blood-bowl-orcs

Last year, blog veterans may remember it happening, we all painted up a bloodbowl team in a month for a ‘hobby challenge’. Since then a lot has happened here at the B&B, so we decided to collate all of the posts about each team into a single post, and this one is about my Orc team, the BLACK MOUNTAIN BRAWLERS. (yes, I’ve changed the team name again!)

The start of this post will be about the background I’ve come up with, my experiences along the way making the team and general thoughts and musings on the ‘beautiful(ly violent) game’. If you’re here for the painting walkthroughs, they will be towards the bottom of the page .

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I’d quite fancied playing bloodbowl since I was about 12, I remember seeing an article in the back of a White Dwarf, I think it was by Jervis Johnson, talking about how it was his favourite game of all time, and talking about how it was a great blend of board game, wargame and absolute chaos, and I thought “I could get on board with that!”. Unfortunately, it fell by the wayside as there was nobody I knew who either played or was interested in playing.

Fast forward 18 years (I know, this makes me sad…), and Rob and Mike suggested the bloodbowl hobby challenge. I wasn’t going to pass this opportunity up, I was in!

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Initially, I fancied a human team. I had ideas of making a Bretonnian team (a nod to my old WHFB army), but in the end the Orcs won me over. There was something about hulking green bruisers in American football gear charging up the pitch and duffing up all of their opponents that spoke to me (Which, incidentally, has been my tactic in nearly every game I have played, to the extent of ignoring the ball sometimes to run over and deck another goblin/gutter-runner/human lineman).

The Black Mountain Brawlers get their name from the Black Mountain (makes sense, no?) that flows through the ‘boarder princes’ area in the south of the Empire, near to the Badlands. The Badlands is (or was ) the home of a lot of the greenskins in the old world, so I wanted them to be from that area. Skull pass was my first thought, but I decided that as it had been the focus of a recent starter set, I wanted to pick somewhere different! The Badlands is right in the middle of a contested region of the old world as well, so there’s plenty of scope for scraps with ‘oomies, stunties, rat boiz or even other greenskins, like Rob’s Gobboz (detailed here)

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I like the idea that the Brawlers are a well established team, but one that have never done particularly well for themselves in competitive play, possibly due to the fact that the brutes from the skull river area really just like to thump things, rather than actually play ball. As a result, the team was always hovering around the bottom of the leagues, dropping down to lower leagues then popping back up, etc… until they had a change in management. With Morko Kilva at the helm (represented by a converted Kromlech orc), they still like to break their opponent’s faces, but now they have also had drilled into them (presumably literally, they are orcs after all), that sometimes it pays to put the ball over the touchline (preferably the opponents). This this revolution in ‘tactikz’, has seen the brawlers become a force to be reckoned with in the local leagues, and they are new enjoying a run of success (at least in the tradional sense, rather than the boy count sense!).

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As this was a hobby challenge, I decided to actually, well, challenge myself! I picked a few project aims that were out of my usual comfort zone, and took them forward.
Firstly, I decided that I wasn’t going to convert any of the models. This may seem like an easy challenge, but I’m notorious for not being able to leave a kit alone. I spend so much time faffing with conversions that I often run out of steam before anything gets painted, often before I’ve even finished its assembly! I did end up doing one small conversion on my manager, but I thought I would allow myself a headswap on a single model.

Next I decided that I wanted to do Yellow armour, I don’t know whether I would do this again, but as I said, I was trying to push myself. Yellow is a notoriously tricky colour to paint, and I’ve generally avoided it up to this point, so I had to come up with a yellow recipe that I was happy with, and that wouldn’t take 40000 coats. In the end, I make this a double challenge, and used my airbrush to try and get some fades and transitions on the armour. Up until this point, my airbrush was the thing that allowed me to spray on an undercoat inside, so it was nice to use it for its intended purpose!

Finally, I had never painted Orc skin, so I wanted to come up with a recipe for that, but not just one, oh no, I wanted 3! I thought that the Black Orc blockers and goblins should have different skin tones to the regular orcs.

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I’m happy to say, that I achieved all of these (except for the above mentioned conversion lapse).

So, what you’re probably all here for it the painting recipies, isn’t it? Here they are!

Yellow armour:

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Most of the shading of the yellow was done with an airbrush, to get that extra smooth transition, followed up by a pin wash and an edge highlight, it all comes together in the end to produce a very yellow yellow!

First, with the airbrush:

  1. Basecoat of Averland Sunset (done in two thin passes to make sure the colour was solid).
  2. Highlight with Yriel Yellow (again in thin coats, so a transition could be created from the Averland basecoat, make sure to leave some of the original colour showing at the edges).
  3. Highlight with a 50:50 mix of Yriel yellow and Flash Gitz yellow. (This should mainly be done along the centres of the panels, to get the final ‘pop’, you definitely aren’t covering the entire; plate in this!)

Then, break out the paintbrushes

  1. Recessed wash of Casandora Yellow (only paint this into the crevices on the model, not all over. Make sure to wash all the bolts!)
  2. Edge highlight of 50:50 Flash Gitz and Vallejo Model Colour Ivory (trace over all the edges with this)
  3. Final extreme edge highlight of pure VMC Ivory. (focus this on the points, raised edges and intersections, to add some depth to your edge highlights)

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Orc skin:

I wanted a ‘realistic’ skin tone for my orcs to contrast with the loud, bright yellow of their armour plates. Unfortunately, this meant I had to come up with my own recipe…

  1. Basecoat with Vallejo Model Colour US Dark green
  2. Layer with Vallejo Model Colour Russian uniform WW2
  3. Pick out details with a layer of Citadel Stracken Green (this should be a finer layer than the previous one with Russian uniform, trying to create a highlight)
  4. Extreme highlight with Citadel Ogryn camo (this is very bright, so use sparingly!)
  5. Wash with Citadel Athonian Camoshade (to mute down the colours and blend everything together)

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Black Orc skin:

I didn’t do these guys at the same time as all the other Orcs as I wanted them to have different skin tones. The Black Orcs were a darker shade:

  1. Basecoated with Citadel Foundation Orkhide Shade.
  2. Layered with Citadel Foundation Knarloc Green, thinned to a glaze (the thinning is very important here, as the foundation paints are very heavily pigmented, and you want to maintain the dark colour of the Orkhide Shade).
  3. Extreme highlight of Citadel Elysian Green.
  4. Finally wash of Citadel Athonian Camoshade to mute it down and blend the colours together.

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Goblin skin:

I wanted the Goblins to have a lighter shade of skin, so after some experimentation, came up with this:

  1. Basecoat with a 50:50 mix of Citadel Foundation Gretchin Green and Vallejo Game Colour Heavy Khaki.
  2. Wash with Citadel Athonian Camoshade.
  3. Layer with the mix from step one, leaving Camoshade in the recesses.
  4. Extreme highlights with Citadel Ogryn Camo. (again, use sparingly!)

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Basing:

  1. Basing was done with Agrellan EARTH (not Badlands, which I mistakenly bought two pots of… great paint, but not the one I wanted)
  2. Washed with Agrax Earthshade (well, Devlan Mud, because I’m old fashioned)
  3. Once that had dried, I took an ice lolly stick (popsicle, if you’re joining us from the US) and cut a section away, so it was thinner and could be worked into smaller nooks and crannies on the models. I then took this new tool I had created, and thickly slathered on Vallejo Model Colour white straight from the bottle, and used this to ‘stamp’ lines onto the agrellan earth texture. Don’t thin your paint here, you want that thick, chalky look that you can only get straight from the pot!

This gives a straight white line, but is suitably blotchy and poor coverage to be like the lines painted on turf (such as on a poorly kept school football field, or one with an orc groundskeeper. Which, if you went to my school, may be one and the same).

  1. After that it was just a simple case of gluing on some tufts of mordheim turf, and it was done. I’m really pleased with how this turned out, it’s exactly the look I wanted!

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