Upright Orks Conversions: The Waaagh! Begins

Well, if you hadn’t guessed, it’s Space Orks!*

Orks have always been a favorite of mine, but I’ve never played them. This was mostly a monetary concern. I couldn’t afford another army after Space Marines, IGuard and Tyranids as a kid. That already sucked up most of my discretionary income as a preteen and teenager as well as the occasional birthday or Christmas gift.

As I’ve been working out some skirmish level rules for 40K that are based on platoon-sized actions (more on this in the future as the project matures), I’ve started working on some small armies to fight the Space Marines (x2), IGuard and Tyranids (x2) that we already have represented in my small group of gaming friends.

Seemed like a good enough excuse to start another modeling project when I’m not even technically finished with the Space Marine one. Anyway, one thing I prefer my Orks to have, and this probably comes from my memories of Orks being from 2nd Edition when they still had a BS of 3, is More Dakka. It’s never “Enough Dakka” or “Potentially too much Dakka”.  Why an army that was predicated around making things shoot, go faster and explode hilariously (even if sometimes it was their own stuff) became a close combat faction, I’ll never know.

Either way, my Orks will be shooty. Not sure if this is ideal for 40K, but it will be ideal for the version of 40K I’m working on, so it may not matter.

These are pretty rough early mockups to test if my ability to convert them will be sufficient.

Converted Space Orks Boyz with Rokkit Launcha and Big Shoota

Three Space Ork Boyz with Shootas

The main effort here is making them stand a little taller and more upright. The legs are very squat, and not in the awesome Space Dwarf kind of way. So I’ve attempted to work them into better poses by moving the legs around. This isn’t nearly as clean of a process as it is with the Space Marine models, so there will be a lot of gap filling going on.

One of the other things has been repositioning the head. The Orks have their heads jutting straight out of their chests. This looks a little silly, but more importantly it creates a tremendous restriction on the direction their heads can point and the positioning of their arms. I’ve filed the neck down significantly and moved the heads up further on the body. This, combined with the legs, makes them a little taller, and a little more menacing. From a modeling standpoint, this will open up a lot of possibilities for their arm poses. It also means I’m going to have to sculpt necks for them. I’ve only gotta do 50 or so, no big deal.

Space Ork Boy with Shoota

So how dramatic is the effect? The model in the middle is a snap fit Ork from the Assault on Black Reach boxed set. The other two are built with normal Boyz parts cut and repositioned.

Two converted Space Ork Boyz with shoota and Assault on Black Reach AOBR Ork Boy with Big Shoota


After the cutting, just some greenstuff sculpting to create necks for them.

Greenstuff sculpting Orks necks


Here’s the existing platoon of Boyz.

ork platoon 1

converted upright ork platoon overhead


Next to a True Scale Space Marine and a converted Tau Fire Warrior to give you an idea where they come out compared to other models in the Games Workshop range.

converted ork boy and Tau Fire Warrior models next to True Scale Space Marine for scale






3 thoughts on “Upright Orks Conversions: The Waaagh! Begins

  1. Hey, I might be a little late to the party, but first things first, great blog, loads of inspiration here, and I’m looking forward to trying to make a True scale marine using your tutorial as a guide.

    I live what you’re doing with you Orks here, big beefy bastards is what they should be. But I thought you might like to see what Mikko on Iron Sleet was doing with his/her Orks: http://ironsleet.com/2015/05/28/quick-look-at-the-progress-with-my-boyd-ork-kommando/

    Keep up the good work!


  2. I never really looked at Ork models with an anatomical eye for detail.

    They definitely need necks. The other issue is the massive gap between their thighs. Space Marines have the same issue. I really want to see an Ork that is standing up straight with no wienerless gap in their pelvis.

    It’s strange how every 40k model is squatting and hunched over. I love your Space Marine conversions. I have started a few of my own. If I ever post them I will give you credit as the idea origin.


    1. Really glad you liked them. The Orks are obviously going to be a matter of personal preference, but I like them taller and more menacing. The legs are problematic without serious re-sculpting and green stuff work, but this simple process tends to at least alleviate a good amount of the “ork hunch” posturing. It’s kinda strange the Orks have been consistently modeled this way, especially since the art often depicts them with taller postures.


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