|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