Lately, I'm becoming obsessed with skin tones. The last post on the colour of bones is but a declination of such obsession.
Having come in the possession of a couple of unboxed miniatures of Orcs through a private sale, I decided to experiment on them. For years I've wondered about the skin tone of Orcs, which is one of the Great Questions of Fantasy. There will be a post on this, one day, but not today.
So: Mithril Orcs. An archer and a swordsman (swordsorc?). Nice figures. Although they are originally from different ranges, I decide to go for the same colour, and here's my personal recipe.
- Coat grey (Tamiya in my case)
- Basepaint in Steel Legion Drab (Citadel)
- Heavy wash with Agrax Earthshade (Citadel)
- Layer once more with Steel Legion Drab
- Highlight with the same colour mixed with a small quantity of Leather Brown (Vallejo Game Color) or XV-88 (Citadel)
The result was good. I'm not 100% happy with it, but overall not at all unhappy.
Here are the details on each miniature:
M308, Hithaeglir Goblin, The Misty Mountains range
This was part of a set of two Orcs from 1993, the last code of the Misty Mountains range (M301-308). This specific set included two Orcs armed with swords and shields: the one I bought was missing the shield. Unfortunately I did not check pictures of the original miniature before assembling it: this was supposed to draw his scimitar from the back. The pose I gave him is , in my opinion, more appealing, but it leaves an empty space on the back, where the scimitar ought to be.
All in all, the sculpt is good and dynamic, and it makes a very good game piece.
M381, Morgul Orcs Archer, Rangers of Ithilien range
The Rangers of Ithilien (1996) is by far one of my favourite ranges, and this Orc is indeed a great figure. The plasticity of movement seems to recall the paintings of Frazetta: the tension of the arms, the curved back, the crouched position seem to suggest this Orc was laying in ambush and he just sprang up to shoot at enemies, who appropriately stand below the Orc's position. In other words, this is a sculpt that tells a story, and that's quite an achievement.