Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Kaptin Gnarlock, Freeboota Warboss

Greetings vaqueros! Today we are travelling back in time to a period know as the early 90's.... wooOOOoooOOOooo time tunnel time tunnel woooo....

"Welcome to the 90's BIATCH! Now gimme yer gold, yer grog and yer limbs. Mostly limbs!"
As a young man growing up in the exciting period where Games Workshop stores were just opening up in Australia and the 2nd edition 40k was being rolled out, the options for awesome armies seemed endless and wonderful. My close friends all ended up getting the 40k boxed sets with it's ranks of the Emperor's Finest Monopose Heroes and hordes of Expendable Foes that No Kid Wanted. Two of my gaming mates began different flavours of Space Marine and I got lumped with ALL the ORKS so they would have a punching bag to play with. Making do as best as an 11yr old with no real cash flow could, I spent all my pocket money on Special Gamewinners to bolster my already impossible chances of winning a game, and, for some odd reason, a little blister marked 'Freebooters'. In it was the tiny yet undeniably potent Pirate With Bionik Body. 

You may laugh, but old Bionik Balls there gets a tonne more action than you do.
I was immediately smitten by the idea of pirate orks. Goffs were all well and good (especially when you are sitting on a pile of like 100 of them) and Bad Moons have their style, but pirates? Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

Sadly, I never got around to picking up more of them in those halcyon days, as other things seemed more immediate. But the pirate dream of freedom never died, and this brings us to the dark days of 2011.

"2011 YEAH! Fukushima! Arab Spring! Estonia adopts the Euro YEEEAH!!"
I'm not really sure what spurred a sudden new interest in all things Ork, but after the close of the first decade of the new millennium, my mind began to drift towards the uncharted regions of deep, chaotic space, and the figure of Kaptin Gnarlock began to coalesce, like some big-bellied avatar of freedom and debauchery, intent on mischief at a galactic scale. I began with an ogre paymaster body that I sourced cheaply on eBay, and the journey began.

"Please... end... me..."
First we must take his arms. Then we take the world!
There are plenty of pirates in literature and television to draw inspiration from. I wanted the world (planet?) weariness of Captain Ahab...

Pictured: Not an ork
The immeasurable coolness, cruel honor and spaciness of Captain Harlock...

Pictured: Definitely not an ork
And just a dash of the loveable buffoonery that is Captain Long John Silver...

Pictured: Not an.... actually, maybe?
I chose a head from Maxmini's excellent range of heads (they will give you good head) and made some big lapels from Milliput, because that's all I had at the time. It was terrible, they broke off in like 10 seconds, and that idea was scrapped. 
One thing I was adamant about was that he have a fine, proud belly just like his creator, because what better way is there to celebrate arguably your worst and most unhealthy physical trait than by immortalising it in Milliput form? Despite my enthusiasm and clear vision, I was unprepared for the level of spirited debate one finds surrounding ork physiology. The addition of a naked ork belly generates this kind of discussion just everywhere. 

This guy was okay. He was cool. But there are others...

Eventually I got carried away building plasticard vehicles of increasinly awesome power and decadence and poor old Gnarlock fell further and further down the queue. He was briefly resurrected to stick the ludicrous power klaw on for a one-off Armageddon game, in which he was swallowed up by the ground in a cataclysmic terrain event, which is the only correct karma for playing with unpainted minis.

"Haven't you painted those scouts yet Brad? Jeez man can't you juUUAAAAAARGH!!"
Fast forward to the darkest days of 2016.

However you look at it, 2016 has been a shit of a year. However, even without Bowie around to prevent cosmic calamities, we must soldier on. I decided that this year, for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th, it's a thing), I was going to finally finish this model. There were a number of small details that needed ironing out, but once both arms were on, the vision was finally solidifying into a tangible whole.

I ended up going for a belly-button/no nipples combo because it truly, deeply does not matter one freakin' iota and I'm too lazy and inexperienced to sculpt nippular chesticles (seriously, that navel is just a hole and a slug, look at it). I put a few greenstuff pouches here and there and a belt to help rein in that belly. It's a whole lot of belly. I lost the original klaw blades a long time ago so new ones were forged from the finest plasticard.

"I am unbothered by my lack of mamms. I make up for it with my sweet hamms."
One amusing irony was that at some point, after deciding he should have a big sou'wester jacket, I filed off all the fur lining the original ogre's collar. I ended up sculpting it all back on in an almost identical fashion years later because huge fur collars are sweet. 

As far as painting him goes, being somewhat pushed for time to meet my semi-arrr-bitrary deadline, I went for basic, bold coloured skin with a lot of well used equipment to contrast it. He is wearing camo pants because he wants to hide his most precious possession - his pieces o' eight, if you catch my drift (do you really? Do you think an ork really has junk? It doesn't fit the FLUFF mon frere...). I added some checks here and there and tried to achieve a 'heat stain' effect on his combi-weapon using layers of washes. I'm pretty happy with his blue beard too. So piratey.

But whatever you do, don't look at his claw
Oh, and here's that bellybutton discussion again, but this time, in Russian, because nerdity knows no borders.

And one guy quite rightly wondering why he has no parrot squig
So there you have it. The epic tale of Kaptin Gnarlock. But really, his story is only just starting...

And what's next? Inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire, here is my tribute to The Mountain, 
Gregor Clegane, made from a Stormcast Eternal body and some surprisingly well-fitting Empire parts. It's almost like Heroic Scale minis aren't really in scale with anything, including themselves...

"Does this shield come in XXXXL?"
Adios for now!


  1. "Space ork pirates" is just a great sentence.

    Gnarlock is fantastic, and freakin' massive. I agree with the Russians: Gnarlock require a brightly coloured parrot or parrot equivalent on the right shoulder to make the entire thing more superawsumz. Which could be dangerous considering how great he is already.

    1. You're talking dangerous levels of superawsumz there. The kind that make a mess of the time/space continuum, the kind that make mothers out of our sons. Let's not be hasty...

  2. Pirate-anythings are cool, but pirate orks seem to have that in-built, pre-determined compatability. Orks + pirates = total win. Orks + pirates + big bellies = total win x a gazillion. I've proven it with mathematics!

    I like the glacial gestation of the Kaptin - it's almost like he needed the time and various influences to avoid being undercooked. And he is clearly baked to perfection. Arrrrr!

    1. Your math seems solid to me. You should get it peer reviewed immediately, we'll show those bally chumps at the university what happens if you try and rush an ork pirate!

  3. Somewhere in France, some people have seen a man reading on his mobile in his car, laughing to tears. TO TEARS
    Great modelling and painting by the way.

    1. Thank you mec, don't forget to gather those tears for the secret project.

  4. "semi-arrr-bitrary" I see what you did there.

    1. Ye have a keen eye, ter the crows nest with ye!

  5. I just went to a chinese cloths website and bought 7 days worth of Jackets with fur collars! 28 should be enough for 7 days right?

    1. Just barely. Don't forget the leather polish and some fur conditioner. And maybe consider a gunblade accessory.

  6. Initially, when I saw the first photo I thought you'd painted up an "off the shelf" mini. Now that I know you made him as well, it's ten times more awesome!

    The base looks huge Captain, how big is he? And no, I'm not talking about his package/balls either :P

    Making fat orks is a hard slog isn't it, re Kulo. There's next to no fat ork minis (that I was able to find anyway) and there's fuck all in the way of reference material too.....just gotta wing it. You did a great job on the conversion work Crooksy, and an even better job on the paint.

    Well done mate :)

    1. The base is the type they give dreadnoughts. It's 60mm diameter or something. I needed a lot of space to contain his magnificence...

      Thanks for the compliments, us chubby ork lovers have to stick together! :D

  7. You're quite right about freebooterz being more interesting than other orks, but don't forget the Goff Rokkerz, who are just as fun. Hint, hint.

    The miniature looks great. He's full of character as any good ork should be!

    1. You have no idea of the planz I have for Goff rokkaz, they called me mad at the musical academy, MAD, but I'll show them all I will!

  8. Haha, there is so much to love about this whole story! Excellent work indeed, go get some grog to pour over and celebrate!

  9. Oh man, this post made me laugh more than a few times! Brilliant work and an excellent write-up. For that special shoulder companion, you could paint up Bombshell's brilliant gun monkey in suitably orky tones. http://store.bombshellminis.com/60001-monkey-first-mate/

    1. That little guy is adorable, but I worry he'd become a snack in minutes. In fact he probably has a whole crate of them back on the ship :s

  10. Shiver me timbers! What an excellent model, matey! He looks ready to buckle a few swashes and get three sheets to the wind! Yar!

    1. Yar indeed fella, yar indeed... I'm sure there is adventure aplenty in store for the diabolical Kap'n, mark me words!