On Parade: 1990s Warhammer Orcs and Goblins

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Carrying on with this series of ‘On Parade’ postings in which every army in my wargaming collection is taking its turn to parade for inspection, we come to the Warhammer orcs and goblins, the sworn enemies of the Empire army from my previous posting.

Actually, this isn’t really my army at all, but my son’s.  In the late 1990s I came back into the hobby of wargaming, after having had a two-decades pause since my early twenties. I was drawn back in because my young son had become interested in Warhammer. He began buying and painting orcs and goblins, so I started collecting the Empire so that we could have opposing armies.

Therefore, this army actually belongs to my son, and was mostly painted by him at the age of about 10-12 (with a little help from Dad, who was just as much a beginner anyway!). My son’s in his late twenties now, and sadly didn’t carry on with miniature wargaming after he was captured by computer gaming – but I have kept his army for him!

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If you don’t know what orcs are, they’re one of the highly primitive and warlike ‘Greenskin’ races of barbarians and raiders of the mythical Warhammer World.  Orcs are strong, brutish and savage warriors. Goblins, who are smaller and weaker, are cunning and conniving creatures.

By the way, much of the following text is based heavily on (well, copied from)  the Fandom Warhammer Fantasy wiki. I hope I have captioned the photos correctly – Greenskin identification is not my forté!

Oh , and remember the painting was done when we were both beginners to the hobby. But these photos show that even a very basic paint-job can look great en masse.

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Orc Boyz – These hard-fighting warriors form the backbone of all Greenskin armies, and often do the bulk of the fighting upon the battlefield. Orc Boyz are generally just simple Orcs who have taken up arms to fight the enemy of his tribe with nothing but ramshackle armour and crude weaponry.

It is possible these models are Big ‘Uns. When an Orc grows to become considerably large, wealthy, and high in status, they form the elite of the Greenskin armies, and are equipped with some of the finest weapons and armour within a tribe.

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Night Goblins – Living within the fungus infested tunnels of the Old World, the Night Goblins are renowned for their consumption of madness-inducing fungus that gives them both the courage to fight against foes that the average Goblin would be too afraid of facing. The black hoods are to protect these subterranean-dwelling creatures from the ravages of sunlight. We’ve got two regiments of them, one mainly armed with crude spears, and the other with composite bows. 

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Night Goblin Fanatics – A Fanatic is a Night Goblin that wields an iron-ball so heavy it should be impossible for such a scrawny creature to lift. However, once a Night Goblin has consumed large quantities of the deadly Mad Cap Mushroom, he has the uncontrollable urge to spin madly. Once equipped with an iron-ball, these Night Goblins become whirling shock troops that can plough through the enemy lines.

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Orc Boar Chariot – By lashing together roughly hewn logs, the otherwise dull-witted Orcs have managed to create through sheer luck and determination, crude yet formidable war chariots. With the weight of both the two boars and the chariot itself, this shock cavalry has the potential to break apart even the thickest of enemy formations so long as the chariot still holds together. This model marks our first experimentation with using ink washes to pick out the woodwork.

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Goblin Wolf Riders – These Wolf Riders are the scourge of the open plains, where their swiftness and speed can outpace even the most determined Boar-mounted Orc within a matter of seconds. Equipped with either spears or composite bows, Wolf Riders serve as a dedicated force of scouts and skirmishers for many marauding Greenskin armies.

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Doom Diver Catapult – First developed as a means for nomadic Goblin tribes to scout the surrounding areas of their territory, the Doom Diver Catapult has since been used extensively as long-range artillery. A Doom Diver is used as live ammunition for this artillery piece. His leathery wings allows him to glide to a specific target, where he tries to impale his victim with the top of his pointy helmet.

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Snotlings – These small and dull-witted creatures are amongst the most mediocre of the Goblin race. Equipped with pathetic weapons such as tree branches, mushrooms or bits of bone, a horde of these little monsters are nothing more than a nuisance or a distraction to even the weakest enemies they face. Fun to paint, but not much else!

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(left) Orc Boar Boy – Only the most daring of Orcs have the capability to mount the savage war boar into battle, for the animal’s hot temper often results in the deaths of many Orcs who try to ride them. In battle, mobs of Boar Boyz fulfill the role of heavy cavalry.

(centre) Orc Great Shaman – These psychotic individuals are amongst some of the most powerful spell-casters known to the Greenskins, capable of everything from melting brains to summoning the great foot of the mighty Gork himself, in order to stamp out their foes.

(right) Orc Warboss – The biggest, meanest and strongest Orc within a tribe, being both the supreme tyrant and a hulking behemoth, and considered (by himself) to be the greatest Greenskin warrior around. This powerful individual is relatively cunning, and is an exceedingly powerful warrior, having fought and pummelled his way through his tribe’s hierarchy by winning battles and killing every challenger that would dare to defy his tyranny. Equipped with powerful weapons and armour, this brutish warrior is nearly unstoppable upon the battlefield.

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So there we have it, my two fantasy armies. Colourful, imaginative and great fun! But in my next ‘On Parade’ posting, we’ll return to the annals of history. See you then!

Visit my previous ‘On Parade’ postings:

4 thoughts on “On Parade: 1990s Warhammer Orcs and Goblins

  1. Gotta say my favourite models in the whole army are actually the Snotlings from Warhammer Quest, they give me such a strong sense of nostalgia. Great army!

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