Monday, 25 January 2021

Sailing the Astral Seas - Squat Pirates

Over the years I have mentally ordered squats according to their coolness. I was never keen on the faux Celtic/Viking feel of the Warlord and Hearthguard, so they're at the bottom of the scale. I love the wildly exotic Iron Claw squats from the hand of Bob Olley, where the ordered militariness of Perry sculpts leaves me cold. But squat adventurers are great (because they're rogues and bandits, and I like rogues and bandits). 

Top of the pile in my book are the bonkers and anarchic squat pirates. They're dripping with pirate clich├ęs (peg legs, fancy hats and hooks). Why any short statured space pirates should be wearing outfits that ape buccaneer clothing from the 17th and 18th centuries is anyone's guess. But then it makes as much sense as Ork Freebooters sporting the styles. Which is no sense at all, but also absolutely perfectly logical!

So I'm launching on a new project without any real purpose other than self-amusement, and am putting together a squat pirate crew which hopefully will be painted over the next month or so.


The first three models that I've tackled are from a sub-group of six squat pirates that I converted around about 18 months ago. Unfortunately I didn't take proper WIP pics of them, but five of the six figures are shown below in their unpainted states.



Of the five shown, four are uncatalogued squat pirates sculpted (I think with 99% certainty) by Colin Dixon. I added a selection of hands or arms and sculpted additional details to suit the models. I'm particularly happy with how the coat of the captain came out.

The pistol wielding hook-handed squat is actually a pre-slotta dwarf. I replaced his right arm using a plastic squat hand and laspistol, sculpting the bare arm over a short length of wire.

The original dwarf - perfect for a squat pirate makeover.

The Dreadstorm Privateers led by Captain Grugari Whitebrow are feared by the crews of cargo haulers and civilian transports throughout the Latief Cluster and the Prembrian Nebula. Their fast and heavily-armed cutters can easily overhaul sluggish transports, and the squat pirate crew are notorious for their fearsome appearance and brutal retaliation where captains refuse to surrender.

Captain Grugari Whitebrow.


Billan the cabin-hand.


Bosun Mitrug.



Lots more to come with this project (if looking at my shelf full of WIPs is anything to indicate!). Hopefully in a few weeks, the crew will be significantly larger than the trio below.



22 comments:

  1. A pirate walks into a bar with a wheel between his legs. "What's that doing?" asks the barman. "Arrgh," says the pirate, "it's drivin' me nuts!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. A delightful project. Those conversions and painting are bang on. I'm looking forward to the rest of the Dreadstorm Privateers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mr Saturday! They are absolutely fabulous sculpts, although I do wish they'd been 1-piece. Sourcing and converting suitable arms has been a major chore!

      Delete
    2. I'll bet, but you're the very man to arm these lads up nice.

      Delete
    3. I'll give it my best shot!

      Delete
    4. I feel your pain about the arms. I think I used everything from Necromunda plastics to home sculpts to get arms on my crew. Even the plastic squat arms aren't an ideal fit. All that said, yours look great! :)

      Delete
    5. The separate plastic squat arms must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but they don't really work on any squat models, possibly not even the plastic troopers!! :D

      Delete
  3. These guys look great. I was never really into the squats, so I don't know the range, but space pirates are fundamentally cool and these are really nice models. Arrgh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Squats aren't everyone's cup of tea I think. I never really had much time for them back in RT either! I agree though, space pirates of ALL kinds are cool ;)

      Delete
  4. These are fantastic! So full of character. I think the business-like Billan is my favourite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! I think Billan is my favourite too - something about the pose and swagger perhaps!

      Delete
  5. God... I love them. They make no sense in perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  6. These guys are so full of character! I've been looking for some frostgrave inspiration, and keep running into dwarven warbands. I was delighted to see you working on some completely different dwarves! Space dwarves FTW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hobbs! I reckon with a few tweaks these could easily fit right into Mordheim!

      Delete
  7. Converting metal Dwarfs is like the top of nightmares, being such difficult sculpts to work with. Yet you not only succeeded, but outmatched any expectative. Wow. Glorious work, I also love the different skin tones, that's a nice touch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suber! You're right - the added difficulty of getting parts the right size doesn't help either!

      Delete
  8. Shows how even a simple conversion can bear so much benefit. Great work axiom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much! Sometimes the simplest ones are the best.

      Delete
  9. I really like the variety of skintones you've worked in to these guys. And it's a lovely use of the old preslotta Dwarf – I thought it was a much later Long Drong Slayer Pirate it's that crisp a sculpt. Some real gems in the preslotta ranges.

    I am disapointed you have no love for the old Hearthguard miniatures. When lockdown is over I'll send you a family ticket for Sutton Hoo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Curis! The pre-slotta dwarf was a chance thing - I saw him and instantly knew what I wanted to do with him. He's a real gem though - could easily have been sculpted 10 years later than his 1985 production date.

      Perhaps Sutton Hoo will be just the experience to change my mind on the Hearthguard ;)

      Delete