How to Build an Orc


Here’s something I did for some badly-needed fun.

Grom Hellscream, as some of you know, is my Main Orc.  But Funko Pop has not yet made a figure of Grom.  So I decided to give it a try.  Sculpting may not be my forte, but it made for a good distraction.  And this is how I built myself an orc.



First I bought a Funko Pop D.I.Y. male figure and some epoxy clay (recommended by a couple of sites as good clay, doesn’t need baking.)



Then came research. Grom comes in several varieties, depending on which 2 sketchesversion of the game or which expansion pack you like. I chose the Grom from Warcraft 3 because it was a simpler version and because that Grom was the hero who saved the orcs.  I printed out some pix of other Funko Pop orcs for guidance, and got to work.


3 clayRight off I decided it would be easier to paint as I went along, since getting a paintbrush behind and under such tiny details wouldn’t be easy. So to begin, I worked on building up that weak human chin into something more beefy and orcish. The clay dried nicely, and I added more to the chin and put on the lower lip with no problem.  The clay stuck great.  Then I did ears.  I put all the details in his face except for the eyebrows which would sit over the top of the eyes.

6 sketch face


The eyes would be a fierce Mannoroth-blood red, outlined in black for emphasis.  Then it 9 eyebrowswas time for the eyebrows. I never realized before that Grom has no eyebrows to speak of.  Most of the other orcs have black eyebrows.  My Grom got green eyebrows, just to give his face a little more expression. Without them, he would have looked blank. Meanwhile, I stuck the little leftover bits of clay atop his head for a ponytail base.


10 paint face

Two colors of green mixed together made a nice fel-orcish color and I started painting the head. I left 4 small unpainted bits over the lip so the tusks would adhere nicely, and the scalp stayed blank, also, waiting for hair. I painted the arms and chest, leaving room for Grom’s signature wrong-sided pauldron and gloves.


The tusks were tricky to shape but orcs’ teeth aren’t smooth, anyway.  Next came the hair: little coils of clay smoothed flat and then marked with an X-Acto knife. After drying, the hair would get a coat of black paint.

13 hair 313 hair 213 hair 1





Pants and boots came next, in two different shades of brown. I added a bit of bronze to the boots to boost the contrast.  A bit of clay made cuffs for the gloves.  More clay for the single pauldron, the strap holding it to the belt, and the wide belt itself. And paint.  He had to hang upside down to let his boots dry. 14 boots

The ponytail was a bit tricky. Grom has long hair tied up on top of his head, so I wrapped his head and upper body in wax paper so the long coils of clay wouldn’t stick. I wanted the tail to hang long and loose.  A wrap would hold the tail in place.17 pony on wax16 wax paper

Once that dried, I painted the hair and the hair wrap. The tusks got a coat of ivory. No Colgate whitening toothpaste on Draenor!  And I added his chin tattoo, of course.

20 gorehowl handle


A few touch-ups finished the paint. Then I had to decide what to do about his axe. I have a 3.5″ long Gorehowl, as long as he is tall (nothing’s too big from Grom to handle!) but there didn’t seem to be a good way to get him to hold it. Back to the clay, then. A heated sewing pin went into his hand without too much trouble, so I put one pin in either side of his hand, clipped off the round heads with a wire cutter, and then built up the axe with clay.  A pencil sharpener held it while it dried.



The head of the axe refused to stay by itself as the clay was too flimsy. Instead I made it flat and let it dry on wax paper, then used a bit more clay to stick it to the handle. Gorehowl could have used a bit more sanding, but I didn’t want to use too much force on it.  No sense losing all that work.  Bronze paint covered Gorehowl.  I even used a tiny paintbrush to coat the inside of the legendary holes in the axe.24 gore closeup


After a few minor touch-ups, Grom was finished.27 finished

The hardest paint by far was painting the little devil.  Even with a tiny brush, it was difficult not to smear paint on other parts of his outfit.

The second hardest was Gorehowl.  But now I’ve decided I like the unsanded axe.  It has a nice rough look that befits an orc.

Sculpting him wasn’t as hard as I’d thought.  Kind of makes me want to try another one.  Maybe a female this time.






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