Ork Freebooters: Sculpting Tricorn Hats & Frock-Coats
About a month back, my son said he wanted Flash Gitz for his birthday, so I figured I'd best come up with a plan... it's a week away, now, and I have 6 of them just about ready for priming, and another 4 in various stages of completion. My wife's going to be starting to paint 'em tomorrow. Anyway - along the way I worked out how to do tricorn hats & frock-coats in suitably Orky, over-the-top, Freebooter style.
This uses a mix of Assault on Black Reach Nobz and standard boxed Nobz. Obviously you can turn all Orks into Freebooters this way, though. (I did pick up a set of the Maxmini pirate ork heads, by the way, though that's not absolutely vital -- I used standard Nobz heads too.)
You will need Green Stuff, your sculpting tools of choice (I used: an old butter-knife, some craft knives, a spike, some wax-carving tools, and some Colour Shapers, but you could get away with just the knives and your fingers at a pinch), and your GS
lubricant of choice (water, vaseline/petroleum jelly, or saliva; I used saliva, because it's the best middle ground between the two).
First up, take a Nob body. It's easiest, at this stage, to use one with no arms (or only 1 arm, if you're using AoBR
Nobz and they come with 1 arm already attached), and no head. At this stage, though, you should make any initial piratey modifications you might want. For this one, I added an ork knife to his belt: it's orky, it's Freebootery, and it will stick out nicely from the frock-coat, so I bought a pack of these from a bits merchant and stuck either a knife or a pistol to each belt. This is also the time to add stuff like cyber-legs if you want cybork Flash Gitz (and, really, who doesn't? Who cares about the points -- they look cool).
Now, roll out some Green Stuff nice & flat, or just press it flat. I use a flattish-edged plate, well lubricated, for this (keep your tools, worksurface, & fingers lubricated throughout). You want a roughly oblong shape, but with the bottom edge wider than the top. This is going to form the back half of the coat.
You should aim to have the coat be about shoulder to knee length. It's OK to have some that are a fair bit longer, or a little shorter, for some variation among the group. I like to check it against the Ork at this stage to make sure it's about right.
Now, make a cut with a bluntish knife or modelling tool, from the centre of the bottom edge to just below the middle. This will form the back slit that frock-coats have to let your sword poke out & give you freedom of movement when you're on a horse... although for these Orks, its main function is pure style.
Cut out a couple of small rough oblongs at the top, so as to leave a space expose the shoulder armour (since these guys have a 4+ save). These cuts don't have to be perfect; you'll be tweaking the shapes as you go.
Now, place the coat on the Ork's back.
Press down on the neck area, so you know the coat's attached in the right place.
Work the GS
in round the shoulders.
Expose those armour plates on the shoulders.
Now, fold the coat-tails up and back a little. You don't want quite as many folds and creases as when sculpting robes; these coats are much thicker "fabric" than that.
If your coat ended up slightly too long, like this one did, now is the time to fold the bottom edge in slightly, and flattten it out; it looks fine for the bottom edge to be slightly thicker than the rest of the coat, and to have a "hem", though of course it'd be better still to just get the coat the right length in the 1st place!
Smooth the folds out a little round the Ork's body.
Make a light crease up the middle of the spine, following the line of the cut that separates the coat-tails.
Prick a series of holes just to the sides of the crease, representing stitch-marks.
Flatten the upper sides of the coat against the torso.
Pull the sides back from any kit at the belt area, like weapons, ammo, & pouches, so as to show them off nicely. You will eventually have a slit up each side, as well as one on the back, so it's fine to flare the coat out a bit here too.
Trim off any excess from the shoulder area.
OK, for the front, we want 2 oblongs of similar length to the back section, but true rectangles this time and a little narrower. Get the 1st one ready (there's only 1 on this pic, obviously -- the back lump of GS
is... just a lump of GS
Push it on your model, slightly overlapping the neck.
The next step is to press it down solidly on the side of the model's torso, so that it joins up with the back part of the coat.
Smooth the join nicely.
Now, cut & scrape away the GS
over the shoulder armour, and smooth it out.
Join to the back of the coat, behind the neck.
Fold the middle edge back on itself to make a lapel-like section.
Flare out the bottom edges, especially the corner, like you did with the coat-tails at the back.
Repeat the process with the other front side. When you first place it on, it'll probably be overlapping the first front side, so be sure to lubricate the join, so the two pieces of GS
When you flare out the coat, especially that front centre edge, try to get a few short, stiff-looking, straight folds, rather than a long curve. Again, this makes it look more like heavy coat fabric.
Ooh! Almost forgot the collar. You want this kinda shape -- again, the round-ended butter-knive comes in handy!
Place it behind the neck.
Flatten it in the middle, pressing it firmly in place so it doesn't fly off.
Blend it in to the rest of the coat.
If, like me, you've not managed to get the whole of the bottom edge of the collar attached to the neck, you may have to kinda jam it down a bit...
Shape it to taste. You probably want to smooth it off a bit better than I did, too... unless you don't mind slightly tatty-looking Orks.
Attach suitably piratical head and arm.
After you've added any extra arms necessary, you'll need to pop a tiny amount of GS
on just next to the shoulder armour to form a short sleeve -- like, even shorter than T-shirt-sleeve-length, so as to still show off plenty of greenskin muscle.
Now, the pirate hat. This is for a tricorn (three-cornered), but you can use similar techniques for a bicorn (2-cornered) too. This one's going on a Battlewagon gunner, who'll be on the Freebooters' Looted Wagon (work in progress...).
Take a pea-sized ball of GS
Flatten it out into a circle -- around 20mm or even 25mm diameter is OK, but you can do various sizes.
Neaten the edges a little (though tatty pirate hats can be made just by leaving the edges a bit rough).
Press it down onto your Ork's head (ensuring the head's in the middle).
Just lift up the back edge a little...
... then the front 2 edges at the same time.
Tweak it till you're happy with how it looks -- there are loads of slight variations in the angle of the folds, and they all look pretty good.
For a bicorn (2-cornered hat), Napoleon-style, just fold the back up the same way, and fold the front up in 1 fold parallel to the back fold, rather than 2.
Five almost complete Flash Gitz, plus a Painboy (wearing a bicorn hat; the light on the hat is made from a cut-down push pin), and a powder grot (in a tricorn). For the Snazzguns, I wanted something that looked like oversized, double-barrelled flintlock muskets, to maintain the Freebooter look, so they're made from brass tubing, Ork bayonets, green stuff, and lock/trigger sections from Kroot rifles. Incidentally, the Git on the far left of the pic is the one whose coat I made earlier in the tutorial, now with added tricorn hat and Snazzgun.