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Orc-Goblin and Goblin-Orc


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This is actually two questions, but they are related. Feel free to answer either one or both:

  1. If you were going to paint a goblin mini like a small orc, how would you do it to make the goblin look orcish?
  2. If you were going to paint a orc mini like a big goblin, how would you do it to make the orc look goblin-y?


Are they not both green? Is there a difference between what kind of green they are? If you painted a goblin orc-green, wouldn't he just look like a goblin--the difference in skin color being...either negligible or essentially indistinguishable?


What other things could you do with paint to identify one as the other?


(I've got duplicates of both orcs and goblins. And I was thinking if I just painted some like the other that would give me a greater variety of models for each. But then I got stumped on how to do that exactly. A goblin-green orc is just going to look like an orc. Maybe this idea is not as good as I originally thought.)

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For a goblin, you'll want to go full-on Lord of the Rings Uruk-Hai and WH40K Grimdark. Slap some war paint on them, on their gear. Upgrade their armor and gear. Weapon-swap clubs or daggers for large nasty-looking well-made serrated swords or spears. Add shields. Go evil-looking, gore-covered and rusty. You need to overpower the inherent cuteness of being small with the impression of small-but-powerful-and-oh-god-is-that-a-severed-hand-it's-eating...


 For an orc, play up the stupidity of it's expression and shabbiness of it's equipment. Rather than go with a dark green or grey skin, go light green or mix in a hint of something more fanciful like orange. Downgrade equipment. Rust everything, use clashing colors and lots of dirt. Weapon-swap swords for clubs and take notches out of shields. Go comical rather than dark or evil-looking. Do whatever you can to downplay any of the aspects of the mini that seem menacing.

Edited by Mad Jack
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Since when are non-GW/non-PP Goblins green?


DnD SRD says (emphasis mine):


A goblin stands 3 to 3-1/2 feet tall and weigh 40 to 45 pounds. Its eyes are usually dull and glazed, varying in color from red to yellow. A goblin’s skin color ranges from yellow through any shade of orange to a deep red; usually all members of a single tribe are about the same color. Goblins wear clothing of dark leather, tending toward drab, soiled-looking colors. Goblins speak Goblin; those with Intelligence scores of 12 or higher also speak Common.


Hell, even Buglips is tangerine.

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My orcs are rust coloured. Right now so are my goblins, but I think I'm going to switch to making goblins dusty grey-green and yellow.


To answer your question, choose models that look right and fluff them to the players. Personally I think the gw giant gaping head style orc makes a better goblinoid, and the reaper non pathfinder goblins can be perfectly good miniorcs

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Honestly, I'd say you can't distinguish orcs from goblins by color at all. The stereotypical color is green, but as others have said, I think there's a lot of variety, especially so for goblins.

To me, the difference between orcs and goblins has much more to do with physical differences besides color. For example, I think of orcs as having more of a stubby snout, whereas goblins have large (even comically large) noses. Similarly, orc ears are pointed, but relatively human-sized, but goblins ears are "over-sized" relatively speaking. Orcs are generally muscular meatsacks, while goblins are thin-limbed and possibly pot-bellied. I think going from an orc to large goblin could be done fairly readily with some greenstuff. I like a lot of Mad Jack's suggestions as well.

Either way, I think it'll take more than paint to convince an orc it's a gobbo :D

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Great suggestions, that really helps. Thanks. I'm going to give it a good try, most of my painting is all pretty much experimental anyway.


I need to go look up some goblin pictures where the goblins are not green. For some reason I'm having a hard time picturing it.

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at the moment I just have all my orks painted with dark elf triad they are the .. Darkorks


My gobbos are green skinned at the moment

. I'm thinking of making my orks have different skin colours for tribes like purple or orange but maybe I'll do it with my gobbos as the above post. Hmmmm

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