Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Even I Don't Know What to Name This One

Alrighty, let's remind ourselves that we can actually finish something, especially since the last Chaos Squats Census found 50 or so partly assembled, painted, etceteraed Squats and hangers-on. An we shall not speak of all those Plague Marines, World Eaters, Eldar. Especially the Eldar.

But did Hungry Ghold Leader stay on target? No. No way, he took the shortcut to 1-up mushrooms on the desert world of Level 2...erm, Tatooine. Um. Allusion collision. Chaos can get confusing.

So we start with an innocent round heavy weapons/dreadnought size base. Being a bit tired of the blackened Eternal War theme of the Hungry Ghosts bases, and having many interesting shaped Alien Plants from Armorcast, a thorny menacingly large desert plant was placed on the base.

The plant came in two pieces, the ridged middle section and the thorn-tipped large-leaf section. This included an integral base, of a sandy texture, with several smaller plants, some disturbingly brain-shaped. The oblong shape jutted out from the Warhammer base, while leaving parts of it exposed.

As we all know, those luscious succulent bulgy leaves and that ripply broccoli-clustered central stalk contain enough water to fill many a stillsuit. And a chance to work with textures not commonly associated with Chaos Squats.

To tempt the thirsty, the bulging leaves were painted with a green pattern similar to the watermelon, protected by hard red thorns in an inversion of the softness of the red inside of the watermelon. The central stalk was painted an inviting green as well, while the sharp scalloped ridges were painted Don't-Touch-Me Orange, protecting the water of our desert plant. Pretty much a mix of the color schemes of the watermelon and the pumpkin.

But let's not be silly. You're wondering who is coming 'round that bend.

It's rats, more rats. Citadel just keeps pumping out new rats to fill my bases. As we can see, there are three.

First, let's engage in some self-applause, for deciding not to include an entire squad of Ratlings in the Hungry Ghosts Army. Our littlest Rogue Trader Mercenary, Shorty, was repurposed as cavalry, through a mere snip of the slotta tab.

Given the rat-fetish of Hungry Ghosts, the Skaven Rat Centaur needed prominent treatment. So the Rat-Centaur was not only made into the mount for Shorty Mario, he was also given his own bolt pistol. Both Ratling and Rat-Taur were painted in color schemes that provide camouflage in the desert world they roam.

Since the base of the Space Cactus provided some empty space, the pair could also be positioned behind a mix of the smaller plants molded in the base, painted a similar mix of oranges and yellows. The striped leaf pattern was echoed by the striped tail on the Rat-Taur, while the pointy nose, pointy tail, and pointy horn on the head go nicely with the thorny bits of the Space Cactus.

Unable to resist the addition of bits, Mario has been given a banner atop his backpack, from one of the plastic Army bits from the 1990 edition of Mighty Empires. This helps to provide a nice diagonal going from the Rat-Taur's pistol and head bits, continuing with Mario's head and pistol, rising with the banner pole, and reaching toward the Cactus Stalk (which would otherwise really stick out of the mini-diorama).

Meanwhile, the curved ammo-clips and small wavy banner bit make a nice match with the scalloped shaped parts of the main plant. Yellow was used to unify the tops of the bits- the Rat-Taur's horn, Mario's helmet, and small banner. Yellow was also used for much of Mario's gear, and for the highlights of the smaller plants on the base.

But a tension was also purposefully created- the Rat-Taur has a trio of tumors, a bright yellow gift of Nurgle, while Mario is quite obviously in a quest for new life, as his Mushroom Banner shows. The colors of the Mushroom Banner also blend in with the leaves of the Space Cactus. The red thorns and the various dark grey areas were given white or close to white glossy highlights, fitting with the 1-UP Mushroom.

Our hero is being trailed by a camouflaged critter of the desert, waiting for a chance to bite off a bit of Rat-Taur tail. Painted in the same orange-yellow tones of the small brain-looking plants, and of similar size, the critter is one of the larger members of the Tyranid Squig range. He also fills in an area of exposed base.

From a different angle, we can see the other mutant space rat on the mission, another of the older metal Skaven rats, with a pointy artificial leg attached to a tube full of poison. This rat was painted very bright yellow, just because I haven't used that old Bad Moon Yellow for a while.

The Bad Moon Rat's poison mechanism wraps around his body and along his tail, making him dangerous from either end. Like most of my creations, the color palette ranges across the spectrum from white to black and just about everything in between.

From above, the overall effect of bits added to the mini-diorama nicely fills the available space. The area at the bottom of the picture is another thick green plant, topped by a rusted and worn-down Space Marine helmet, one from the ancient RTB01 Mark 6 Beakies hollowed out, with its faded colors blending with the greens and reds of the Space Cactus.

That Space Marine did not find his Green Mushroom in time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Squats in Citadel Flyers: Historia Squataticus Appendix 2

The Saga of the Squats continues. This volume concerns Squats in Citadel Miniatures Flyers, of which there are not too many, since the Citadel Flyers were published in the mid to late 1980s for the most part, and Squats did not appear until 1987.

If a flyer is not included here, it means that I don't have it, and The Stuff of Legends doesn't have it either. All prices in this posting are in GBP unless otherwise noted.

1980s Flyers

1982-1984 Citadel Flyers – None

Early 1985 Citadel Miniatures Flyer 1 page – None

1985 Goblin Battle Chariots 1985 – None

1985 Machineries of Destruction – No Squats

But it does include the rare and awesome Giant Chaos Battering Ram for 24.50, Mainframe 3.00, Support 3.50 (2 included), Side Plate C, D, and M 60p (included 1 of Plate C and M, and 6 of Plate D), Dragon's Head Ram 2.50, Ram Joist and Beam 60p (1 Joist, 2 Beams), Cyborg Troll (1.25), Troll Wheel 40p (2), Driver 80p, Slave 60p, Wheel 80p (4)

And also includes the rare and awesome Chronicle Chaos Cannon for 9.95, Gun Platform 4.00, Left Side, Right Side 1.50 each, Commander, Loader, and Gunner 60p each (Loader and Gunner same as Petard Mortar), Gun 2.00, Cannon Balls 50p (noted as Unreleased despite the obvious).

And the Mighty Dwarf Steam Cannon

1985 Citadel Flyers May, June, July, August, September, October, November - None

1985 Blood-Bath at Orc's Drift, Lord of the Rings – None

1986 Citadel Flyers New Year, Spring 1, Spring 2, April, May, June, July, August - None

1987 Thank You Mr President – RT03 Space Dwarfs 5 for 2.50

The RT03 Space Dwarfs

1987 Dragons – DS9 Dwarf Dragonslayer for 1.50

Dwarf Treasure Hunter as part of DRAG3 Green Dragon set for 5.95

1987 New Releases, undated light green – None

1987 Summer New Releases – None, but here's some Chaos Dwarf Heavy Weapons Troopers.

1987 Warhammer 40,000 1 pg sheet with US Mail Order Instructions – early ad mentions only RTB01 Marines 30 pack and Space Ork Raiders set of 17 in addition to Rogue Trader Rule Book (14.95 Hard Cover)

1987 Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Part 1 – RT9 Squat Heavy Weapons, both Gunners, Loaders, and Commanders, with names, shows Heavy Plasma Gun, Heavy Bolter v1, Grenade Launcher v1; 2.50 for Gunner, Loader, Commander, and Weapon

RT7 Mercenaries Irn Bonce the Squat, 5 for 2.50 and Iron Claw Squat Hovercar 1.10 (Roborg too)

RT302 Squats Command Group, all 12 with names, probably 3 for 2.50

RT03 Space Dwarves, all 20 with names, 5 for 2.50

Plus the rare Warhammer 40,000 First Releases

1987 Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Part 2 – 28 of 32 Iron Claw IC501 Space Dwarfs (missing 7, 24, 25, 29, 5 for 2.50). Also Robo-Dog!

Surprise! Dominators! Good luck finding these monstrosities.

1987 Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader Part 3 – RT304 Squat Thudd Gun, 3.50 (Rapier v1 too)

RT601 Adventurers Squat Miner and Engineer, 5 for 2.50

1987 October New Releases – None but Gob-Lobber Cook and Roast available as part of set for 9.99. And Slocombe's Warbots.

1987 Winter New Releases – RT9 Squat Heavy Weapons – Gunner Karl & Keif, Loader Grigg & Powl, Capt. Khyrk and Sgt Bylcow and Heavy Plasma Gun, big Grenade Launcher, and 1st Heavy Bolter, 2.50 for Commander, Loader, Gunner and Weapon, 20p for extra Heavy Weapon.

We already saw these Squats, so here are the legendary Space Slann and Zoats as well.

Did you know that, despite their giant size and heavy weaponry, "Zoats were created as investigators, their main role being to understand and communicate with creatures outside the hive mind, assessing their value. Zoats are capable of assimilating information about languages and psychology with stunning speed, making rapid and accurate leaps in their comprehension of alien creatures. Due to this innate capability of understanding the subtlest nuances of facial and body language, Zoats are remarkably charismatic and enigmatic creatures who are able to convey more meaning in a look or gesture than a native can manage in a sentence"?

Neither did I. Could you read that without laughing? Neither could I. From White Dwarf 145, page 43. These guys. Charismatic. Can communicate with Ents with a gesture or a look.

RT7 Mercenaries including Irn-Bonce the Squat, 2.50 for 5

Iron Claw Squat Hovercar, 1.10, this time with the highly desireable Dwarf Booze Brothers, 2.50

1987 Citadel's Latest Releases – None

1988 March New Releases – None

1988 June New Releases – both Squat Medics, 2.50 for 3; flyer also includes 40K Heavy Weapons for 50p each - Multi-melta, 1st Las-Cannon, Heavy Plasma Gun, big Grenade Launcher, Conversion Beamer, and Heavy Bolter

Iron Claw Miniatures (color 1 page) no Squats, but 13 Gothic Dwarfs (IC101 2.50 for 5)

Introduction to Games Workshop – Unclear date, has copyrights dated 1988, 1989, 1991 but also refers to items as to be released in 1989, and items that were never released, such as a Epic-style WFB system; 24 Color Pages including covers.

Page 7 shows the Space Dwarfs and Devastators box sets, the cover of White Dwarf 111, the Squats blister pack card, and a painted plastic Squat with Heavy Bolter.

Page 19 promises to-be-released Epic Space Marine “Juggernauts and Zeppelins – two huge war machines that dwarf even the mighty Titans. Juggernauts are vast mobile fortresses, bristling with weapons; Zeppelins are great airships that float above the battlefield, dealing death to anything that dares approach them.” Which sounds like Squats Army vehicles.

1990s Flyers/Posters

1997 GorkaMorka – No Squats (2-sided black & white fold-out poster style flyer, there is also a one-page green flyer for US)

1998 Games Workshop Products - No Squats (2-sided black & white large fold-out poster flyer, shows most of existing product line, Sci-Fi one side, Fantasy other side)

1999 Games Workshop Products - No Squats (2-sided color large fold-out poster flyer, shows most of existing product line, Sci-Fi one side, Fantasy other side)

1999 Dark Eldar Arena of Blood – No Squats (1-sided color large fold-out poster and game mat)

2000s Flyers/Posters

2000 Battle for Armageddon – No Squats, but Ghazghkull knows where they are (1-sided color large fold-out poster campaign map)

2001 Inquisitor Release / North and South America Retailers – No Squats (2-sided color large fold-out poster flyer, came with White Dwarf 257)

2003 Eye of Terror - No Squats (1-sided color large fold-out poster flyer.) Black Monoliths on Cadia? Really GW? Hav'st thou no imagination? Hungry Ghosts just watched 2001, 2010, and Starship Troopers again. In the early days, we can forgive your borrowing. But Tyranids just keep looking more and more like a certain Mr. Heinlein's bugs.

2006 Dark Crusade – No Squats (2-sided color large fold-out poster of Special Character Conversions from US Games Workshop stores. Very nice minis.)

2007 Call to Arms Collector Card Program / Dark Angels Codex - No Squats (2-sided color large fold-out poster flyer)

There have also been plenty of Warhammer Fantasy Battle posters and inserts that are unsurprisingly Squats-free.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chaos Squats 40K Special Characters: Col. Teckja Ras-El-Dugmit

Today brings the Hungry Ghosts version of Tallarn Captain Al'Rahem, Colonel Teckja Ras-El-Dugmit, nominal commander of the Moriad XIV Spectral Beards Platoon. There are those who doubt a Dwarf can stalk, and there are those who die; there are many of those who are both.

Col. Ras-El-Dugmit is based on perhaps the least greasy-looking of the maligned greasy-biker strain of Squats, Guild Master 2. I have kept the Arabic-sounding name for the Colonel, which is an anagram of 'jacket guildmaster'. The Guild Master was a bit too clean shaven for a Squat who lies in wait for the enemy, so his bare chin was enhanced with the braided beard of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle Beastman Gor Warrior Head. His beard was cut and positioned so it flows in the direction of his gaze, made to appear more impressively long by reaching out like a tentacle to probe the battlefield debris at Teckja's feet.

From a slightly different angle, Col Ras-El-Dugmit's probing beard can be better viewed. This time, the detritus of War is a wheel from the 1990s Imperial Guard Heavy Weapons and a miscast Headlight bit from one of the Squat Motorcycles. This mini has a strong visual theme of long thin lines in alignment with each other created by his sideburns and parted head-hair, as well as the folds and pocket lines of his jacket. The overall pattern of his head reinforces this with the hair line ending at the bandana, which is snug against his sunglasses, the curves of which draw attention down to his expressionless mouth. The beastman-beard echos this theme with its braided pattern, reaching to the tread pattern on the wheel. The Imperial Eagle emblem worked with this theme, but had to be removed at the request of Khorne.

To go along with all of this, Col RED has a Plasma Pistol like the standard Captain Al'Rahem, but he is armed with the 40K 3rd edition Chaos Space Marine Champion version of the Plasma Pistol with its emphatic cabling. Since we are in Chaos Dwarf territory, the Claw of the Desert Tigers and the entire left arm was replaced with the Maul of the Skull-Breaker, which also features a cabled portion. The Maul is the Pit Slave Chief Mace from the Necromunda range of minis.

From the back-right angle, Teckja proves to be another Squat in the Moriad who does not use the original Squats arms at all. Also from the Necromunda bin, the right arm is an Orlock bit from the plastic sprues that came with the mid 1990s Necromunda starter box. The bandana on the arm goes along with that on his head, while the bare bicep and forearms increase his Bad-Ass Level. Plus one glove- Sham-on!

Additional extraneous cloth...well, perhaps not so extraneous. I would suppose a heavily bearded Dwarf dressed in leather blasting away with a Plasma Pistol might get a bit sweaty. Anyway, the cloth streamers, from a plastic Bretonnia Knight's Head, goes with the flow like the QotSA song playing on his antenna radio...oops, I mean with of the cabling on the Plasma Pistol and the Orlock armband. All together, they create the impression that Teckja is in the process of raising his arm. His backpack is from a Forge World Krieg Engineer.

Back to the front my disposable heroes...ah, it's been a long night. But here we can see a nod of the noggin to the Desert Tigers, in the form of a small cat. I am almost certain it is an ancient pre-slotta Wizard's Familiar from the days of cross-branding between Citadel and Ral Partha, on a big metal sprue with a couple of birds, a very small dragon and demon, and some sort of tiny Temple Dog looking critter. Anyway, the fine skull necklace was added from some bit in the WFB plastic sprues.

Which serves to point out the other visual theme, circles, spotted circles. Most obvious is the Maul of the Skull Breaker, repeated by the design of the IG wheel and headlight on the base. The Kat of Khorne's necklace and the studs and muzzles of the Plasma Pistol go along, as do the bulgy round sunglass lenses and Teckja's nose.

These circular patterns are easily noticed from above. Also visible are the two axes of the overall miniature - the first Teckja swinging to his left, swaying his beard, and pointing his Maul in the direction of his gaze. I placed the Squat on his base as far to the right as the slot as possible, to allow an emphatic gesture without his bits sprawling too far beyond the edge of the base. In this position, his right shoulder and Plasma Pistol also jut out of the boundary of the base. The wheel at his feet was placed similarly.

The second axis is created by his right arm, almost 90 degrees in angle from his left arm, with his head and snakey beard in roughly the 45 degree position between Ras-El-Dugmit's arms.

A back-and-left look shows that Col RED's Krieg Backpack also goes beyond the base, while the Kat of Khorne fits snugly against the left leg and under the backpack, though his snub tail pokes out a bit. Overall Ras-El-Dugmit fills his allotted base-space and more.

Tekja's AM/FM head antenna is aligned with his Maul and Gaze, just a Battlefleet Gothic Imperial Cruiser bit. But what's that on his left shoulder? A Knight's Lance-Arm section of plate-mail. Where did it come from? The Skeleton Army set. You just can't run out of uses for the Skeleton Army sprue bits. I've been doing it for well nigh 25 years.

Soon we will take a voyage beyond the Citadel...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chaos Squats 40K Special Characters: Gunnery Sergeant Chhattisgarh

Chaos all around. Things got a bit Chaotic here at Hungry Ghosts Headquarters. Chaos from without and Chaos from within.

The original plan was to create the Hungry Ghosts as an Imperial Guard army with Catachan Special Characters. Well, it turns out that there are a lot of Squats, interesting Squats, and that brought on a frenzy of army list wrangling to squeeze all of the Squats minis into one army. Which led to the converting of more Special Characters not from the Death-World. And that led to trying to create an army list that included all of the Squats and filled all of the troop types and characters in the Imperial Guard book with a minimum of miniatures.

That is a tale that will unfold with time. Today we will look at a Special Character from Catachan, whom we saw in bits form a while ago. Now fully assembled and fully loaded come Hungry Ghosts Gunnery Sergeant Chikibi "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Chhattisgarh.

The Hungry Ghosts version of Gunnery Sergeant 'Stonetooth' Harker started with Squat Adventurer 5. Like the standard Harker, Sgt Chikibi has battled the Tyranid menace. As we can see, Sgt Chikibi not only squashed the evil bug, but ripped off its arms, then ripped off his own, and replaced them with the Genestealer arms for Extra Killing Power. With his double Genestealer Arms (from the old Rogue Trader Genestealer Arms sprue), Sgt Chikibi can rip a nearby enemy to shreds while blasting away at the massed monsters on the move.

To start small, we can see that Sgt Chikibi's lower left arm wields a Las Pistol, another Rogue Trader sprue-sourced bit. And his first 'Bang' begins with hand grenades strapped to his wrist.

From this angle, more 'Bang' grenades. The grenades are plastic bits from Imperial Guard sprues. The double-arm required larger shoulder armor than usual. But, no surprise, the shoulder armor bit is from the venerable Skeleton Army set, this time a skeleton breastplate.

As the proverb goes, excess is best. Adventurer 5 was designed with a heavy load of equipment, so I loaded him down with more. Hitching a ride on Sgt Chhattisgarh's back is his pet bat, Bruce. I think it is from an old Creature Swarm sprue.

Our Sergeant also has been given a mutant prehensile tail, a metal bit from an old Chaos Hound.

Now for the big 'Bang'. Like the original Sgt Harker, Chikibi wields a Heavy Bolter, strapped to his lower right arm. The 'Terrordactyl' starts with the Heavy Bolter from the Rogue Trader weapon sprue. I added various bits to give it the appearance of a monstrous creature - the eyes are sliced off gems set in metal, not sure where they came from. The grasping claw is from the Epic Tyranid Lictor. The bone wrapped handle is from the sword from the mid-1990s Orc Regiment sprue, and the large spikes at the rear are from Tyranid biomorph bits, while the small spikes are Dark Eldar. And once again, the ancient Skeletal Horse provided the ribcage and spine.

The size of the Terrordactyl provides enough cover for the right arms that a smaller piece of shoulder armor was sufficient, so a bit from the Lizardmen Saurus Warriors sprue.

Another view from at the front shows off the Gunnery Sergeant's minor accessories- Unlike 'Stonetooth', Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a pipe for tobacco smoking from the Dwarf Warriors sprue, and carries a hammer and sack of nails hanging from his belt on the right side.

From above we can see that Sgt Chhattisgarh's Genestealer claws and his Terrordactyl will not be bound by the size of the base, reaching out to blast any enemies. By now, some readers may be wondering, we've seen the Bang Bang, but where is the Chitty Chitty? Chitty Chitty is the sound made by snapping Genestealer claws open and shut.

And yes, I couldn't resist painting Chikibi in Papa Smurf colors. More Special Characters coming soon.