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Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures: Orcs

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A couple of years ago, I painted Reaper Bones orcs. Some time ago, I repainted them and added more orcs from the second Reaper Bones Kickstarter to the horde. WizKid’s Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures line also has some orcs! These are “original” orcs as depicted in the D&D 5th edition monster manual. As my players were en route to an encounter with orcs in the village of Triboar in my Storm King’s Thunder campaign, I decided to give these new orcs a try.

The Wave1 Orcs (WZK72560) from Nolzur’s Marvelous Unpainted Miniatures come in pairs of two different figures. They are preprimed with Vallejo primer and cost only about 2 bucks per miniature. The molds have good details for the various armor pieces. I decided to get two packs (2 x 2 figures) and add them to my orc horde.

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Orc Artwork

Basing and Priming

Even though WizKids includes bases with its Nolzur’s miniatures, these bases are very thin. I don’t like them at all and prefer all my miniatures to use visually comparable bases – and that meant the standard bases from Reaper.

So I glued all four orcs on 1-inch plastic bases and added some sand, pebbles and dirt to the bases. Then – as always – the figures were primed with an airbrush using black and white primer.


I remembered to take some pictures during the painting sessions this time. For the color scheme, I basically used the same colors as for my other orcs: a cold gray for the skin, and warm browns for the armors. Most of the armor would be leather, hides, and furs with some pieces being metal armor.

I wanted these new orcs to look more like common foot soldiers, or scouts. They should be the low level standard orc variant, while my other orcs would be the elite orcs for boss fights or maybe even for bosses themselves. So I decided to give the Nolzur’s orcs a leather armor instead of metal plate – I guess it could be both.

To differentiate between the four orcs, I varied the cloak and fur colors a bit. Furthermore, I added small horns on the helmet of one orc.

Overall, I really like the Nolzur’s miniatures. They are a blast to paint, and they are more durable and less bendy than Reaper Bones. Reaper really had to do something to stand up to the challenge from WizKids here. They would have a great improvement on their Bones with the third Kickstarter later. I will eventually paint some newer Bones miniatures and post them, so I save my discussion of the Bones’ material for a later post.

Here is a comparison of the Nolzur’s orcs and the Reaper Orcs. As you can see, they are roughly the same size. The Reaper orcs may be a tiny bit taller, but the fit together on a battlefield without any problems.