Calling Blood Axe Tech Support

The first Oddboy to join my Warhammer 40k Rogue trader style Blood Axe warband is a Mek with accompanying Gretchin attendant. I’ve had this Mekboy figure for a long time, and previously included him as part of a modern style Burna Boyz unit, which was never completed. Now that he has set up shop for himself, I completed his paint job and gave him a little helper too.

Space Ork with flamethrower and welding mask accompanied by Gretchin with large spanner

The Mekboy is cranking up his latest creation

I think these guys make a great duo, and I am planning to have more Gretchin attendants throughout the tribe. The backdrop for the photos is a 4Ground adobe building, which is a great fit for the Ork architecture we used to see in 90s White Dwarfs and Codex books.

Front view of Space Ork with cracked welding mask holding flamer nozzle

Health & Safety first

Diminutive green goblinoid creature holding a large rusty spanner

Proudly carrying the tool of the trade

Back view of Space Ork displaying a backplate with crossed golden spanners and Gretchin from the roof of an adobe building

His backplate links the Mekboy to the Warboss’ household

Gretchin Boarding Party

I’ve reached my target of 20 Gretchin for an old school Space Ork force. These can well be used as part of a clan list or as Gretchin Bandits. Since I also recently bought Rogue Stars, I could pick a pirate gang from them.

Group of twenty goblinoids with primitive firearms

Gretchin swarming through a derelict space craft

The final additions are one proper old lead figure and one 2nd edition plastic Gretchin. I had the box set and used these guys regularly since I didn’t own any metal sculpts in the day, but this is probably the first one I actually completely painted.

Two space goblins with guns

Flamboyant freebooters

Eye level view of a group of Gretchin

These diminutive pirates are the curse of merchant shipping across the sector

Next I’ll be painting a squad of da boyz and a retinue for the Warboss.

Troops of Tomorrow

I’ve been expanding the Gretchin mob for my Blood Axes with two ‘proper’ Rogue Trader miniatures and one 2nd edition sculpt. That brings me up to 18, looking to pick up two more for an even 100 points under the ‘Ere We Go army list. Not that it matters gaming wise, I am using army lists more as collecting/painting goals these days.

The two older figures are amongst my favourites so far. They are perfect as freebooterz, so I’ll always have the option of fielding the mob in different contexts.

Goblin with sword, shotgun and pink mohawk haircut

His playlist exclusively consists of Disorder by The Exploited

Goblin with sword, shotgun and steel helmet

Geared up for a fight

Goblin with automatic rifle and spiked helmet

New kid with fancy shooter

From the back the differences in sculpting are most noticeable. To fit in with the plastic mono-pause Gretchin from the 2nd edition box set, the design of the whole range was streamlined and simplified. Only with the arrival of Gorkamorka Gretchin design experienced a bit of a renaissance and some individual character was reintroduced.

Back view of three Gretchin behind a crumbled wall

Lurking to take pot shots at the enemy

Every Warboss Starts Out Small

The Orcs were a major force in Warhammer 40k when I started out, with several large volumes of background and army lists complementing the Rogue Trader rule set. I had a force consisting of Goffs, Bad Moons and Freebooterz cobbled together, which got lost on one too many warp jumps.

For the last couple of years I gradually built up a new collection mostly through impulse buys, and after having re-read ‘Ere We Go, Waaargh the Orks and Freebooterz, I recently decided on raising a small force of Blood Axes.

Space Ork with heavy grey coat and power axe, flanked by two Gretchin with shotguns

The Warboss and his entourage, poised for greater things

I’ll loosely base the force on the army list in ‘Ere We Go, with some licence regarding weapon choices and unit sizes. To start me off, I painted the Blood Axes Warboss, and finished some more Gretchin which had languished in painting limbo for over a decade. There are a few more of them to come, and I might form them up into a mob of Gretchin Bandits together with a unit of 13 I already have.

Back view of Ork with crossed golden axes on white backplate

The Warboss stems from the Golden Axe household

Back view of two Gretchin

The Gretchin have equipped themselves with looted armour

Bringing Up the Artillery

The horde of Orcs & Goblins I am gathering for Warhammer 3rd Edition has got paint on in its entirety (I’m aiming for a modest 1,500 points under the Warhammer Armies list), but about half still needs to be shaded, highlighted and detailed. Buoyed by the thrill of finally seeing the boar riders finished, I took aim at my second artillery piece.

Wooden frame bolt thrower with three Orc crewmen

Orc Spear Chukka

The Orc Spear Chukka had been in painting limbo the longest by far. The bolt thrower itself has been in my possession for decades and it has seen service with a variety of armies. Eventually I acquired some of the Orc crew to go with it, so it is now a fixed part of their artillery. The commander originally belongs to the Rock Chukka of the same series.

Orc holding a spear projectile

Loader

Orc with red top knot holding a whip

Commander

Grumpy looking Orc with spiked helmet

Operator

Rear view of bolt thrower and crew

Sighting the enemy

The Long Riders

It’s been three years since I converted and painted the first Orcs Snorta for my Oldhammer Orcs & Goblins. Now that Orctober has come around once again, it was high time to turn this lone rider into a unit.

Five orcs in red scale armour riding on wild boars

The steppe trembles under the hooves of the war boars

The war boars are all Citadel and designed by Goblinmaster Kev Adams. As the hero of the mob I chose a rider by Kev with a suitably impressive helmet.

An orc with a warhammer sitting astride a boar with a skull mask

The leader’s snarl rivals that of his beast

The champion and troopers are from th MB2 Marauder range on Citadel boars. It was an easy conversion job, snipping off the legs under the scale mail and reattaching them against the flanks of the mounts.

An orc wielding two axes riding a war boar

Swinging two axes, the champion urges his mount forward

Two orcs riding boars with axes and shields

The Snortas are the elite warriors of the clan

I have five more riders sitting ready for painting as a second rank to complete the elite contingent of the army. After that, more of the boyz and scores of gobbos!

Five or boar riders and a regiment of orcs on foot in the background

First into the fight