The King (In the Woods) Is Back

When I was a wee nipper (well, 13 years old actually) I bought my first White Dwarf with my own money (after having spent years reading my best friend’s issues) – issue 201. And inside that issue I was introduced to Orion, the King in the Woods. The living avatar of Kurnous and leader of the Wood Elves! Needless to say I’d already been super excited about Wood Elves by this point, but this model tipped me over the edge and made me decide to collect them.

And so it was that Orion was my first big metal model kit (GW having only just started to roll out lead-free miniatures at the time). I didn’t really know about pinning, so he fell apart a lot and I’m sure he wasn’t painted all that well but dangit he was my king and I loved him.

So, after the passing of many many years, I find myself at the end of 2020 with the plan to rebuild this old Wood Elf army. And lo, an Orion kindly lands in my lap thanks to a generous soul over on Twitter:

Sure, he’s gone to pieces but he’s still my first love.

Well, I knew I had to get this chap rebuilt and painted up! So I got him glued (and pinned that pesky spear hand!) but found myself a little uncertain how to proceed. On one hand, I’d love to stick with that original ‘Eavy Metal style, but on the other hand the artwork of the time shows Orion with this strong green skintone which I think sits better with the character.

Mmm… green forest daddy. Wait, what? You didn’t hear that.

So at first I tried just glazing the existing skintone with Waywatcher Green glaze paint (sadly now a discontinued colour from Citadel) thinking it would be a nice compromise. It didn’t really work out though, making him look quite unwell and it was not a smooth colour all over anyway. So I ended up repainting the skin entirely, as well as replacing any blue areas with red or gold to help bring the scheme together.

In the end, here’s where I got with him:

The skin is based in Death Guard Green, then shaded with Biel-Tan Green and glazed with Waywatcher Green. Then I used carroburg crimson to add a bit of red into the muscles and face. Many of the blue areas (such as the loincloth and spear gems) were painted red over the existing blue. Overall I think the colours balance quite nicely now.
For his hair it’s Emerald Green, washed with Biel-Tan and drybrushed Moot Green and Phalanx Yellow. The cloak was Death Guard Green with 2 layers of Biel Tan, then I picked out a few leaves in Averland Sunset and Mephiston Red before using Agrax Earthshade to die it all back together. There’s also a very light drybrushing back with the original Death Guard Green to bring out some more of the detail.

The base was already flocked but I did repaint the rim to match the rest of my army. The flock is actually pretty close to the colour of the sand on the other miniatures in the army, so I’m thinking for now I’ll leave that how it is. Perhaps as a leader I might just throw some tufts down later to bring that base up a notch.

So that’s him, Orion. The King in the Woods is back to lead his army.

I think I’m going to need some Wild Riders!

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