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 Neiër 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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Storm Trooper Lammoth, Plasma-Packing Marauder

It has been a shamefully long time since we had a new Hungry Ghost post, and the last one was a bit of an infomercial. But the Hungry Ghosts have moved from Kastle-Khorne-by-the-Sea to the Tower of the North End to Allstone Rock City over the past few months. So busy-busy-busy etc., but dribs and drabs of painting has also occurred.

 So yes, number 9 for the Burnt Scorpions Storm Troopers squadron, Sruïhoth Lammoth. Lammoth is a plasma weapons specialist, finishing off the allotment of special weapons troopers allowed in the squadron.

Lammoth has had a bit of converting. He started life as the eloquently named MM90/5b from the Marauder Chaos Dwarfs series, the model with the separate crossbow.
The crossbow has been eliminated, replaced with an ornate Plasma Gun. It fits over the arm-stub so no harm was done to the basic Marauder body, leaving Lammoth with a Plasma Gun for a right hand. Those wise in the ways of bits will immediately notice that we have an Epic 40K Imperial Knight Paladin cannon-arm as the base of the weapon. It has an Eldar Fusion Gun tip with a couple of crescent-shaped additions from a Goblin standard (I think).
The plasma-fuel is supplied by a pair of well, fuel canisters also from the Eldar Fusion Gun. Organic-looking cables are attached to the fuel tanks, organic appearance supplied by being Skaven tails.
As it happens, those wriggly cables feed back into Lammoth's arm, leaving some question as to what exactly is fueling the Plasma Gun. One of the little mysteries of Chaos. The protruding appendage on the elbow is part of a Dark Elf Warrior arm.
Lammoth is a bit short even for a Dwarf. Since I decided to leave the WFB big-hats Chaos Dwarfs out of the army, I converted Lammoth to give a nod of the head in that direction. His hat is one of the heads from the Empire Wizards sprues, with the head bits carved out. It has a nice skull on it. This mini was sculpted with a weird bump between his squinty eyes, which was supplemented with some curved horns attached above the eyes (Orc-origin).
 Lammoth was also sculpted with what has been described as "weird hair tufts sticking out of his helmet". They are still weird, but have been overshadowed with an Orc Hair Squig flowing majestically in the wind. And fezzing up the hat.
By this point, we can see that Lammoth is getting a theme of curved/arc shapes that complement his innate facial features and beard. Lammoth has also been painted with the Fire Dragon Crimson-Go Fasta Red-Blood Angel Orange-Hobgoblin Orange scheme that is a frequent feature of the Hungry Ghosts.
This scheme was mixed with areas of Beaten Copper with a purple ink wash to it to blur the boundaries between flesh and metal. Contrasting blue breaks up the pattern and gives a bit more visual interest. The blue was used on areas that were more easily identified as humanoid body parts, the arms and the boots, making them seem to be less linked to Lammoth, distorting his form a bit more.
From the left, we can see the same blue used for Lammoth's other arm and boot. 
The Beaten Copper returns for the furry vest he is wearing.
So hard to resist making things complicated...Lammoth's left arm features the hand part of an Eldar Guardian Arm (Rogue Trader version). Another metallic tuft of fur is at the joint of the Eldar hand and Dwarf arm, with another thin cable running along the underside of the arm, also taken from the Eldar Guardians. To have more things sticking out, I slapped a Tau Fire Warrior helmet antenna on Lammoth's left elbow.
As Lammoth is concealing a Las Pistol under his Plasma Gun, the cable and antenna result in the left arm having the features of the right arm, but scaled down.
Which leaves a lot of empty space on the base, which is unacceptable at Hungry Ghosts Central. Time for another Giant Space Rat. This time the rat is painted in the same color scheme as Lammoth, his metallic head spike mimicking Lammoth's arm-tenna and the Chaos Spawn Eyeball protruding out of the rat's head and over the boundaries of the base.
By now, most loyal readers will have noticed Spc Lammoth's other friend, projecting upward and outward proudly devoid of flesh. The curved branches next to the skull provide a pleasant echo of horns, as the skull re-emphasizes the skull on Lammoth's hat. 
You can never have too many skulls.
 This Chaos Dwarf was sculpted in an odd hunchback posture, with his shoulders about level with his eyes. The posture of the skeleton gives an inverse curve to Lammoth's spine. It also makes his Big Hat seem smaller.
The skeleton tree comes from the Wood Elves Dryads sprues, and has been planted in an unfortunate human's boot, melding life and unlife.
The projecting curved branches complement the bulging cables on Lammoth's right arm. The alternative color scheme was just because I felt like painting some wood and bones in a more naturalistic tone than the zany color explosion that the Hungry Ghosts tend to have.
Some views from above show how crowded the base has become.
And how big that rat's mutant eye is.
Plasma Gun in its full glory.

Burnt Scorpions Storm Troopers Squadron Assembled
(with Chaos Spawn Inquisitor mascot)

Accompanied by Gunnery Sergeant Chhattisgarh

Lammoth with Bragollach and Udûn

Who couldn't love that face?