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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blood Fists Veterans Squadron 1: Command & Special Weapons Troopers

Here is the first of the Troops units for the Hungry Ghosts, the Blood Fists Veterans Squadron, named for the bionic arm with Power Fist of Veteran Sergeant Rod Fistula. The veterans in this squad are mostly from either the first series of Space Dwarfs, the RT03 series released in October 1987, or the second series, the RT302 Space Dwarf Command, released in January 1988. These early Space Dwarfs had a similar, but not uniform appearance. For many of the model types, there were two or three versions made with similar bodies but different heads (bare, hat, and helmet), which provided a useful way to remember which Squat was in which squad. For the Blood Fists Veterans, I used the trooper variants wearing helmets. Most of these troopers have painted signs of allegiance to the Blood God on their uniforms, but have not been converted.

We start with the squad commander, Veteran Sergeant Rod Fistula. He is the Space Dwarf Officer from the RT302 series that did not appear in the White Dwarf 97 advertisement with the others. He did appear on an old flyer with the name Vollmer Adams, but stuck him with the name I gave him despite finding that out. He is armed with a Bolt Pistol and Power Fist, and I have painted him with relatively bright yellow and green accent colors to distinguish him a bit from the rest of the squad, where dark blue or dark green is used to contrast with the reds and oranges of favored by Khorne's followers.
This is Sgt Fistula from the back, equipped with a metal backpack like most of the troopers in the first two Space Dwarf series. I tried using a transfer on this fellow, though I usually prefer to do any designs with my own brush. A very small portion of the audience may notice that the black paw on red background reminds them of an obscure superhero from Madison, Wisconsin.

This is Veteran Vox Trooper Corporal Blish Browning, from the RT03 Space Dwarfs series. I liked his quirky little pistol too much to replace it with a standard lasgun. With these early Space Dwarfs, I decided that preserving the history contained in the variety of the weaponry was more important than complete wysiwyg uniformity. In gaming terms, the effects of most of the weird weapons can be deemed to average out to function as if they were all lasguns (and many actually are), except for those specially designated as assault weapons. He did not remain in production long enough to be included in the 1991 Blue Catalog, where the minis were given names after their weapons, so who knows what this pistol was meant to be.
Vox Trooper Browning from the back, showing more clearly the studded mini-Marine shoulder pad designs used by the early Space Dwarf series. And the mysterious boxy attachments on their helmets. They do make nice containers for Eldar soul-gems, for later snacking upon.

Next up is the banner bearer for the Blood Fists squadron. The banner is purely ornamental in effect, since standards that function on the tabletop are limited to command squads. But it is too much fun to convert a banner bearer for each squadron to pass up the opportunity. This mini is Garand Steyr from the RT302 series. The standard poles on the RT302 minis were prone to breaking easily, and he lost the top of his standard before he joined my collection. I replaced it with the Marine-Head Spiky Pole and symbol of Khorne from the Chaos Vehicle Accessory sprues.
More mysterious appendages to the helmet on our standard bearer. Plus a broken bit of a Battlefleet Gothic spacecraft placed at the appropriate position to make the base debris echo the crossed lines in the symbol of Khorne far above.

Special Weapons Trooper no 1 for the Blood Fists, Barry Schmeisser, armed with a Flamer. He is another trooper with a mysterious looking piece of weaponry - In the early days of Warhammer 40K, the miniature designers were sometimes given orders for a dozen Space Dwarfs, for example, and were frequently left to their own imaginations as to what exactly they looked like or what weapons they carried. The 1991 Blue Citadel Catalog decided Schmeisser's gun was a Las Pistol, but it looks far too complex and far too large to be a Las Pistol.
Trooper Schmeisser is hiding a Jump Pack under the tarp on his back, successfully evading the Great Imperial Jump Pack Holocaust of 1988. From the colors, it looks like he might have liquidated a Salamanders Space Marine to get it. An IG Flamer fuel container is used as rubble on his base to remind me that he's got a Flamer.

This is Special Weapons Trooper Waltha Twelvebore, armed with Meltagun, another from the RT03 series. He is one of a three from that series that have similar looking Melta or Flamer style guns. I've decided that they will all count as Meltaguns in this army. And that is one of the little Imperial tank lights at the front of his base.
Trooper Twelvebore on the back, with enough storage space to survive for weeks without resorting to eating nasty elfin waybread.

The last Special Weapons Trooper for the Blood Fists squad is Pietr Powl, from the RT303 Space Dwarf Heavy Weapons series released in early 1988. Also known as Loader with Plasma Gun, but if you look closely, you will see he also has a Plasma Pistol. This fellow rarely lasts through a full battle without melting himself into a gooey puddle of goo...delicious Dwarf goo...
Taking a stroll across the crippled remnants of a Cadian Lasgun, with plenty of ammunition on his back. Some of these early Space Dwarfs seem precariously close to falling down backwards under the great weight of their gear, leading to some rolling around like Space Turtles unable to right themselves. But Khorne does not appreciate humor and will not allow his followers to imitate the loathsome Space Turtles.

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