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Introduction: This will be the first of a series of painting tutorials for painting the various orc units in the Kings of War Orc Starter Set. The painting audience are new painters, and the painting standard will be tabletop. The army will be painted with the Army Painter Kings of War Greenskins Paint Set, with a few other products, such as the Army Painter Leather Brown Color Primer, and Army Painter brown Strong Tone Quickshade Ink, available in the Army Painter Starter Set or Army Painter Quickshade Ink Set. The tutorials will start with the easier models and pieces to paint, and gradually work towards the more difficult. At the end of the tutorials, which will be released over a period of time, you should not only have a tabletop starter army, but an army you can further paint to greater detail, as well as an idea how to paint similar models.

Brown: The Color of Green: You'll note that I mentioned Leather Brown as a color primer, and the brown Strong Tone Ink. Despite orcs being green, the set itself is mostly brown, with the orcs clad in leather armor, the chariots in wood, and boars mostly brownish. Some pieces, such as the orclings and some orc heads, can be primed with Greenskin color primer, but I'll give suggestions how to paint them green without a color primer.

Zenithal Priming: While officially you would use Army Painter color primer to completely prime the miniature, you can also use it as part of zenithal priming. Spray the model completely in black with a hardware spray primer. Then, from an overhead angle, spray the model with the color primer. The black acts as a shade, and you can spray more models this way with a can of color primer. The Army Painter has a video of how to use their color primers, and I recommend a quick spray onto some cardboard before spraying your miniatures!

Some Assembly Required: The orc models are multi-piece. Most painters will assemble a figure before priming. However, the Kings of War Orc Starter Set has multiples of the same pieces, with the orc infantry using only three hard plastic sprues. So, while you can create many combinations of multi-piece orc infantry, the individual pieces themselves are pretty repetitive and thus can be assembly-line painted before assembly. So some pieces will be painted before assembling, and others will be assembled before priming.

Black: Underpainting Metal: The set has a fair amount of pieces that will be painted metal. If you're new to painting, black paint is commonly applied to a section of a model before painting it with metallic paint. Painting a layer of paint before the final layer is called undercoating. Black is also a commonly used color for priming miniatures. I find it convenient to use a black primer to prime pieces that will be painted metal, and for undercoating metal areas, even if the area has already been painted.

Metallics:: Metallics are also pretty well known for being difficult to paint with. Even if you have a favorite line of regular hobby paints, their metallic paints may not behave as well as their regular paints. Metallic paints have small reflective chips or flakes called mica, and these chips are nonetheless much larger than the fine pigments in the paint. Thus, when thinned with water, metallic paints can separate, clump, or otherwise not apply well. An inconvenience of metallic paints is that, if you use the same brush or rinse water for your metallic and non-metallic paints, these mica flakes can collect in the brush and end up on the non-metallic parts of the model. Also, these flakes may damage sable brushes, commonly used in hobby painting (Myself, I haven't experienced this, but will thoroughly clean my brush and change my rinse water after painting a batch of miniatures with metallic paint, as well not use my sable hobby brushes with metallic paint.) For metallic paints, you will typically first paint black then the metallic color. Thankfully, I've found the Army Painter and Reaper metal paints to flow smoothly, with the help of a wet palette.

Wet Palette: A wet palette keeps your paints wet longer, and allows you to mix and blend paints. Simply place a sponge in an old tupperware container, put some pennies inside to keep the mold away, fill up to sponge-height with water, and place a piece of parchment paper on top. The parchment paper allows water to seep up from the sponges, while keeping the paint from getting into the sponge.

* Preparation (Mold Lines): X-Acto Knife and Jeweler's Files from an arts and crafts store. Each under $5.
* Preparation (Gap Filling): Vallejo Plastic Putty. About $3 from FLGS or OLGS.
* Primer (Brush-On): Games Workshop Imperial Primer. While Games Workshop paint pots are notorious for drying out faster than eye droppers, you can paint directly from the pot without a palette. Just make sure to add a few drops of water after use. If you have some experience painting, you can also add a drop of matte medium or airbrush medium.
* Primer (Spray): Black hardware store primer, suitable for plastic. Army Painter Leather Brown color primer.
* Basing: Army Painter Basing Kit, dark and light brown craft paint, fine craft sand from an arts and craft store.


Difficulty: Easy. I started with the chariots, because they're wood and metal, require little assembly, and are not attached to sprues.

Mold Lines and Gap Filling: The chariots are made of soft plastic, and can be assembled without glue. Which is good, because I later found out I fit the yoke upside-down. You can see from the white gap filler that the wheels and other parts needed gap filling.

Zenithal Priming: The chariots were then spray-primed completely in black, then overhead-primed with Army Painter Leather Brown Color Primer. (The mistake with the yoke was caught after priming, then later primed again!)

Wash: After priming, Army Painter brown Strong Tone was applied, to start show off details. If you have a black wash, such as Army Painter Dark Tone, you may want to mix it with the brown wash to further detail the model. You can also start highlighting the model with lighter browns if you wish.

Metal: Underpainting: Meanwhile, the metal parts of the chariot were primed with black primer. You can see here how coffee stirrer pieces were used to hold the wheel pieces while drying. (Coffee stirrer pieces can also be used as brush protectors!

Metal: The metal pieces were then painted with Army Painter Gun Metal from the AP Kings of War Greenskins paint set. Some pieces shown here are other soft plastic pieces in the Mantic Orc Starter Set. The metal parts of the chariots have been underpainted, but not painted metallic.

Assembly and Wash: The metal and wooden chariot pieces were then assembled, with no glue yet needed. The bases in this picture are unfinished, and will be covered in a future tutorial. The metal and other parts were washed in Army Painter brown Strong Tone to give them a rusty look. I also mixed a little black with the Stront Tone for additional detailing on the platform of the chariot.

Ropes: The ropes of the chariot were painted an ochre color. If you have the Army Painter Skeleton Bone (also called Zombie Skin in the AP Zombicide Core Paint Set), you can use it. Or make your own by mixing brown with white and yellow.

Further work: Pretty obviously, the chariots need to be based and the model can be further highlighted. We've just started on the orc army, so I'll be painting some other pieces for now.
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Chris Geggus
United Kingdom
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This is excellent - thank you. I will be using this to help me start out on the painting of a number of my games which include miniatures. Nothing to do with your Orc army, but simply useful for the bigger picture.
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