Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Storm Trooper Gundabad, Chaos Squat 10 of the Burnt Scorpions

Storm Trooper Wuakanda Gundabad is the 10th member of the Burnt Scorpions squadron, completing the unit.

Gundabad was not a particularly complex creation. He is the Squat Warlord from the Hearth Guard gang with some well needed arms. Dressed like he comes from Halloween Town, Gundabad has perfected the ''rrrrahhh brrraaaainnnnsss!" gait of the serial killer zombie.

But he is not without pizzazz: a swank Khorne medallion hangs from his neck. From the front, at least, it de-emphasizes the fact that Gundabad is one of the fattest Squat models, with his belt of metal nearly hidden by his flabby belly. Look at that curve. Khorne medallion from the recent plastic Bloodletters.

Gundabad gives a creepy vibe by having the same color scheme all over, basic black supplemented by fiery orange. Armor trim, hair, skin, which is body and which is flesh? Is there anything in that armor? If there isn't, why is he so fat?
Now you've been confused long enough that Tpr Gundabad has you in his sights.

Gundabad's heavily armored right arm is an unholy combination of the weapon arm of Space Elf Sgt Mael Nightwing (first Eldar I ever bought!) and a trimmed down Ogre Ironguts studded metal fist. Both enhance the ridged design of the Warlord armor, but it's the fist-studs that provide a sweet candy corn look. I also like how the shrinking sections give an impression of modular parts extending forward as needed.

But what's going on with Mael's weapon arm? We know it's the first format for the Eldar Lasgun, but what purpose does the wrap-around bejeweled armor serve? Three of the other Eldar have the same Lasgun with no need for extra metal or ceramite or Bone Singer's wraith-woven wool or whatever Eldar armor is made of. Is it some sort of Power Lasgun? So he can't lose it, like those mitten strings little kids have? I don't know. But I do know that the difference between that chunky weapon and the slender arm makes that mini break easily. Hence the availability for the Gundabad conversion.

Ain't no modular extendability for the left arm. I suppose we can call it an arm. A long spindly mess of metal and meat with mutant teeth and nubbins of unclear purpose.

Also unclear where that arm comes from. At some point Dark Eldar bits started becoming like Tyranid bits and I just buy cheap and spiky bits without paying attention to what they come from. I thought DE Talos since I bought a bunch of those bits, but can't spot it on the sprue. Nope, not Mawloc or Tervigon etc.

There it is: Skaven Hell Pit Abomination. I could have edited out all that above, but want  my dear readers to feel some of the desperate difficult search time need to ID bits in an era of No Catalogs.

Anyway Hell Pit Bomi's lower jaw bit is spiky, creepy, and curved the opposite way from the horns to provide a high visibility counterbalance.

Gundabad's ensemble is completed by a dee-luxe cape made of Salamander leather, trimmed with the fluffed up circuitry of Leman Russ, and a dragon emblem made of fire trapped in a time-stasis field.

Accompanying our Storm Trooper is the 4th and final Mouser from my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles blister pack I bought many many moons ago. 

Mouser pokes out nicely from the barren patch of the base, even if he is dressed like 
a New York Mets fan.

Lying at the feet of Gundabad is a blood-stained Sisters of Battle fleur-de-lis icon, from the 40K resin basing accessories pack. Never have the emperor's trinkets come so cheaply.

Just kidding, they get more expensive all the time. I'd provide a graph but can't find a long enough Y-axis.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Warhammer 40K 25th Anniversary Squats Grudge Master II : Based and Debased

The Hungry Ghosts have a tendency toward elaborate basing, and the Grudge Master is no exception. In fact, the Grudge Master's base is integral for Anniversary Grudging purposes. It also takes the signature base-bits-sprawl over the edge to new levels.

As we can see, the front of MSgt Grevess's base features heads of great enemies. Prominently spiky is an Ork Nob severed head, who also shares the Hungry Ghosts' love of skull symbols (let's face it, just about everyone in the 40K universe has a skull fetish). The Orks were the last to mention the existence of the Squats in the 40K universe. Despite the enmity, the Squats must grudgingly note that minor respect in their Book of Grudges, though the mocking term "stunties" was used (White Dwarf 289 p.108, Feb 2004).

A second Great Enemy appears to the right, a severed head of a Genestealer, of the early 1990s plastic variety. The color scheme is a reversal of the Grudge Master's, a slippery blue hue pocked with red and yellow pustules. 

 Peeping out from the side is one of the cute little Skaven rats that come with the Hell Pit Abomination.

And another little rat on the other side. Both bear the same fiery fur that marks the beards of the Hungry Ghosts.

We can see that the severed Genestealer head has left a sticky mess on the floor. Another mess was the moulding of the teeth - no gaps between the right and left sides, just big creased mashing surfaces like wooly mammoth molars. Seems that Genestealers crush their nummies instead of tearing them apart as Imperial propaganda would have us believe.

The rats rest upon the hands of former allies, one upon the gloved hand of a Space Marine and the other on the putrid rot of an Imperial Guard meatshield. The hands of those who offer false friendship are severed like those of the thief: indeed the theft of trust can be worse than theft of gold. They are left for the vermin to do with as their dirty little minds see fit.

So too with the cast-off weapon of the enemy. The bastardized version of the lasgun given to the humans by the Squats as a welcoming gift to a dangerous galaxy points to the past, broken as the promise it symbolized.

But what can you expect from a species with such a tiny skull and tiny brain? Seriously, though, GW design team, is that a child skull? Monkey? Pixie? Khorne is not impressed.

Our Grudge Master, so fraught with symbolism already, has more symbolism to unleash. From above a carefully crafted Chaos symbol is revealed, the diagonal axes formed by severed heads paired with severed hands (and pointy rat snouts), skull embossed arrowheads upon the Grudge Master's shoulders, and lastly the barrel of the lasgun pointing behind while

Facing forward is the skull, bedecked with golden laurel wreath, dedicated to Lord Death, whose fires glow from within. Death will come to all, to some it will come soon, from the Grudge Master.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Warhammer 40K 25th Anniversary Squats Grudge Master

As we conclude our Rogue Trader reminiscing upon this 25th year of Warhammer 40K, Hungry Ghosts brings forth a Special Edition Space Dwarf to mournfully memorialize the greatest loss to the Emperor's Oubliette.

Standing before the Red Door of Anger is the Legios Moriad XIV Grudge Master. The Squats were abandoned by the cruel overlords of Games Workshop after their glorious victories throughout the Rogue Trader era; after teaching the Imperium of Man the secrets of metallurgy and warfare from their Forge Worlds. For this, they were betrayed. How could Space Marines stride mightily across worlds when they can't fix a flat tire without invoking some mumbley nonsense about divine wrenches? Because their brains are too simple to remember righty-tighty without a psalm, they had to pretend that it had to be Magick to fix a flat. Thus, those who could work a beer-tap without a servitor had to be taken out of the picture.

But simple it would not be, as the little green troll would put it. The Space Dwarfs stubbornly remained as the Second Edition appeared, with a provisional army list included in the Codex-in-a-Box (along with the most awful Space Marines ever conceived).

8 Squats were sculpted, who stealthily hid under mountains deep and world's of power armor smushing gravitational force, to reappear at times of great need. Without capering about like glam-rock lunatics like those Black Librarians. Just 3 Champions, 3 Berserkers, 1 Trooper, and 1 Exo-Armor Commander; the 2nd Ed Squats can be seen here: 

This Trooper and 1 Champion appeared in the 1994 Dark Millennium rules supplement and a Warhammer painting guide. As we can see, he is firmly in the grasp of the Primary Colours Period of GW in-house painting style that ruled the early 1990s. (picture borrowed from the website above)

The 40K 2nd Ed Squats also looks more than a bit like the WFB Dwarfs of the period (4th-5th Ed).
Champion with Winged Helmet

 Champion with Horned Helmet

Berserker with Cybernetics, like a Slayer who ate some Anvils

Our Grudge Master Neiƫr Grevess is a sturdy fellow with a fine beard, standing in a vigilant position. He brings improved weaponry and enhanced armor compared to most of the Rogue Trader Squats, a Bolter and what would best be classified as Carapace Armor.

Grudge Master Grevess had a slotta-tab that broke off, leaving little bits that fit nicely into a sci-fi interior terrain base that was given out to Adepticon attendees, so no intentional harm was done to the rare Squat trooper. But of course he was converted a bit. Two skull medallions were added to the shoulder armor, Space Marines purity seals with the little banners removed. His bumpy beer can grenades are sculpted on.

On the other side, 2 more skull medallions from SpaM purity seals. Also a skull chained to the belt, from the WFB Empire Flagellants. A small symbol of Khorne fit nicely between the armored shoulders, from the Bloodletters sprue.

A pair of triangular bits of armor featuring more skulls were added to the tops of the shoulder armor, Dark Elf donations with the ends chopped off. The bolter got a nice little bayonet with 3 prongs, a High Elf helmet decoration bit. The Squat Trooper is a compact miniature with most parts attached solidly to other parts, so not much opportunity to play around with, unless you're prepared to do some major reconstructive surgery. But there's always room for more skulls and pointy bits.

For the Special Anniversary Limited Edition Squats Grudge Master, I tilted the paint scheme toward that of the Primary Colours Period he was sculpted during. And BRIGHT RED was the signature tint of the time, so MSgt Grevess has red armor with highlighting moving toward orange, and not much of his ink wash shadowing him. His blue accessories pop out toward Space Wolf, and his Beaten Copper metal trim and Bolter were melded with some gold, but also with a bit of Bad Moon Yellow, a bottle from the early production of the color which is very translucent. The Grudge Master's bountiful beard flows at the lighter end of the typical Hungry Ghosts hair scheme, somewhere between the red of the armor and the gold-copper hue of the accessories.

In addition to hewing toward the color preferences of the era, the Grudge Master is there to be noticed. He is a bold bearer of the truth that Squats survive and thrive despite efforts to erase them from the history of the galaxy.

But the minimal amount of flesh that can be seen is black. Every Chaos Squat can use some black.

Grudge Master Part 2 will appear tomorrow.