Skabsquigs Skallywags: Mr Killgore and Da Swabz



The first chunk of my space ork, space pirates in space project, Skabsquigs Skallywags will scrape the astro-barnacles off your rudder, an’ no mistake! Skallywags2 Ork freebooter pirates didnt appeal to me as a teenager.  Like many thing around then, I thought that they were “stupid”.  The frustrated, sentimental almost-forty year old that I am now finds the concept a lot more appealing.  I will take my jollies where I can get them, so when a suitable opportunity to get a medium sized Freebooter project going came up, I took it.

Plasma Gun and Heavy Plasma Gun. The next unit of Swabz will have a Heavy Bolter and a Flamer.

Plasma Gun and Heavy Plasma Gun. The next unit of Swabz will have a Heavy Bolter and a Flamer.

I am travelling to Nottingham to take part in the Oldhammer/Bring Out Your Lead 2014 event being held at Wargames Foundry this August.  One of the games that I am taking part in is a small, scenario that echoes some of the themes in the old Rogue Trader scenario tables.  Whiskey Priest at The Leadpile has prepared a fantastic hi-tech/low-life, hive of scum and villainy table christened Ferrograd for the game.  Check it out, its the shizz.

Image from The Leadpile

I think that the concept of Ferrograd spun out of a desire to get his RT era pirates painted, but I dont know for sure, you will have to ask Whiskey Priest.  Regardless, as WP was planning to use his newly painted Space Pirates in the game, I thought that I would use the event as an opportunity to get a force of ork space pirates painted.  As WP has set the bar pretty high with his cool themed terrain and models (the bastard), the Skallywags have a tough act to follow. Skallywags3 As the BOYL event is pretty nostalgia fuelled I thought that it would be fun to use my tiny old RT era ork models as the pirate rank and file.  They have a scruffy, non-uniform look that is fun to tie together with a standard palette.  The Skallywags colour scheme is identical to that used for the rest of my ever expanding ork forces, but arranged slightly differently.  This unit got striped trousers for a “Yo ho ho!” type of feel.  The next unit might also get stripes, unless I have a better idea.  Yellow trousers with black polka dots might be a bit weird, but they might be brilliant too.  I havent decided.

Mr Killgore prepares to talk about

Mr Killgore prepares to talk about “Da old dayz” with old college friend, Zodgrod Wortsnagga.

In addition to the titchy eighties RT orks I also have this 1990 cybork freebooter (above left).  I have always been fond of this miniature, so it was a kick to pick one up last January or so and get it painted for this.  Mr. Killgore might look a little too much like something from a cheese dream about Santa Claus with the white beard and red armour, but its too late to worry about that now. Mr Killgore fills the role of Quartermaster on “Da Dirty Doubloon”, currently in orbit around “Galuntts Moon”.  He will be accompanying the disgruntled Bosun in shuttlecraft Helga on this mission, but the bosun isnt quite ready for his close up just yet.

L to R: 1980s ork, late 2000s ork, 1980s ork.

L to R: 1980s ork, late 2000s ork, 1980s ork.

Painting was a bit rushed and as is often the case, there are a few things that I would change if I had the time and inclination to go back to them, but I dont have either.  In fact, I need to stop typing this and get back to painting.

L to R: 1990 cybork, Imperial assassin from 1990 or so, ork from 1987ish.

L to R: 1990 cybork, Imperial assassin from 1990 or so, ork from 1987ish.  Titchy little greenskins.

Many more Skallywags to crawl from the bunghole over the next few weeks, all going well.


13 Responses

  1. Good to see some of da old boyz out and about. I had the Space Ork Raiders box as a youff, but they all got sold off as a slightly older youff (with all of the other Ork stuff I added like Wartrakks and such). I re-bought a bunch of it from the ‘Bay a couple of years ago now, but they still sit waiting deep in the lead pile.
    Seeing yours painted in modern style (which is also my plan) and done so very well is almost enough to motivate me to go and find them… events and games are great motivation for paint!


  2. I had a big heavy box of RT orks, 2nd ed orks and some of the then new 3rd ed plastic orks that I sold for a song to fund a night on the town in 2000 or so. “Ill never get around to painting those” I thought 😀

    I have gradually accumulated a few orks since the Black Reach starter set came out which in turn led to getting a force ready for a Gorkamorka session. I went out of my way to trade for some of the older figures this year – oddboyz and the cybork above for example. I again have more orks than I require now.

    I tend to keep myself painting even if there are not events to aim for, but events are what pushes the output highest. Without actual games to aim for my output is spottier.

    Thanks for the kind words about the painting. I am less pleased with these individually than I am with other orks of mine to be honest, but as a group they are definitely “good enough”. I do hope that the painting on the next batch of Skallywags will end up a little tighter though.


  3. Oh, sir, those are the most lovely freebooterz of all times! I’m still not sure if I will be able to attend the Oldhammer/BOYL event, but if so, I’d love to see those in person. The scenario looks great as well as Ferrograd itself, for sure you will have a great time!


    • Thanks for the kinds words Suber. I have seen a few paint jobs on the cybork pirate over the years that were exceptional and my work isnt up to that sort of display standard. But these scurvy ladz turned out well all the same. They largely turned out like I intended them to though: Disney style, homicidal space alien pirates.

      There are more of these to come.


  4. They look fantastic! I can’t say how much I’m looking forward to paint my own three ork mobs. It’s the first thing I’m getting out and ready for paint in 2015, I can tell you that. I have three distinct groups; regular boyz, tek boyz and uh… space right wing nut boyz. When sorting out the rather large pile of orks I had I realized there were three themes, so I decided to arrange them after those themes.One was rather distinctly wehrmacht. They’ll be painted in nice orky khakis. Afrorka Korps? Rommork, desert gyrinx? Who the hell knows, I’m looking forward to it though.

    It’s cool to see how you tackled two of my nemesis colours. Red and black. I know I will have to practice to get any better, but I plain out fear painting black. Take a look at my minis I’ve painted since… ever. Hardly any black at all. Imagine the dread I felt when painting those spaceball-alikes. Red is a mixed bag. Sometimes, it works out great. Sometimes not. I’m not comfortable with painting red with my current methods (block, wash, highlight). Back when I used the more time consuming method of painting a dark shade and then layer it up, red was a lot less intimidating.


    • I never painted orks in any sort of quantity until 2011 or so. I went through very many iterations of flesh tone and palette, eventually settling on a pretty familiar, pretty conformist black and red because it keys off the green and is quick to apply. Once I found a way to paint the boyz fairly quickly I found them to be a liberating way to paint. Working out how to get them to look reasonably neatly painted while maintaining that scruffy look speeded up my painting across the board, which is best possible result..

      I have stuck with the same scheme with slight variations throughout my subsets of orks. Splitting them up like you have into various sub themes gives each unit identity without the headache of coming up with another colour scheme to perfect. My Deadzone orks fit with my RT orks which fit with Mushrööm Klöwd which fit with the gretchin etc. That formula give me the best turnover without burnout. I have been dipping in and out of the rok project for a few years now and I still get satisfaction rather than frustration out of it.

      theottovonbismarks horde of Wehrmacht themed orks led by Warboss Heimlich is worth a look some time. I dont think that he has them photographed in any real sense, but he took the theme and ran with it, so its quite fun.

      Almost every colour scheme that I paint uses a lot of black, for the following reasons:
      1) black goes with everything, which allows me to push the other colours to the lurid extremes that I like without fear of clashing with the majority of the miniature at least
      2) I have a quick way of painting black that works adequately with relatively little effort.
      3) black is an emotive uniform colour that is extremely common in sci-fi for making things look “cool”. It tends to almost always look appropriate for the subjects that I am painting as a result.

      I never block in red anymore. As highlighting red usually just turns it orange or pink I just ensure that red always goes from black through to pure red. Since I made that decision about painting red, I have never looked back. Much of that inspiration came from looking at the nice reds that Blue in VT comes up with and then pitting my own spin on it.

      Also, buy GW Mephiston Red. I know that you said that you dont use modern GW paints, which is fair enough, but thats the best red paint that I have ever used, by a long way. Its factors better than Mechrite, which is more of a brick red than a pillar box red.

      The old ork figures will fit in extremely well with the Spacelords range, they have that same sort of quaint, retro quality. Im sure that your sub culturally diverse greenskins will fit in very nicely in boarding actions on the Chaste Magpie 🙂

      Thanks for the feedback Mattias.


  5. These lads look great. Really great. The cybork is my favourite, his armour is very eye catching. I picked this model up not so long ago myself. RT orcs were all the rage there for a while. The upcoming game BoyL game looks like it’s gonna be beautiful. I expect many photos.


    • Thanks MrSaturdays, they worked out well enough.

      The cybork is easily the nicest figure there I think and one that I have been longing for since its release, so its a bucket list thing to have painted and ready to game with.

      The cybork scheme came about because I wasnt pleased with how a power armoured RT ork paint job came out a few years back when I first started painting this ork force. I figured that a solution would be to make the armoured suit red, like a cartoon cosmonaut or the memorable space suits in The Search for Spock. My power armoured orks will be a very similar scheme as I am pleased with how it worked on the cybork.

      I have another squad of RT boyz to paint, but after that I dont think that I will actually paint any more of the rank and file boyz of more or less any era (unless I come across the Marauder boyz, which I do have a fondness for). It will be on to oddboyz and elites then I suspect.

      Whiskey Priest is churning stuff out at an enviable rate: terrain, objective markers, NPCs and of course a number of factions. I think that the game that we are playing is going to be a visual highlight of the whole weekend, whether my guys are on the table or not (although they will fit in to Ferrograd rather nicely I think).


  6. Great stuff, I have plans to update all of my olde Rogue Trader era Orks as well. I just think they will look very small by todays standards.
    That Oldhammer event looks interesting, will mention it to the guys!


    • The RT era orks are particularly small, even smaller than humans from the same era in many cases. It used to bother me but about four years ago I decided that I wasn’t going to limit my painting options over some notion of scale inconsistency. I figure that some orks are short, some are not. There are so many fun old ork models out there that I decided to get a few painted.
      If you have any old orks that you dont think that you will use then drop me a line and we might be able to make a deal. I am looking for a few 🙂
      Thanks for the feedback coronasan.


  7. […] Sho3box has very generously lent me Skabsquig’s Skallywags for these Battle at the Farm photos.  You can see more of them here and here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your Orks are sumptuous men !


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