Monday, 5 March 2018

2018 - Year of the Goblin

Way back when this blog was born in 2011, I decided that I was going to focus my painting efforts on a particular army. I proclaimed 2011 would be my Year of the Empire, and set about making as much painting progress on my Empire army as I could. In total I painted something like 5000 points over the course of that year, and it formed the foundation of the army which would continue to grow in the years that followed. 

There is no doubt that over the last several years, my Empire have received an inordinate amount of attention compared to my other armies. There have been brief bursts of focus on things like my Dwarfs and Ogres, however I have never focused on another army pretty much exclusively for any real amount of time. I think it might be time to address that.

I have spoken previously of my intention to try to recreate the Battle at the East Gate of Karak Eight Peaks. This is still on the cards, however it is really still in the early planning stage. One of the things that is holding back progress is the state of my Orc and Goblin army. I do have a painted army of greenskins; I think it totals something like 8000 points. However, a lot of it was painted in a hurry for tournaments around 15 years ago, and is really pretty rough. I have gone back and revitalised a couple of elements, and some of the larger models like Wyverns and Arachnaroks were added more recently and therefore hold up better. But the army lacks a lot of stuff, in particular Goblins. Sure, there are Goblins there, but not in the sort of numbers that would be required for a game like Karak Eight Peaks.

I've been trying to make myself knuckle down and focus on the problem for a few months now, however I have barely made any progress. I have not yet built up any momentum, which is key for larger hobby projects like this. In an effort to address this, I have decided to proclaim 2018 the Year of the Goblin.
OK, so technically Skarsnik got painted last year. But he's just ahead of the curve. Leading from the front!
This is all well and good, of course. But what will it actually mean? It's really just a statement of intent. I will not focus my efforts exclusively on Goblins, but I will make a concerted effort to improve my greenskin army, both in terms of size and appearance. So painting unpainted stuff, but also addressing the state of some of my older stuff that I would be ashamed to see in a photo.
There is a shelf of shame in my cupboard, populated almost entirely by unpainted goblins. They're about 15 ranks deep...
It's possible I should be laying out some firm goals, but to begin with I think I'll just see if I can work on building some of that momentum I was talking about. 

One thing I want to focus on during this revitalisation of my greenskins is making my units look less regimented and more like a rabble. I've never really pictured Orcs and Goblins lining up in neat ranks and files. There's not much you can do about this when each model is on its own 20mm or 25mm base, but basing things in larger groups offers more possibilities. I will essentially be doing the whole "multi-basing" thing that is all the rage in Kings of War, but I won't be doing it with the intention of using a single base of models to represent a whole regiment. Rather these will be unit fillers with the models in irregular positions to try to break up the uniformity of the individually based models around them.
Minimum model count, man! OK, so this is very much a work in progress, both in terms of models and painting. But it's the shape of things to come.
One of the challenges with using these fillers will be ensuring they're irregular enough to change the feel of the units, but well enough arranged and densely populated enough to make them fit in with the individual models that will be next to them.

I also need to work out whether I can mix 7th and 5th ed plastic Goblins in units, or if they will be too different in terms of style and scale. That will take some experimentation.

Anyway, I reckon this prototype will be done by the end of the week. Then I can step back and assess how well the plan is going to work.


  1. Replies
    1. Cheers! Time will tell how optimistic this declaration is...

  2. Replies
    1. If Gork is with us, who can be against us (except possibly Mork)?

  3. Welcome back to the glorious greenskin fold! I myself seem to have been experiencing the Year of the Ork since last July or so, which clearly indicates Orky new year is on July 1st, meaning Skarsnik counts.