Saturday, 25 July 2015

Orcs of the Black Mountains: Harboth's and Notlob's Regiments of Renown.

Carrying on with my Goblin Wars theme, I have verted slightly into another two of the non-Goblin Regiments of Renown who are said to have taken part: Harboth's Black Mountain Boys, and Notlob's Orc Artillery.

Both Regiments are part of the first release of Citadel's Regiments of Renown series, 1984 amd 1985 respectively, and are both regiments of Orcs.

This is the first incarnation of Harboth's Regiment of Renown, being later re-sculpted as slotta based Orcs  armed with bows, and then being released in 1987. All of the miniatures are pre-slotta, with the exception of the Champion which was a later addition to the set, something which happened to several of the first sets of Regiments of Renown.
Catalogue page of Harboth's Black Mountain Boys. 
...and a link to the background:

Notlob's Artillery on the other hand are all slotta based. The regiment was a lot smaller than the other Regiments of Renown, consisting of just four Orcs, and two Bolt Throwers. 
The bolt throwers are what seems to be the original sculpt used as the basis for the later Orc and Dwarf  bolt throwers. The main differance of the later bolt throwers is that the base has an added spare bolt, and the top 'bow' part has a different spear head, bow arm and body details, and an added lever. 
One of the Orcs (the one second from right below) ended up as a general release Orc crew member for the later Orc bolt thrower. 
 Catalogue page for Notlob's Regiment of Renown. 
The name Notlob is taken from a Monty Python sketch about 'The Gangs of Bolton'. 
...and another link to the background (Notlob's, not Monty Pythons!): 
Both sets of regiments are great and full of character. Harboths's have very varied and interesting command group, and nicely sculpted Trooper miniatures armed with the delightfully named 'Dwarf Tickler', a form of cleaver. They were fun to paint, and quite straight forward. I painted the Orcs skin tone slightly darker than the later 3rd Edition shades as I wanted a more 'realistic' and grubby looking feel to them. I kept the eyes red, but added a pupil.
Background wise (taken from the background stories from both Regiments) , both Harboth and Notlob's Regiments spent most of the Goblin Wars based in the Black Mountains, living in a squalid town around Black Fire Pass on the border of the Dwarf Realms. They spent their time bored, drinking in the saloon, running a toll booth, occsionally killing (and no doubt eating) unwary passing travellers, and generally raiding and making a nuisance of themselves. The whole thing has a slightly 'Wild West' feel to it to me.
When, towards then end of the Goblin Wars, the Dwarves decided to 'clean up' the area they attacked the Black Mountains and attempted to size the Pass. By this time Harboth's Orcs had been joined by Notlob's Orcs, and both sides fought a series of battles, forcing both Harboth and Notlob to eventually
flee tactically relocate. 
Personally, I think this sounds like the basis for a great little skirmish campaign. 

I painted both regiments because I wanted to paint up another Regiment of Renown after painting Bugman's Dwarf Rangers last week, and I did'nt want to paint up Grom's Goblin Guard yet. From the background I see both regiments as very closely linked, and so it made sense to me to paint them together, especially as Notlob's are a small regiment.
AI also wanted to paint up some Orcs for the Goblin Wars. I don't want to paint up a lot of Orcs for the Goblin Wars, I want to keep the Goblin vibe to it all, but I thought that as these Regiments of Renown are directly mentioned and involved in the Goblin Wars, they would be good to do. 
Enjoy :)
 The Orcs of the Black Mountains!
As both Regiments of Renown are based in the Black Mountsins, I decided to base the Orcs differently from the other Goblin Wars miniatures I have painted recently. I wanted to convey a dark and rocky feel to the bases suggesting the terrain of the Black Mountains.
 Haboth's Black Mountain Boys.
 Harboth, leader of the Black Mountain Boys.
I really like this miniature. He has that sense of confidence and casual arrogance gained from being in charge of a whole bunch of Orcs and a town atop of a mountain. 
He is quite a big Orc for the time, and his solid base was too large to place inside the dip of the lipped base or trim down.So I built up the base a little to suggest he is stand on top of mound, making sure everything is done his way.
 Yaskin Forit, the Champion of Harboth's regiment. 
Yaskin is slotta based miniature, who also required a plastic shield for his back.
He is armed with an unusual looking double handed weapon, which I painted up to look like the teeth of some big monster. 
The name Yaskin Forit is of course a play on the phrase "You asking for it?", as occsiaonally prelude to physical violence.
 Rear views of Harboth and Yaskin. 
I like the bottles hanging off of Harboth's bandolier (reminding me of the 'apostles' of a matchlock armed soldier of the 16/17th Century).
Yaskin's shield has 'Yaskin' painted on it in dwarf runes.
Standard Bearer and Musican.
I like the howling Standard bearer, with a standard made up no doubt of the skulls of poor unfortunate travellers who strayed too close to the Black Mountain, or perhaps did'nt have enough change for the toll at Black Fire Pass?
The Musican is wearing the fur of some creature, not sure what, might be a type of bear or lioness.
Rear view.
The Musican has drums made of what look like Ogre Skulls!
Troopers, front and rear.
They are armed with the infamous 'Dwarf Tickler' and wooden shield. 
The background suggests that the Black Mountain Boys wear a collection of cast-offs and clothes. However I wanted to give them a more unified regimental feel, especially as they are to have a mix of shields. So I painted them to suggest they are all wearing black leather jackets, reminiscent of a bikers, 1950's hoodlums, or  heavy metallers.
I was going to paint them with heavy metal band names and album covers on the back, but after a couple of attempts I decided it was too fiddly.
 There were a couple of C-series Orcs based on the body of the Trooper miniature. So I added a few of them to add a little variety.
The Orc on the left, with the halberd is pre-slotta, the Orc on the right an early slotta based one.
 Rear view, showing the extra different added details.
Some of the mix of shields.
The background states that the the Orcs have a mix of shield designs, so I have painted up a mix of designs.
Here, left to right, checkerboard; Moon (based on a design from the 3rd Editon Orc artwork in Warhammer Armies); and quartered.
Another crescent Moon device; Goblin/pumpkin face; and a gaping maw face which was based on 'Fizzgig' from 'The Dark Crystal'. 
Stylised face; a shield with 'Zog off' written in Dwarf rune; and an eye. 
Green Man; 'Orc' written in Dark Elvish (from a list written in the 1st Edition Forces of Fantasy supplement; and a stylised sun.
Finally, another check pattern, this time black and red. 
The Orc with a spear is a repaired version of  another pole-armed Orc from earlier.
 Notlob's Orc Artillery.
Four Orcs and two Bolt Throwers.
Notlob (left) and an Orc crew member.
 Rear view.
 Two more crew.
The one on the left became a wider released Orc crew member.
I like the Orc on the right, testing the sharpness of the bolt.
 Rear view.
The Bolt Throwers.
As mentioned earlier they are similar to the later 1980's Bolt Throwers used by the Orcs and Dwarves.
The background stated that Notlob's Orc scrawled graffiti on the Bolt Throwers and Bolts, but I decided to keep them plain as I thought it might look too much. 

Next update will be the couple of Trolls I am currently finishing off painting, and some Goblins, as I want to get back to painting some more Goblins. :)


  1. Lovely stuff as always and two Regiments of Renown I've yet to collect in full.

    I hadn't realised there was such a Wild West theme to the Black Mountain Boys but now you point it out I feel I should go and rewatch some of the more over the top Spaghetti Westerns like Django Kill for some scenario ideas!

    Looking forward to the Trolls.

    1. Thank you, they are a great couple of Regiments of Renown, and I would recommend collecting them if you can.

      The Wild West Theme was just the impression I got from reading the background. It reminded me of the Sergio Leone Westerns, bit I have never seen Django Kill, only excerpts.

      The Trolls have been fun to paint, and I plan on having fun decorating one of the bases to suggest a wrecked garden.

  2. The original Notlob's were Perry sculpts; the Bolt Thrower has 'Rik' on the underside - Priestly?

    The later C22 Bolt Thrower is essentially a Kev Adams 'conversion' of the original. Mostly head swaps, but the new Notlob (or Not-Notlob as I call him) appears to have just had some new armour added. And some furry boots... shows the differences

    1. Thank you for the link Alan. I did'nt realise about the 'furry booted Not-Notlob'. I have the other later C22 Orc Crew. I have glued my later 'Dwarf/Orc' Bolt Throwers to bases, so did'nt have the opportunity to check the underside.

      The practice of other sculpters using earlier sculps as a basis for later 'conversion sculpts' seems to have been quite widespread in Citadel in the 980's. I chatted somebody who is friends with Thrish Morrison about her 1980's slotta based Slann sculpts, and she said that some of the later ones were conversions of her earlier work.

      I always find it interesting to look old 1980's miniatures and see how one basic sculpt has spawned several others, or how two or three base sculpts form the basis for a release or range.

  3. Very nice, Goblin Lee! I really like the idea of Orcs taunting their enemies with shields written in the language of their foes! Plus the Dwarf rune one has a nice "ARR" to it!

    1. LOL, thank you, I think it's quite apt for the Orcs to have things written in Dwarf runes. Also I always thought that the Orcs and Goblins not being too literate, I think they would use the runes as a basis for their language.

      The 'Zog off' runes do look very 'arr'! It made me chuckle once I had painted it, but I left it for the fun of it.