Bitz box experiments, part 1: Heavy orc warriors



Are you looking for ideas on how to use up pieces of your bits box to expand your forces? This series explores ways and options of using parts from multiple manufacturers to achieve a cohesive themed miniature. More importantly, my intention is to make these relatively basic and open to a range of interpretations based upon your skill level.

This first conversion is inspired by the very month we are in. A trend throughout October each year is to paint orcs and other greenskins miniatures. Wargaming fans have coined the term #Orctober to reference the trend.

Heavy orc fighters:

This conversion is a cut and file job, which is an easy way to get your feet wet if you have never tinkered with miniature conversions before. It makes large infantry orcs in pretty heavy armor that will fit comfortably on 40mm bases.

For these 3 models, I used spare bits from various orruk warclans kits to augment the first half of an ogre warrior regiment box from mantic games.  ( )

To be honest here, I bought a bag of mixed orruk warclans bits last year after thinking about this very project as the ogres were released. However, don't let that detract from the options you have with pulling from your bits box. I would have, but this is my first time collecting greenskins.

After looking through what I had in terms of bits, there were parts from the ard boys (Warhammer fantasy's black orc kit), ironjaws brutes, and savage orc kits. 

The standard bearer has a head from the orruk savage orcs kit, with a pair of arms from the mantic ogres serving as the base for the standard conversion. The axe head was removed and replaced by a length of cylindrical sprue, and topped with a banner from the Ard Boyz kit. If you want extra stability and strength you can pin the piece of sprue to the haft of the axe.

The central model has an brutes head, with a large Choppa from the brutes kit being attached to the ogre great sword arms.

The model closest to the Games workshop stormcast model has an ornate axe head replaced with a more suitable Choppa from the Ard Boyz kit and a head from the same.

Cuts were made with my #2 hobby knife. I use Xacto brand but there are other similar options available in the market. Parts were then cleaned up with both the knife and a metal file. The intention is to make your contact point flat for ease of contact when cementing with plastic glue. I used testors plastic cement.

The models were then attached to 40mm bases, and that's it. It is relatively open ended. You could certainly use 40k orc bits to turn these into suitable sci Fi greenskins, or attach more armor plates from orc kits to bing more focus points to the model. These are areas that draw the eye with specific detail (like a spiked shoulder pad or an embossed emblem.)

You could go even further with sculpting material like greenstuff. I've seen conversions giving orcs top knots and other hairstyle upgrades, or masks.

An easy use of excess historical bits is to graft arrows to shoulder pads and other areas of the model to simulate battle damage. Greenskins are know for thier tenacious ferocity and arrows embedded in their armor would immediately convey that toughness.

I think the base conversion I've done here is perfectly serviceable as is, though. Possibly as orruk brutes in Age of sigmar with a more ragged appearance. The natural bulk of the mantic ogres  compared to the musclebound, no-skipped-gym-trips look of the ironjaws. Or just large, armored orcoids in RPG campaigns.

Although orcs in Warhammer are predominantly genderless, you can still use the female mantic ogres sprue with these conversions, as the connection points involved are fundamentally the same.

If you've been collecting orcs and goblins for years, and have a bits box full of orc parts that you want to turn into an army in short order, I'd suggest the ogre army set. It includes 18 ogres suitable for this conversion, along with a resin warlock that can be converted using the same basic principals and parts to go along with the infantry. For reference, that's 19 potential orruk conversions for $79.99.

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Expect to see these painted in the within the next week. And further conversion experiments. If you would like me to convert a specific kit and feature it in this series, email me at

Happy gaming and hobbying,


Max Mcdougall

Mcdougall Designs