Sunday, 14 April 2013

Orcses, filthy orcses! Art Collection part 1

I watched The Hobbit for the first time last week, now that it has been released on DVD. Barring a couple of very silly bits, I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked the design of the orcs, which were different to the Uruk Hai and Mordor orcs of the original trilogy. It got me thinking about the variety in orc models, not just in the film series, but in the miniatures world.

For many years, my experience of orcs has been those represented in the major fantasy game - a hairless gorilla physique with green skin and a big grin. It's a very popular design, it's even spread into the cosmos of the future. It's often cited on various forums as a break from the grim dark hobby background, a little light relief, for gamers who prefer "humour" and "fun" in their gaming, whatever they are. For a long time, it's been the only flavour available, since most independent companies have simply copied the market leader, in order to sell.

The introduction of the Lord of the Rings figures brought a new orc concept to gamers, courtesy of the designers of the film trilogy, who in turn were most likely influenced by various artists' works. The picture at the top of the page is by Angus McBride, well known among historical gamers for his many years of illustrating Osprey books, though he did also produce some stunning work on Middle Earth, as this small selection below illustrates.

All images used without permission, hopefully I am not infringing any copyright. 

1 comment:

Derek said...

Those pics bring back great memories. Back in my youth, I was a player (and collector) of MERP. Pretty much all the books had McBride covers, and all were of this same high standard. They even released a book that was just his artwork.

Once I have my own mancave, I will certainly be tracking down some of these works to adorn the walls.

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