Back when it was Epic’s 20th Anniversary, I dug up an old Ork Gargant that had literally been out of action since the days of Codex Titanicus. I remember a really fantastic and bright piece of full-colour art in the book showing off a named Great Gargant and this was my homage to that piece of art at the time.
Ork Ancient Gargant – Old ‘Stomp Smash’
Unlike the more boxy Gargants of the Epic 40,000 era, This is an original first edition cast in lead and is the rather more ‘full figured’ version that graced the pages of Adeptus Titanicus. I managed to find all the parts with the exception of a missing left arm weapon. No amount of searching turned that up sadly, but not to be thwarted, I fished around in my bits boxes and turned up a ‘very’ old Warlord barrage missile launcher. There were a number of weapons I could have used, including the left arm from an up to date Great Gargant. However, I felt that the ‘scavenged’ missile launcher from the same era as the miniature was more appropriate.
To help make the old fella stand out a bit from the rest of my Ork forces, I decided to take an entirely different approach to painting it from normal.
Usually I start off my orks with a black basecoat over which I dry-brush various metal shades to give a dark, rusted appearance. With this one however, I wanted to try this vintage model out using a thoroughly modern method, namely the use of washes and very little else.
I began with a white primer, over which I painted the hull, shoulders and turrets in Sunburst Yellow. At this stage the model looked alarmingly bright yellow and white, but this is the perfect base over which apply washes. Starting with Thraka Green, I liberally applied it to several of the main body panels letting it pool around the rivets and work its way into the detail. I used Devlan Mud to pick out the three primary weapons, feet and the various pipes and grills around the body, as well as all the areas I previously painted yellow. Once fully dry I picked out a few of the rivet details, grills and weapons in Gryphonne Sepia to add another change in tone.
For the head, a mix of 50/50 Terracotta Red and Red Gore was applied to all of the main armour panels. I also picked out one of the armoured plates on the belly to add some contrast and a few of the panels on the main weapons, in particular around the barrage launcher. This was then highlighted by adding a drop of blood red into the mix before giving the head a wash of Devlan Mud. To finish I picked out a few details on the hull and weapons in boltgun and chainmail silver to show extra wear and tear before giving them a final black wash to increase the shade further.
The chest details were a mixture of ‘very‘ old decals which were blended in with the assistance of the washes and the addition of a chequered pattern on one of the chest plates. Chequered panels were all the rage back then on War Engines, no word of a lie. A final wash of Gryphonne Sepia was then pooled into the lower half and around the rivets for wear.
One of the nice things about painting Orks is not so much that you don’t need to be neat about the paintwork, but that you can experiment with all manner of paint effects without fear of really messing anything up. In this case using washes directly over a light base created some tonal shifts, natural shading and, amazing as it may seem even just over a white primer created some incredibly lifelike looking stained metal (yes, the majority of the metalwork was purely created with the washes and is an optical illusion). The other thing is regardless just how old the model is, when it comes to orks it still fits in just right even against the later miniatures. In fact greenskin armies just look better and better the more odds and ends you throw in there, so don’t be afraid of digging deep into those dark recesses of the bits box because you never know what you might find.
Obviously this old chap was painted some time back (roughly 8 years ago give or take a few months) and even though my approach and knowledge of painting has developed since then, I still think the methods shown here are just as relevant today as they were back in 2008. There are maybe a few things I might have done different today, but only in the extra detailing and weathering. The main approach using translucent washes to create more organic looking shades and tonal shifts I think is still an effective method for something like Orks. From start to finish this miniature took next to no time to paint and it’s nice one in a while to just experiment and see where the journey takes you.
I may have to delve into the old “Dropship” archives again and see if I can unearth a few more Gargants for contrast.