Homeworld for Wayward Space Dwarfs

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Gyrocopter-Made-of-Bits: Successful Accomplishment Complete

Our Gyrocopter / Bomber built of bits has successfully concluded. Base and Pilot are now present. Cost of parts was $16.87. Cost of shipping is not easy to calculate. These bits came along with assorted parts of Chaos and Undead of various sorts. The seller providing just about all these critters and bits, Bullet Bits, charges $0.20 per item beyond the first so we have $2.20 from what's there. The share of shipping for the rest would be another few dollars. A bit over $20, retail price $45 (free delivery if you spend another $20!).

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hungry Ghosts Chaos Squat 100: Col. Teckja Ras-El-Dugmit

Five years ago, a glorious new chapter in the history of the Squats opened up: The Hungry Ghosts Chaos Squats of Khorne blog. As one early commenter said, when I saw the name I thought it was a joke. Joke it was not. Now we break new ground with the introduction of the 100th Hungry Ghost, Colonel Teckja Ras-El-Dugmit.

Ras-El-Dugmit is the Hungry Ghosts version of Imperial Guard Special Character Captain Al'Rahem of the Tallarn Desert Tigers. Ras-El-Dugmit adheres rather closely to the illustration of Al'Rahem, considering the warping power of Chaos. We have the large overcoat and the sand-shielding goggles that came with Squat Guildmaster 2, and of course the mandatory Space Boots all but Tyranids must wear.

In contrast to Al'Rahem's puny excuse for a beard, Ras-El-Dugmit has been given a magnificently long flowing braid, as mobile as the desert winds he strides amongst. It is from one of the plastic Beastmen Gor heads. It also nicely covers up the Obvious Mistake that was made in not designing Guildmaster 2 with a proper beard to begin with. And that silly albatross around his next like he would ever consider getting on a boat had to be scraped off. Ras-El-Dugmit was given a lighter shade of the Hungry Ghosts hair color formula to signify his desert origins, the old Bronzed Flesh paint.

Ras-El-Dugmit's Plasma Pistol was made incalculably more awesome than Al'Rahem's, using the 40K 3rd Edition Chaos Space Marine Champion Sprue version with glowing veins of power and the early wisp of a plasmatic blast coming from the barrel. I think it is some bit of Wood Elf shrubbery, but can't remember.

From the side, we can see that Ras-El-Dugmit's attire is well integrated. One of the many Hungry Ghosts who do not use Squat arms cause they suck, Ras-El-Dugmit has the right arm of a plastic Necromunda Orlock Gang member from the mid-1990s starter box. It provides additional sweat-absorbing cloth beyond his headband (made larger with some green stuff below his cyber-bit on the right side of his head). The band does well as an emphasizing accessory for his bulging, if necrotic, bicep. Teckja also knows the Power of One Glove - Sham-On!

The matching cloth streaming from the Plasma Pistol comes from the less impressive source of a plastic Bretonnian Knight Head. Like Al'Rahem, Ras-El-Dugmit is equipped with shoulder armor. Not that that's not a common feature in the Grim Darkness of the Grim Dark Future.

Ras-El-Dugmit is sporting a fancypants Forge World backpack from a Krieg Engineer. More noticeably, while Captain Tallarn has a mincy little sword to dispatch his enemies, Ras-El-Dugmit has more fully committed with his entire left arm replaced with a huge Power Mace, the Maul of the Skull-Breaker. The yellow bumps are a reminder of all of the Mark 6 Space Marines that have been smitten by the Maul over the centuries. The circuitry of the cybernetic arm attachment region is guarded by a bit of plastic Empire Knight armor.

Said circuitry can be seen from the other side, and like the Plasma Pistol, the Maul also has nice little cylindrical bits to display the energy flowing within the weapon.

 Some may have noticed that Ras-El-Dugmit's dual-weapon arms provide a wide open stance, projecting outward and upward at similar angles. By now, we know that was intentional. So was the counterbalance. While the killing arms spread open like the wings of the angel of death, Ras-El-Dugmit is looking right at you. This was emphasized by ensuring that the long beard ran up at a contrasting angle to the arms, up to his face, and continuing upward by the addition of an antenna to the right side of his head (Battlefleet Gothic spaceship bit). In the middle, frame by the hair and head band, we have his goggle-guarded gaze. The lenses of the goggles have been painted the same bronze color as the pistol and Maul of the Skull-Breaker, while the exposed area of his face was muted with a ghoulish light blue-gray.

Then we have the cat. A reminder of the original Desert Tiger, as well as the GI Joe action figure Spearhead who was accompanied by a bobcat...
named Max. There he is, now working for a Rogue Trader Ork Runtherd, the one that's not in the Catalog (Ooooo....rare...). We also have some Orks from the days when, if you wanted your Orks to be insanely powerfully armed, you got it. These three came in a blister pack with another heavy weapon Ork with a Missile Launcher.

 This Max, in proper feline fashion, is walking near Ras-El-Dugmit, not with him, and not particularly interested in what our Chaos Squat is looking at. He is from a Grenadier Wizard's Familiar metal sprue, with the addition of a plastic monster-face collar from one of the old WFB Empire war machine accessories.

As the addition of our desert cat suggests, we can't have a miniature where all of the action is in the upper regions with a lonely ignored base.

So our base is filled with rubble. As in the original fluff, the Guildmasters were inexplicably aligned with the greasy Biker contingent of Squats, motor vehicle parts have been strewn upon the base. We have a wheel from one of the 1990s Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon platforms and a partially buried headlight from the old Squat motorcycles (actually miscast and not partially buried). 

Anyway, we know we can't have prominent angular alignments without circles. We learned that from Stonehenge. So our circular headlamp is set below the Power Maul, and given similar colors. The wheel is placed on the other side of Ras-El-Dugmit's beard, and directs attention toward the seam of his coat. Both the wheel and coat seam and buttons are painted in similar colors as Ras-El-Dugmit's goggles, to provide another source of attraction toward his gaze. Ras-El-Dugmit's head forms the most important circle of all, surrounded by the lesser rings.

Ras-El-Dugmit, like many of the other commanders of the Hungry Ghosts, is a Squat who will not be constrained by the boundaries of his base. Ras-El-Dugmit's right boot is set at the edge of the base, with the result that almost all of his right arm is beyond the edge of his base. His candy-corn colored antenna sticks out as well. And the old tire.

The result is that Ras-El-Dugmit is both backed into one edge of his base while jutting forth in contrary angles.

And a triangle emerges from the circles and dischordant lines. Ras-El-Dugmit was intended to be a simple conversion. But he is Master of All He Surveys.

And here is Ras-El-Dugmit joined by the other special characters, led by The Grudge Master. Who's that in the upper right? We will find out soon...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fiend Folio Used and Improved!

Hungry Ghosts occasionally takes a ramble through the Dungeons and Dragons sector on eBay for nostalgic purposes, and attempts to find reasonably priced rubbery old AD&D monsters, which is not so successful. Anyway, we found us a "used" Fiend Folio at a very low price. Githyanki gracing the cover, bid placed and won.
The Fiend Folio is a glorious compendium of weirdos and oddball monsters created by AD&D players and sent to a British magazine for their Fiend Folio feature, most never actually published in the magazine.

This particular Fiend Folio, however, was not just used, but improved. An enterprising former owner with a rainbow selection of markers had gone through the Tome and colored every picture in the book.
The dreaded Grell assaults some foolish adventurers who dared penetrate its lair.

The psionic Githyanki come forth from the Astral Plane, clad in bejeweled +4 Splint Mail and wielding intelligent Silver Swords of great power. Woe is the reward of any dungeon despoilers who stumble upon a Githyanki Prime Material Plane Lair, containing 21-30 of the rebel Mind Flayer creations.

Much care was given to rendering the Flail Snail's scintillating shell.

Even the Flumph received attention.
Pure white, save for the eyes. Tastes like that artificial 'crab' salad with too much mayo.
The Flumph "flies" by, well, farting. And attacks with a foul-smelling liquid which results in the victim being "shunned by his companions" for several hours until the scent passes. Also, our Flumph is helpless if turned over, and is the only creature of Good alignment in the entire tome.

Care was taken to vary the plumage of the individual Achaierai.

The Kenku, everybody's favorite "can I make a character of this race?" critter.

Sleepy Black Dragons. And Dragon Subtable for your random monster encounter episode. If you're randomly generating dragons, something has gone wrong with your campaign. Very wrong.

And some Lava Children battling the Lizard King. Based on a mumbling ramble by Jim Morrison at some where and when no one can recall. But does it matter where and when or what was said and who was saying? That's what my parole officer won't tell me.

The $7 Warhammer Fantasy Battle Dwarf Gyrobomber / Gyrocopter (So Far)

So when we last heard from Hungry Ghosts he went on a little rant about letting Beardlings play with expensive assault weaponry. Now the Dwarf Gyrobomber / Gyrocopter has hit the Bits Factory, and Hungry Ghosts has gone scavenging. Let's see what we got ourselves.

The first foray into buying us a Bomber brought forth a functional bonanza. Here we have a good chunk of the Gyrobomber. We have the Cockpit interior and exterior. We have the shooty things that go on the front and sides of the Pilot-Pod (Guns and Canards, according to the Bits Merchant). Then the main tail section of the Bomber, along with the Rear Rotor System.

So $5.87 spent so far. Now we are obviously missing some important parts, most obviousestibly the Main Rotor. Also the two extra rows of Bombs. No Pilot neiver, but we got plenty of eager Squats to fill that seat.

But let's be realistic: Hungry Ghosts wants those Pilot Heads.

Anyway, what if we want to make the much less exciting Gyrocopter instead of the super-blasty Gyrobomber?
 We got us the main Gyrocopter Engine and Tail section too.

But let's go back to the issue of Dwarf Heads and Realisticism. Remember, through the Misty Mountains of foggy Time, beset by Storm Giants hurling boulders in our general direction; are they at play, or are they angry at our trespass upon their territory? The inside of the mountain is Ours, the outside they claim mastery over. Mighty Eagles disagree, and woe unto the Storm Giant whose boulder disturbs a Dragon -- but clearly, this has gone on too long.

'Tis rare that a race receive an update so soon in the World of Warhammer, that is, unless you are a Space Marine. Eldrad Ulthuan, he of the mighty staff of easy breakage, and the Eldar Phoenix Lords, they who bear the gigantic heads, new and exciting releases for Warhammer 40K... 2nd Edition. Seriously, 21 years old. Real life people have been born, grown up, and fought in real life combat since these fellows were let loose on the tabletop. 

I, for one, am happy for Finecast...my ancient neck could ne'er otherwise kept my ginormous head aloft.
 The Dwarfs were offered as a bold bargain in the Skull Pass starter box, along with a crazy horde of Goblins, over 100 miniatures, rule book, and some versions even came with paints and a brush to provide the full gateway drug to $20 character models and $60 plastic dragons. But...

Continuing along a grotesque path almost as old as Eldrad, by the time Skull Pass came to be, our Dwarfs were naught but a giant bearded head with feet sticking out the bottom.
There may have been some ridiculous axes involved as well.
What could be done? A radical course correction? Yes, let's try that.

2006 Skull Pass Miner's Head, meet 2014 Ironbreaker's Heads.
Bigger than Bombs!

Of course, those Skull Pass bargain armies may not mix well with the new range of stout plastic warriors. A price must be paid for such realistic heads, a price of $50 for your 10 Ironbreakers. For the price of the Battle for Skull Pass starter box, you can get a box of them Ironbreakers and a model from the Lords and Heroes selection. Just make sure it's an old beard-with-feet version because the new range go for $6 more. But they are made of plastic now, and that's made from dinosaurs, so it's totally worth the price.

Anyway, here's our $25 Space Marines Stormtalon. We need some Assault Cannons maybe, but I probably have some already. Figgering out the clear plastic canopy could be a bit more challenging, if we didn't have plenty of clear plastic bits of various sizes around here as well. But that's part of the fun. Hungry Ghosts has so many, many vehicles and critters of all sorts to assemble and paint, there's no need to plunk down $45 for a couple of sprues of plastic...sorry, for a multi-part plastic boxed set containing 90(!) components...that's going to sit on a shelf for nobody knows how many years. The thrill of the hunt.....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Improper Use of Expensive Aerial Attack Airships

Now Hungry Ghosts rarely pays attention to the current comings and goings in the various armies of Warhammer 40K or Fantasy Battle. OK, he views them as crazy expensive sprues of juicy bits for conversions when they get broken down and tossed on eBay.

And the occasional writing in The Book of Grudges. Lamenting the utter destruction of Orky Kultcha, regardless of past enmity. We miss Khorne Stormboys. Mad Boyz were always good for a laugh, though snarrffulling bubbly beer may bring a few tears to the eyes.
We wuz orkses. We wuz fun.
 Groaning about the Beastmen turning from wild hordes of insane convolutions of animal, vegetable, mineral, and man to domesticated livestock with pointy sticks.  
Not all goats. Not at all.
 Mocking the grotesque proportions of the Dwarfs and Ratlings...

 ...and pointing out how on every element of monstrosity – spiky bits, giant guns, huge body parts - the Daemons of Chaos are outdone by Tyranid, Goblins, Dark Eldar, Necrons...
Daemon Prince, Tiny-legged, Wee-headed, Daemon Prince
But now things have gone too far. Coming suspiciously close to the revelation of the Legioss Moriad XIV Experimental Aeronautics Agency, Games Workshop has released a new WFB Dwarfs Army Book and several new models.

Amongst the Mighty Lords of Mighty Prices comes the new Dwarf Gyrocopbopter or whatever it's called when you don't want to say something is a helicopter, 'cause you can't trademark helicopter. Take a looksee: http://tinyurl.com/gyrocopbopper

So COMPLAINT THE FIRST: Notice that you can make a Gyrocopter or a Gyrobomber out of the set. If you go through the pictures and/or text ("The Gyrocopter is a small yet nimble war machine." and "Kept afloat by two rotor arrays and a dirigible balloon, the Gyrobomber is part Gyrocopter and part airship.")

You will see that the Gyrobomber is about twice as big as the Gyrocopter.

Once upon a time, there was a game company that would notice that the Bomber is about twice as big as the Copter. That company wouldn't just sell one set that leaves the Dwarf enthusiast with a relatively small Gyrocopter, a pile of bits, and eyes watering with tears for the same price as a big old Gyrobomber, not much bits left over, and happy happy joy joy about their monstrous flying dragon-killer.

That company would say, “Hey, let's sell a Gyrocopter and a Gyrobomber as two different sets with prices reflecting the differences in size and complexity.” Or maybe “Hey, let's make one big-ass boxed set that let's you make one big-ass Gyrobomber or two Gyrocopters, swift as dragonflies.”

Instead, you blow $45 on a model that uses half the stuff in the box. Merry Beermass, beardlings!

COMPLAINT THE SECOND: Gaze upon the text accompanying these amazing flying machines.

Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers represent the best of Dwarf engineering. Designed by the Engineers Guild and inspired by combining dragon and drilling machine the original Gyrocopter design took centuries to gain acceptance.”

There seems to be some words or maybe punctuation left out of that blurb, but we get the essence: these machines are the best, and the best means expensive, the best means prestige, the best means Living Ancestors tell you before you board the craft: “take care of this fucker or we'll have your balls if you survive the crash-landing.” Right? Right.

But instead of this proper care and handling of an expensive experimental awesomeness that took totally a lot of time to get permission to create, we are told that these machines are:

Piloted by beardlings (still growing into their whiskers!) these fearsome war machines are regularly seen bombing the battlefield with wanton abandon.”

Hungry Ghosts has no problem with using fearsome war machines, or bombing the battlefield with wanton abandon.

Hungry Ghosts does have a problem with experimental war machines and weaponry... a problem with making too many of them. The fact is that the Dark Mechs of the Legioss Moriad have a free pass to screw around with any manner of machine, be it meat or metal, or more likely both.

 Most recently, there's been uncontrollable urges to develop mobile weapon platforms that eliminate the need for a team of two to handle a heavy weapon. Like so:

Hungry Ghosts Mechs are busy melding these Necromunda Pit Slaves (Pit Slave 4 and 5, fresh from the Underhive!) with the type of weaponry normally seen mounted on wheels or tracks. In the interests of controlling the beasts and gathering lots of datas, our Pit Slaves have implanted computronic displays, info-jacks, and cybertubes.

These here Pit Slaves were purchased for use as the other three: vehicular violence victims.

But they are honking huge comparatively, and well armed... except for the arm cut off... or maybe now they're even more well armed … stupid pun confusion ….

"Don't press the Red Button" "Which one's the Red Button, he ain't painted yet?"
The Galaxy's Worst Cell Phone Contract Ever.
 The Dark Mechs of Moriad have a Dark Fascination with taming and controlling the ancient enemy of the Dwarf race, the dreaded Rust Monster. Here we see one such experiment, obviously going quite well.

Not only does our Rust Monster have twin-linked Las Cannons mounted upon its back, extra firepower has been pumped up by replacing the forelegs with Eldar Webspinners fresh from the exarch. All of this weaponry did require installing some additional brain power to the insect.* But care was taken to ensure the minimum was added, just a few little neuro-nubbins.

Back to the beardlings. Yes, beardlings like to get into all sorts of shenanigans. If your beardlings insist on flying, we know what to give them.

Put-Put Away Young Eagle, Put-Put through the Clouds in your little Cloud-Cars!

And of course they'll want to play with some dead bodies, or semi-dead bodies, try out some cyborgization or reanimation. So you let them play in here:

Not super expensive flying machines! Not even the pile of bits left over when you make the Gyrocopter instead of the Bomber!

Long rambling rant complete.

'Puters are hard when you come from a low-tech world

*Moriad Mechanicii have determined that the Rust Monster was possibly the first Tyranoid entity to penetrate the Great Bearded Galaxy**, long before the Catachan Devil or the Ambull.
**You didn't think we'd call it the Milky Way, did you?