Halloween seems to be a meh holiday for the Warhammer World. The basic problem is, How much more GRIMDARK can things be? None more GRIMDARK. (Shut up Wilson, or it's the rats again.) The whole universe is swarming with undead gods, daemon worlds, and sharp slicey horrors. Try going round with your little pumpkin bucket asking for candy in the Hell Spires of Necromunda...
But all that GRIMDARK doesn't mean we can't have some fun with corpses and casualty miniatures. Aside from the interesting issues raised by the painting gore from various species, the corpse mini gives you a chance to paint something from an army that you'll never build. One Cadian standing on the shelf is rather pathetic, but one Cadian squished under the wheels of an assault bike is the start of something beautiful.
Welcome to our hosts for our crawl through the corpses. Yes, even the Hungry Ghosts have a medical plan: Doc-Bot KillMaim666-74445369 and his Snotling aide Dammit Getoverhere.
Due to an Unspeakably Horrible programming bug in the KillMaim666 series of Doc-Bots, Doc-Bot Giggles is only fit for duty as coroner and tour guide. Ideally, the programming flaw should have been noticed from this Doc-Bot's Series Name before nearly 75 million KillMaim666s were released into the wild, but mistakes get made.
Dr Giggles comes to us all the way from Paranoia's Alpha Complex, a dimension where humans dwell underground because they have ruined the surface world. Where man worships an insane and unseen god of technology, battling to stamp out mutants, psychics, and heretics to herald a new golden age of endless bouncy bubble beverage for all the clones. Sounds familiar.
In olden tymes, before there was a Warhammer 40,000, corpse miniatures for most of the fantasy races were produced, sometimes more than one version. Here is a Beastman, 205-03 in the Citadel 1988 Catalog.
Rogue Trader arrived in 1987, with several dead Space Marines to litter the battlefields. This was the first, Ex-Brother Marine from the RT01 series released the same month as the 40K Rulebook, White Dwarf 93.
Here is another former marine, from the RT101 series released in White Dwarf 99, known only as Wounded Marine.
Some Rogue Trader Armies were supplied with more corpses than others... 4 Squats, 0 Eldar.
Fewer corpses were offered during the Warhammer 40K 2nd Edition days of the 1990s. A good supply of plastic troopers and the eternally useful Skeleton Horde sprue eliminated much of the need, and allowed for more variation.
Corpse minis of the 1990s were offered mostly as some sort of "special" release, special being a very rubbery term in this context. Both the Tallarns and Praetorians were widely available for many years (yet absent from my collection).
Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition was released at the end of the 1990s. Thousands of Dark Eldar corpses were created as Space Marines players tried to think of something to do with the chaos elves and their jungle trees. Were the jungle trees supposed to help the DE infantry counter the Land Speeder? These dead elves arrived to me battered and broken in a giant pile of bits, and were swiftly converted into artillery blast victims.
Some newly painted Hungry Ghosts can be glimpsed behind the blasted walls, soon to appear on this interweb channel.
These Vostroyan Imperial Guard were the only corpse minis released during the Warhammer 40K 4th Edition days. They were available only in the Vostroyan Battalion box released as part of the 2005 Cities of Death extravaganza. Nice sculpts that go from newly dead to very dead as needed. A Cadian Wounded trooper was included in the Cadian Command box, but a Medic was included to tend to his boo-boos and kiss them and make them all better.
These Space Marine casualties are the most recent offered for 40K, as part of another of Games Workshop's half-hearted return-to-our-roots spasms. They also nicely range from "I'm not dead yet!" to "rats have eaten my face!"
Our Halloween tour concludes with this insane meeting of the minds, and bitz. 1 40K 2nd ed Snotling helper, wearing a shark suit made from Dark Eldar and Wood Elf bits; 1 Paranoia Doc-Bot, enhanced with an Imperial Servitor arm and Dark Elf Corsair pointies; 1 Warhammer Quest Snotling armed with Eldar Laspistol and Marauder Daemonette Claw (the writing proclaims his loyalty to the Gobbo Revolutionary Committee, he is also hiding a Space Marine grenade behind his back); finally his prey, 1 Imperial Guard Tank Commander who has been melted down to crispy bones (Skeleton Horde) and oozing guts (WFB 5th or 6th ed Ghoul Intestines) below the waist.
The Red Rebel Snotling came from the same batch of bits as the dead Dark Eldar, already armed with Laspistol, but nothing in his right hand. That giant metal claw was in the bin waiting for the right kind of stupid, and thus our massively top-heavy little Yarrick was given the breath of life.