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Devoted to the Preservation, Collection, Conversion, Painting, and Resurrection of Space Dwarfs.
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Squats in Epic 40K Part 3: We Got a Great Big Land Train

The Squats came roaring back as a fully distinguished Epic Space Marine* army in the summer of 1992. Epic was starting to coalesce from a blizzard of loose White Dwarf pages and tiny versions of 40K critters into a flurry of loose cardboard stats card and counters, but with more fun vehicles not available in 40K.

So exciting new 40K minis inspire tiny Epic versions, then Epic makes exciting new tiny minis that inspire 40K versions. And that is how you make a Forge World. So many tanks...can never afford them all...

Back to the Squats. The Epic Squats, unlike their 40K counterparts, are generally considered reasonably fun and dakka-dakka. The not-so-secret secret is their many "Titan-Killer" vehicles.

The first was the Land Train. This picture shows how they would appear on the table top- the Engine came with 1 Battlecar, and Battlecars could be added 3 at a time, up to 7 cars.

There were 2 different Land Train Engines. Here is the Engine with the rounded front, assembled above and separated below. The Land Train was the first of the new Epic Squats vehicles to be released in July 1992 (WD 151) along with the Ork and Squat Warlords Supplement.

The Land Train Engine was an awesome beast, plowing through infantry and light vehicles, blasting away with its Doomsday Gun and 2 Heavy Battlecannons. Only a Titan or Superheavy Tank could pin down the Land Train.

This is the other Land Train Engine, with an angular front. The Land Train had the same powerful armor on front, back, and sides. There was only 1 Turret variant for both Hulls.

Andy Chambers kept piling on the armor: the Land Train Engine also had 2 Titan-style Void Shields, and gained another Void Shield for each Battlecar following it. These kind of attributes, to me, make the Land Train more of a Titan alternative, rather than a Titan killer. A Titan alternative for a people afraid of heights.

There were also 2 variants of the Battlecar, one with a thick bit at the end, the other in the middle. If you are wondering why there are crenelations on these Battlecars, it is because the Land Train was crawling with Squat Berzerkers ready to repel any pesky infantry trying to attack the cars. Any cars still connected to the Engine could also be protected by the Void Shields.

The Land Train featured 4 different weapon options. On the right is the Mortar Battlecar, similar to the Imperial Bombard. Next is the Bomb Battlecar, a one-shot rad-bomb with unlimited range and high accuracy. Third, the Dragon Battlecar that brings forth a 10-inch gout of flames. And finally, the Berserker Battlecar, with an Autocannon turret and 5 Squads of Berserkers for guarding the Train.

Mortar and Berzerker Battlecars assembled. Each Battlecar could fire independently of the Engine. The 5 Squads of Berserkers could also leave the Car and fight independently.

Dragon and Bomb Battlecars assembled. Each car had independent propulsion, and could be separated from the Land Train Engine and can join with another. Only Cars attached to an Engine had access to the Void Shields, though.

Above are all of the Land Train options from above, below are the pieces from the side. Originally, an Engine and a Car sold for GBP 4.99 and extra cars at1.75 each.

The Land Train seems like it was a fun, but complicated, vehicle to slither across the battlefield.

Still, there are questions. Don't almost all trains travel across land? And, if it is a Land Train, why does the Stats Card say it spends so much time underground? Perhaps most importantly, how would you use the Mortar, Bomb, or Dragon underground without destroying yourself?

Those are Giant Leaches from Heresy round the Chaos Totem. I just wanted to make them look like Really Giant Leaches. The various resin terrain all come Armorcast, the grey bits from 40K 3rd ed Imperial Building sprue.

And now another installment of our erratically scheduled series "What has Hungry Ghosts been doing instead of finishing his army?"

Mutant Scrunt Bots! Made from Bob Olley's Scrunt Vehicle Driver Torsos and Citadel bottom halves and mutations bits. For some reason, I felt compelled to create a group of Tall Dwarfs.

*Like the dread Nyarlathotep, this game has 1000 names, and no one knows them all...

3 comments:

  1. Me too.

    Great showcase of a spectacular model. I first saw it in the extract in WD 151 and love it still. Ork and Squat Warlords gave us some fantastic units... dare I say on both sides?

    I agree that it does suffer slightly from the same logic issues as many other 40K concepts, but where would we be if logic had never been bent to the game designers' will? The idea of it running into giant tunnels is captivating at least.

    Nifty conversions too. My favourites are second from the left and far right, for their great poses and silhouettes, but the suggestion of motion in the other two is very effective.

    Keep it coming - I hope you are getting the hits the blog and content deserve.

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  2. I'm enjoying it too. I've been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to write relatively long postings about these models. I take a bunch of pictures and then start writing about them, and when I start getting to the bottom of the fluff on the right, I know it's time for a break. But I do edit & reedit things, you're not getting pure train-of-thought.

    And yes, Squats and Orks both had some great stuff, and I've used some Epic Ork & 40K bits here and there, like the Hearthguard Biker's arms.

    I used to collect the Orks too, but I needed to prune my collection and decided that the amount of decline in the fun level of the Orks from Rogue Trader to 3rd and later editions made me sad. I just don't like many of the models past the mid 1990s.

    I do still have a select bunch of Ork Freebooters and Bionik Boyz that I plan to paint and use as allies for my Squats. I'm not sure as what yet, but probably Psyker-related since I have banned Squat Psykers as not fitting Khorne or Squats. (my Living Ancestors are going to be Commissars not Psykers).

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