Shadespire Ironskull’s Boyz

I’ve finished painting ALL the Shadespire Orruks! A whole plastic force, fully painted, with modern miniatures, for a current Games Workshop game. WHAT HAVE I BECOME?!?!  Gods of Oldhammer, I have forsaken thee!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

Ironskull’s Ironjawz tearing up the Realm of Shadows.

Initially I planned to just copy the ‘Eavy Metal banana-yellow paint scheme, but I switched the Orruk fleshtone from green (which sits awfully with yellow) to a nicely contrasting purpley-brown.  I blocked out the basecoats, confident I could ignore Jean-Baptiste’s “never go full banana” advice.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring banana phone orc.

Basha was the first Orruk I painted to completion – and he took bloody ages.  Yellow is notoriously translucent and takes a lot of layers to build to a strong colour.  Bright colours also show up the flaws in the shading and highlighting.  Pity anyone that’s doing an entire horde army of these buggers in yellow.  Although I was pleased with the brashness, I needed da boyz on the gaming table, and wanted to slash the time spent on them.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

Basha and Gurzag Ironskull.

Gurzag and the other Orruks had their armour colours reversed.  The dark steel colour is simply drybrush, wash and a quick edge highlight in bright silver.  It takes a fraction of the time of the yellow as there’s no glazing of midtones to eat through time.

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

I spent a bit of the time saved putting flames on Gurzag’s cloak.

Reducing the amount of yellow makes the Orruks look far more menacing, and gives what yellow is there greater impact. Basha’s all-yellow scheme does push him towards looking like a kid’s toy, or a construction vehicle.  Which I quite like anyway.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

Bonekutta and Hakka.

I had a lot of fun with Hakka, freehanding the flames onto his shoulderpads and jaw.  He’s my favourite miniature in the gang as the colour scheme draws your focus towards his head and cool mask.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Shadespire Ironjawz Ironskull's Boyz

I’ve really enjoyed painting these, and like that they’re instantly a finished project, ready to rumble against the likes of asslessman, Tears of Envy and Mr Saturday.

Lemme know which version of the yellow scheme you prefer in the comments!

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20 thoughts on “Shadespire Ironskull’s Boyz

  1. Those are the business, far better with a heavier emphasis on the black over the yellow.

    Hakka is my favourite of the four models too, with the “Come get some!” pose and the badass mask.

    1. Thanks sho3y! Let’s call the principle of reducing the area of a colour to increase its impact “The Bad Moon Law”.

      Hakka’s mask would look cool swapped onto Gurzag. Leader should get the flashiest kit.

  2. Man! You’ve made these look really good. I think I can still resist Shadespire though. Besides your painting style, I have to say I really enjoy your photography.

    1. Thanks Sean! But it can be only as little as three models. I am absolutely buzzing that I’ve got a completed force.

      Glad you like the photos, I got really frustrated with the first set and took them a second time last night from a slightly lower angle. Odd how much longer it takes to do proper shots for the blog rather than a quick snap with the phone to send round yer mates.

  3. These look great. Partial yellow armour is definitely my preference, it pops more than the dreaded full banana. The couple of yellow armour sections on Gurzag in particular make him pop like a bowl of rice crispies. The skin tone is a very nice detour off the beaten path too.

    I’m very fond of these orruks, they’re so damn chunky. You’ve done a marvellous job on them. I look forward to the magical day when I can chop them into meaty chunks with my sepulchral guard.

    1. Gurzag has a yellow bellyplate which balances his scheme nicely, but when I stuck his left hand on at the end of painting it conceals it. I only realised this in photographs and ended up repainting his left hand yellow and rephotographing everyone.

      They’re lovely Orruks to paint. Big clean chunky plates. After painting “Plymuff Waaagh-Guile” (Blood Bowl Orcs) I was a bit discouraged from painting modern Orcs on account of their size, but these Ironjawz were quick to whip through.

      I’m going to practise against skellies lots in anticipation of our bout.

  4. Wow, they are impressive. The choices you made here were totally right. I may be forced to take your work as reference (it is called ‘research’, it sounds more professional…)

    1. Thanks Dave! It’s old Citadel Dark Flesh, shaded with new Citadel Naggaroth Night. Highlights are Foundry North African Flesh and then Vallejo Model Colour Light Flesh.

  5. They look awesome.

    Good call on reversing the scheme. I did a bright orange for my Ironskull’s Boyz, and while I love the end result, the process about killed me. I wish I had thought to reverse the scheme…

    Anyway, nice work!

    1. It’s one of those times that frustration gives birth to something actually useful. God knows how the ‘Eavy Metal team got through regiment after regiment with all that yellow.

    1. I tried the Chosen Axes initially, and got frustrated with the difficult-to-paint bits behind the arms and weapons. I ended up pulling them apart and accidentally breaking them. Lemme know how you get on!

  6. Nice! Even the full yellow on Basha actually looks good to me, but I can absolutely understand not wanting to paint that much yellow repeatedly. It’s also kind of amusing to me how that yellow colour scheme for the Ironjawz works so much better when done by anyone other than GW’s painting team, who always just make it look ridiculous.

    I also always like seeing alternate skin tones on Orruks/Orks, and this is a really good one, particularly as contrast to the yellow.

    1. Thanks! If I had the time I’d like to have done them all in all-yellow perhaps. Partially though it’s also an ownership thing, if you spend an age copying the official colour scheme then you end up with something that doesn’t feel like it’s “yours”, and people don’t really take that much of a look at as they’ve seen that scheme executed a dizen times already to various skill levels.

  7. Great work here. I’m going to have to start in on some of my Shadespire models soon after seeing these. The question will of course be which scheme to paint them, especially since you just owned yellow so definitively.

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