are all connected in parallel with a 3V coin cell battery, 10Ω resistor and switch in the base. For more information on hiding batteries in miniature bases, see my LED Eye Lens tutorial.
  2. Next I applied Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World, to begin creating the path of the electrical “arc”.
  3. Once the initial application of gel has dried – which may take several hours – I applied the next layer, increasing the length of the “arcs”.
  1. I continued to apply layers of gel until I was happy with the shape of the “arcs”. As you can see, I joined them up to make it look like the electricity was arcing between different points on the power klaw.
  2. Once the final layer of gel was dry, I applied a thin layer of Citadel Guilliman Blue glaze, just to make the electrical effect look a little more interesting when the LEDs are switched off. Unfortunately this colour is discontinued now, but a thinned-down coat of Citadel Contrast Talassar Blue would have the same effect.
  3. Jobs a good ‘un, boss!

I’m not sure if the crackling electrical discharge effect I was picturing in my head has fully translated to the model, but it was a fun experiment anyway! In terms of painting, I stuck to the retro-inspiring Blood Axe Kommando scheme I mentioned in my previous post. Even though Kaptain Gron is the leader of the team I still stuck to the limited colour palette. I think this helps to give the whole unit a more cohesive look on the tabletop.

That’s it for this week. More Octarius Orks soon, plus some more Badab campaign, Armies on Parade revisited and something a bit different! See you all again soon.

Lamenter Comms Specialist

Enemy contacts are inside the perimeter. Unfortunately for them, so are we.

– Brother Ardito, Comms Specialist

Another Lamenter joins my long running Badab War era Kill Team. Brother Ardito is a Comms Specialist, so let’s hope that’s still an option for Adeptus Astartes Kill Teams in the new edition of the game!

Influence

For this model I was strongly influenced by the classic metal sergeant from the old Space Marine command squad box (sorry, this was the best reference image I could find). I didn’t set out to copy it exactly, just to capture the general energy and atmosphere of the model. Brother Ardito is made from the ‘Easy to Build’ Primaris Marine with auspex, although as you can see he’s been heavily altered to change the pose, details and make it appear that he’s wearing MkVII power armour, in keeping with the Badab-era setting.

Effects

The LED effects were achieved using the principles set out in my LED Hololith tutorial, although instead of a wrist-mounted hololith, the LED is mounted in the auspex screen. The LED is a 3V Red Ultra Nano SMD Chip LEDs available from Small Scale Lights, in series with the supplied 100Ω resistor. Although green is often traditional for scanner screens, I decided to go with red to match many of the other LEDs in the team and avoid having a mixture of too many colours.

The wire to the LED runs through the arm, torso and leg to the battery and switch in the base. A more detailed description can be found in my LED Hololith tutorial, as mentioned above. If you want to have a go yourself and you need tools and supplies, you can find them here.

First I painted the auspex screen Citadel Khorne Red, trying my best not to get any paint on the LED. Once the paint was dried I filled the screen area with the ever-useful Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World. This goes on white but is transparent when dried. You will need to apply it slowly and patiently, and use a flat tool to flatten it down. Otherwise you may have a lumpy screen!

Once the ‘screen’ was dry I painted it with two coats of Citadel Blood Angels Red Contrast, allowing the paint to dry between each application. Finally, I painted a pattern of ‘contacts’ on the ‘screen’ with Citadel Wild Rider red. This was more for visual interest when the LED is off as the LED is so bright it has little effect when it was on.

That’s all for today, I hope you found that interesting. Come back soon for more Lamenter action as the Kill Team slowly comes together!

Lamenter Heavy with LED Motorised Assault Cannon

Debate the Tyrant’s cause if you like, but it’s hard to argue with 1200 rounds a minute.

Brother Salvio, Lamenter heavy weapons specialist

This is another model that has been living in my head as a nebulous idea for well over a year. In fact, I’d say my failure to settle on a way to execute this concept for my ‘Heavy’ specialist is why my seven-man Lamenters Kill Team project has currently been running for a year and a half! But now he’s done, so let’s have a big round of applause to welcome Brother Salvio!

Influence

There are a number of sources that I’m ‘riffing’ off with this member of the Kill Team, many of them from video games. The Team Fortress 2 Heavy is an obvious one, as are Halo Spartans carrying turrets (particularly Jorge-052) and even the Call of Duty Juggernaut. What is boils down to is a heavily armoured soldier carrying a large gun that you might normally expect to find on a vehicle! To help sell the theme of heavy armour, I decided on MkVIII ‘Errant’ armour for this marine, particularly as this has the enhanced face and neck protection seen in many of the characters linked above.

If you haven’t been following along with my Lamenters Kill Team project, then I should explain that it is intended to be Badab War era, so these are ‘true scale’ Marines rather than Primaris Marines. Every member of the team so far has been wearing armour appropriate to the era, which so far means MkVI, MkVII and MKVIII. So how did I go about turning MkX armour into MkVIII to match the reference images shown above?

  • Used modelling putty to increase the height of the neck gorget.
  • Selected up-armoured shoulder pads with elbow joint protection.
  • Replaced the skull on the chest with a jewel.
  • Filled in the detail on the wrist bracers to create a smoother armoured feel.
  • Removed the additional protection from the top of the MkX knee pads.
  • Left the MkX ankle joints intact – this was the first time I noticed MkVIII armour also uses them!
  • Replaced the Primaris backpack with a Tactical backpack.

I also added extra ammo pouches and grenades to enhance the impression of bulkiness.

Effects

I’ve just published a full LED Motorised Assault Cannon tutorial on my website here, so I won’t go into too much detail in this post on how the assault cannon effects were achieved. The short version is that I used a 3V miniature motor, a Small Scale Miniatures 3V yellow 0805 chip LED and my Nighthaunt Candle technique to creature the muzzle flare.

That’s it for this week, I hope you found that interesting. Come back again soon to find out if I ever finish this bloody Lamenters Kill Team, haha! Hopefully I will be able to finish them soon, as it looks like we might possibly be in for a new edition of Kill Team.

Lamenter Marksman

The Tyrant sends his regards! *BLAM-BLAM-BLAM*

Brother Quartus, Lamenter Marksman

Here is Brother Quartus, the latest addition to my long-running Lamenter Badab War kill team project. If you’d like to look back on this project then you can search for posts tagged with either ‘Lamenters’ or ‘Badab War’.

Influence

When designing this Marine, my question to myself was “how can I make one of the team’s “filler” tactical marines with bolter interesting?”. In the end I hit upon the idea of loosely copying this classic Mark Gibbons art. I haven’t copied it exactly – for one the marine in the art is a Blood Angel – but I hope I’ve captured the feel, both of the art and of that era of Games Workshop history. Of course Brother Quartus has grown on me over the building and painting process so now I think I might promote him to sniper specialist in the kill team.

“Downgrading” Mk X armour to Mk VII

All my Lamenters are ‘true scale’, that is to say they have Primaris stature but wear period-appropriate armour marks. There was no Mk X used during the Badab War (as far as we know), so I wanted to “downgrade” the base Primaris Intercessor model to Mk VII power armour. The most important thing was to remove the elements of the armour that are distinctly Primaris features. For me this is the ankle ‘stabilisers’, the rim above the knee-pad, the armoured stomach, the forearm bracers, the wide backpack and of course the helmet. An argument could be made that the thigh-plates don’t belong on a Mk VII either, but I think I can make my peace with that.

To remove the unwanted leg and stomach detail I simply hacked off anything that I didn’t want with a craft knife and then smoothed over any gaps with modelling putty, sculpting detail in where necessary. The arms are from Primaris Reivers, which are in scale for a marine of Primaris stature but less armoured than the standard Mk X arms. The helmet and the backpack were straight component swaps for their Mk VII equivalents.

Effects

For the LED effects I simply just followed the steps in my own LED Muzzle Flare tutorial to the letter, using the exact LEDs and components listed there. My Lamenters paint recipe can be found in this post if anyone is interested in how the yellow is achieved. As for the mid-ejection bolt shell casing, I think that’s worth talking through as this is a new technique that I was playing around with for this model.

  1. I started with a 1mm diameter plastic rod, painted the end in Retributor Armour, and then cut off a 2mm length to form the ejected bolt shell casing.
  2. Next I built up the “smoke” around the ejection port using Water Splash Effect Gel, available from Green Stuff World. This gel is white and opaque when applied (as seen in the picture) but dries transparent.
  3. Once the splash gel had dried, I used a tiny dab of super glue to attach the shell casing.
  1. Next I applied another layer of the splash gel around the shell casing to continue the smoke effect.
  2. Once the splash gel was dry I gave it a thin watered-down glaze of Ulthuan Grey. This helps it to retain some transparency while also appearing smoke coloured.
  3. Finally I applied a coat of Lahmian Medium to dull down the shine of the splash gel.

That’s it for this week. I’ll end with a group shot of the kill team so far (minus the Mk VI, who has returned to the chapter forge for modifications). That’s four down, three to go! My aim is to have the team finished by the time face-to-face gaming is allowed again in the UK, so please visit again soon to see how I’m getting on with that!