Friday, 22 August 2014

The Gouged Eye

As something of a test for painting the Marauder Orc army that is currently sitting in an old margarine tub, my Oldhammer Odyssey began with me painting up a second edition Orc Blood Bowl team in an attempt to recapture the style of the original (Old-bowl?) style of bright colours that typified the game in the late 80s and which is a world apart from the grimy style I've tended to favour over the past 10 years of so (who knew I had a style!).

With the job of picking up a team of Kev Adam's wonderful Orcs quickly despatched thanks to a combination of friends on TalkFantasyFootball and Tritex Games, the next job was getting them painted up. Here's how they turned out:

Before I started I set myself a few 'rules' as to what might constitute Oldhammer painting. I came up with the following guidelines:
  1. A white undercoat (a most terrifying prospect)
  2. Bright clean colours
  3. Black lining
  4. Black base edges (I considered Goblin Green but that didn't work for me)
  5. (perhaps most important) Paint fast. As a 16-year old I'd finish whatever figures I bought on the same day as I got them home. For this project I allowed myself five days.
  6. Old paint. Not essential to my mind (I'm not a archeo-painter by any means) but as an Oldhammer bonus I did find a pot of Sunburst Yellow with which to dot their eyes. 
The paint scheme was very simple indeed (I replicate it here just in case it's helpful to someone, not because it's anything special or surprising):

Red: GW Khorne Red, GW Mephiston Red, GW Mephiston + GW Wild Rider (a red mix from the Tale of Painters guide to painting Dark Angels)
White: GW Space Wolves Grey, White
Flesh: GW Warboss Green, GW Thraka Green Wash, GW Warboss, GW Skarsnik, GW Skarsnik + Screaming Skull
Metals: VMC Oily Steel, GW Badab Black Wash, VMC Oily Steel, GW Mithril Silver
Browns: GW Scorched Brown, VMC Saddle Brown
Black Lining: VGC Black Ink
Bases: here I used a slightly dumbed-down version of BlueinVT's basing method - VMC Khaki, AP Strong Tone, VMC Khaki, VMC Buff. The grasses are GF9 Parched Straw and Spring Undergrowth. There's a really excellent description of basing on Blue's blog here:

Finally, a partial gift from one of my earliest BB opponents, I got hold of a second edition pitch and painted it up in the same colours as the bases:

I'm still wondering if I should paint up the skull in the centre. Or maybe just the letters. Feedback so far seems to say... maybe! Having played on the pitch a couple of times I do know that the squares on the skull need to be more defined so that's now on the to-do list. The only irritation with this pitch (beyond the fact that there isn't quite enough room to lie stunned figures down) is that the throwing template is slightly out of scale with the current rules. There are lots of work-arounds for this but I still want to make a template that scales to this pitch perfectly. One for the 'to do' list...

So, is this Oldhammer enough? The miniatures are the right vintage, their sculptor is a recognised master. But what about the painting? I'm wondering what exactly Oldhammer painting might mean, I'll be giving the issue some thought over the coming days and I'd welcome any suggestions as to what it means to you.

For once I'm sticking to my plan to complete one project before beginning another so my next couple of painting sessions will see me throw some paint onto a few more Orcs, Goblins and a Troll before I start the Marauder Orc army I showed off in my last post.


  1. I think it fits the oldhammer mould nicely - well done. Personally I would paint the skull but as you noted that really is a personal preference. I must admit that whilst I much prefer 2nd edition BB minis the 3rd edition of the game (and it's derivatives) is much better. 2nd edition really was a drawn out slug fest.

  2. Great work, looks very, very nice. AS far as Oldhammer-ish painting styles, I think the older style of painting used very light highlights, blended in. On the green skins, you could add some yellow and white to your green, to bring out some features and lighten them up on nose and lips. At least that's what I'm going for with my minis - of course, these look better than anything in my collection!

    As far as the pitch goes, I LOVE the way the skull looks. If you do paint it, I'd hope you'd paint it subtly to blend in with the rest of the stones. The double-skull stands out all by itself and, IMHO, doesn't need a contrasting color scheme to "pop". Maybe add a touch of green around some edges to make it look mossy and old?

    Anyway, I love it, even if if you change nothing!

  3. Great the team, the paint job, and the pitch. I'll be tracking your progress.

  4. Thanks for the kind words, it's good to know that there's some love for BB out there, especially as I've got more coming. It'll certainly help get me painting.

    I'm a big fan of the current edition of BB and while I've recently got hold of all of the second ed books I don't expect I'll be playing the ruleset much (though I'm tempted purely for nostalgia's sake). The figures though are great - my aim is to paint one of race as one of the 'famous' teams. Most likely the next one will be the Gouged Eye's arch rivals, the Reikland Reivers (though to contradict myself here I'll be using the most recent models for them as that's what I have in the leadpile. That of course means painting yellow which unnerves me!

    Adding yellow to the Orc skin is a good call, thanks Tiny Basement. I remember when the Citadel Inks came out and glazing became the new thing. All my Orcs used to be finished with a thin yellow glaze, I wonder how that'd look...

  5. Really, it's "Oldhammer Enough" when looking at it hits you right in the nostalgia. The movement is not about creating gaming pieces of a particular time, its about calling back to the ethos. My Oldhammer will be different to your Oldhammer, and that is absolutely fine.

  6. That sounds right to me, I've not really spent much time figuring out what my Oldhammer is but no doubt it'll be different to everyone elses!

  7. Great job, really ace-looking team. Hope to see a lot more glorious Oldbowl of that quality.

    That said, the Morley blitzer is something of a sore thumb. One of the better Morley sculpts, ture but I don't think it fits in with the rest of the team.

    Still, they look way, way better than mine.

  8. Thanks Ti. I didn't know that was a Morley sculpt. I like him but I agree he's not quite a fit with the team. I did buy another blitzer because I thought I might want to use Varag as a star but haven't painted him up yet. I might just do that to get a full matching set, but leaving Varag as number one because if he did play I'm sure he'd insist...