Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Favourite Units of Mine No. 8

Okay, your first reaction will probably be "What the **** are those??". And for those of you below a certain age that would be an understandable reaction. But for those of us gamers of a certain "vintage" these little fellas will have been the first exposure to an Orc, Citadel Miniatures style.

I've mentioned these guys briefly way back in my very first post, Early Beginnings, but felt it was time they had a post all to themselves.

In the very first Citadel Miniatures Catalogue (yes Dear Reader, I still have mine), these guys are listed as model numbers FF24 - Red Orcs in Chainmail with Swords, FF25 - Red Orcs attacking with Swords and FF26 Red Orcs in Plate Armour with Swords. And in 1979 Santa left several packs of these little warriors under the Christmas Tree.

These guys became the staple baddies in all the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD & D) games that I took part in whether as a player or as Dungeon Master. They were Orcs, they were Goblins, for a while they were Kobolds (until I got a pile of Kobold figures from Chronicle Miniatures, hands up those of you who remember that company??), they were lizards warriors, they were Bullywugs and so on. Any time I needed a pile of baddies these were the guys that were called upon. Of course, they weren't painted in those days, although I did make an initial stab at painting some - these were the days before Warhammer, however, so Orcs and Goblins were not green - the AD & D Monster Manual  actually described Orcs as being "brown or brownish green with a bluish sheen - highlighting their pinkish snouts and ears", but I had no idea how to do a "bluish sheen", not with enamel paints, so the few figures that did get painted were shades of Dark Brown (at one point I actually painted them flesh colour). But only a few got a lick of paint, the majority remained in their original bare metal.

By the time Warhammer was introduced, Citadel Miniatures had started changing their Orc Models to the larger, more gangly armed, bow legged creature that we are more familiar with today, so the Red Orcs really couldn't be called "Orcs" anymore so for all intents and purposes they became Goblins for evermore.

But still they didn't get painted.

Then when Warhammer released their 8th Edition in July 2010, and having been bitten with the Warhammer bug from listening to various podcasts, I got the wee guys out and started painting them. With the latest version of the rules seemingly favouring large infantry blocks, I figured these guys now had a part to play as a Goblin tribe, in any Orc and Goblin army that I could bring to the table. And by the end of August 2010, about 5 weeks later, all 50 of the Red Orcs that were but are now Goblins were finished, 30 years and 8 months after Santa had brought them.

They have now seen action on the Wargames table as a proper  fantasy, wargames unit. I've added a few command figures which came from the old Citadel Miniatures Goblin Raiding Party boxed set.

Although they are pretty basic sculpts, the Red Orcs that were but are now Goblins, still fit in reasonably well with the current crop of Night Goblin figures that GW produce, so I'm pleased to have got them finished, although kicking myself for having taking so long. So take a bow, boys and welcome finally to the Wargames World.


  1. Yep these days those fellas would be hard pushed to be recognised as goblins, but nice to see them finally finished.

  2. Great work, I love those faces.

  3. Welcome to the gaming world, little guys!

    Never seen these before! Your goblins are older than I am Dave!

  4. I remember them! God, that makes me feel old!

  5. Still very passable if you are aiming for a Tolkien (the books) look as opposed to hulk monkeys.