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Beards for the Beard God!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ourse Beeruin: Terror Bears Nork Deddog Replacement

Proof that Hungry Ghosts actually finishes something. I have always hated the 40K Ogryn, so the quest to complete Chaos Squats versions of all of the Imperial Guard special characters was not going to involve any Space Ogres.

But Hungry Ghosts has also loved his little Terror Bears since they were released by Dark Horse Miniatures in 1985. So using the mental heuristic "do the opposite", one giant stupid Ogryn was replaced 3 vicious little bears. Adorable yet deadly. Still, they have been given one single name as the act as a single character. One suggestive of beer and ruins as well as bears.

So now we have a nice mini-diorama. The Ogryn-size base is large enough for all 3 bears and a Space Marine Casualty/Lunch mini from the late 1980s, with leg (accidentally) broken off. The Terror Bears are small enough to fit nicely within the Marine's sprawled arms and legs.

Also crammed on the base is a Lamp Post from the Cities of Death set, and a metal sign bit from a Champion of Nurgle with the bird snipped off. Thus, my obsession with filling up the entire base for a model has been sated.

My plan was to use the Terror Bears in a manner that fits their different poses. Pain Bear with his raised arms was placed in the center, using the ancient tactic of creating the illusion of being larger to frighten off enemies. Doom Bear is behind the lamp, his pose is one of a tilted observer.

Fear Bear has a bit of a strange stance. His sharp teeth are clearly emphasized, his arms are stretched out, but not completely, with his claws turned inward. Fear Bear either just landed from a jump from a high location, or should be holding something. Since I wanted to keep the bears as a unified force, I opted for the "holding something" position to avoid suggesting he just dropped down to join Pain Bear and Doom Bear.

What's Fear Bear got? Space Dwarf Head. Since all Squats and Squat bits must appear in the Hungry Ghosts army at some point, the plastic Helmet Head needed to be used. The original plan was to use it on a plastic body, but that body now has a Chaos Terminator Head on it.

Plus the size of Fear Bear's arms and the Squat head could be positioned so Fear Bear seems to be talking to the severed head, which adds to the creepiness of the Terror Bears. It also serves as proof that there will be no special treatment of ordinary Squats by the Chaos Squats. And to use more red.

I wanted to give this creation a height near that of the Ogryn it represents, but at the same time did not want to distract the focus from the Terror Bears. So the Lamp Post was painted in greys and blues, both to meld into the color of the sky and to blend with the black base and blue armor of the dead Ultramarine. This was fortuitously enhanced by the broken leg, placed next to the Lamp Post and Marine to provide an intermediate height level for the transition from lamp to Marine to base. And, like the Lamp Post rising above, the Bolt Pistol was painted grey, fading out to white as it crosses the boundary of the base.

This process is one of the interesting paradoxes of military miniature painting. You want the Lamp to be noticeable (because it looks awesome) but at the same time not too noticeable. Similarly, in real-life military gear and vehicles, you want to camouflage your soldiers and vehicles with proper color choice and use of materials to break-up the shape of the human body or tank. With military miniatures, however, you want your work to be attention-grabbing. So how do you make something both camouflaged and irregularly shaped and visible and identifiable at the same time?

Paradoxes aside, an all-blue Space Marine is boring, and Space Marines don't seem to care about camouflage. So most of the torso of the Ultramarine was painted in the yellow also favored by the Ultramarines, with brown shading, some nice red blood from the bullet holes in the chest, along with red studs on the shoulder pad. Red was also used for the eyes of the Terror Bears, as we are still working with furry little Khorne worshipers.

The Ultramarine was given a tan skin color somewhere between the yellow of the shoulder pad and the brown of the Bears and Sign Post. This serves to provide a bridge from Pain Bear to the Sign Post.

From the back side, we can see just how cozy the bears are with each other. Doom Bear's left arm wraps around the Lamp Post toward Pain Bear while the right arm nestles under Fear Bear's arm. Pain Bear's threat-pose is angled toward the Sign Post, which is painted in the same colors as the Bears. The dead Ultramarine's arm is also visible, extending across the base of the lamp.

Cropping out the upper Lamp Post shows the unified positioning of the Terror Bears and their sign. For you TMNT experts out there, the sign represents the fourth Terror Bear, Nightmare Bear, who disappeared at some point in the past 27 years. I feel old.

Which Sign Post is tough to get a good picture of in detail, but says "TERRER BEARS" on it in red. (Bears can't spell, and neither can the Ogryn they represent)

Overall, we have a nice example of two of the Hungry Ghosts principles of miniature design:
1. Use the base, all of the base. It's not just there to prevent the mini from falling down.
2. Chaos, Khorne, or whatever else, do not fear to use all colors from black to white in a single miniature. Just use them in the right proportions to achieve your artistic goals.

This illustration shows all four Terror Bears. Nightmare Bear is at the lower left. Fear Bear is shown with an Edvard Munch man rising out of his skull, which unfortunately does not appear on the miniature. The picture is by Eastman & Laird, creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Terror Bears. I believe it is from one of the TMNT Role-playing Game books from Palladium, not the comic book.

This one is by a fan of the Terror Bears, though I am not sure who, and is too much fun to not include.

Terror Bears in the blister pack. Nightmare Bear strangely has different proportions from the other Bears, both in body and base. Looks a bit more like a Terror Monkey with that arm-to-leg ration and slim torso.


  1. Wow, I had forgotten that they made minis for those.

    The illustration is indeed from the TMNT RPG book or at least it is reproduced there.

  2. I checked my TMNT rulebook and I can confirm SoT's observation.

    They look fan-frikken-tastic. I love your vision, though cannot agree with your lack of appreciation of Ogryns.
    Current range.. yes - absolute pants.
    RT range.. no - so much more character and fun.

  3. I did not know those miniatures existed.

    I actually faced the Terror Bears in a game of the TMNT RPG in 1995. They certainly were terrifying, and although my memory is hazy, I'm pretty sure my psychic Wolverine was turned into a gibbering wreck by Doom Bear, before he was obliterated by an AK-47. That was pretty much the way to solve any problem in that game some to think of it.

  4. The fan-art is by TMNT fan-boy tOkKa.