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"Squats / Space Dwarves - What should they look like?" Topic

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Cosmotiger29 Jun 2004 11:57 a.m. PST

I happened across the new Bob Olley Sci-Fi Dwarves on the site today:

I'm sort of a casual Squat fan, I liked some of the old ogue Trader era minis, but I never collected a whole army or anything. I found myself liking these new models because they all have a uniform look - they actually seem like they belong in the same army.

The opposite seemed to be the case with the old GW minis: some of them were Bikers in Space, some were Fantasy Dwarfs in Space, and some were just short IG with beards.

Anyway, I liked the old RT concept of Squats as allies to the IG (I've always liked the idea of abhuman regiments drafted into the IG), and these seemed to fit that theme.

I know that some people just think that Squats are dumb and lame. That's fine, but this thread isn't meant to debate that point. Rather, once one accepts Space Dwarfs, what approach do you prefer? What should they look like, and what should their background be, either within or out of the 40K universe?

Meiczyslaw29 Jun 2004 12:05 p.m. PST

The question to be asked of any mini is, how is it going to be used?

If it's going to be part of an army, then there needs to be some sort of unifying pattern. An army with a large number of disparate pieces looks ragged on the tabletop.

If you're going to use them in RP, then it becomes less important for the figs to look similar. So if you're going to do bikers in space, then they should all be bikers in space.

Jakar Nilson29 Jun 2004 12:12 p.m. PST

I tend to find the more recent takes (like the techno rasta-Dwarves/Ceru from Vor or the high-tech Grymnn) to be more exciting than "short vikings in space". Then again, I'm not so keen on the "elves in space", or "orcs in space" either.

Ptolemy29 Jun 2004 12:30 p.m. PST

Jakar, how do you feel about Pigs in Space?

Chrono HAL Fezian29 Jun 2004 12:30 p.m. PST

Cosmotiger, maybe you don't know : Most of the old RT squats have been designed by Bob Olley. The most famous were the ones from the "Iron Claw" range and his new squats are very close to them. That's the reason why I've already ordered them : they will perfectly fit in my squat army. These new minis could even be regarded as the sole "true" squats designed for 13 years.

The other GW squats had been designed by the Perry.

Bob Olley is surely not the best sculptor around but his style is really unique and characterful. I love what he has done with the squats. Particularly, I love the parodic feeling (very RT indeed !) of some of the RT squats with their cheap sunglasses and their texan style. ZZ Top was obviously a reference there ! This is the way I see the squats : A mix of "standard" fantasy dwarves in space and of cool southerner bikers and mercenaries.

Jakar Nilson29 Jun 2004 1:04 p.m. PST

Haven't seen the Mupeet Show in years...

Cosmotiger29 Jun 2004 1:19 p.m. PST

Interesting. I went and poked around in the Stuff of Legends site, and it appears that most of the Squat models that I was familiar with were actually the Perry twins' sculpts. I think I like their sculpting style better, but I do agree that the Olley Squats have a lot of interesting character.

Mardaddy29 Jun 2004 1:34 p.m. PST

Jakar -

I believe I have the first 15 episodes of The Muppet Show on 5 VHS tapes (Time/Life, gotta love it).

Happy to lend them to you if you'd like a blast from the past (email me mardaddy_paints[at]yahoo)

C/mon, Mark Hamill, Raquel Welch, Marty Feldman, Vincent Price, etc....

Jakar Nilson29 Jun 2004 2:00 p.m. PST

Naw, I'm fine. Just wanted to show that I got the "Pigs in Space" reference. Got this handy book/encyclopaedia about Jim Henson...

Space Monkey29 Jun 2004 2:03 p.m. PST

My assumption was always that ab-humans were to some degree engineered rather than just shaped by their environment alone.

I remember a lecture by a professor of genetics who let himself go off on a tangent about the possibilities of engeneering 'useful' workers for various jobs.
He postulated zero-g miners with four hands/no feet.
Stuff like that.
I'd rather the squats not have beards or even look so much like 'normal' dwarves (pot bellies and all around stubby) but instead be one of two types:
ONE: made for troubleshooting tech in tight spots, small torso, small head, long spidery arms/fingers/toes they can fold up close to their body while crawling down access tubes. If they didn't have feet they would have to walk on their hands or else ride around in little cars (like space-Shriners).
TWO: For heavy grav worlds they are short but wide and very strong. Bigger in the chest and legs. Not goofy little hands and feet.
These guys might need respirators if they left the gravity well though.

That's all

Bob Applegate29 Jun 2004 2:30 p.m. PST

Those are pretty cool. I kind of prefer the beardless Grymm from Hasslefree for "Space Dwarves", but might have to pick up some of the Bob Olley ones (price isn't bad either).

Personal logo Rogzombie Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Jun 2004 2:34 p.m. PST

I'll be painting some of the Olley SF Dwarves that I have soon. They are great sculpts. I'm looking forward to working on them. Bob's stuff is always great. Easy and fun to paint and always comes out looking good.

His human SF troopers are really cool, too.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2004 2:36 p.m. PST

It depends. If they're supposed to be "Space Dwarves" (or "Dwarfs"), then I would prefer an homage to their "heritage"-- they use the beards, and incorporate dwarf heraldry into their uniforms-- but with a definite high-tech look (maintaining the identity of dwarfs as cutting-edge craftsmen and inventors).

If you're just trying to create a short alien or abhuman (good term!), then abandon the dwarf theme altogether and go with the genetic/evolutionary design idea. But those wouldn't be "Space Dwarves."

Chrono HAL Fezian29 Jun 2004 2:38 p.m. PST

And you know what : His new SF troopers look exactly like the 40k imperial guards he sculpted 15 years ago for GW. :)
All those minis are a true link to the past, coming straight from the RT era. Only Bob Olley could do this. I can't wait for my squats.

mweaver29 Jun 2004 3:36 p.m. PST

I liked the old squat miniatures, but could never take the idea of dwarves in space seriously. Consequence? Bought some because they were so cool looking, then never painted them.

Meiczyslaw: "An army with a large number of disparate pieces looks ragged on the tabletop."

Yes, with my Imperial Guard(ish) miniatures, that is exactly what I am trying to achieve - a veteran unit that has been in the field a long time. Using a mix of figures from different manufacturers helps achieve that goal.

Neotacha29 Jun 2004 3:40 p.m. PST

Great, now I'll never look at another dwarf without hearing that theme music in my head! Dwarfs in Spaaaaacccccce!

Oh, and hearing them speak in Miss Piggy's voice. Thanks, guys.

Mardaddy: Have 'em all on DVD. They had quite an eclectic group of guest stars.

gooney bird29 Jun 2004 4:36 p.m. PST

Although I have a considearble collection of the old GW Squats, I always thought that they should be more technically advanced a with machine-like appearance. Ditch the beards and exposed tummies in favor of hard gear and armor, full helmets, and nasty weapons. Being few in number, they would employ plenty of robots. Who knows, maybe they made the Necrons just to vex the universe.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2004 4:43 p.m. PST

As an Ork/Orc player, I believe that Squats/Space Dwarves should look dead.

mweaver29 Jun 2004 4:56 p.m. PST

Ha! Good one, PS.

Hundvig Fezian29 Jun 2004 5:29 p.m. PST

Those look pretty good. My preference for neo-Squats would be something along the lines of the new Olley ones, albeit perhaps with more of a high-gravity-adapted physique (extremely muscular, almost as wide as they are tall) and a bit less of the long beardy thing. Short, cropped beards that would fit in a space helmet would be better, or just terminal cases of five o'clock shadow. Hasslefree's Grimms look pretty good too but they aren't built quite as stocky as I'd like.

More tool belts and general techno stuff would also be good.


Goldwyrm29 Jun 2004 5:58 p.m. PST

I've got some old lead Rogue Trader Squats and a bunch from the plastic box of 36.

I painted mine up in Grey or Butternut to look like a cross between Confederates and ZZTop. Their standard bearer carries the Stars-n-Bars.

I like the biker/spaceminer look. Squats should look like working men. After an 80 hour shift in the cobalt mines they strap on some firepower for the weekend and go hunting for greenbellies..

ming3129 Jun 2004 7:12 p.m. PST

I did not know about these new ones ...The bikers were kind of silly ...they should have robots or big mech suits (i.e. Votoms ) to make up for thier small stature ...lots of weapons . more for the collection

Cosmotiger29 Jun 2004 7:34 p.m. PST

Yeah, Exo-armor that doesn't look like a walking egg is a good thing. :)

kallman29 Jun 2004 8:23 p.m. PST

Neotacha, just swap "Piiigs in Spaaaaace" with the tune from "LaGrange", "She's got Legs" or other favorite ZZ Top tunes. If you don't care for ZZ Top perhaps Willie Nelson will do.

" da dant dant dant dant dant tada dant (repeat) This Squats been round. This Texas town. There's a shack, out by, LaGrange. Just let me know, if ya want ta go. To that, home, out, on the range! They got alot nice elf girls out there..." ;P

Javier Barriopedro aka DokZ29 Jun 2004 8:59 p.m. PST

Aha, ha ha ha.

ĦUha, ha ha ha!


Ah! PIGS IN SPACE! I DEMAND A Pigs in Space figure range! NOW!!! Hasn't anybody been listening to me everytime we talk about new ranges for Science Fiction gaming?!?!


But if we must talk "space dwarfs", the so be it, and I say the Grymn are it, the "be all, end all" of squathood.

Them be cool, and nasty and packing big 'uns, yeh!

I'm t'inkin' o' buyin' some an' tryin' Maori Moko on 'em, yeh.

(But first, I have to settle a trade... By Friday, I swear. Aas of 1200 hours, I'm out of the office and into a two-week vacation period, Heaven knows I really need.)

Covert Walrus29 Jun 2004 11:38 p.m. PST

DoctorZiniestro, if you do use any Maori designs, you will have to pay a large royalty fee to the iwi concerned. Seriously - They are as strict on that as the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Venusboys3, agree entirely - A good article was in the ANALOG a while back called IIRC " Beanpoles And Barrelmen: How To Misreport A Scientific Debate In The Media."

Chrono HAL Fezian29 Jun 2004 11:41 p.m. PST

Grymms look very good but they're too small and not enough muscular to be correct squats - Compared to old Citadel minis, they're closer to ratlings than squats. Bob Olley's minis (the old RT ones and these new ones) just fit.

"da dant dant dant dant dant tada dant" - You've done it Whitemanticore, I need to hear it again now. :)

Hasslefriesian30 Jun 2004 12:46 a.m. PST

The Grymn will be chunky when they get powered armour. I'll be starting on them soon.

Chrono HAL Fezian30 Jun 2004 12:57 a.m. PST

Now you've got to keep up with Bob Olley. :D Good time for squat lovers.

Javier Barriopedro aka DokZ30 Jun 2004 1:21 a.m. PST

And that's a HUZZAH fer ya', Kevin!

Now, if I make my own Moko designs, I'd not be pillaging any Iwi Ta Moko at all, right, Covert Walrus? I mean, I would create Maori-style Ta Moko for the buggers... I just can't see myself doing such intrincate designs in a tiny bit of white metal, and for all th ewrong reasons!

Besides, I am so inspired and awed by the Maori, I'de never do anything to misrepresent or disrespect the tikanga.

Anyways, I was vaguely aware of this law and its "IP protection" implications, but I never meant to plagiarise designs rightfully Maori in nature...

You might call mine (when they are done) as "teka Ta Moko", and so the problem would be inexistent.


mrshasslefree30 Jun 2004 1:30 a.m. PST


Kev has just finished some more grymn and i will be getting them photographed either tonight or tomorrow and sending Inge the pictures to get put up, also some really cool WIP of more grymn that are nearly finished. keep an eye on the FOD after tomorrow evening

Sally :)

Area2330 Jun 2004 1:47 a.m. PST

Also there's a strong rumour that a Col. Marbles Space Dwarf showcase is in the works, at

Don't forget the old Harlequin dwarfs, as BlackTreeDesign, the look great, sunglasses, sigars etc.

I loved the old Bikers, it's a crime they're not available anymore. And the padded armour of the others was cool too, like 1st. edition bloodbowl dwarves.

Space dwarves are a bit silly, and should be, but not too much..

And they are the sensible part of the Empire, and probably have a lot of trouble with witchhunters and the likes who probably view them as mutated heretics.

I must admit I like 'em all, Hasslefree, Olley's and others... (just wait for the showcase :-) )

Chrono HAL Fezian30 Jun 2004 3:02 a.m. PST

I have no problem with dawrves in space, just like I have no problem with orcs in space, elves in space, ogres in space, halfling in space, trolls and minotaurs in space, daemons in space, Stargate terminators in space, manga-ish battlemechs in space, oops sorry.

Anyway, the squats, as they were described in the old RT compendium and as they were sculpted with their ZZ Top style were just perfect for me. Just like were the orks, described in "Waaargh the orks" and sculpted by Kev Adams. Each in its own way, they were the two funny, cool and happy-go-lucky races of beer drinkers in the 40k universe. Pictures of squats and of orks by Paul Bonner were also a great addition to this general feeling.

The former has disappeared, the latter has been "brought back to its darkest roots" as Chambers said (translation : "they're not funny anymore.")

But this is just an old horse beaten and beaten again.

alien BLOODY HELL surfer30 Jun 2004 6:30 a.m. PST

Those new squats are pretty neat - if they are Bob Olley's they are much better than the old Iron Claw ones - well, the figures were ok ish but the faces always (on all the Olley figs at that time) had exaggerated lips/mouths/snarls which put me off, and the weapons never looked that good. These look very nice - where can I see more of them and more of Bob's new sculpts - my old opinion of his work is changing for the better having seen these!

Chrono HAL Fezian30 Jun 2004 7:00 a.m. PST

As for myself, If I like his "neo-RT" minis (the new squats and the space commandos), I find his fantasy dwarves and orcs... well, simply bad. Check his website yourself :
Note that the sci-fi gallery is not online yet.

Pointy Faced Space Aardvark30 Jun 2004 8:10 a.m. PST

I agree with an earlier poster that the Space Squats should look like theyv'e evolved that way due to gravity, they shouldnt have all the sickening sentiment that GW feels the need to attach to thier Dwarves.

Javier Barriopedro aka DokZ30 Jun 2004 10:47 a.m. PST


Will do, Sally!

I love how your business is growing... If mine keeps speeding up, I'll have to write you a far more serious letter about mutual interests!

Keep on the typical great work, both of you!

kallman30 Jun 2004 11:16 a.m. PST

And now this musical interlude:

(sung to the tune "On the Road Again")

On my trike again

Oh! I just can't wait to get on my trike again.

Don't ya know I love shoot'n Eldar with my friends,

and I can't wait to get on my trike again.

Down on Signar 3,

We ran into a few Space Orks you see,

don't ya know a heavy-melta is my friend,

and I can't wait ta get on my trike again. :)

(I know, I scare me too sometimes.)

Chrono HAL Fezian01 Jul 2004 1:06 p.m. PST

Squats ordered through Gamers Quest this morning. They've received them today. (Ad :
I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait !

Oh, as a matter of fact, I can wait : I have last ZZ Top's album, "Mescalero", to hear. :)

Two ways to kill !
There's just two ways to kill !
And I'm gonna kill greenskins this time !

Chrono HAL Fezian01 Jul 2004 1:07 p.m. PST

Oops sorry, I meant : "kil". Not "kill". Of course.

Area2302 Jul 2004 6:27 a.m. PST

The anticipated FU!UK Col. Marbles Space Dwarf showcase has arrived!!

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