By Mantic Games
Cast your mind into the distant past of a previous community update and you may remember we showcased the start of Billy ‘Capgun’ Smith’s black metal-inspired orc army for Kings of War.
There it is, just in case you need proof! Well, today we’ve got an exciting update from Billy himself about his progress. Oh, and if you’re wondering where the ‘Capgun’ comes from, Billy is in a punk band called Capgun. You can check them out here… probably not SFW, to be honest.
Ørcstein Aarseth hears a fel whisper on the winds. A chill runs up his crooked orc spine. As a Godspeaker, he had heard whispers like this before from Gaskan and other evil spirits, but this one was different…older. Much older. He has not heard such voices in many many years. His tribe has been wandering the northern wastes for decades without the guidance of any Wicked One.
“Korgaan…” Aarseth spoke aloud as he started as if from a trance. A freezing gale blows through the camp, catching the Godspeaker’s underlings unawares.
“Fetch the Krudger,” Aarseth demands, “We ride north…to war.”
The beginning of a new army project is always one of the most exciting times in a hobbyist’s life. There are paint schemes to figure out, new models to assemble and paint, basing materials to source, and of course, lists to write. There’s definitely a giddiness about the whole process that really gets me excited. This time, for me, that army is orcs.
I have always tried to play different types of armies when building new forces for Kings of War. Since a majority of my enjoyment of the hobby comes from painting and modeling, a lot of my inspiration comes from models and cool themes.
I started playing with my old dwarf army, but then quickly began picking up Mantic armies to try out some different playstyles. I have painted and played Abyssal Dwarfs, Goblins, Forces of Nature, and most recently, Dwarfs (again… yes I painted a second dwarf army). Each of these provided a different set of cool models to paint that were distinctly different and offered a great variance in playstyle. Goblins obviously let me set a bunch of giants and kooky war engines loose on my opponents. Nature allowed me to play a glass hammer type of list with unicorns. Who doesn’t love unicorns? Dwarfs, well, they’re dwarfs. They tend to not die.
For my next army, I really wanted to play something that was really aggressive and painted in a darker, more subdued scheme. If you’ve ever seen my Forces of Nature or my new Dwarf army, you’ll know that this is a departure from my usual style. This helped me narrow down my army choices to Ogres, Varangur, and Orcs.
From there, I began to think about what models I really liked and what I wanted the feel of the army to be. I decided I really wanted to have a dragon of some kind. I never end up playing armies with dragons in them, so that was a priority. I also wanted to play an army that I don’t see often. Unfortunately, Ogres and Varangur are a little more commonplace than Orcs, and I love the Mantic Orc models, so the choice seemed obvious: a big horde of green murder machines.
I usually spend way more time thinking about painting models that I’ll never actually get around to painting than I ever spend building lists. At any given time, I can probably rattle off a dozen or so cool army ideas that are eternally in the “I want to do this army next” category. Most of my armies come from a desire to paint a specific color or evoke a particular theme. My goblins, for example, are Christmas themed. I knew that my spears would be painted as candy canes, trolls would be wearing Santa hats, and my Goblin King on Chariot would be Santa Claus himself, his chariot pulled by red LED-nosed Mawbeasts.
In this case, I had been inspired by a particular type of music: Black Metal. Those of you familiar with this type of music know that there is a heavy dark fantasy aesthetic associated with it, usually revolving around the bitter, cold Scandanavian climate. I knew that this would tick a lot of boxes for me. It’s got muted, dark tones, it’s an evil army (which I haven’t played in a few years), plus it’s a way to make something really cool fit into the lore of Pannithor.
Ever since the original Uncharted Empires book came out at the beginning of the second edition of Kings of War, I have loved Korgaan and the Varangur’s backstory. An ancient, three-faced god who lives in the north and convinces vikings to destroy everything in his path? Sign me up! I decided that my orcs would follow Korgaan into the north, killing in his name, and forging their own destinies, rather than the one given to them by Garkan the Black. I imagine that they have been abandoned by the Wicked Ones after serving their purpose. Korgaan sees this destructive potential of a tribe of orcs hardened by the brutal northern climate and decades of conflict and reaches out.
Now once I had a concept chosen, an army picked out, and a great color scheme, I was ready to start building a list and painting! I usually don’t test an exact list before building; I tend to have a rough idea of units that I want to paint and that (hopefully) work well together. In this case, I’m generally working towards the following:
A big part of black metal’s aesthetic is “corpse paint,” a macabre style of makeup that is meant to evoke an evil and inhuman aura. I thought that on 28mm scale minis, giving each one face paint would get lost and make them look more like clowns than murder machines. I decided to paint the shields with a corpse paint design to sell the black metal theme.
I wanted the bases to reflect the frigid northern wastes that the followers of Korgaan live in, so I used a lot of my basic techniques that I use for most of my bases. I then added evergreen trees, clumps of frigid snow, and skulls. Lots of skulls.
Here’s a test model I did for some trolls. I added a few bits of skulls and bone to make him look a little different from his friends. Obviously, this is a temporary base and he’ll get his own horde base eventually.
This guy will be used as a Flagger or Krudger with Gakamak’s Bloody Banner. I decided to paint the Aegishjalmur or Helm of Awe on the banner to tie in to the Korgaan viking vibe. Mantic’s metal heroes are some great minis with lots of character and I really enjoyed painting this guy.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy my progress so far! Hopefully I’ll find some time between a new baby and a million other things to get some more units added to the army. I definitely want to finish the Ax horde and get started on my Gore Chariots. Really, I’ll just go where inspiration takes me with this army.
Thanks Billy for insight into the army! If you’d like to see your hobby project featured on the blog, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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