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Beards for the Beard God!

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...