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Monday, March 22, 2010

Historical Interlude: 1987, the Year Squats Could Fly

Having pondered the (alleged) demise of the Squats in the Warhammer Universe yesterday, I thought I would take a look back at the youthful exuberance they displayed in the days when Warhammer 40K required a Game Master. The image above is the first published picture of the Squats from White Dwarf 93, September 1987. It is an example of a common practice used in the early 40K art: using existing miniatures in paintings and drawings, in this case Colt Stoner and Waltha Twelvebore from the RT03 Space Dwarf series released the next month.

Printed immediately below the last image we discussed, we see the first published rendering of Chaos Squats. These fellows look like several of the miniatures in the RT03 series, but a careful look shows that they all vary from those in the series. How do we know that these are Chaos Squats? The trooper in the front declares his allegiance to the Dark Powers by writing on his helmet "May The Dark Be With You". Look inside the empty husk that is your emperor and you will find the same Darkness. Now for the flying Squats!

This picture of part of a diorama from the Rogue Trader rule book shows the crazed variety of equipment that was available for your troopers when 40K first sprang to life. Here we see RT03 Trooper Owen Garand launching himself into the air with a Squats Jump Pack. For a brief glorious time in the late 1980s, everyone had access to Jump Packs and there was much 18" hopping about the battlefield.

The model shown with the Jump Pack was a variant that was only available briefly, and came in separate Body and Jump Pack pieces. Once the various races started to become more differentiated in their appearance and equipment, the Squats with the Jump Packs were resculpted to have a cloth backpack instead.

The Squats did not miss their Jump Packs, though, because they had Hover Boards! Yes, the drawing above shows the feet of a Squat whizzing above his battle-brothers on an accessory ripped straight from the Judge Dredd line. For a brief while, the Judge Dredd Hover Boards were marketed as 40K Power Boards (they are shown in the Rogue Trader Part 2 flyer), but soon disappeared from the 40K line.

For several years, those possessed of an uncontrollable urge to hover had to climb upon a Disk of Tzeentch and surrender to Chaos. Surrendering to Chaos remains your best chance of getting a Hover Board to this very day, so get in line kiddies.

Here is the first drawing of Chaos Squats with visible mutations, published in White Dwarf Issue 111, defeating a puny force of loyalists. These Chaos Squats are of the "Imperials gone Mutant" variety of The Lost and The Damned that continues to fester on the edges of official Army Lists to the present day. The current Forge World line of Chaos Renegades bits are some of the nicest made for this purpose. The Infantry Platoons of the Hungry Ghosts contain many troopers in this style.


  1. I remember when these guys came out, thanks for the blast from the past matey.

  2. Thanks for the complement, we all must do our part to dispel that "eaten by Tyranids" myth.