|This beakie looks outclassed...|
In my mind, the orcs/orks/orruks really came into perfect form when Brian Nelson started to sculpt them, starting with a few Warhammer Fantasy models, then moving to Gorkamorka (Mad Max-style gang warfare game), before finally sculpting the majority of the 3rd edition Warhammer 40,000 range. He was able to take the somewhat comical humanoid designs of Rogue Trader and 2nd edition Warhammer 40k and completely revitalize them. He turned the orcs/orks into more simian-like creatures with long arms corded with muscle and hunched postures. Beyond the orcs’ frame, Nelson gave them a very distinctive facial structure, with a flattened nose, small beady eyes and a pronounced lower jaw. A lot of these features were already part of the orc aesthetic, but Nelson was able to combine those elements into something very distinctive and unique for Games Workshop. Brian Nelson made me love the orcs. A number of other sculptors have handled orcs for Games Workshop since Nelson’s reimaging, but none ever fully captured their essence like he did. The last few Warhammer 40,000 orc releases seem more like imitations of Nelson’s greatness, never quite reaching the same heights (despite being very good). I had long hoped for the day that Nelson would return to sculpting orcs, and when I saw images of the new Orruk models for Age of Sigmar, my heart lept. After seeing the expressive faces on the models, and the careful attention to scale, I knew that Brian Nelson must have had a serious role in their creation. As it turns out, Nelson’s first sculpt for the Orruk range was the imposing Orruk Megaboss. Such was my excitement about the model that I was at my local hobby shop to get it the day it was released.
Like many of Games Workshop’s character models, the Megaboss came in a plastic clam-pack. Befitting the $40 price tag, he comes on two sprues with a massive 60mm base (compared the the 40mm ones included with the Brutes). The sprues are laid out in the typical clam-pack fashion, each piece cut in slightly counterintuitive ways, that make kit-bash conversions more challenging. It also comes with a little paper insert that gives detailed assembly instructions, including exactly where glue should be applied to each piece.
|The Megaboss assembles in overlapping and interlocking pieces, expertly hiding seam lines.|
|The Megaboss has fantastic armor, broad, dented, and layered. Notice how his back is not entirely covered, much like the smaller Brute models.|
The actual assembly of the Megaboss was a delight. The moldlines, while there, were very minor and easy to remove. This was aided by the fact that the model is so large, with bulky armor plates and bulging muscles. Speaking of the model being large, such is his size that he assembles more like one of GW’s large plastic monster kits, than their smaller infantry models. Each piece slots together creating a large hollow shell. This was a fantastic choice, allowing virtually all of the seam lines to be covered up by overlapping parts, dramatically minimizing the need for green stuff to touch up the model. In fact, I only needed it to fill in the seam created by the two halves of the carnosaur skull on his shoulder. I could see some people wanting to remove this skull, due to its prestigious size. I personally like it and feel that it is very fitting for such an orruk (it does not hurt that is fantastically sculpted). It should be able to be removed, being that it is in two halves, provided you have some patience. I like the model so much that I decided to assemble him without modification; the only liberty that I took was not adding the bloodletter skull to his left shoulder. While it looks nice, I never really imagined chaos daemons having physical bones that persist upon the daemon's death. Thankfully, the bloodletter piece is made to slot directly on top of the shoulderpad, without a tab or indentation, so it was as simple as just not gluing it on.
|Although certainly a huge model, Nelson seems to have reenvisioned orc physiology a little, making their heads a little smaller, emphasizing their ogre-like physique.|
|His massive axe looks capable of decapitating such a large reptile. Then again, he looks like he could likely tear the creature's head off with his bare hands, ha ha.|
It is probably pretty apparent by now that I really like the Orruk Megaboss. Everything is top notch, from the model design to the plastic engineering. I have not been so excited and happy about an orc/ork/orruk model since Brian Nelson redesigned the ork range back in 3rd edition. 2016 is not even half over, and I think we have a very strong contender for model of the year. I simply cannot get over how good it feels to be working on orc models again! Now to set about assembling some Brutes…
- Eric Wier
I feel Paul Bonner is the artist who gave us the modern template for orks. But I'm old.ReplyDelete
Bonner was certainly instrumental in creating GW's initial image of orcs, including their somewhat comical nature, and their general love of a good brawl! His art was certainly a major inspiration to my young mind, and will always hold a special place in my heart.Delete
It was not until Nelson's designs, however, that their models evolved into something I really wanted to collect and convert, however.
Thank you for the unboxing! I'm of the same school and as you for the first time in ages I'm very excited about a greenskin release and I will undoubtedly get in here as well. Though I'm holding back a bit as I really hope Grots get the same treatment :)ReplyDelete
I look forward to seeing what you do with some of the models. It is great to be excited about orks again! I sure would love to see some new grots too! But they almost need to be created by Nelson, or guided firmly by him. Nelson's Gorkamorka ones were stellar (long live the Red Gobbo and the Rebel Grots!), while the plastic 40k ones are pretty uninspired.Delete
That looks really nice and thanks for the review. I've spent a bunch of time looking at how he could be made into 40K.ReplyDelete
I am glad you enjoyed it! I do not think it would be too bad to modify him, at least a little for 40k.Delete
The part that really impressed me was the empty hand. That was really well done.ReplyDelete
How hard do you think it would be to remove the skull? That's the only part that I dislike.
Yes! That empty hand is fantastic, very well define, and the fingernails!Delete
As for the skull, you should be able to remove it without too much trouble. It is in two halves, which will make the task easier. You will likely have to snip off the majority of it, before going in with an x acto knife, carefully trimming it into shape.
I got the Shaman this week, the Warboss was sold out at my local GW, the shaman is similarly brilliantly put together, there are only seams on the top of his cloak, everything else is hidden by other pieces, really smart and a gorgeous modelReplyDelete
Yeah, I really need to get the shaman too. He looks excellent, brimming with Waaaagh! energy. It is great to hear that he goes together so well, hiding the seams!Delete
I picked up this model as well. It is just glorious. The new orruks are fantastic.ReplyDelete
I agree, and am glad you are working on some Orruk too! I am currently trimming away at a box of Brutes!Delete
The scale of the new Orruks is awesome - I'm so happy that they've been given such an imposing size. Based on what you've seen, are they pretty much truescale at this point, or do they still need modifying?ReplyDelete
I wonder if GW is trying to discourage kitbashing with all of their newer releases? I can't decide whether their current tendency of creating those strangely cut apart figures (at least in the clam shell packs), is done purposefully to make it harder for conversions, or if it's purely to increase the level of detail on figures, and give them more dynamic posing? GW especially, has such a long history of gamers converting their figures, I find it hard to imagine that they would want to take that away from players, but perhaps they're trying to solidify the brand even further by only having minis look the way they want them to for the sake of recognition on the table?
I think they are largely the proper scale, and would not need much modifying. They are slightly different from some of the older ork models, with their heads a little smaller, maintaining the same bulky limbs, however. The plastic 40k nob heads are larger than the new brute ones (the brute heads look a lot better than the 40k nob heads though). So I think Nelson just modified their physiology a little. This megaboss in one of the largest orc models ever, larger than ghazghkull I believe, yet his head is probably a little smaller.Delete
As for how the current models are cut, I do not think it is being done to purposefully make conversions more difficult. I firmly believe it is simply to allow the creation of better, more dynamic model, putting more creative power in the artists hands. By always cutting at the shoulder for arms, you eliminate the possibility of creating more subtle interesting poses, as they have to be made more generic to account for the multi-part options. So while it is sort of a shame that conversions are more difficult (kitbashes to be honest), I would rather have the better quality models, and work a little harder for the conversions than the other way around.
In 40k, ork size varies wildly. In the beast, the general ork boyz are the size of nobz, the nobz the size of current warbosses, and the warbosses are dreadnought sized or larger.Delete
Heck in the fluff ghazkull is tall enough to punch a mawloc in the jaw.
Eric - I think you're right that they're probably just trying to make better models, and it's been fun recently to devise interesting kitbashes from more "difficult" models. I'd certainly rather have GW continue on their current course, and make better looking models for me to chop up, but it does seem that GW is raising the skill bar on what's needed to convert these new minis, and for someone just starting, or not used to converting their models, it would seem daunting. I've been doing this since the late 80's (and still learning new things every day), so I'm used to it, but I could see the figure's lack of modelling utility as a barrier to a lot of newcomers.Delete
That being said, it is very nice to have more dynamism in the current line of models, than in the majority of the multi-part kits.
You are certainly right that it makes the prospect of converting models much more difficult, certainly for people just starting out. Although I have only just started to work on the Brutes, they seem to be better than a lot of the clampack characters. The arms, while not flat at the shoulders, they all seem to be interchangeable, crafted in a way to preserve the orruk's muscles connecting to their shoulders. I hope to have a post in the coming weeks about the brutes, touching on how easy they will be for conversions.Delete
Greg- Yeah ork size does seem to vary pretty dramatically in all the background. I am a few books into the Beast Arises series, and they are certainly massive. I look forward to getting further into the series, too see how it progresses, and if their size is further explained. I suppose in the Ironjawz battletome they talk a lot about how the more an orruk fights, the larger he gets, so possibly there is some of that at work here, he he.Delete
My converted Orruk Megaboss to Daemon Prince: https://khornate.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/converted-orruk-megaboss.htmlReplyDelete
Quite the nice daemon prince you have there! The megaboss was a good base for it. Excellent use of green stuff to add the cables and smooth out the armor; it goes a long way. It is great to see the comparison pictures next to the hellbrute too, the model certainly is huge! Thanks for sharing!Delete
I love the miniature. Could you please tell me the height of the miniature from head to base?ReplyDelete
The model is 55mm from foot to the top of that skull on his shoulder. Ignoring the skull, and just measuring to the top of the head, he is 50mm tall. Hope that helps!Delete
Thank you very much!ReplyDelete