Wednesday 27 April 2016

The Orc Villains (or Heroes?) of the 'Blood Bath at Orc's Drift'.

Way, way, back in 1985 Citadel Miniatures released the scenario pack 'Blood Bath at Orc's Drift'. It was intended to be a scenario pack to complement the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle rules, released only the year before. For those who may be unaware the name 'Orcs Drift' is one of Citadels humourous play on words. It is taken from the Battle of Rorke's Drift, a battle which took in the Zulu War of 1879, made famous (if very inaccurately) in the film 'Zulu'.  

Now I don't intend this update to concentrate on the actual scenario, but more on the Orc characters from it. I must confess, not only do I not own the scenario, but I have'nt played it! However, with an extensive collection of  1980's Citadel Orcs, I realised that I owned all of the suggested Orc miniatures from the scenario. So, for the pure fun of it and as a change of focus, I thought I would gather together these Orcs and re/paint them up as a set. Incedently, I have several of the non-Orc miniatures, but have'nt painted them up.
 The background of the scenario involves the exploits of the Orc King F'Yar and the happy go lucky bloodthirsty Orc tribes under his sway. The overall scenario consists of four linked battles involving the Orcs fighting  Elves, Dwarves and Humans, culminating in the 'Battle at Orc's Drift'. All of the scenarios take place in the New World area of the Warhammer World.
Like many of the 1980's scenarios, Citadel produced several 'scenario only' miniatures, as well as using  miniatures from their then current ranges to serve as named characters and general troops. Above is the insert release sheet containing the names and photographs of the minatures for use in the scenario. Of course, you could use any miniatures, but somehow using the actual ones suggested would always seem 'better' for the feel of the game.
Amongst the Orcs, most of the miniatures are from the various C-Series ranges, with the only scenario specific Orc being 'Hagar Sheol'.
 The Orc leaders of Orc's Drift.
On the hill, riding the Wyvern, is King F'Yar.
To the fore, left to right: Grashak Kra; Fangor Gripe; Hagar Sheol; Magar Ironfist; and Bagrash.
 King F'Yar riding his wyvern.
The leader of all of the Orc's, F'Yar riding a fearsome Wyvern.
He was originally released as the TA3 Orc War Wyvern, sculpted by Tony Ackland. 
The Wyvern itself is a solid based, and I have based it on a 50mm square base.
I decided to give the wyvern more colourful paint scheme, rather than a more standard green, and (very) losely based on Archaeopteryxes.
 Side view.
 Close up of the the Wyverns head, and the King.
 Back and wings. 
I painted the body a grey-green to act as a base to the brighter colours of the scales and plumage.
 Hagar Sheol. 
He is the leader of the Severed Hand tribe of Orcs. 
I painted the miniature according the his colour illustration in the scenario artwork (included further down this update). 
He was the only scenario specific Orc produced, and like many scenario specific miniautres he is quite rare, although he seems to be rarer than most. 
I bought him a long time ago (about 2002 I think), and he was in a batch of a dozen 1980's Orcs I bought for about £20 on e-bay. 
The miniature, like all of the Orc infantry characters, is slotta based, and seems to have been sculpted by the Perry twins.
Rear view.
This is the artwork for Hagar Sheol from the scenario pack. 
Given that... is Hagar in the 'heroic' pose, similar to that of the Zulu InDuna in the film 'Zulu'.
 Bagrash, who is actually a Level 2 Orc Shaman in chainmail! 
He ended up being released in the C15 Orcs ranges, listed as on first as 'Chieftain', and later as 'Bungerbol'
 Rear view. 
The miniature seem to be a conversion of an old Citdael Fantasy Tribes orc, below. 
Solid based FTO Fantasy Tribes Orc.
 Magar Ironfist, Chieftain of the Kwae Kwar Orcs.
 Rear view. 
The thing I always found unusual about this miniature is that he is not wearing a belt around his chainmail.
 Fangor Gripe, Chieftain of the vile Rune Orcs. 
This one-eyed Orc also turned in the C15 Orcs range as 'Cyclops'.
If you look at his swords, the one in his right hand is carried by the C series Orc 'Bane Blade', whilst the left handed one is carried by an ME 51 Orc of the Red Eye, from the 1980's Citadel Lord of the Rings range. 
I thought I would paint the armour gold-ish to add a little more colour and variation, and to add to his heroic credentials.
Rear view.
 Grashak Kra, Hobhound Handler. 
To give a dash of colour I painted Grashak's helmet crest rainbow coloured. 
Like many others, he too ended up in the C15 Orcs range, re-named 'Warlord'.
 Rear view, showing his scale armour and the tail to the crest plume.

My next blog update could be on a series of subjects.
I have been sorting through my Slann collection to organised them into seperate armies and regiments. I have also been returning to my Great Goblins/Gnoll, and the Fantasy Tribes Dwarves. I have spent this afternoon basing up Great Goblins/Gnolls, and have a veritable tribe of them on my painting table at the moment. Also,
I have wanted to get back to some 'proper' fantasy painting for a while. I have a wish to re-visit my old 3rd Edition Armies, assembled as per the Warhammer Armies book. So really, the next update could be on anything! :)


  1. I never played it either Lee. Couldn't afford scenario packs back in the day ;(

    Citadel were quite clever with mashing minis together weren't they. I've spotted some in the RT Ork range where they made up to five different minis from the one donor!

    I'm looking forward to seeing your scenario build completed.

    Cheers :)

    1. Thank you, glad you like them. I nearly bought the scenario pack at the time, but ended up opting for buying miniatures instead!

      Yes, you're right. Citadel did a lot of converting new miniatures from one original sculpt, and swaping weapons and heads around. The Fantasy Tribes ranges were especially good at it, but a lot of the later 1980's miniatures were as well. It can be fun discerning which miniatures came from which original sculpt.

      I don't plan on doing the entire scenario build, I just thought it would be fun to paint up the Orc characters. I do have several of the other miniatures, but don't intend to collect them all.

  2. Those are great orcs! Interesting info as well! /Hans

    1. Thank you Don Hans. Glad you like the Orcs and found the infomation useful. I like to add some extra info as I feel it adds some life to the miniatures and the post, and helps put the miniatures into a context.

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  4. Great blog. This is very inspiring, and has basically pushed me into a decision which I was only half way to making, to do something similar! I'm going to try to take the plunge with BAOD myself, starting the project this year... collecting the original figures is basically out of my reach in terms of patience and finances, but I'm going to use old school or old school in spirit alternatives and hopefully put something online. Tracking down decent villagers is a bit of a pig though. I'm thinking Otherworld.. Hasslefree seem to have a decent not-Ozrim Chardz.. Lots of fun decisions to make.