In this article we look at different tricks and techniques we can use to convert and kitbash ork infantry in order to make them even more fun and interesting.
If you like to access information in the video format, I cover most of this material in the video below.
If you would like to see these tips put into action, then you can check out Prokekt Mork.
The following tips are in order of difficulty with the first tips being the easiest and latter ones for the more advanced. The first tip is..
Most of the Ork kits are designed to be interchangeable with each other. Eg. a head from the Loota kit will fit just as well on a torso from a Boyz kit. The simplest and easiest way to generate some extra variety, is just swap parts across kits.
Be aware though that orcs come in different sizes: boyz and nobz. Nobz have larger torsos, heads and arms than boyz.
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It so happens that Games Workshop’s Fantasy Orcs (called Orruks now for some reason) closely resemble the Orks of Warhammer 40k. Most parts from these kits can be easily be used interchangeably with Ork kits.
Parts from the fantasy kits are especially useful for creating boyz themed as being from the Snakebite Clan.
Such is the success of Games Workshop in selling model kits that many other smaller companies have popped up to cheekily sell closely compatible models and parts. For orks the notable companies are: Kromlech, Puppets of War, Max Mini and Spellcrow.
These parts enormously increase the variety and theming possibilities for ork conversions and kitbashes. However the parts made by these companies are usually made using resin rather than hard plastic. Consequently they are little less easy to work with than GW’s plastic. You will need to bond them with superglue rather than plastic cement. Be sure you are comfortable working with resin before purchase.
Also be aware that if you play at Games Workshop stores you may find the manager will disprove of your use of models from other companies and boost you out the door!
If there is one that orks like it is to fight and when they fight they get scarred up. One way to make your parts more individually variable is to cut your own scars on the using a scalpel or hobby knife. Just be careful to put some scars on yourself while you do it.
The standard ork kits have ball and socket joins at the waist and neck. This allows for a lot of scope for introducing variable poses. You can create leans and twists in the ork’s posture. This way you can avoid static lifeless poses and make a posture that is more life like.
Be careful not to over do it. Exaggerated leans and twists will look weird an unnatural. Subtle posing is more effective. Try to put the bits together coordinated in a way to sell a particular emotion or intention such as curiosity, defiance, rage, caution or confusion.
The arms from the kits fit to the bodies with a flat join. This reduces the scope with interesting posing without cutting, but we will get to that later.
The following video shows what thoughtful posing can do for you.
Most kits come with all sorts of little extra bits, pouches, spare clips of ammo etc. Have a think for how you can use these creatively to add extra interest.
It will mean more things to paint but it can do a lot for creating a unique look with a little creativity.
New bits can be made from old by cutting them up and recombining them. You can use this to change weapons from one arm to another and even create entirely new limbs, weapons or pieces of equipment.
I made a custom kombi-skorcha for this old Rogue Trader ork mek from half a dozen little bits cut from other bits.
To expand on what you can do in creating thoughtful poses (Tip 5) we can reshape joints so that they attach at different angles. This is especially useful for ork arms as otherwise they attach to the shoulder in a very limited way due to the flat join area.
We can change the angle by shaving away material at the join with a sharp knife.. We can also use modelling putty to fill in any gaps created.
The most advanced thing we can do is also the most time consuming. We can sculpt our own additions using modeling putty like green stuff or milliput.
Just because you are throwing down a horde of a hundred orks does not mean they all have to look alike. All these little tips can make for unique and interesting orky boyz.
You can see many of these tips put into practice in Projekt Mork, the mad quest to build a 12,000 point Ork army.
What is your favourite ork conversion?