Below: The name is Gransh. We see him waiting for his bus at his bus-station in his town.
The picture is from Kathrin Holighaus´ photo-project “Parallelwelten” (parallel worlds), where larpers are shown in non-larp- environments: .
Since the screen adaption of “The Lord of the Rings” you don´t have to be a fantasy- expert to recognize these creatures: Gransh is an ork. In the bestiary of the fantasy-worlds orks belong to the “goblinoids”, meaning “puckish” creatures. But as you might have noticed, contrary to their runty brethren they´re neither small, cute nor furtive. Not at all, so to say.


This particular ork is one of the most well- known specimen of his race in germany. Why that is you´ll know when you´ve met him. Behind the mask is Uli, who can be found in the LarpeR- Ning. And I´m pleased that I may show some of his work here. Unfortunately what he does isn´t really suited for replicating (there´s just too much “art” in the “work”), but his masks and creatures show what is possible to transport into the game-worlds. These are no show- outfits: the critters have unimpeded sight, can run fast and fight effectively. One does not easily mess with them.

Below: In their natural environment. This is too near if your´re not in really well- armed superior numbers.
Photos by Verena Charlotte Heinrich;


The orks shown here aren´t NPCs (“non- player- characters”) but players. This might be one of the reasons for the incredible high standard of their outfits: They´re not costumes- the clothes have to be functional.
In bygone days (which were not better days) orks in the game-worlds were just people with green painted faces. Then came half- masks & tusks which was generally considered a big step in the right direction. Nowadays orks have reached a level of which some movie-directors can only dream of.
And Uli´s one of the guys whose fault it is...


Above: Warcry.
I`d very much like to say at this time that it´s a pleasure to meet them inplay, but that would be somehow... unfitting. There is also no such thing as a “safe” distance; we´re talking about “more or less risky”. Orks are  - as it happens to be- extremely dangerous.


Above: These masks havn´t been made for a movie- production; you can meet them in the gameworlds.
And regarding their quality I`ll lose no other words but: if you try to replicate this standard at home, you´re in for a frustrating, disappointing experience. To achieve such results one not only has to be a good craftsman but also an artist.


Above, right, below: Bodysuits


Below: Masks. One of a kind, as all props shown here.


Until here was the first version of this page. From here on pictures have been added from Spring 2011 on, and I feel that this is a good place to - again- answer the question: “How the heck does he do this”?
Regrettably, the uncomfortable truth is (as already mentioned above): talent. Among other things.
For the technical aspect - sculpting, casting, painting, applications- there are tutorials (some of them at “other sites” on this website)- but what makes masks like this special is that they´re able to convey the impression of “alive” and evoking emotions. This magic is what makes the individual stamp of the artist. When it´s missing, you´ve got a bad mask- like most of the ones cast in mass- production.

Granted- it´s not that one would have thoughts like these when on a murky evening a horde of these heavyly armed pests chases you through a wood- so take the opportunity here to unhurriedly and without any thoughts of  “we´re all going to die” behold the details of the faces. Have fun!

BTW: all pictures can be enlarged with rightclick context-menue “show graphic”.


Below: Foam weapons

Grsh30Helm Grsh31

Above left: specially constructed helmet to be worn over a mask.
Above right: detail of forearm- armour


Oben: Drachenfest 2011. Mask and helmet worn together. Such combinations have to be specially built to fit together to avoid damaging one another.
From left to right: Stripe, Gransh (with helmet) und Kurgaa.


above und below: The man himself


Left: Orkboss and fan
-Drachenfest 2010; at the Ork- fortress-

I am the small green one on the left. The picture was made “outtime”, meaning “game was paused”. InTime the two guys wouldn´t at all get along well and the photo´d probably have to be called: “Gransh flattens something”. See the warhammer in lifesize: Even with his shield the armoured human would have an“ork- problem” of the massive kind.

And so that you can appreciate what exactly would happen if you hit on the silly idea to try to kick  in the gate of an ork stronghold:

I am (with steel armour) 1,9 m/ 130 kg. With this in mind let´s have another look at the ork...

By the way: beleaguering orks wll not really  be necessary- they´ll open the gate voluntarily:  why wait for the fun to start? Besides, you don´t have to mend your door afterwards.


Above: The true ending of a fairytale... (from a photo-session by Anne Fleischer: ). Have no fear, all is staged: no cute, harmless Red-Riding-Hood was injured or eaten for it. At least they told me so...

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