Saturday, May 11, 2013

Showcase: KrautScientist's Orkheim Ultraz

Hey everyone, KrautScientist here, with another post showcasing one of my hobby projects. And while I realise that today’s post doesn’t deal with dark future gaming so much, please bear with me: With GW officially pulling the plug on the Specialist systems, I believe we can all use some specialist love... *ahem*, that came out sounding funny… Anyway, what is this about?

I’ve always been in love with Orcs and Goblins, both as a basic archetype in fantasy fiction and in GW’s various universes and game systems. Ever since receiving my first copy of HeroQuest as a Christmas present, I’ve been a fan of those loveable green rascals, and I have the retro models to prove it:

At one point, in 2000, I even endeavoured to build and paint my own Orc & Goblin army for WFB. But the sheer number of models required for a greenskin army even then quickly defeated my ambitions: My army never moved beyond a couple of models:

Now the remains of that particular project had been mouldering away in my cupboard of shame for years and years, when my colleague Annie told me that she and her husband Mike were huge fans of Blood Bowl. We talked about the game, one thing led to another, and in the end, I realised that I had found a new purpose for all those old Orc sprues: I would build and paint my own Blood Bowl team, and Annie and Mike would teach me to play the game. Thus, the Orkheim Ultraz were born.

So let me show you my Blood Bowl team and tell you of their first exploits. I hope that you’ll find this entertaining, even though it’s not strictly dar future-related!

My basic goals with this project were to build and paint some Orc models that I could actually be proud of after all these years, and to spend as little money as possible on the team, trying to use as many of my old greenskin parts as I could salvage. I also wanted the team to be finished in a reasonably short amount of time. And I wanted the models to have a darkly humorous side, in keeping with the greenskin's depiction over the years.

My biggest help came in the form of Brian’s fantastic recipe for Orc skin: I’d bookmarked the tutorial as soon as I’d found it, and now the time had come to finally put it to the test. Long story short, this has to be the best hobby related tutorial ever, and I couldn’t have completed my team without it! Go check it out!

Using Brian’s foolproof recipe and all those old Orc bitz, I managed to assemble the Orkheim Ultraz in a very short amount of time. Here are the players, in all their uncouth glory:


The basic idea with these guys was to have them look like orcish football players, since that is precisely what they are: I mostly used a mixture of WFB and 40k Orc boy parts, with the odd armour plate and Black Orc gauntlet thrown in to make the look suitably armoured for their function. I also found out that bog standard Space Marine shoulder pads make for very convincing football gear!

When it came to painting these guys, I combined the aforementioned skin recipe with tan shirts, leather pants and red armour that was heavily weathered and scratched. As a finishing touch, I also added a couple of old Gorkamorka decals on top for a nice spot colour.

Asy you can see, some of the models were also built to make them look pretty dynamic, like they were in the middle of some really brutal maneuvre that was sure to hurt their opponent pretty badly…


I wanted these guys to look relatively lighly armoured when compred to the Blitzers. And I wanted them to look like they were doing their darnedest to catch a ball that was "too damn klevva". I mainly used WFB Orc parts (and, indeed, some one-piece Orc boyz from the WFB 6th edition starter box) to convey that feeling.

As you can see, I just had to attach these guys to the base at different angles and replace a hand here and there to make them look suitably hopeless at the game…


Yet another 6th edition Orc archer was used to build a thrower in a suitably athletic pose. And the model also finally gave me a chance to use one of my favourite metal Orc heads ever!

Black Orc Blockers

These guys were actually the only models I purchased for the team: A box of Black Orcs gave me the perfect base models to serve as Blockers: Kitted out as they were in heavy armour, transforming them into Blood Bowl players was as easy as cutting off their weapons (I kept some of the hilts, though, to serve as nasty knuckledusters).

This guy is pretty much one of my favourite models in the team, by the way:

When it came to painting the Black Orcs, I added a small drop of black to each of the steps while painting the skin. That led to a skin tone slightly more de-saturated than that of the regular Orcs:


I also built two Gobboz for my team, for no other reason than the fact that I really like Night Goblins. So I put together this wily little guy basking in the crowd’s adoration and his rather surly colleague on the right:

So here’s the whole team:

Building and painting these guys was a huge blast and a true breath of fresh air! I always worked on them in pairs (which is quite unusual for me) and rarely spent more than an hour on a model.

So the day of the first game arrived, and my Orkheim Ultraz faced Annie’s and Mikes beautifully painted Lustria team. The two were nice enough to show me the ropes and slowly talk me through the rules  – and seeing how I am really slow on the uptake when it comes to learning rules, that was a very good thing!

Blood Bowl turned out to be much faster and more tactical than I had anticipated! It was really fun too, though, and we had a great time.

As a matter of fact, one of my Linemen even managed to score a touchdown. Yay!

Oh, and as you can see, we also found out by coincidence that some of my models could actually hold a ball!

After the game, I felt the need to reward myself with yet another model for the Orkheim Ultraz, so I bought myself a plastic Savage Orc Waaaghboss and transformed him into a star player for my team:

 I am pretty happy with the way this guy came out! He makes for a great centrepiece:

All in all, this whole project has been a real blast so far! And I was able to assemble a full team for Blood Bowl at very little extra cost. I feel that, every once in a while, a little side project like this can be just the refreshing experience we need to keep going in this hobby!

So what’s next? Well, first of all, there are still some unpainted “Cheerleader” models for the Orkheim Ultraz: In true fan fashion, these are waving flags and beating drums for some extra "atmosfear" in the stadium:

And there is also this small Gnoblar model, serving as a kit man – or “Kit Git”, as it were – to the team:

And after that? I’ll try to get some more games in, for one. And even beyond the confines of Blood Bowl, new greenskin projects beckon: I guess I will also use some more Orc bitz to build an orc warband for Mordheim, yet another one of GW’s specialist systems. A first test model has already been completed:

So yeah, here’s to small side projects and hobby endeavours that make you step outside your comfort zone. You should try it! It’s fun!

Let me wind up by thanking you for taking a look! I would love to hear any C&C you might have in the comments section! And if you want to learn more about the Orkheim Ultraz or my other hobby projects, feel free to check out my blog at

This has been KrautScientist. Thanks for tuning in!


  1. You need a troll to make the team complete!
    A chainsaw orc star player wouldn't go amiss either.
    Nice team!!

  2. Gorgeous team, very nicely put together. Course, if it we me, I wouldn't admitted that the ball carrying thing was a coincidence :D

  3. Excellent Orcs and gotta love the new star player. Blood Bowl was my first GW game back when I was a nipper maybe '88 but it was only this year I ever finished painting my first team - the Skavenblight Scramblers

    I've my original elf team to do still the Haffenheim Hornets but if you want an even quicker game of Blood Bowl and you can print the pitch on an A3 sheet of paper try Beach Blood Bowl:

  4. Love 'em!

    You should get one of the classic orc cheerleaders to round up the fan crowd:

  5. Thanks for the kind words, guys! I really appreciate it!

    I am pretty sure I'll be adding a troll sooner rather than later, probably based on the new plastic river trolls which I like very much!

    I am not that fond of those Orc cheerleaders, though, so I'll rather go for converted plastic orcs beating drums, waving flags and starting trouble with other spectators ;) Maybe I'll even add a model wearing a beer hat?1

    Anyway, thanks for commenting!