Another pair of Brian Nelson classics here today. These figures are relevant to me for quite a few reasons. More relevant in fact than anything I’ve painted since the initial pair of Celestial Lions last December – and with a personal backstory that goes way beyond then. Firstly, and probably least importantly, they’re another pair of Neglected Models – though I have to credit that particular challenge with being a strong motivation that drove me to get over my mental block on the Warboss and complete him – the very same can be said for the snotlings I completed very recently.
As I mentioned in the Lions post linked above, I’ve only gotten back to painting the Orks last year, as a tribute to my brother who was the biggest single influence on my life and who is responsible for all of these geek interests. This pair of models mark the final models that were part of that original Ork warband that I was painting when he passed away over 10 years ago that I was only able to start again in on last year. There’s still more to come for the Ork army over time, but that entire first small force is now complete.
My brother had three pseudonyms that he used over his life. Keelhaul was one that surfaced during his time playing PBM (play-by-mail) games, which were very much a thing before the internets arrived. He kept that one up in various games up until the end, and it fits in well enough with Orks, so this big bad bastard is now Keelhaul. Sure, he doesn’t look like a freebooter, nor does he have a pirate’s tricorne hat, but he’ll still happily keelhaul you using whatever is to hand. With or without water. Squggoth, Wartrukk, Battlewagon, Megatank, Kill-bursta. Moving or not. Doesn’t matter to him. A second dates back to his biker days, and fits perfectly with the Squighound – Muttley. I don’t think I need to say more on that one’s appropriateness.
In terms of the modelling, I believe I swapped the head out from the original from another Warboss kit. I can’t remember if the cables from his head onto the torso were part of the torso (ie, a head AND torso swap) or if I sculpted them there. They look a bit rough when you get close, so it may well be the latter. I did have a metal “iron gob” from another kit carved and ready to glue in, but I couldn’t find it originally, and now don’t feel like I really need to add it, even if I did find it.
As far as painting goes, we’ve got the usual camoflague patterns on his clothing, along with the usual dark metal. I decided to “skin” some of the parts that I’ve left as plain metal on the other Orks – speficially his shoulder pads and weapons. I went with the heavily weathered bone colour, since it worked so well with the Nob I painted a little while ago and also fit in well with the whole “desert camo” look of the force. The red lines are something I added to add some structure of sorts to his gear, kinda reflective of the stripes I often give to the weapons on Imperial and Iron Warriors models. Marouda said that it reminded her of a set of skins from a videogame, so there might well be a subconscious influence there as well.
I actually had the Warboss finished when I suddenly remembered that I originally had this specific Squig as his pet. This led to spending literally half of the day last Sunday looking for it and delayed this post by several days. Once again, Marouda came to the rescue when she got home and she found it in a tub that I’d only looked through about three times already, not seeing it repeatedly. With that, I was able to rebase and then paint Muttley over a couple of days, drawn out further by the cold weather making the spray varnish take forever to dry. I added some blood effects to his maw because he should be a slightly terrifying looking guard “dog” for his master, after all.
I’ll get photos of the whole force up sometime soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to take some photos this weekend.