Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

Devoted to the Preservation, Collection, Conversion, Painting, and Resurrection of Space Dwarfs.
Beards for the Beard God!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Squat-tober Mutant Round-Up: Battle at the Bitz Box 2

Night(s) of the Storm Troopers

Whilst diligently cleaning up the mess made by the creation of the Scrunt-Spawn, and innocently reflecting upon my unpainted Squats and Chaos Dwarfs on The Tower of Khorne, a plan was hatched: Expand the Burnt Scorpions and Black Frost Storm Troopers squads from 5 to 10.

Yes, the internets say that Storm Troopers aren't worth the points. But they have a cool name and you can turn old Chaos Dwarfs in platemail into carapace armored Storm Troopers. So I'm making more.

Fun in the Sun with the Burnt Scorpions
Sometimes Even Khorne Likes a Cover Save!

The Burnt Scorpions Storm Troopers squad as currently formulated have no special weapons troopers, or a gratuitous banner-bearer. This needed to be fixed, but needed to be fixed with troopers that fit in well with the Chaos Squats in Power Armor who currently make up the squad. So I had to acquire some Chaos Dwarfs to convert.

Our first new Storm Trooper is Corporal Troma Orthanc, continuing the Evil-Places-of-Middle-Earth name theme for the Burnt Scorpions. Cpl Orthanc started life as the C16 Chaos Dwarf named Dunuin Dust-Tooth (aka Flail in the Red Cat). There is always a struggle between my desire to convert and my desire to preserve rare minis when working on these old Chaos Dwarfs and Squats, but in this case, Dunuin came to me already missing his flail and shield nub, so no Chaos Dwarfs were harmed in the making of this conversion.

Despite the guns, the total remodeling of his head is probably most noticeable. The face covering is a piece of Tyranid armor on top and an Empire Knight covering the mouth. This mini was one of a few Chaos Dwarfs most shamefully sculpted without a beard. Troma's beard is actually the vomit part of one of the WFB Zombie command heads, with a skull from a Lizardman attached because the skull had twine attachments that lined up well with the lines of the vomit spray. His topnot is from one of the plastic 1990s Chaos Marauders or Warriors, and if you look carefully you might see that he also has a set of horns curling forward in addition to the originals sticking straight out (Beastman bit). His Melta-gun is made from the front bit of an Eldar Rogue Trader Melta gun, attached to one of the Lantern-type bits from either the Dark Angels or Black Templar Space Marines. Two smaller bits from the same sprue are positioned as fuelcells, and the horns from a Chaos Marauder head finished it.

Orthanc's backpack is a turret from one of the late 1990s Epic Ork Tanks with some additional grenades and fuelcells attached. His left hand holds his Las-Pistol, from the mid-1990s Necromunda Pistols sprue, with a little Lion Head from an Empire war machine added. The circular bump on the back of his head is an Extra Eye from the Chaos Spawn sprues. For some reason I've had needs to give many of my minis mutations that let them see behind them, and a single one provides the creepy Sauron atmosphere that two eyes would not.

The Banner-Bearer for the Burnt Scorpions is Corporal Zuanic Umbar, who apologizes for his past life as a Flame Cannon Gunner for the old world Dwarfs. While Trooper Umbar had a body that would not require too much work, and one that reminds me of the ancient Iron Man prototype armor from the Silver Age debut, he had no hands. So he now holds his unique version of the Hot-Shot Lasgun, obtained from the Mordheim Carnival of Chaos weapons sprues, with additional Chaos Spawn spikey fingers on his hand, and a RTB01 Marine Bayonet. And once again, the Tyranid Biomorphs sprue is used for his turtle-shell shoulder pads.

The Burnt Scorpions Battle Banner was taken from the 3rd version of the Bloodletters, with a skeletal horned horse head added at the top.

From the back, we can see that the Banner Pole is made from the leg of another skeletal horse. His hand is a plastic one from the 4th Ed Space Marine Devastator sprue, and various armies have come together to provide pouches and knives attached to his belt.

Our next Storm Trooper is Cpl. Sruïhoth Lammoth, based on the Marauder Miniatures MM90/5b Chaos Dwarf with Crossbow. Since this Dwarf is rather rare, I decided that all the conversion would involve adding bits, with no removal of any part of the mini.

Cpl Lammoth is armed with a Plasma Gun made from part of a Rogue Trader Eldar Fusion Gun and part of a plastic Epic Imperial Knight Paladin. He is also ready to shoot his Hot-Shot Las-Pistol, another old Eldar gun, this time with hand and cable attached.

I've also used one of the WFB Empire Wizard Heads to make Cpl Lammoth resemble the 1990s Big Hat Chaos Dwarfs, with a fez-style tassel on top and horns added in the front. He is joined by another Chaos Rat, with a giant eye mutation and enhanced spikes.

Sruïhoth Lammoth from the right, showing the complicated tangle of wires that attach the Plasma Gun to his arm. They are made from Skaven tails and the ammunition parts of 2 of the Eldar Fusion Guns. The Halloween Tree is part of a Wood Elf Dryad planted in a Rogue Trader IG Trooper's severed boot. (Lammoth still needs green stuff to fill his gaps)

Despite my tender feelings for the carapace armor, I decide that Captain Caveman here will also be a Storm Trooper. Uklathemoq Bragollach, with his mighty hairiness mutation counting as his carapace armor. His spear has been reassembled by cutting off the tip and replacing it with another Epic Paladin gun barrel, with various bits wrapped around the haft and Ukla's hand to cover up the wood grain pattern, including another appearance by the Skeletal Horse. Ukla's spear tip is now the bayonet, and he has captured the Wolf Tails of several unfortunate Space Wolves.

I also decide Ukla needs ears, and they need to be as big and pointy as his horns. These are the ears which lead to the next Bitz-Box Frenzy...of Gnoblars...Gnoblars...but first, another Storm Trooper.

Black Frost, the Invisible Killer

The danger of death due to black frost and ice related automobile accidents is one of the reasons Hungry Ghosts left the windswept fish-shaped island by the sea of his youth for the Candy Capital of America. The Black Frost already have their special weapons, and just need more las-troopers.

I haven't gotten as far with the Black Frost additions since I need to find Squats or Chaos Dwarfs who had a more standard "outer space" look to provide more contrast between the Frost and the Scorpions, and that is harder than finding plate-mail maniacs. The first is Storm Trooper Geely Septopus, number 420217 of the Squats released in White Dwarf 108. Not too much has been done to him, just a spiny crest from one of the old Dark Eldar heads and an epoxy bulb to whatever is in his right hand. I think I might add a couple more bits and turn it into video device to make him a battlefield recorder trooper.

Trooper Septopus is another Squat with eyes on his backside, in this case, an Epic Space Marine Dreadnought was chopped up and attached to Geely's backpack. His hostile pose and tiny size make it look like he is having an impotent little temper tantrum. "But they told me being a Transformer would be awesome..." At least he's in better shape than the Striking Scorpion.

Gnoblarizing Your Enemies

I had bought a gaggle of Gnoblars cheap on eBay several years ago, not knowing what to do with them, but knowing that their body shape was different enough from other Citadel miniatures that they, or parts of them, simply had to be useful at some point. And now they had ears just the right length for Captain Caveman.

But fetching the Gnoblar heads involved going through the head baggies, reminding me once again of the many nice heads that I had that didn't really work for Squats or Chaos Marines. Then came the realization that the hunched over posture of the Gnoblars was just right for making some humiliating Chaos mini-spawn slaves out of the enemies of the Hungry Ghosts.

Due to their extreme awesome heads and other bits, I got a box of the Empire Flagellants, which will form part of my future Nurgle Horde army that I like to pretend I will have time for. But some bits have been used to create Inquisitor Angelous. Our angelic Inquisitor has false wings made of metal picks rather than bone and feathers (Chaos Marauders again) and will not be flying anywhere except in his alcohol-fueled delusions. Which he will then have to repent with self-flagellation. The Inquisitor is also forced to wear desacrated proclamations from his former Imperial life, also violently attached. To complete his torment, a tiny Plaguebearer rides on his back, shouting squeeky little marching orders that Angelous must obey.

I also like the newly released plastic Daemons, enough that I bought the new Daemonettes and Seekers despite their Slaaneshiness. But once again, the many heads allowed for some fun. Here we have the Shield Maiden, a tortured Daemonette crushed under the weight of a mighty Dwarf Totem stuck on with a spike through the chest. The Shield Maiden is pathetic enough to be trusted with a las-pistol (Confrontation sprue type). Her burden is a WFB Dwarf Warriors Standard with all the non-circular bits trimmed off. The spikes are too generic for me to remember where they came from, and we all know where that tail came from.

On the other side of the Shield Maiden, her parasitic, insectoid, head-tumor twin is revealed. The bit with the eyes is part of an Eldar gun, its tongue is part of a Dark Elf Corsair Crossbow, and the bulbous back bit is a Chaos Mutations sprue head with all the face bits cut off. The chains are from a Chaos standard, probably Skaven.

The Ambassador of the Abyss

Here is a mini that I have struggled with for decades, an ancient Night Horrors Demon in a strange pose, with legs jutting out in the front, and his arms lifted to the back at about a 45 degree angle from horizontal with his hands clasped together. The arms also looked unnatural compared to his small head. For some unknown reason, I kept him despite his bizarre posture.

My first attempt to fix this mini was cutting off his arms and replacing them with some Space Marine plastic arms and Bolt Pistols. Now at least he had a kind of Wild West Gunslinger pose. This converting was done during the Rogue Trader days when there were not a lot of spare arms in the US, so they are not the best fit to the modern eye that has seen hundreds of plastic arm variants. But their relatively long and thin shape works well with the elongated demon body and the aggressive arm posture enhances his forward movement provided by the legs.

But he still didn't look complete, or right. Then, while rifling through the bitz box, I found an old plastic Dragon from the Mighty Empires game. Like a bolt of lightning from the warp, I then realized that Night Horrors Daemon 8 was actually in a Swooping Hawk Landing-with-Guns-Blazing position, gracefully stepping over a bit of Daemonette arm. He could now be given a name: Lucifuge Redfinger von Khorne, the Ambassador of the Abyss. He is Khorne's Daemonic middleman for the Hungry Ghosts.

Redfinger is now complete, but remains interestingly odd looking, as a Daemon should. There is no one area that the eye is naturally drawn to because his limbs are so spread out and his head is so small, so the eyes bounce around from limb to limb. Do that for a few thousand years and you will be as nutty as a Krynn Tinker Gnome.

I'm not sure what I will use him for beyond his ambassadorial responsibilities, I may use him along with Master Chef Chunckx as General Stalkarlik's personal guards in an expanded Hungry Ghosts Command Squad.

Storm Troopers Attack with Ambassador Redfinger

Some readers may have noticed the change from a white ground to a black (well, blackish) ground, to better match the bases. It is a Judas Priest Painkiller t-shirt that is as old as these Squats.


  1. Lots of strange, cool conversion. I do like the Ambassador of the Abyss especially. Great work repurposing the t-shirt as well!

  2. Wacky stuff, but bold and encouraging; conversion is fun, unless by beamer of course. Interesting not cutting up the Marauder. I feel it keenly too, the loss as old models and parts get used up. I know they can't stay in the bitz box forever, but at such venerable age and with so many out of production... It's like losing a piece of the past and narrowing possibilities to one. It's very quantum.

  3. Most of my random metal bits and a lot of the plastics come from buying lots on ebay and keeping the broken bits (along with the minis in the lot I was really after), and then releasing the extras back into the ebay ocean. That way there's no guilt. In fact, you are giving a purpose to that half a Howling Banshee.

    Plus quality control at GW has not always been so awesome, so over the years one can collect some exotic miscasts or accidental extra minis from sealed packages.

    I advocate the opposite for the various plastic bits of the past 20 years- look at them as shapes or combinations of shapes rather than their original functions and expand the possibilities manifold.