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Papercraft Build – Sanity Studios: Orcs

I’ve built quiet a number of  Sanity Studios paper miniatures, so I thought it was time I did a review of one of their sets so I picked latest set. They have just released a very nice set of Orcs which is the first set in there Green tide army. These are the more modern take on Orcs that we have all come to expect when someone says Orc, ugly, brutish with green skins. For those who are unaware Sanity Studio’s has a set of tabletop rules to go along with their paper miniatures called Bellicose, I’ll probably do a review on rules in a separate post later on. To save me some space you can read about comparable scaling in this post. I will just mention that the Orcs stand a little taller than a Sanity Studio’s human, approximately 30mm to the eyes.

There are a total of 10 unique Orcs in the set with an additional 3 which are a mirror of the first 3 so your not wasting paper when you print them off (a nice touch).  This gives you 13 orcs across two pages. Additionally there are 3 skin tones available for each Orc, Green, Dark green and Olive. This means you can print of the pages 3 times and have 39 Orcs that are all slightly different.

Sanity Studios Orc Skin Tones

The first page contains 6 unique Orcs, wielding a variety of weapons, shields and armour. The poses are very dynamic and really convey a sense of movement in each of the miniatures. All the miniatures are very good on this first page with my favorites being Orc3 and Orc6, my least favorite is Orc2. The photo below shows the 6 Orcs in stock Green skin:

Orc1, Orc2, Orc3, Orc4, Orc5, Orc6

The 2nd page contains 4 unique Orcs and 3 mirrored Orcs (1,2 and 4), for 7 in total, the poses are likewise very dynamic across this page. My favorite from this page is Orc8 with Orc7 running a close second, I’m going to pick on Mirrored Orc2 as my least favorite. The photo below shows the 7 Orcs in stock Green skin:

Orc8, Orc7, Orc9, Orc10, 1Cro, 2Cro , 4Cro

As you can see from the above pictures the Orcs are coloured/shaded differently to David Okums work. David goes for a more comic book cell shaded look for his mini’s were as Labrat from Sanity Studios colours/shades  similar to how you would have if you were painting a metal/plastic Orc miniatures. Both styles work well on the table but I have to admit when placed side by side on the table the Sanity Studio’s mini’s do seem to “pop” a little more, but this could just be my own personal preference seeping through as they both look good even at longer distances, either way your not going to go wrong picking up work from either artist.

Sanity Orcs vs Okums Elves

The Orc’s come with a premade craftrobo/silhouette  cut file so if you have one of those cutters it’s very quick to go from pdf to a couple of units of Orcs. Unfortunately an optional Cameo layer was not included but this can be addressed using a ruler and black pen. Handcutting will be a little slower, as you can see from the above pictures the Orcs have quiet a few small shapes protruding off them which increases the time it takes to cut them out. The added detail does mean the Orcs have a better overall impact on the table.

At the moment these Orcs would be great for populating a warband for a skirmish level war game eg SoBH (this will be one of my uses). They’d also be great for a GM to use in  a dungeon for a role playing game. There’s not quiet enough to populate up a full fantasy Orc army but I know Labrat has some goblins in the works which will then make these much more usable for larger army wargames. I know from reading the Bellicose rules (were these minis are intended to be used) that in the future Sanity Studios/Labrat will be working on several other additions for the Orc army such as:

  • Goblins
  • Goblin Pedal tank
  • Hobgoblins
  • Ogres
  • Shaman
  • Orc Warlord

No idea when they will be available but Sanity Studios has been filling out there troop roster for 24-36 months now so I’m fairly confident we’ll see most of the above at some point.

The Orc set is $3.95 which is good value for money, you don’t get as many different Orcs as David puts in his sets but David appears to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to number of paper miniatures in a release. These Orcs are also more what people think off when they think Orc so for myself they are an excellent set/instant buy and lastly and most importantly you can never have to many Orc’s :).

Have fun gaming :).

Papercraft Build – Okumarts Darkfast Set Two: Wood Elves

This is the second set in Darkfast series released by Okumarts. As the numbering for the Darkfasts series starts at zero this set is labeled as Set Two: Wood Elves. You can read about the size/scaling and background information in this post to save on repetition.

As you can guess from the title of the set this set contains Wood Elves. Before I proceed any further with build review a little bit of disclosure, I’m a wood elf fan, they are one of my favorite races in any fantasy setting so be warned this review might be a little biased due to my Wood Elf tinted glasses. The Elves are drawn in what I would describe as classic D&D elf style, the elves are slightly shorter and of a thinner build than your average human.  There are a total of 18 unique miniatures in this set broken up into two sets. The first twelve you see when you open the PDF are warriors and these are printable in four colours with white hair; green, red, blue and white with an extra green set with brown hair. The second bonus set of six (turn off the five warrior layers) are available in the one colour however Okumarts has really raised the bar with them, there are four Buck (Deer) Riders and one male & one female wood elf Druid/Mage. Below are photo’s of the various miniatures avaliable in the set in various colours:

Elf Sword (M), Elf Sword (F), Elf Archer (F), Elf Archer (F), Elf Archer (M), Elf Archer (M)
Elf Archer Chainmail(M), Elf Spear (F), Elf Spear (M), Elf Spear (M), Elf Sword Heavy (M), Elf Sword Heavy (F)
Elf Buck Rider Archer (M), Elf Buck Rider Archer (M)
Elf Buck Rider Spear (M), Elf Buck Rider Spear (M)
Elf Druid/Mage (M), Elf Druid/Mage (F)

This set is stunning and extremely versatile, again the colour selections for the miniatures and the dynamic poses Okumarts has selected look really good on the tabletop. I can see a lot of uses for the miniatures in this set:

  • There are six special looking mini’s that would make good PC’s or important NPC’s, Elf Ranger Sword (M), Elf Ranger Sword (F), Elf Sword Heavy (M), Elf Sword Heavy (F), Elf Druid/Mage (M) and Elf Druid/Mage (F).
  • Both male and female variants of every miniature, except the Buck (deer) riders.
  • Extremely dynamic poses.
  • Deer Riders, great idea and well executed.
  • Lots of different troop types.

The outlines on this set are slightly more complex than the previous two with a few deer antlers, cape ends and hair spikes, however overall they are not difficult to cut out. The back to front alignment on the first twelve miniatures and the Druid/Mage is as usual excellent. I did however notice that on a couple of the buck riders there wasn’t quiet enough black border on the rear side, this was easily fixed with a black marker. Do keep that in mind when cutting the miniatures out as you will need to cut out the miniatures from the front side (face side).

The set contains a good number of figures that can be used across an RPG from PC’s, NPC’s down to simple forest border guards. It would be a great set to use to play out an encounter with elven border guards as the PC’s try to enter Wood Elven lands.  Depending on how the initial encounter played out you could have the PC’s being pursued by ardent Buck riders across the rolling plains away from the forest.

There are more than enough figures to make up a very nice and varied Warband for Song of Blades and Heros in fact with the varied figures in the set you could do up themed lists; all mounted, all ground  or a mixed wood elf warband. Elves are contained in the main Song of Blades and Heros book on page 26, I plan on using the stats for heavy cavalry with the Buck Spears and have made a new profile for the Buck Archers (see below). All the other miniatures equate out reasonably well with the stock list, with a few double ups:

  • Elf Warrior (SBH) = Elf Spear
  • Elf Archer (SBH) = Elf Archer
  • Wood Elf Warrior (SBH) = Elf Sword
  • Wood Elf Archer (SBH) = Elf Archer or Elf Archer Chainmail
  • Elf Wizard (SBH) = Elf Druid/Mage
  • Elf Hero (SBH)= Elf Sword Heavy or Elf Archer Chainmail
  • Elf Commander (SBH) = Elf Sword Heavy
  • Wood Elf Commander(SBH) = Elf Sword Heavy
  • Elf Sneak (SBH)= Not really one, Elf Spear (F) is close
  • Elf Cavalry (light) (SBH)= Elf Buck Rider Spear (better fit below)
  • Elf Cavalry (heavy) (SBH)= Elf Buck Rider Spear

Wood Elf Buck Archer (Bow and Riding Buck)
Points 50   Quality 3+  Combat 3
Special Rules Mounted, Shooter (Medium)

Being a bit of Wood Elf Fan I also had a quick look over at Wargames Unlimited – No Quarter and they have a Wood Elf Army list already (cue squeal of delight). There are not enough miniatures in this first set to have a different miniature for each profile avaliable in the wood elf army list. There are however more than enough different miniatures to put a reasonably well rounded fighting force onto the tabletop. I went through the avaliable miniatures and matched them as closely as I could to those avaliable on the list, As there are a number of duplicates don’t forget to use different cloak colours and different hair colours to represent different unit types if you need. I also added a few idea’s from other papercraft manufacturers (all free):

Individuals and Leaders

  • Elven King – none that are really special enough
  • Woodland Noble – Elf Sword Heavy or Elf Sword
  • Clan Leader – Elf Sword Heavy
  • Totem Bearer – none
  • Elven Warlock – Elf Druid/Mage (M)
  • Elven Witch – Elf Druid/Mage (F)
  • Elven Sorceress – Elf Druid/Mage (F)
  • Elven Sorceress on Unicorn – none

Core Units

Elite Units

  • Greater Tree Spirit – none ( Onemonk Halloween set tree  or WorldWorksGames Halloween tree or Eddnic’s Treant or HannesX’s Treeman)
  • Border Gaurd – Buck Riders (Spear or Archer)
  • Levy Nobility – Elf Heavy Sword
  • Woad Warriors – none
  • Eagle Riders – none
  • Huntsfolk – Elf Archer
  • Clansfolk – Elf Sword

Remembering you wont ever field every troop type in every army list that you field for a particular battle. Below I’ve put together some quick army lists as well as the number of times to print a particular page to field the army of that size(2 Okumarts miniatures only, 1 mixed list):

500 point Army

503 points total

Print: 2 of page 1 and 1 of page 2

General

Elven Sorceress (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Woodfolk x10 (Elf Archer) – 280pts

Elite Units

Border Guard x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

1000 Point Army

986 points total

Print: 3 of page 1 and 2 of page 2

General

Clan Leader (Elf Sword Heavy) – 55 pts

Individual

Elven Sorceress (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Schiltrons x8 (Elf Spear) – 264 pts

Woodfolk x10 (Elf Archer) – 280pts

Elite Units

Border Guard 1 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Border Guard 2 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

1500 point Army

1485 points total

Print: 4 of page 1 and 2 of page 2 + 1 WWG Halloween tree

General

Woodland Noble (Elf Sword Heavy) – 92 pts

Individual

Elven Witch (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Elven Warlock (Elf Druid/Mage) – 59 pts

Core Units

Schiltrons x8 (Elf Spear) – 264 pts

Woodfolk x8 (Elf Archer) – 224pts

Woodfolk x8 (Elf Archer) – 224pts

Fae Lorn x4 (Elf Sword) – 128pts

Elite Units

Border Guard 1 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Border Guard 2 x4 (Buck Rider) – 164pts

Greater Tree Spirit (WWG Tree) – 107pts

For me this set is a winner, one of my favorite fantasy races and usable across all three types of games I enjoy playing for a very reasonable $2.50 (USD) . I’d recommend  buying the set, no matter what game your going to use it for you will get good use out of the set.

Overall I have been very impressed with the Darkfast series and will pickup any more miniatures that Okumarts releases in this series to add to the ones above.

Have fun gaming

Papercraft Build – Okumarts Darkfast Set One: Orc Tribe

This is the second set in Darkfast series that Okumarts has released. As the numbering for the Darkfasts series starts at zero this set is labeled as Set One: Orc Tribe. I wont repeat the scaling and background information in this post but you can read all about it in the top of this post.

As you can guess from the title of the set this set contains Orcs. The Orcs are drawn more a long the lines of long snouted Orcs (Pig Orcs) slightly different to your Warhammer 40k orc but are a very nice take on the old Pig Orcs.  There are a total of 24 unique miniatures in this set broken up into two lots of twelve. The first twelve you see when you open the PDF are warriors and these are printable in four colours; red, brown, blue and green. The second bonus set of twelve (turn off the four warrior layers) are available in the one colour but consist of various Orc villager types. I’ve included a picture of all 24 miniatures with the warriors printed in various colours (There is a little lens flare/washout in the below photo’s – Sorry):

Orc Axe (M), Orc Mace (M), Orc Sword & Shield (M), Orc Sword (M), Orc Sword & Shield 2 (M), Orc Club and Chicken (M)
Orc Fancy Sword (M), Orc Axe (M), Orc Axe(M), Orc Club (M), Orc Bow & Arrow (M), Orc Bow (M)
Orc Frying Pan (F), Orc Shaman (M), Orc Thief (F), Orc Bucket (F), Orc Old Broom (F), Orc Thief (M)
Orc Boy 1, Orc Boy 2, Orc Boy Wood Sword, Orc Baby (X), Orc Boy Run, Orc Girl w/Bear

I really like this set, you can outfit a whole Orc village if you wanted  to, something I think would be impossible with metal miniatures. This could open up a world of alignment based issues for your players e.g  The PC’s just crashed into the Orc village intent on killing and plundering and find a calm village scene complete with young Orc children running around (Evil GM Grin). Okumarts has added some very nice touches to make this set stand out, such as:

  • Including Orc’s with Axes facing left and right, great as gate guards, the same yet different.
  • The female Orc thief could make for a very nice NPC or even an unusual PC character.
  • The old Shaman need I say more 🙂
  • Female orc with frying pan, reminds me of the Tangled frying pan quote “Frying pans… who knew, right?”
  • The ability to have four colours of the main warriors, you could have four different clans all fighting, with the PC’s trapped in the middle.

Okumarts has kept the outlines fairly simple although if you are cutting by hand there are a few hair, cloak and horn points you’ll need to cut around. The back to front alignment on the set is excellent which can be an issue with front/back paper miniatures. I was a little skeptical of the cloak colours when viewing the PDF on screen, particularly the green, however on print out all four colours look good. The miniatures themselves are bright and have excellent colour toning. Identification of the different miniatures on the tabletop was very easy when looking down at them from a seated position at a table. The PDF’s are not “locked” so editing them for my (or your) own personal use is easy rather than if they had been password protected.

Village Life (Huts by Worldworksgames)

I have no real issues with the set except wishing that the little craftrobo “L’s” (alignment marks) were on the pages. The only other small comment I have is that I would have liked to see a few female warrior types mixed in with males. However this is an area that metal/plastic miniature manufacturers tend to miss so no big issue. Although in the case of Orcs I can understand their military might not be an equal opportunity employer, unlike more open minded races such as Wood Elves.

This set would be great for any GM who’s players are about to invade an Orc stronghold or try and wipe out an Orc village. Print each of the warriors out in two or three different colours and the villagers once and you could set a really nice scene on the tabletop. This set will also make for a nice warband for a skirmish sized wargame (8-10 miniatures per person) such as Song of Blades and Hero’s. At this point in the Darkfast series this set can’t quiet provide enough variety of miniatures on it’s own to start to outfit a full fantasy Pig Orc army using rules such as No Quarter. Saying that you can field three different types of foot units, Hand to Hand, Archers and Polearms although you might see a little repetition in the units, to this you could add a Ballista (link) or Catapult (link or link), use the Old Shaman as a powerful magic user and use the Orc from Set Zero as a Hero, this will leave you short on some form of cavalry and a command type group. Okumarts is a big fantasy fan so I have no doubt that we will see some more Orcs in the future.

Orc Hand to Hand Unit Ready for Battle

This set is a pay set but will only set you back $2.50 USD about 10 cents a model if you don’t count colour options, less if you do. The set is excellent value for money and the artwork is of a very high standard. I’d recommend picking up a set for yourself, if you have any RPG GM’ing in your future or need a few warbands for a skirmish level wargame. However if your only use for this set is more along the lines of needing a full Fantasy Army I’d carefully weight up buying and building what you can now or simply waiting to see if further miniatures are released in the future and then pickup both sets at that point, so you can better field a more complete army to begin with.

For myself  it was no brainer buy and I’m really happy with how the miniatures look on the table. I’ll wait with crossed fingers for more variants in the future to help fill out a more complete army list for Fantasy Wargaming or possibly I’ll just mod some for my own personal use.

Next up Wood Elves.

Orc Ambush

Papercraft Build – Okumarts Darkfast Set Zero: Basic Adventure

Okumarts has been releasing paper mini sets for about 12 months now. It’s great to see another really talented professional artist get into the paper mini field and I hope he continues to expand his range, especially as Onemonk has hung up his pencil. I decided to build up the first of Okumarts Darkfast Classic Fantasy series (Set Zero: Basic Adventure). I’m currently building sets One and Two and will put posts up about those shortly.

Okumarts has a very distinctive style which aligns most closely with the manga drawing/image style. I personally really have an affinity for his style, if you prefer your paper mini’s more ultra realistic I wouldn’t recommend these. Okumarts has however incorporated a lot of the great features that Onemonk used on his paper mini’s that made them stand out so uniquely, this includes:

  • Tabbed basing for easy mounting
  • Back and front colour art
  • Black border around the outside of the mini to help it pop
  • Close cutting of the mini’s. No fold up triangles here.

The above make Okumarts paper mini’s very compatible with several other artists and let you reuse some of your already existing bases. Although the unique style will mean you can mix and match Okumarts and other artisits mini’s on a table for an RPG, if you try to mix and match them inside the same wargaming army unit it will look at little odd as the styles will clash. This however is not a big drawback as you can’t really mix and match different metal miniatures from different manufacturers in the same unit. As with the metal miniature world there are some issues with scale in the paper miniature world. The advantage with paper is that if you want something a particular scale you can scale it up or down prior to printing. I’ve put together a quick image below which shows one of Okumarts miniatures from this set side by side with a Human from Onemonk and a Human from Sanity Studios, Okumarts miniatures align most closely with Onemonks work however they have a less exaggerated head to body ratio:

Approximate Conversion

Scale Up Sanity Studio’s, print at:  118 – 120%

Shrink Onemonk/Okumarts, print at: 83 – 85%

This is the first set in the Darkfast series Set Zero: Basic Adventure and is a free download. The set contains 10 unique miniatures which can be printed in two different colour schemes, this is achieved by using a layered PDF. The mini’s are split into  Five “Good Guys” and Five “Bad Guys”. If you were just starting out with D&D or another fantasy RPG, this set would give a you the basic figures to get your campaign running for 1-2nd maybe up to 3rd level characters. This set can also be used to give you some quick starter figures for two different warbands for Song of Blades and Hero’s or some other skirmish sized fantasy game. Okumarts didn’t specifically name each of his mini’s but I’ll do my best below:

Dwarf Fighter (M), Human Monk/Druid (M), Human Fighter (M) , Human Wizard (M) , Elven Archer (F)
Bugbear Fighter (M), Gnoll Fighter (M), Goblin Fighter (M), Pig Orc Fighter (M), Hobgoblin Fighter (M)

The colour options for each miniature are:

  1. Dwarf Fighter: Yellow/Brown and Blue/Brown
  2. Human Monk/Druid: Grey/Brown and Green/Green
  3. Human Fighter: Blue and Yellow/Gold
  4. Human Wizard: Mauve and Green
  5. Elven Archer: Natural Green’s and Bright Green/Yellow
  6. Bugbear Fighter: Green/Grey and Red
  7. Gnoll Fighter: Light Brown and Light Green (loincloth)
  8. Goblin Fighter: Light Brown and Dark brown
  9.  Pig Orc Fighter: Burnt Orange and Aqua Blue
  10.  Hobgoblin Fighter: Red and Green

For a free set this set is excellent value for money and the artwork and options are great, the weakest miniature in the set to me is the Bugbear he sort of looks startled rather than aggressive. Okumarts has kept the outlines fairly simple without to many little pointy area’s to cut out (the ones above were cut out by my craftrobo), I test cut out one by hand in 3-4 mins.  The back to front alignment is excellent this can be an issue with front/back paper miniatures not always aligning well. The colours print out very well and the miniatures don’t appear muted or dull. I could easily tell which miniature was which when looking down at them from a seated position at a table. The PDF’s are not “locked” so editing them for my (or your) own personal use is easy rather than if they had been password protected.

Scene One for Fun

I do have  two minor quibbles with the set although as this set is free the word minor should be bolded and underlined. Normally you want 1-2 of each hero and 5-6 of each monster/critter. As the two are tied together on the one page this means to get 5-6 of each monster you end up with 5-6 of each hero as well, not particular useful and a waste of paper and ink. This could have been overcome by making better use of the PDF layering so that you can switch the hero’s “off” and have an extra row of monsters underneath. The second issue is the lack of craftrobo registration marks. I don’t expect every paper mini set to come with a set of GSD’s however it would have been nice if the little craftrobo “L’s” (alignment marks)  had been placed in each corner then it would have been 5-10 min’s work for me (or anyone) to put a set of GSD’s together. Without the L’s I have to export the files to GIMP re-lay them out and then reproduce them which also breaks the layered PDF and makes it impossible to share the GSD’s with anyone.

Scene Two for Fun

I really like this set and as it is free go and grab it now . The minor issues are nothing and can be overcome by spending 10-20 mins with the miniatures in GIMP, something you may like to do anyway so as to get a whole sheet of Hobgoblins etc. This is a great way to get that RPG or skirmish game off the ground with a few miniatures as decoration that wont cost you anything but a little time, some paper and ink.

Have fun with them, I know I will 🙂

Scene Three for Fun


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