Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Space Dwarfs Beyond the Galactic Fringes: Fantastic Miniatures Squat Infantry

Part 3 of our tour through the Fantastic Miniatures Squats designed by Beardmaster Bob Olley. This time it's multi-part Infantry Troopers. These stout warriors are a bit of a mix of the Citadel Squats designed by the Perry Brothers and those by Bob Olley. Again we have the Warhammer 40K Infantry Troops Troika of Helmet-Hat-Bare Head, but the heads are swappable, as are the arms and guns.

The lack of weapon options is a stark contrast with the bounty of bits that would be offered with the Olley's Armies Scrunts ranges of Space Dwarfs. But since Hungry Ghosts feels the need to use every Space Dwarf and every bit at some point in time, it's a bit of a relief. On the other hand, Hungry Ghosts disdains tiny little pistols, so when these guys officially make it into the Legios Moriad XIV Expeditionary Force, they're going to need new guns.

Our first assembled Squat is Trooper Karl Marx, who has already been warped a bit with a Skaven Standard Bearer's Arm. The balding head reminded me of Squat Guild Master 1, so it got put on the Trench Coat Body.

View from the rear.

Left Side

Right Side

Chaos-upped with a Defiler Head!

A good capitalist, as all Dwarfs are, he had to cover his commie-looking head.

Next up Trooper Fidel Castro. At least his pistol is big and there's a skull on his cap. Will definitely need some mutating though.

Rear view, showing the large shoulder/back armor common to many of Bob Olley's Squats for GW.

Right side for details of Big Pistol.

Infantry Trooper 3 with Helmet Head. This Squat also features body armor similar to the Squat Warriors that first appeared in White Dwarf 108. Also a little bit of Baron Harkonnen in his pudgy styling.

Not that Baron Harkonnen.

This Baron Harkonnen.

Rear view, lots of space for spikes, maybe a tail or an extra arm, maybe both. But not for a neck. No need for one of those.

Showing off his complicated rifle, the envy of his pistol-packing peers.

All Together Now

That's about all the fun we're going to get from these guys until they take a bath in the bits boxes, so off they go.

BH again! He looks almost harmless here. Except for the Twihard nails.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Space Dwarfs Beyond the Galactic Fringes: Fantastic Miniatures Squat Heavy Weapons

Next on our Fantastic Voyage* are the Heavy Weapons Squats. As can be seen, these minis are single-piece bodies in the familiar Warhammer 40K Infantry Troika of Helmet-Hat-Bare Head (I keep waiting for Bear Head, but fear that dream will never come true...). These Squats were sold as a group, with 4 Heavy Weapon choices.

First a look at Gunner Karll. He bears more than a bit of a resemblance to the old Citadel RT303 series Gunner Karl (http://chaossquats.blogspot.com/2010/04/underdeepers-autocannon-team.html) but has pulled down his shades to protect his eyes from the flashy Grey Knights about to be blasted to bits. This Gunner Karlll is packin' a pistole in case any bugs get close in, something that the RT303 Karl should have thought of.

Gunner Karllll and the other gunners also share the love of tucked in puffy pants with the Fantastic Minis Berserkers.

From the other side, the Ginormousness of this Heavy Weapon can be fully appreciated. Is it a Missile Launcher? A Heavy Plasma Gun? A Heavy Plasma-Missile Launcher? Gunner Karlllll was given this Heavy Plasma-Missile Launcher since his slightly upward gaze matches with the upward tilt of the gun, and the bits of the gun that stick out on the top side look kind of like his hat.

Our Gunner with Helmet is sporting a tactical jumpsuit of unremarkable detail.

Gunner Helmut is firing a Las-Cannon type heavy weapon. Its bulbous center matches best with his helmet, while the ammo-cartridge at the back of the gun resembles his backpack. Another sculpt designed to blend in with the 40K Squats.

Last is the bare-headed gunner, in a kneeling position. Gunner Kneif got the Heavy Bolter type gun because it also has an angular shape mimicking a kneeling Squat. Also small and compact Kneif needed a small and compact gun.

From the right side, we can see...nothing special. Another simple design evocative of the Imperial-style Rogue Trader Squats.

Abbey Road view. Overall, the Heavy Weapons outshine the Gunners in this series. But that's nothing that a few tentacles and a pile of spiky armor bits can't cure. Maybe some severed heads here and there.

And the 4th Heavy Weapon? What the hell is it?

* A song of apt prophecy for our Squats & the Hungry Ghosts Mission-
They wipe out an entire race and I've got to write it down
But I'm still getting educated but I've got to write it down
And it won't be forgotten.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Space Dwarfs Beyond the Galactic Fringes: Fantastic Miniatures Squat Berserkers

Another chapter in the sporadic review of Space Dwarfs Beyond the Galactic Fringes (that is, Space Dwarfs not made by Citadel). This chapter will take a look at a series of miniatures sculpted by the Grand Beardmaster Bob Olley for Fantastic Miniatures in 2004 and 2005. They have been variously referred to as Squats, Space Dwarfs, and Futuristic Dwarves. There are 13 Fantastic Miniatures Squats, most or all of which are still available from Fantastic Miniatures through their eBay store (though none right now due to the holidays).

This breed of Squats includes 4 Berserkers, including 1 Limited Edition Champion, 3 Warriors in Heavy Exo-Armor, 3 Infantry Troopers, and 3 Heavy Weapons Troopers.

First is the Limited Edition Squat Berserker Champion. This Squat is a single-piece sculpt armed with a what is probably a Lasgun that also functions as a double-handed Power Axe. He has a rather complicated hairstyle, ornate clothing, and a malevolent glare.

From the back we can see that this Berserker has put a bit of forethought into equipping himself for battle, not very typical for his type.

This particular model is 186 of the series of 250, and came with the business card sized Certificate of Authenticity. A compact and effective sculpt that wards off any conversion attempts with his fierce gaze and big axe. But that lower right leg is looking rather vulnerable to the X-acto-wielding mutator, Mr Berserker.

The other Squat Berserkers came as a set of 3 Bodies and 6 separate Arms to mix and match. Berserker 1 has a Road Warrior in Ninja Booties outfit and 2 Very Large Pistols, 1 with a Very Large Bayonet. Like all proper Berserkers, he is in a lurching forward for the attack position.

These Berserkers were molded with pins in the arm-slots and holes in the arms, which affected the range of possible positions. But since the arms were separate from the bodies, there was still the opportunity to match the weapons with the bodies. B1 has his legs spread out, as well as his beard and hair above his ears, so he was given arms that would also be spread wide, and the nubbins sticking out on top of the guns work well with his hair tufts above his ears.

B1 has a nicely armored back with some fine spikes to give second-thoughts to any creeping Tyranids who might be contemplating an ambush.

Berserker 2 bears a Headband of Thorns and also a fondness for Skull-shaped belt-buckles. He has been given a fine machete with serrated edge. Also some sort of Flamer or a plasma-spewing gun, again with a bayonet should the fuel canister run dry before the enemy is crispy or the gun has exploded.

B2 is also nicely protected from treacherous assaults from the rear as he rages forth across the battlefield. B2 was given the Left-Arm with Big Flamer Gun as his stance was advancing forward with his left foot, while the machete arm worked better with the straight right leg, ready to hack to death any still-moving burning critters. The circular shapes on the Big Flamer Gun go nicely with the circular bits and buttons on his gear.

Berserker 3 shares the Mad Dwarfs Beyond Thunderdome style. His Mohawk hair and bald head went well with the potato-masher grenade as well as the shape of his probably-plasma pistol.

Lots of small ridges and bumps on B3 from combining his body with the Grenade Arm and the Plasma Pistol Arm. I pity the fool who makes fun of his parachute pants.

Overall, these Berserkers are a nice groups of frothy-mouthed additions to the Hungry Ghosts army. The sculpts all fill out their bases nicely, while the different stances allow them to be placed close together without getting their weapons caught together. Their style is also a departure from both the old Bob Olley Squats made for Citadel and the Scrunts Space Dwarfs made for his Olley's Armies brand. And while their upper bodies are well detailed, those bare arms and puffy pants leave a bit of room for adding some extra spikes or chaos symbols.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Col Iron Beard's Bodyguards, Lt Kipper Kabeljauw

We all know that a warrior as powerful as Col Iron Beard doesn't really need bodyguards. But more Space Dwarfs are Better. Today, the second of Schtarken's wing-dwarfs, Lt Kipper Kabeljauw. Though potent, Iron Beard needs his wing-dwarfs and supporting Khorne Renegades, as he is faced with quite a large group of Champions of Tzeentch and Slaanesh.

In contrast to the usual Hungry Ghosts practice, three of the Chaos Champions were not painted by me (or converted in the case of the winged warrior), but came from the cyberseas of eBay already finished. Except for the disk-rider, who has been on my shelves for many years.

Back to the Squats. Lt Kabeljauw is another of the White Dwarf 108 series of Squat Warriors. Kipper is armed with both a Bolter and a mystery pistol, ensuring that he was dropped from the roster before the 1991 Blue Catalog. Also tough to modify, Kabeljauw was instead painted in a shimmery-zombie style, with the white-on-red eyes of the damned.

Thus, Lt Kabeljauw is the ideal foe for the (never permitted even in the crazy Rogue Trader times) Mind Flayer that has popped up on the battlefield: his zombie-brain is both immune to flaying and hungers for the sweet thought-spaghetti hidden in the head of the Ithilid.

Like the other troopers in Col Iron Beard's command unit, Lt Kipper is in a shooting-while-moving position that fills most of the area of the base, so he was also just given small pieces of debris to pass by on his way to the kill (IG cannister).

To give Kipper his glossy appearance, a smaller range of colors was used, with the metallic tones closer to the color of the clothes, and stronger highlights. The sculpt of the mini also gives it natural shadowing in various locations as well. A similar paint style was used on the Space Pirate Nightwing to a lesser extent.

The equipment on Lt Kabeljauw's back provides the opportunity for the metal of the guns to continue across the shoulders, with the orange gloves and tunic blending with the metal. His blue helmet was given multiple highlight spots to increase the glossy appearance, while his boots almost disappear into the base debris providing a bit of a forward gliding motion to his positioning.

The stance of the WD 108 Squats allows them to be placed as flanking on either side of Col Iron Beard, working with his out-stretched weapons and arms. While his wing-dwarfs take the flanks, Schtarken's pet rats stare-down the enemy with their stern forward gaze.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Col Iron Beard's Bodyguards, Lt Horst Haakhoeken

In the center of the fray, we now find Lt Horst Haakhoeken, one of Col Iron Beard Schtarken's pair of bodyguards. The Space Pirates our Chaos Squats face a is heavily armed band of malcontents, with the Ventolin Pirate and a Bolter-bearing Ork taking aim at Haakhoeken. Ah, Ventolin, a most precious substance to the young asthmatic, and a reminder of days long gone when intellectual property law was not Enforced With An Iron Fist (TM).

The Ork is obviously after Haakhoeken's lunch, a nasty pinkish rotting torso from an old metal Zombie. Horst bears a symbol of a wild boar's head on his shoulder pad, which he shares with Zwartwaal. While the boar's head may indicate a quality luncheon meat in modern America, Haakhoeken's zombie bits are not recommended for consumption by live mammals.

Taking the Squat's-Eye view, we can see the snarling teef of the Ork with the dangerously poorly constructed Heavy Flamer. It also becomes clear that the Hungry Ghosts face one of the more bizarre characters in the Warhammer universe, the Iron Claw Space Pirate known as Nightwing. And that the pirates are being surrounded as our Khorne Renegades appear behind the wall readying their weapons.

Lt Haakhoeken lunges at the green menace, Bolter firing, large backpack and sidearm making simple conversions difficult. Horst is from the Bob Olley Squat Warriors released in White Dwarf 108 in 1988, many of which are in a lunge-and-fire position. Horst's Bolter resulted in his swift disappearance from the Squats line, as rules modifications made the weapon a symbol of the Space Marines (and Orks). He is one of 6 Squats from the WD 108 set left out of the 1991 Blue Catalog.

And to ease the curious mind (a thing of great danger in the Warhammer Universe), that Ork Runtherd is riding on a Giant Wildcat. Giant on the Warhammer scale, but an average sized bobcat for the GI Joe action figure he came with (Spearhead, cat named Max). The Wildcat was also painted for Warhammer use, originally a uniform and icky orange-brown color.