WIP Hakka

Thor’s Workbench: My Improved Painting with Hakka (Orruk) WIP

I had recently mentioned that I’d be keeping my WIPs to social media. However, Castigator moved me to put some of that WIP love on the blog.

Anyone who runs a blog probably runs into the same issues I do of balancing the blog with social media and what gets posted where, etc. I won’t lie, social media is great to throw something up and get some likes. However, it’s rarely the platform for discussion.

Also, blogging is king of long-form content. So, I think going forward what I’ll do is put together longer WIP articles, like this one, for the blog. I’ll leave social media as my “in the moment” stuff, and then later turn that into a worthwhile article here. Seems a reasonable approach.

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WIP Hakka

I’ve been having a great time with Shadespire. One of the things I love is that you can have a whole new warband for so little money. Also, you only need to paint a few models.

So, this warband is only 4 models. That’s why you see me working with orange, which is a chore to say the least.

Anyway, this is Hakka, an Orruk for my Shadespire warband.

At this stage the orange armor is done (hopefully). I have a tutorial planned to cover the blending technique of advanced layering, and that will use this orange armor as the example. So, I’m not going to dive into it too deep, but the armor is Vallejo’s Hot Orange and shaded with Terracotta (Vallejo), and Rhinox Hide.

The interesting thing I discovered when I tested this was, despite those colors not being orange, instead a red-brown, the eye seems to convince you it’s orange. I also think it looks great. I wasn’t a fan of the GW darker oranges they had, so I decided to figure something out, and I feel I did.

Also, I’m really trying to push the contrast on this model. Generally speaking, I feel I do a decent job with blending, however, it’s often so subtle that you only notice it in person, and even then close-up. If I had a nice camera then I’m sure I could capture it, but the point is I feel I need to push up my contrast. I want this stuff to stand out without having to hold it inches from your face, and I think I’m on track with this guy.

Note – All the shading and highlights you see in the shots are painted and it’s not lighting.

I’m currently working on the weapons. I also did a test run on the gob (face/jaw armor) to feel out colors to highlight the black. I figured I’d go with cool blues to give contrast to the orange armor.

Oh, the shirt and pants are done too. I’m using Stormvermin Fur for that. That’s a color I recently picked up and have really liked the look of. It gives a nice dirty look, though it’s hard to see on Hakka here.

The skin is also done. Pretty happy with that too, what little of it you can see.

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The one thing I haven’t decided on 100% at this point is the leather straps and such. I was leaning towards a darker brown, but I’d have to stay away from red-browns so it doesn’t blend into the armor. Could go the other way and do a much lighter brown also. I could even go black. Totally open to ideas there.

The Final Steps

Oh, for the shoulder pads I decided on doing the freehand design you see here.

Ironjawz 'Ardboyz

I really like the look of those flames. The simple tribal nature just works well. Plus, I’ve done checks and dags a ton on my 40K Orks. May as well try something new. They design will be orange, same as the armor.

I’ll also do a little weathering on the armor later. Basically, about the level you see in the above picture. I want some wear and tear, but not too much. I’ve put a lot of work into the armor and I’d hate to hide it under too much battle damage and weathering.


I threw together a little video showing my work on Hakka, explain things a bit, and show the armor color recipe.

Da End

That about covers Hakka at this stage.

I did want to chat a bit about improving your painting. I do have a more thorough article on the subject as well if you’re interested.

Anyway, now and then as a painter you reach a crossroads. You realize you’re as good as you can be with what you know and you have two paths. One path is to keep doing what you’re doing. Accept your ability for what it is.

The other path is to realize you’re not done learning yet. To acknowledge there’s much more you want to know and to pursue it. This second path is the one I continually take.

The reason I mention it is that I am finally beginning to see it come together with this model. I think between going with orange (a color way outside my comfort zone), doing blending on everything, and really working on pushing contrasts, that this model is embodying so much that I’ve learned.

Suffice to say that I’m very happy with how this model is going, and I feel it’s shaping up to be the best I’ve done.

As always, suggestions, ideas, and constructive criticism is welcomed.

Update: The entire warband is now done. You can check out my Ironskull’s Boyz all painted up!

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Nice work and glad to see you continue to push yourself. Looking forward to the article.


Crikey, you’re pulling all of the stops out with him. I really like your choice of colours and the blending is great. As tempting as it is to suggest black for the straps, I think I’d go for a muddy brown to tie the green in with the orange. I feel that you’ve already achieved that wow factor with your main colours and that a more subdued and neutral colour like muddy brown would frame and enhance what you have already done.
Impressive stuff buddy and I can’t wait to see how the tribal flames will look.

P.S. Happy to see our conversation made some you reconsider your options…..just don’t blame me if it all goes wrong and it breaks the interwebs ;-)


Looking great! There are definitely some really good effects possible by using shade colours that aren’t just a darker shade of you base colour. Browns are surprisingly versatile in that regard. I’ve also used purple to shade blues and reds at times, and it was a tutorial on here that got me started using purple to shade my golds.

I’ve found it interesting that, even tho I’ve consciously made the decision to just let my painting skill ride (due to various IRL factors), I do still occasionally manage to “level up” a bit. The ShadeSpire Warbands have actually all had at least some of that lately. The small Model count and great sculpts really lend themselves to putting in some extra time and trying to kick things up a notch.