This pair was (as so often happens) part-painted for a good decade or more before I finally forced myself to complete them earlier this year. Originally these were Marauder Miniatures’ Empire Flagellant figures, and I might potentially use them as such one day, but due to their robed, completely mental nature, I co-opted them years ago to be Preachers alongside my Imperial Guard squads, in a previous edition of Warhammer 40k. I didn’t feel a pressing need to convert them or glue laspistols to their hips, as I felt they passed muster for the Ecclesiarchy simply by looking batshit insane.
They’re far from the first of my models to feature these flame patterns on their clothing. It originated with my Legion of the Damned models, worked its way to my Necromunda Cawdor and Redemptionists (which I’ll also get around to showing sometime) and then to my official Imperial Preacher models, finally jumping over to these guys. They look demented enough that I’d also consider them part of my not-properly-participating contribution to Heresy of Us’ The Chapel project.
Today’s figure is another that was finished back in 2016, that I’m only just getting around to sharing. Like it says in the title of the post, this guy is one of Marauder Miniatures’ MM27 line of Giant Black Orcs.
One of the many ranges released by Trish* and Aly Morrison’s Citadel offshoot Marauder Miniatures were Orcs and Goblins. The Orcs, with their scale mail and Mongol-style helmets were a real highlight of all of their ranges, with a style that remains distinctive even today. Subedai has recently showcased some fantastic looking converted boar boys using these same models.
Part of the Orc range that was a little more limited were the Giant Black Orcs, released around about White Dwarf 128 (August 1990). There were apparently only four sculpts, and so they seem to be designed more as an appendix or supplement to Citadel’s existing line – though back then Black Orcs were an ill-defined thing as far as actual models go. Just pick out your bigger orc models and divide them between “Big’Uns” and “Black Orcs”. I’ve got to say that these Black Orcs were not Marauder’s finest work by a long shot.
Black Orcs of course derive from Tolkien’s Uruk Hai, which GW had a range of, though those seemed a bit “normal sized” even back then. The only distinct Black Orcs to that point were Nick Lund’s Giant Black Orcs from 1985 – also a pretty indistinct set, and Lund’s Regiment of Renown: RR18 – Eeza Ugezod’s Mother Crushers. Citadel’s Black Orcs wouldn’t get their own distinct style again until the mid-1990’s, when they launched that terrible range with the huge horns and ridiculous looking axes. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s when the current, heavily armoured design debuted with the metal range, to be updated a few years later with the current range of plastics – now called “Ironjawz ‘Ardboyz”. The current/2004ish design is easily the best iteration of Warhammer Black Orcs in my opinion, being both distinctive and badass looking.
Games Workshop Black Orcs. Now known as Orruk Ironjaw ‘Arboyz. Because of course they are.
What does this mean for the Marauder model above? Well, he’ll eventually be rolled into whatever Mantic call Big’Uns in Kings of War (hm… Ax, Greatax, Morax… nothing there that really works for Big’Uns or Black Orcs… I might have to fudge something for our friendly games.) He may occasionally be used in RPGs, skirmish gaming or maybe even Silver Tower. Do they have an Orc character for that yet? I’ll figure it out later…
*Now Trish Carden