Fans of House Escher could be forgiven for feeling somewhat neglected in the pet department. Whilst the Goliaths enjoy their monstrous crocodile and the Orlocks have an similarly titanic hound, the ladies find themselves currently lacking their cats. I’ve found suitable proxies for the equally pet deprived Cawdor and Van Saar, the former using a Vulcharc from the AoS Tzeentch range, the latter the skull crabs from Heresy Of Us.
Alongside these creatures the gangers of House Escher keep this odd looking predator, the Phyrr Cat. The name of this beast has proven to be a source of contention – I always pronounced it as “fire” cat, and I’ve even heard people say “fur” cat, although I now understand the official pronunciation is “fear” cat. I’m not sure it really looks like a scaredy cat to me but presumably this allows us to compare the phyrr cats – and indeed we shall.
Official models for the phyrr cats were previewed around a year ago but, with the response being almost universally negative, the decision was made to start again with new sculpts. Personally I tend to agree with this, the models shown were well below the premium standard expected of Forge World. You are of course welcome to judge for yourself. My apologies to whomever took this photograph originally as it has now circulated online so much that I have new idea to whom credit should be given. If anyone knows let me know and I’ll update things accordingly.
In search of a suitable alternative I explored numerous ranges, soon discovering that cats are thin on the ground as miniatures. I even tried roping in this beast although she proved to be in entirely the wrong scale and even the Goliaths refused to go up against her after she took to knocking them off their shelf…
Finally I stumbled upon the Hoar Cats from Wyrd Miniatures (a creature which gives quite a different impression written down as opposed to spoken aloud). Last time I paid any attention to the range was many years ago when everything they produced was rather spindly and metal, and as a result given to bending out of shape in a stiff breeze. Thus these solidly plastic cats were a nice surprise.
I did consider using a bright and exotic colour scheme to tie them in with the rest of the gang but on consideration decided that their small-size meant less is more and too much detail would swamp them.
I’m pleased to have these done, partly because they add to the variety of units available to the gang and partly because in a place like Necromunda which is swarming with rats (many of which are carrying bombs) it pays to have a few cats around. Indeed the Underhive may prove to be prime habitat for them due to the distinct lack of trees for them to get stuck in.