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Gorilla’s Orcs – a PLOG (15 posts)

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  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 10 months, 1 week ago:

    Hello! I’m back with a new project log. I am currently working on two projects – one is some orcs (and maybe a goblin) from Atlantis Miniatures, my current favorite miniatures company (they also make the Cave Troll that was featured in my previous plog). The second is a super-secret project that I won’t be sharing any pictures of until it’s done. I’m participating in a miniature exchange with another painter, and we aren’t posting any pictures of the models until they are delivered.

    So without further delay, let’s see some orcs (a chief and a standard bearer)! These guys just have so much character – I’m loving working on them. The chief looks truly tough and confident, while the standard bearer is really unique – it’s such an ingenious take on an orc standard and very different than the typical GW design we are so familiar with.

    I started off with a dark brown-green basecoat and began highlighting it up by adding more green, then some khaki and ochre, and then finally some light ochre and white.

    It’s worth stopping here for a moment to make an observation. I had spent a few hours on these models by this time I will admit that I was not happy with how they looked. This usually happens, more or less, once or twice in the course of painting a model for me, and when it does I usually just walk away and take a break. In the back of my mind I know that they will turn out good, that I just have to trust the process, but it can be pretty disheartening when you hate what you’ve painted. I find a beer and a dip in the pool usually helps clear my head. So after a short break I went back to work.

    Using a dark green/blue with a touch of black, I started working on the tribal tattoo sleeves for the orc chieftain.

    Next up I needed to fix the skin. This is a two-step process. First, I glazed over the entire skin with a dark camo green color to restore some saturation in 2-4 very thin coats. This also helps even out the tone, mute some of the rough patches, and tie together the shadows and highlights. The second step is to glaze a dark purple into the shadows, again in 2-4 coats depending on how it looks. This glazing is very subtle but adds a lot of depth to the model and helps define the green.

    At this point I shifted to just working on the standard bearer. He has a smaller number of details and I wanted to play around with my leather colors and define the “look” for these two before I went all in on both models. Unfortunately, at this point I also got into one of my meditative zones that sometimes happens, where I am so focused on the project and the music I have on in my headphones that I get lost in the project. It’s a good place to be mentally, but it usually means I forget to take pictures along the way.

    So here we have the results of working up several textured layers on the two leather colors (his armor and his loincloth), glazing over them in darker browns, adding some scratches and details, and hitting the areas with some very bright highlights (and then doing a final glaze over the white spots to tame them just a smidge). I also glazed the same dark purple I used on the flesh shadows into the shadows of the leather. Again, it’s very subtle, but it helps tie the two areas together and gives color cohesion even if it triggers mostly on the subconscious level.

    I’m still working out exactly how the leather on his back will look (the standard). I’m planning to try layering it up to a muddy gray (the idea being that it’s elephant hide). However, we’ll see how that goes. I’ll show you the progress in future posts, even if I then have to start over because it looks terrible. :)

    Thanks for joining me on another painting journey!

    Interested in following my painting progress? I post WIP pictures after each painting session and am happy to chat about the hobby any time. Facebook: @GorillaPainter; Twitter: @GorillaBrush; Website:; Twitch Streaming:
  • Avatar Image seldon91932p said 10 months, 1 week ago:

    Great progress, I love the tats :)

  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 10 months, 1 week ago:

    In my most recent session I focused more on the standard bearer. Again, my goal was to give the feel that the giant leather banner was made from elephant hide.

    I started off my adding gray and light blue to the base color to start shifting the color towards a cooler gray. I repeated this several times, adding white in the last step or two as well.

    At this stage I had all of the texture I wanted painted on to the miniature, so it was time to tint the color back a bit more gray and to use glazes to help blend together the layers. I used a dark mostly neutral gray (if anything shifted slightly to the cool spectrum). I then glazed some dark purple into the shadows (the same purple I used on the skin and leather on the orc).

    In my next session I go into the deepest shadows and glaze in some flat black. I might also add some scratches and extreme highlight bits here and there like I did on the orc armor. But I want to be a bit more careful here and not make it look like boiled leather that’s been beaten up but rather like really thick animal hide.

  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 10 months, 1 week ago:

    I started off my latest session painting the ropes, the black iron spikes on his shoulders, and the wooden poles.

    Next I started working on the ram skull. It was a bit tough because the human eye is naturally drawn to the lightest parts of a model, especially when much of the rest of the model is pretty dark. I had carefully focused my highlighting and shading to draw attention to the center mass of the orc, but if I made the skull really light it would potentially draw the eye upward.

    The final stages were to create a glaze to mute the bone color so that it doesn’t draw too much attention while still clearly being bone.

    I finished the orc standard bearer by giving him some eyebrows. I wouldn’t necessarily do this with traditional (GW) orcs, but these guys actually have hair and large brow ridges, so it seemed right to give him some bushy eyebrows.

    I then basecoated the non-flesh areas on the chief model.

  • Avatar Image happyhowler1509p said 10 months, 1 week ago:

    Awesome work! The skin tones are really great!

  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 10 months ago:

    Here was my progress last week (I didn’t have a ton of painting time for a variety of reasons). I started off by doing the lighter leather color on the orc chief. Just like with the standard bearer, I built up some layers and texture and then glazes the entire thing with a darker orange/brown leather color in several thin coats. I finished by adding some of the scratches and highlights and shading with black.

    I then painted the darker leather color using a similar process. The main difference is that I didn’t add any orange into this leather color and used a darker glaze.

    I also have a small goblin made by the same company (Atlantis Miniatures) that I wanted to paint to go with the orcs. I painted his flesh in the same way as the orcs, although I mixed up a much lighter and more saturated green to differentiate him.

    I finished by painting the leather on the goblin. This caught him up to the chief in terms of what is left to paint so I can work on both of them together moving forward.

    When I sit down next to paint I will glaze purple into the shadows of the leather on these two models and then work on their hair, the rope, and bones on both models together.

  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    I managed to finish up both the Orc Chief and the Goblin, although I still need to finish the bases for all three models.

    I started off painting the ropes and the bone areas. Similarly to the other orc, I built up the initial layers for the bone color and then glazed the areas to knock down the brightness so that it doesn’t dominate the look.

    I then worked on the stone/old, beaten metal colors for the mallet head and the sword as well as the wood for the club. I also painted the fur on the orc’s boots.

    The last detail to complete was the thin leather ties near the waist areas and shoulders.

  • Avatar Image warzan10397p said 9 months, 3 weeks ago:

    These are so beautiful! :)

    Lovely work will be watching with interest (and of course envy lol)

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  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Thanks @warzan!

    Here are the finished models including their bases.

  • Avatar Image fishman1506p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Lovely. Love the skin tone and the subtle tattoos on the Boss.

  • Avatar Image happyhowler1509p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Fantastic work!

  • Avatar Image angelicdespot1063p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    They are stunning! What scale are they, out of interest?

  • Avatar Image gorillawithabrush978p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    @fishman and @happyhowler – Thanks! :)

    @angelicdespot – They are 32 mm scale. The orc chief, from bottom of his base to the top of his head, is 2 inches.

  • Avatar Image seldon91932p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Really nice finish!

  • Avatar Image janus1004806p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    @gorillawithabrush – Extraordinary work again, really pro quality.