Hey folks! My name is Nick! I really love building LEGO; I've been building since I was about 3 or 4 and my collection is only a couple years younger than myself. I enjoy building castle and mythic sci-fi builds. I just recently graduated from UMW with a BS in Computer Science; with any luck, you'll be seeing my builds rather frequently. Anyways, I've been inspired by so many builders and I always look to get better and better in building. Oh yeah! If you're ever curious, check out my Brickshelf Page at:http://www.brickshel...Nightstalker580. Hope you enjoy!
Member TitleLeader of the Black Lance Guild
Age25 years old
BirthdayDecember 14, 1992
Lego, Airsoft, Gaming, Movies, and sci-fi/fantasy books
First, let's run a recap on what we have before moving forward!
The Army of Bara-Gol
* = Special Units
Theme: The Bara-Gol Orcs are an army of fierce warriors. They are brutish fighters, wielding crude, but effective weaponry. Often found in melee fights, these orcs exhibit traits of powerful barbarians.
- 25 Units of Axemen
- 25 Units of Two-Handed Axemen (Orc Armsmen)
- 25 Units of Archers
- 25 Units of Swordsmen
- 25 Units of Dual-Wielders (Orc Maulers)
- 25 Units of Spearmen
- 10 Units of Elite Cavalry (Blood Lords)
- 10 Units of Hunters
- 10 Units of Cavalry (Warg Cavalry)
- 10 Units of Shaman
- 10 Units of Rogues (Stalkers)
Now that we've recapped, let's move on with the next part. Putting together minifigs! This is finally the part where you'll start gathering parts for your army. This is, without a doubt, the funnest thing you will do while making an army. In fact, it's so fun, that it is way too easy to lose yourself, or even know where to start! So, let's walk through this.
Finally, after all of this planning, it is time to collect some minifigs! But how do you go about this? There are multiple ways to start, and you will probably use several of these ways, so let me go over some! But before you go buying figures and pieces willy-nilly you should definitely consider finding some inspiration!
Unless you've got a fantastic idea right off the bat, you'll probably be at a loss for how you want to design your army. Before you buy random parts, I strongly recommend looking up some awesome art or pictures of minifig armies! The idea is to get brainstorming by seeing things that are inspiring. So, for example, when coming up with ideas for my orc army, I started looking at different art for orcs:
Based off of these designs, I developed a unique direction for my army. For obvious reasons, you probably won't be able to 100% base your army on artwork, but that's not the point. The whole point of this step is to simply get an idea for how you want to piece your army together. Once you've gotten enough inspiration, it is time to begin!
Assembling the Army
Alright, let's start! For the purpose of this part, we'll only be looking at the regulars.
1) Answer the following question: "Is my army custom or is it based off of a design already made by TLG?"
- This question must be asked first, as this will point you in a direction. If your army is based off of something created by TLG then cool! If your army is custom, you'll have to put in some additional work. Don't worry about the additional work, we'll cover that later. So, for me to answer this question, yes, the army I'm currently making is custom made.
2) Acquire gear!
- Before you start gathering torsos, legs, and faces, I'd personally start out by gathering things like armor, helmets, and capes. Similar to looking for weapons, you have a whole, online armory at your disposal. Since 3rd party items will typically run anywhere from $1.50-$1.75, I recommend checking out BrickLink first. Why? Because you can find tons of items for under $1 on BrickLink. Likewise, if you are going to go with 3rd party items, follow the two links to the sale categories for BrickWarriors or BrickForge. You might be able to acquire a good amount of items for very little.
- When equipping your minifigs, there tends to be two systems of thought out there. The first one is the army that is unified (see the clones in post 1). The second one is the army that is diversified in its appearance:
Personally, both are valid options, but I typically tend to merge them both. I'd recommend making individual units follow a specific design, but make the designs different from unit to unit. In other words, all of your swordsmen could look the same, but the axemen would have different gear. This allows you to build one unit a specific way and build a different unit another way, which allows for both unity and diversity. Of course, you could float to one of the two camps, it doesn't really matter.
3) Getting Minifig Parts
- As you acquire gear, it will become time to start gathering minifig parts. BrickLink is going to be your main resource. While shops like EclipseGrafx, BrickWarriors, Clone Army Custons, and other places might sell custom parts, you really want to stick to gathering TLG pieces exclusively. Most minifig pieces are fairly priced, with the exception of anything LotR (seriously, avoid these parts for mass collection). As with armor, definitely try to aim for stores with the quantity you are looking for.
- When it comes to your basic units, don't worry about going super detailed into their design. A lot of your really cool looking parts should go into your elite units.
- Gathering faces is also another little detail to add into your army. Just remember a couple of things. 1) If a unit's face is hidden, don't worry about varying their face, and 2) if the unit has a visible face, alternating faces will add more detail and variety to your army. For faces, I'd recommend alternating between five different faces. If different genders are used, you might want to increase the number to six.
- If you are gathering pieces to be decaled, DO NOT GO FOR BLANK DESIGNS! These pieces are typically costly. Instead, look for pieces that have the color you desire. Typically, you can find a random colored chest piece for dirt cheap and cover it with decals.
- Last, but certainly not least, remember what your army theme is! You want pieces that will help you design your army around your theme!
For now, these are some things to keep in mind as you gather.
At this current moment, I don't have much to show on my end, but I'll definitely show you stuff as more things come in.
I'll be using a set if custom ordered decals from Scorp. Oddly enough, the 2009 trolls will be used for a Troll Army (TBA). For me, trolls and orcs have similar designs, but trolls are thin compared to their bulky allies. Think of it like the trolls and orcs from Warcraft.
That's a lot of different weapon choices! How exactly do you go about choosing weapons? Here are some general guidelines I typically follow:
1) Keep your army theme in mind!
- This seems like one of those "duh" moments, but trust me, with so many different weapons, it is very easy to forget what your army is supposed to be! By keeping your theme in mind, you can limit what specific weapons you're looking for. To this end, it might actually be time to modify the theme! So let's do this!
Theme: The Bara-Gol Orcs are an army of fierce warriors.
This theme worked for determining your army units, but now it's time to make this a bit more advanced. However, we don't need to sink too much time into it. Usually a couple of additional sentences will help clarify this. Above, you'll see my current theme for the army; let's specify some things.
Modified Theme: The Bara-Gol Orcs are an army of fierce warriors. They are brutish fighters, wielding crude, but effective weaponry. Often found in melee fights, these orcs exhibit traits of powerful barbarians.
Above you'll see that I specified their weaponry and a battle trait. Between these two sentences, you can gather a couple of things. First off, this army is going to wield crude weapons. Second, I noted that they exhibit traits of powerful barbarians. Granted, barbarians wield all sorts of weapons, typical ones include blunt weapons, axes, spears, and swords. Add in the fact that they're crude, then that means we have crude swords, axes, spears, and blunt weapons. Thankfully, this narrows down the list substantially!
2) Price, Price, Price
- Alright folks, let's be real here. Weapons cost money, and the price gets higher the greater your army. You'll find that a lot of weapons range anywhere from $1 to $1.75. It's for this reason I suggest that you go price hunting! Many times, you'll find that several weapons you like, might cost a pretty penny. Because of this, I strongly recommend checking your favorite vendors for sales! Two of my favorites can be found below:
Of course, Bricklink also remains, which typically allows you to find TLG products for very low prices! Often, I find that setting a limit that you want to spend per weapon really helps!
3) Don't be afraid to go brick built!
- Let me be even more real. Having built two armies, sometimes manufactured weapons don't cut it. Sometimes, you gotta be a little creative and make your own with available pieces! Here's the great thing about taking this route; bricks are really cheap compared to individual weapons. The same can be said about shields as well! Just remember, when using Bricklink, keep an eye out for places that are local (I'll typically go US vendors, just to avoid additional fees) and have the QUANTITY that you desire (helps avoid multiple shipping fees).
4) Arm the Regulars First!
- Don't worry about the Special Units or Uniques just yet! Focus on the main bulk of your force!
By following these three rules, you'll be able to find weaponry that suits your army just fine! However, there is a dark side of buying weapons. Allow me to cover some things that you should avoid (mainly because they're costly). Now, before I get to this, I'll simply say this, I don't recommend doing these next things, but you are more than welcome to dabble in them if you have the funds. Truth be told, I've done the same! Just try not to make it a habit!
AVOID THESE THINGS!!!
1) Avoid Lord of the Rings stuff (LotR)!
- Unless you can find anything LotR related for low prices, just avoid it. Given how popular this theme was and the limited amount of it available, you'll find many LotR weapons, shields, and other gear that is heavily over priced. Most of the equipment will RIVAL or EXCEED the price of gray market equipment!
2) Avoid BrickArms Prototypes!
- I love BrickArms! Will makes some amazing stuff that you can sometimes find on certain sites. However, while they might be cool for a unique, they are not good for making a full set of units. Most prototypes can range anywhere from $5-$25. You can acquire so much more than what you would spend on one proto.
Now that I've laid this out, here's what I actually have so far!
This picture provides a good look at the Do's and Don'ts!
Starting from left to right, top to bottom.
- x25 BrickWarriors Scythian Bows (bought at regular price, did not exceed $2 per unit)
- x25 BrickWarriors Spartan Swords (bought at regular price, did not exceed $2 per unit)
- x25 BrickWarriors Spiked Mace (bought on sale for $0.40 per unit)
- x25 TLG Uruk Sword (bought at $0.89 per unit) <- LOW PRICED LOTR ITEM
- x25 BrickArms Cimmeran Axe (PROTOTYPE, DON'T ASK HOW MUCH I SPENT LOL)
- x25 TLG Custom Spear
- x25 BrickWarriors Orc Shield (bought at regular price, did not exceed $2 per unit)
- x25 BrickArms Battle Axe (PROTOTYPE COLOR, DON'T ASK HOW MUCH I SPENT LOL)
- x50 TLG Orc Shield (Overspent on at least 15 of them that cost a little of $2)
And just like that, I've found weapons that fit the Orc's style and remained on point for the most part (DARN YOU PROTOS!!!).