Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Old stuff Wednesday – October – The Chaos of Converting Gors

I’ve always had this fascination with orcs and beastmen for some reason since I was a kid. I don’t know if it was due to the influences of Greek Mythology and CS Lewis and Tolkien and RE Howard and Frank Frazetta’s imagery and Ray Harryhausen’s visions, but that stuff has always held my imagination. Way back in 2003 I became a convert to Warhammer’s Chaos realm, led astray by Mike “King of all things Nurgle” Butcher in to the Fantasy game from 40k and away from loyalist Space Marines. It was easy for me to latch onto the beastmen. Not only that, back then the book, Hordes of Chaos, allowed the mixing of beastmen with the barbaric looking warriors of chaos, and I’m an even bigger fan of barbarian types whether it be Conan or Death Dealer or Kull or Viking. So the goal back then was always to start with the beastmen and eventually end up with an entire army of Khorne across the board. Khorne was also easy as I hate magic and wizards. So, as promised from last month’s old stuff posting, I have returned to the gors:
Ole three Horn:
Love the dead rabbit.

I started modeling the army with plastic beastmen, a kit I absolutely loved back then. The Gors would form the masses of the army. My vision of them would be that they would wear scraps of armor plate and chainmail and not all be completely naked. 

Drummer using marauder arms (this was the very last model that I had made for the army) 
Got to have extra weapons.
My other goal (and still a goal of mine today when building non-regimental type armies) was to not have a single model in the army look alike, not a very easy task to accomplish. So I went about converting things. Also back then at this time my skills with green stuff were very basic, I was still learning a ton of different techniques and struggling with all of them. The overlapping plates, I literally did them as overlapping plates. I did go crazy with scraps of armor plating. I put them on thighs, shoulders, arms, chests, hooves, muzzles, you name it.

The leather strap is holding down some chainmail

I wish that I would have put more mail under the plate armor.
The chainmail, I had no idea how to do, so I did a bunch of poking with various tools back then. It turned okay, but is nowhere near as good as what I can do nowadays. So everything took so much time and effort.

That red lettering actually says something in the dark tongue, something that is probably profane.

One thing that people are often critical of is the converting of the arms. I have a lot of poses with the arms holding the weapons overhead. Now yes I know the shoulder joins in reality do not look like this, that there should be some sort of armpit showing up, but some sacrifices need to be made when you are converting 30 of these models, I did want to get them done sometime this decade.

This is good example of what I was saying.

The meat hooks from the Kroot, something I used on the minotaurs also.  The red hood is all GS, not my best work.

The other thing very cool about the gor arms is that you can rotate the forearms and hands easily about the bracers that they have.

Also added a strap holding a shield.
I ran out of hands at one point, so just slap on a weapon.
The painting has always led to some criticism. I chose to go down the path of the miniature painter’s so-called non-metallic metals or so-called NMM style of painting using yellows and grays for the metals.

Some people like it, some dislike it with a passion. I did this in a very stylistic way, similar to how I draw metal in pen and ink, sort of an imitation of one of my favorite comicbook artists’ styles, Bart Sears.

The best thing that came out of painting in this style is that I began to understand how to blend colors both in the palette and on the model, and also began to gain more control with the brush.

I also began to understand how to highlight in a less stark manner as compared to my previous army that was all starkly highlighted.
For the fur and skin, I went with a very non-uniform look. This was also where I began to develop my assembly line approach to painting, 10-15 models with 3-4 colors in a certain color range. When I did this I realized that there was speed in a such a methodical approach that looked good, much, much different than painting an individual display type model.
I also added even more hair to many of the models, since they already a good base of hair I wanted more.  And some pouches, trophies, food, meat, etc. 

Along with just a insane variety of poses and conversions. The one on the right has a horn strapped to his back, my musicians hack first.
The howler on the left, the one with the severed hand, the one on the far right is one of my favorites.

So there you have it, my old gors. I still have all of them from this army. I’m very fond of them in many ways, they bring back good memories, and show one of my many steps of evolution in the hobby. Yes, there are ungors in the army and I still have them also, but they just are not as good, and I did not spend anywhere near the time on them as I did the gors.

And this is probably a good segue as I prepare for the blog crossover with James Craig’s Lost In the Warp blog and Mike Butcher’s Butcher’s Bill blog as beastmen and chaos are the theme of the upcoming crossover, so keep an eye out for what is in store.


  1. Great looking beastmen with nice conversions- one of the most characterful lines GW has

  2. Always liked your old school highly converted beastmen army. Great to see more shots of them, and a bit of the history behind them as well!

  3. Beautiful Beastmen. The metallics are rusty and used. Fits perfectly.

  4. Impressive and inspiring work, as always. Best, Dean

  5. Thanks for the compliments guys. Much appreciated.

  6. Those look great! Small conversions like extra armour can really makes Gors look awesome.

  7. Great stuff and truly inspirational!