Daily Illuminator

May 3, 2020: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Orcs

They were cast by Ral Partha in the mid- to late 70s – one has 1976 on the bottom. They are part of a batch of 15 that I painted up as my go-to bad guys for the early days of The Fantasy Trip. I probably got them at King's Hobbies, a north Austin store that is still in business! Left to right, the first three are different poses from the same army: a bowman, an axeman, and a swordsman. There also exists a spearman – maybe he is still in the box that came back from Gen Con. Returning to the photo, we have two oddballs with the same physique as the orcs: a caveman with a spear, and a skull-head zombie with a club.

I really like these little orcs. Their flat faces give them a stoic, relentless expression that's enhanced by the spike-helm with nasal. They were slain many times during the development of Melee and Wizard, but they were always game for one more try.

They were small figures when they were made. By modern standards, they're tiny. But I still love them very much; if we ever did a minis line, I'd think seriously about giving one orc clan this sort of face and gear, as an homage to the great stuff that was coming out of Ral Partha forty years ago.

If you have some of these guys that you don't want, or if you know more about their history (like, were there more than three of the orc army poses?), please let me know at sj@sjgames.com.

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-- Steve Jackson


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