Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

I’d planned to take new, better group photos of the Iron Warriors for today’s post, but unfortunately I was feeling under the weather yesterday, and am still that way now – so it didn’t happen. With a solid week of work ahead of me, it’ll hopefully happen next weekend!

In the meantime, here’s a model where I already had the photographs ready. This guy is another of my renovated models. Having been painted back some number of years ago, the overall palette I’d used was more than a little too garish and had a few too many colours for my modern, more refined taste. The solution? Repaint parts of the model, tone some of it down, and give it a new base. Ergo! A new lease on life for this previously rather sad model.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

The slotta dates this model as sculpted back in 1995. It’s a hella-chunky model, and the huge shoulderpads really give him some heft. I think the rather plain helmet could have been a lot nicer, though. As with much of the old-school stuff in my collection, I purchased this model back in the 1990’s. Part of Kev Adams’ post-GW output, I find it odd that someone like RPE hasn’t re-released it alongside the other Heartbreaker stuff that they have.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Warlord (1995)

Originally I’d painted him as a Black Orc, which means I started him before the current line of plastics or their predecessors that share the current aesthetic in metal. I rebased him onto a 32mm base, which fits the figure much more betterer. I also lightened up his skin from the near-black that it was and repainted many of the “soft parts”, making his leather and cloth accessories much more appropriate. Purple pouch? Yellow wristbands? Ugh! Much nicer this way…

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar (RPE 2004)

The next Orc off the rank is this guy. A Kev Adams sculpt from shortly after he left GW, and originally from Heartbreaker in the 1990’s (when I purchased it), this figure is still available today from RPE/Ral Partha Europe as “2004 Orc w/scimitar” for a very reasonable 2 quid.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

I’ve painted him with quite dark skin, though he’s nowhere near the size of a Black Orc. It’s a fairly simple paint job that gives him a little bit of individuality compared to the Citadel models I’ve been painting lately while being similar enough for him to fit in wherever I need to drop him down.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc with Scimitar, RPE 2004

It’s a simple figure, all in all – but I think it’s a cracking sculpt that doesn’t need to reply on the character of old-school models, nostalgia or the act of painting it to endear it. Those things all add to this model, but I think it stands confidently on its own even without those additional elements.

Kev Adams’ Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

Here’s a model I apparently completed last year. I figured this out because I just found the photos dated 4th July, 2015 in my “Orcs” folder.

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

I purchased this model back in the 1990’s, left it to sit in a box for a decade or so, and then started it – only to leave it in that part-painted limbo for a few further years. Given that it was completed last year in May-June, it would have been one of the initial models that led me to my “finish things off” push of the second half of 2015. Back int he day it was a Heartbreaker model, from the people who brought you WarZone 1st and 2nd edition. These days the model is owned or licenced by Ral Partha Europe, who prefer to be called RPE since they now have little to nothing to do with the original Ral Partha. Thankfully, we can safely ignore the convoluted backstory and still simply and easily just buy the model if we’re interested, along with its brethren. And no, I’m not affiliated or reimbursed by RPE – or anyone else for that matter!

Kev Adams' Heartbreaker Orc Leader (RPE 2001)

The yellow and black dag pattern is something that dates the model as well. I probably wouldn’t do the same these days, I’d keep the copper/bronze scales, but the patterned trim would probably just be done in a quick and simple cadmium red-brown. Similarly, the skulls would probably be done in a metal – either copper or steel – rather than as carved bone. I’ve moved away from painting every skull or bone I see on armour as bone. Regardless, it’s a great armoured orc figure, and I feel that it still stands up well today. The default sculpt looks quite 2D, but simply bend-rotating the axe head forward helps that aspect out a lot.

I’ve been doing some rebasing of “leader”-type and larger figures onto 32mm bases of late. I’ll have to have a proper look and decide if this guy is an appropriate candidate…