So I liberated some more plastic Squats from Ebay, bringing up my collection to about thirty of them. I’d been putting off doing up Squats until I was really sure what I wanted to do with them. I mean, after all, if I bork an Ork Boy or a Space Marine, there’s a bajillion of them out there. On the other hand, there are a comparatively small number of Squat models out there. Especially unassembled and in good condition.
Why Squats? Well, the first army I ever played 40K with, when my much cursed friend introduced me to the hobby way back in the long long ago, were Squats. And they left such a lasting impression on me, that I bought a Space Marine army. Really, I was like 14 years old I think and this was right around the time that the MkVII armor became available. A bunch of Darth Vader looking dudes with giant armor and big guns. What wasn’t to love? That, and the Squats didn’t survive the transition to 2nd Edition, sadly, which made them harder to collect and harder to play.
Squats are a pretty polarizing thing in 40K, though obviously anyone who dislikes them is a terrible person. They’ve been called “too silly” for 40K, or that “their aesthetic didn’t work”, but honestly, in a universe with S&M Space Fetishist Dark Elves on Green Goblin skimmer boards, or Giant Pipe Organ Missile Tanks, I struggle to see how some Space Dwarves, even on motorcyles, was “too silly” for 40K. And most people don’t realize that the aesthetic for nearly all the armies that existed in Rogue Trader transitioned slowly to the grimmer and darker aesthetic of the “Modern 40K” that began more or less with 2nd Edition’s Codex Imperialis colating all the Rogue Trader fluff into a more cohesive narrative. There’s really no reason the Squats couldn’t have followed suit. Besides, they just gave the Thudd Guns and Mole Mortars to the Steel Legion knockof- I mean Death Korps of Forgekrieg.
But that’s neither here nor there. This post is about converting Squats for “Modern 40K”. To serve what purpose? Probably just as filler troops for my Imperial Guard and add a bit of character to the squads. Do I need any more IGuard models? Probably not, given I have around 250 of them between my Steel Legion and my metal Cadians. One of them will probably end up in my Necromunda gang as a hired gun, though. I currently have the original metal Colt Stoner figure pulling that distinguished duty.
So, just how squat is a Squat? Well…
So I only have three of them so far, two rifleme- err, riflesquats, and a squad leader or something.
The arms were a bit of a challenge. The original lasguns were much more compact at the body of the weapon (with a kinda ridiculously long barrel), and the magazine well was posing an issue for, well, posing the models. But with some fiddling, I managed to get them done. Fortunately I’ve got a fair number of arms lying around to use. With their short legs and limited variety of poses, the amount of true customization on these guys will be somewhat limited, but I’m fairly pleased with them as a start. The “aiming” guy (on the left above) is probably my favorite so far.
The background for my Squats will be forthcoming, but they’ll be part of a small population of them that lives on the underground mining planet of the Cerceus II, in the home system of the Invectors Space Marine Chapter. Like many youth, some are drawn to the prestige of serving in the Planetary Defense Forces.
In other hobby efforts, despite taking a short hiatus (sorry about that) because the Valentine’s Day holiday kept me busy (I work in marketing for a company that owns several large retail brands), I’ve also been trying to crank out some more Orks to get up to the 45-50 I want to eventually have total. A rather foolish decision I made was to pick up some Mantic Marauders. Mostly just because of the cost vs second hand Orks on EBay. These are well sculpted models, but sadly they’re just runts, even next to the shortest of my “upright” Orks.
Anyway, hopefully be able to get some more Squats and Orks done. Hopefully be able to talk myself into, or finally out of, those Kromlech heads for my Orks, and get the models finished and perhaps with some paint on them (I’m far less obsessive about my Orks than my TrueScale Space Marines, which I can never seem to “finish”, and thus why they remain gray).
Hopefully get some games in with the platoon-level Skirmish-40K that is the impetus for my building these small Xenos armies (well, that and I needed a flimsy excuse to buy Orks). As we playtest it and polish it, I’ll probably release the rules here so any of you who are interested can playtest them too and offer some feedback. I’m really trying to get a version of the game scaled for, and suited to, those of us who are a bit more serious about wargames than the basic 40K rules can really accomplish. At any rate, thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions, share this with your wargaming friends, and visit me on Facebook.
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