I Didn’t Die!

Look at how low-res Duncan is, right there.

Anyway, I got my blood test results back, and then I had to do more tests, and then I got those results back, too. And the endgame from all those results? The thrilling conclusion?

Basically nothing. Or, as my doctor phrased it, “not much of anything.” 

I was low on Vitamin D and they advised me to take a vitamin D supplement (which, as Dr. Mark and the NHS website were both keen to point out, pretty much everyone in the UK should be doing during Autumn and Winter; what an interesting thing we could’ve learned in school instead of quadratic equations). I was also slightly low on folic acid, because, amazingly, a diet of lukewarm coffee and photosynthesised monitor glare isn’t as nutritious as salad.

Imagine that.

But ultimately, no revelations there. Which means that the tremor is just a bit of a tremor, which is both reassuring and extremely boring.

It’s still there, but it’s also still scarcely noticeable, mostly consigned to my jaw and my thumbs where I don’t tend to remember it’s even a thing for 99.8% of tasks, and it only really comes back into focus when I pick up a paintbrush or thumb-type on my phone.

Even so, I’d fallen so far behind the other guys that I was committed to knuckling down in February and getting some stuff done. I got a bunch of minis from various armies, and set to trying them out, including the Blood Warrior I showed about a month ago. I did half a Tzaangor, most of a couple of truly crappy dwarfs, bits of a Slaughterpriest, most of a skeleton, a bit of a tomb banshee, and blah blah blah. It was a dull and frustrating February. I was practising armour colours, blood effects, various skin tones– essentially throwing a lot of things at the wall and seeing what stuck.

About a week ago, something stuck.

I hadn’t expected this specific thing to stick, so I messaged Colin, who surfaced from the 10,000,000 orruks he was drybrushing long enough to reply, telling me to do it.

But it comes with issues, I said. We’d both be playing Destruction. Except that was cool, because then we could team up against Dr. Mark and Ross, who were both playing Order.

Anyway, long story short, with Col’s blessing, I carried on. Here is the result:

Picture 1

I was going to get Ross to work some of his photo magic on it, like he does with his awesomely moody Sylvaneth images, but that can wait until the Skirmish warband is done. And honestly, I was a bit too excited to wait. Actual progress was so novel, and I’d gone a month with pure silence, so I was keen to share it.

When I started messing around with the orruk models I had, I wanted colours that would go with Colin’s scheme (i.e. a lot of greens), representing two warclans that were from the same general region, and allied with each other when they weren’t beating the snot out of each other. So I didn’t want to diverge from his theme too much. I was messing around with teals and pale greens, when I came across an awesome tutorial that sold me on the idea completely. I’m sure it’ll look familiar to anyone who knows their way around the Ironjawz community: WargamerOnline did a brilliant video right here.

Behold, hot greenskin backside, some Ghurian flora, and a bloody blade.

There are some Pros and Cons to playing Ironjawz. I’m committed to it now (I’ve already started my next two Brutes), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note the Cons as well as the Pros.


  • If there’s one army I’ve tried and failed to raise more times than any other, it’s WHF’s old Orcs & Goblins. I loved them, but the sheer number of bodies needed always defeated me at the first step. Although that would make victory sweeter now.
  • Their army book is among the less inspiring ones, with the art way back in that earlier, Very Bright cartoony phase Age of Sigmar seems to be moving away from now, and with the lore mostly relegated to “The Battle of X happened at Location Y”, which is interesting in moderation, but not great context in abundance. The whole culture is based around a small number of models released, rather than releasing models based on a detailed culture, which isn’t necessarily uncommon– but other armies tend to hide it very well, these days. The difference between the writing in the Ironjawz book and, say, the Kharadron Overlords or [Insert Secret Things I’ve read and you haven’t yet] is palpable. In terms of the Ironjawz, you can very much tell they were an early release in the game’s lifespan.
  • Further to that point, they’re a very small army. Several Age of Sigmar armies that rely on new models are small right now, because as awesome as Warhammer Fantasy Battles was, those armies had decades of expansion, building on older cores. AoS armies, especially entirely new ones early in the game’s lifespan, are barely armies in terms we’re all used to: think of the Fyreslayers or the Ironjawz. The Ironjawz are, in total, 1 character on a monster, 3 infantry characters, 1 infantry unit, and 1 cavalry unit. You can count 1 special character (I don’t; I have zero interest in special characters in tabletop games), and 1 repurposed unit from WHF, but they’re still very small.
  • Colin is also playing Ironjawz / Destruction. There could be some overlap there, but honestly, I sort of see this as more of a Pro than a Con. See below.


  • Colin is also playing Ironjawz/Destruction. I like the way we’re both playing armies from the Realm where the campaign will be set, and I like the option to team up against the Order guys, or beat each other’s faces in, orruk-style, when the Order guys aren’t around.
  • Yep, the army is very small for now, but the way to offset this is to expand via other Destruction factions. That’s both lore-friendly and a lot of fun, and– dare I say it– probably the point. I suspect Col and I will make sure our Ironjawz expand in slightly different directions, based on our army backgrounds. Even if we have a fair bit of overlap, it’s nothing that will break the flow of the campaign.
  • I can paint them. And fairly fast (for me), too. Excuse me for wearing the company tie on this, but the Citadel painting handle helped me out a lot there, especially re: the tremor. A few months ago I was laughing at my friends for buying them. Now I have two of the bloody things.
  • The Ironjawz models are amazing. There may not be many of them yet, but they’re among the best fantasy models I’ve ever seen.
  • I have army background already done, which I’m pretty pleased with, and which will likely be my next post now I’m up and running again.
  • This would finally give me a greenskin army, which I’ve wanted since I was about 15.

The list of pros is briefer, but a bit more compelling.

My starting warband, at 35 points, is looking to be 3 Brutes and 1 Warchanter. I need to order the Warchanter this week, but I’ve got two more Brutes on the go for now.

To sign off on this update of (gasp!) unprecedented progress, here’s a screenie from when I was secretly colluding with Colin, showing him the finished article:


That boy Duncan gets everywhere.

24 thoughts on “I Didn’t Die!

  1. Glad to see you’ve made some progress, Aaron, and the tremor is indeed just a minor thing. Not sure where you’re going to take it from here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to see something’s finally sticking – the test model looks excellent. Very often, “I can paint it quickly” becomes the overriding consideration when picking an army to paint – and it’s a really good one too because once you’ve crossed the hump of painting a whole army, it becomes easier to sustain that momentum and do another one, and another one..

    Looking forward to more of those Orruks!


    1. By cheating! WGO’s tutorial (link in the article somewhere) is a great step-by-step guide. Essentially, it’s:

      Stegadon Scale Green basecoat.
      Nuln Oil / Agrax Earthshade / Lahmian Medium wash.
      Kabalite Green edge highlight.
      Sybarite Green edge highlight.
      Nuln Oil / Agrax Earthshade / Lahmian Medium wash.


  3. Maybe get the start collecting Ironjawz instead, you get the warchanter and the black orcs for the price of the goregruntas. Just a suggestion


  4. Well, now I feel a bit less stupid for finally ordering my own painting handle last week. Cheers!

    I can see why you’ve settled on Ironjawz. In what can in no way be construed as a diss, I have to say this one is way, way better than your other test models. It’s actually quite delicious. The neatness definitely helps a lot, but the colour scheme really delivers as well.

    Ditto on the lore for the Ironjawz book. They were one of the armies I considered starting for AoS – since the skirmish box + start collecting! would be about as much as a battleforce and provides some decent unit variety – and since the models are lovely, and the army looks simple to paint. But the Kharadron have that extra story flair and fancy art, so I went with them instead – they also edged out over the Death battleforce for similar reasons, a fact I have since started to regret…

    I’ve sort of gone the opposite direction from yours: instead of painting a bunch of test models, I have almost completed my first unit of Arkanauts and it’s now sort of just… sitting there, waiting for me to complete the final details and correct the numerous errors of the “why the hell is there blue paint on his brass belt buckle?” variety. Which, I’d quite like to, but these Allarus Custodians are not going to assemble themselves…


  5. Glad i stuck with Chaos now!!

    Still, i might be having thoughts on changing my force to Tzeentch Knights.

    I remember some old fluff about this order of Chaos Knights dedicated to the great Lord of Change, riding around all shiny like.

    Well….. perhaps they are abit much for Skirmish, but one knight and some minions would’nt go amiss.

    Not really made my mind up yet tbh.

    I just finished my Darkoath Chieftan, so do i capitalise on that, or go with a dream.

    Usually RULE OF COOL wins..

    But its all cool as hell.

    Damn hobby butterfly.


  6. That’s good news about the tremor: In hindsight, and with the benefit of relief on your side, your writer’s mind might now seem to prefer a super sophisticated brain disease that only three and a half people on the planet suffer from and that also makes you able to hear the dead and the thoughts of birds (what little thoughts there are, mind you), but I think we can all agree that the actual outcome is the better one! 😉

    That Ironjaw looks freaking amazing! That’s fantastic painting right there! I can see why you would run with it. I will admit I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t be seeing that super-interesting brief you had for a chaos warband following an ageing leader actually turned into an army. Well, that and I was kind of hoping I could become your Khornate fairy-godmother muse 😉

    Erm, anyway: Keep up the amazing work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it’s any consolation, disappointing you was indeed something on my mind, and I was keen to leech ideas from you and chat about possibilities.

      But I was never going to be able to do your conversions justice, man. They’re on another level.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a gorgeous colour scheme. I might have to pinch it for my Shadespire Orruks I’ll be buying next month!


  8. Congratulations on not being dead. Also, the Orc Brute looks very nice indeed. Almost nice enough to inspire me to start on my own, but I need to hold strong for the time being and keep finishing other stuff off to make space.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s