Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Mordheim Goblins

Time for another sojourn to Mordheim and another quick scratch-build project! How did a handful of gobbos end up bossing an orc around? Read on....


The hill in Stirland overlooked the plains and hills and some Umie cities, their distant lights glowing in the night. Tetnis didn't know what they were called. "Wolfz Town" or something probably. He liked wolves, one of his mates had one and it was a nice animal when it wasn't trying to eat you. Anyway, he'd roused a rabble of greenskins with the promise of an announcement. The other goblins had come along in the hope of seeing him make a fool of himself. The orcs were there because they expected a good laugh.

They got it. "I'm gonna be in charge." Announced Tetnis. The laughter took several minutes to die down. Tetnis magnanimously allowed it, permitting the lads to get it out of their system. "Now I know dat yous fink dat's funny – oo's dis little gobbo wanting to be boss of yous. So's I'm gonna demon-strate why I'm king gobbo round 'ere."

The rabble shut up again, anticipating even bigger laughs to come, likely ending in someone sticking Tetnis with a shiv. Tetnis held his breath and concentrated, turning from green to blue. "What's you doing then?" asked Gruknug. "Gonna make somefing bad 'appen," said Tetnis, catching a breath. "To... dose Umies over dere." He pointed at a town visible to the distant south west of them. "Ere goes... somefing bad..."

The orcs were running out of patience. Tetnis was certainly no wizard – and they should know, they'd had a shaman once until he'd exploded. Tetnis had never demonstrated any wizardly qualities, wisdom least of all. It had been funny to watch the little gobbo straining himself blue for a few minutes... but orcs are impatient. Someone hefted a club. One gobbo muttered "Stick 'im!" Then the night sky turned a deep teal. Everyone fell quiet.

In the northwest, in the far distance, across the plains and hills, something streaked from the sky so suddenly and violently that the greenskins were knocked off their feet where they stood. The city – not the one that Tetnis had been pointing at, but another city some miles off to the north – seemed to leap into the air and blast fire from every window. A colossal pillar of smoke rose from it, green and glowing.

Tetnis stayed facing the huddle of orcs and goblins, his back to the distant explosion, a smug grin stretching his face. He felt extremely cool. With great relish, he began to say “Told y–“, then the shock wave hit them and he was thrown into a tree, the other greenskins blown around like leaves in a storm.

It passed, and gradually the orcs began to pick themselves up. Tetnis slithered down from the branch he’d landed in. Gruknug scratched his painful head. “Ow’d the little bugger do dat then?”


This was a speedy project. I'm almost done painting my Lizardmen, I'm most of the way through building my elegant Moon Aelves, and I wanted to slap together something quick and messy. Goblins are just that!

Tetnis da boss gobbo

Tetnis the boss gobbo was made from only four components: a pair of Grave Guard legs, a spiky weapon from the Silver Tower moon-face familiar, the face (just the face) from a night goblin, and a couple tiny bone trinkets cut off other models. His hood is green stuff and his bristly cloak is .... just that: bristles from an old brush. Once superglued in place I coated them with Vallejo liquid putty.

I'd used most of my remaining goblin-ish bits on Tetnis, so the fanatic is even more improvised. I had the spiky ball from an old metal fanatic (the chains are so weak on the metal models, they always used to break off) and one of the fantastic helmets from the new Gloomspite Gitz. His body is cobbled together from odds and ends (importantly: he got the bare ass from the previously mentioned moon-face familiar) and wrapped in every chain piece I could scrape together to hide the joins. I had a clear idea from the start of the pose I wanted to go for: carrying his fanatic flail while clumsily wrapped up in it. Luckily that places the model's center of gravity in a realistic place so that the big metal ball doesn't topple him over.

Squg the squig

The squig is made of some remnants of a Pink Horror, with a lower jaw full of every tusk, horn and spike that would fit. He needed a lot of green stuff work to bring all the parts together, including green stuff legs and eyes.

Gruknug the dogsbody

Last and least, Gruknug the orc "boss". Orcs & Goblins warbands require an orc leader but in this case it's merely symbolic and Tetnis is in fact in charge to everyone's annoyance. Gruknug gets to carry the heavy stuff. The other orcs all scarpered at the first opportuntiy rather than let a gobbo be their boss.
Green stuff work on Gruknug's face and hand
Gruknug's teef
I had no orc bits at all to work with, so I started with a Bestigor body and scuplted an orcish face around a Gor head. The Gor face has all the basic features in the right place and provides a good structure to build on, leaving only a jaw and forehead to be added with greenstuff. The rest of him was cobbled together in true orcy style. I used some Milliput for gap filling since it has a much messier finish than greenstuff. The treasure chest is from the original Mordheim scenery set and I had to sculpt a green-stuff hand from scratch to hold it.
"Ow did I end up wiv dis job?"

There was in fact an Orcs and Goblins warband list for Mordheim published in Town Cryer magazine. They never seemed a good fit for the Mordheim setting that was about as low-fantasy as you can get (humans only, excepting a few rats). With that in mind, I made mine look as grubby and weird as possible. Deciding to spend as little time as possible painting this project, luckily goblins are the right match for quick 'n messy. For the main element of the color scheme I used a color and paint I don't normally use in my palette: some burnt umber meant for canvas painting. It was just the right mix of dirty and lumpy.


Here's the roster:

Gruknug (deputy boss)
Orc Boss 80gc
Double handed weapon Heavy loot chest 15gc

Tetnis (actually the boss)
Goblin 35gc
Squig prodder 15gc

Goblin 35
Ball & chain 15gc
Madcap muschrooms 25gc

Squig 15gc

For a grand total of 245gc. What a steal!

"Get back 'ere"

You can check out all my Mordheim projects on one page.

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