Tag Archives: Squig

Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 11

Last weekend saw the long-awaited release of new plastic squigs from Games Workshop. Formerly part of the Orcs and Goblins range these crazy little beasts have now found a home amongst the Gloomspite Gits, a re-imagining of the old night gobbos in the Mortal Realms. As a long-standing fan of greenskins in general and squigs in particular it’s fair to say that I’ve been looking forward to this release since long before the models were even sculpted, let alone announced. Having got my hands on them* I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding my early impressions – illustrated with a few moody and atmospheric black and white images to compensate for the fact that I haven’t painted anything yet.

*I know I have plenty of other things to paint at the moment, and I know buying new models when I haven’t painted what I have is profligate, but how could I resist after dreaming of them for at least a decade?

The new Gloomspite Gits are an interesting proposition. Despite it being three years since the arrival of Age of Sigmar this release would have fitted quite comfortably into the Old World of Warhammer. Previously Age of Sigmar releases have either been entirely new races, such as the Stormcast Eternals or the Idoneth Deepkin, or have evolved old races into new forms, such as the Daughters of Khaine or the Sylvaneth. Sometimes models for this latter group would have fitted in well in the Old World, and some might even be effective proxies for older units – like Ironjaw Brutes as Orc Big ‘uns, but never have we seen such comprehensive coverage of models widely desired for an old Warhammer army as part of an Age of Sigmar release. Long before the End Times, before Nagash returned and with the Stormcasts no more than a games developer’s fevered imaginings, people were crying out for new squigs.

Having waited all these years for a nice plastic kit for the squigs (surely always a glaring gap in the Games Workshop roster) I found myself giving in to temptation and snapping them up as soon as I could. Acquiring them however has led to considerable food for thought. Many old school players will be rejoicing at the opportunity to add this iconic creature to their Orcs and Goblins armies but with the scale of many GW models creeping larger every year will these newcomers even fit on an old 20mm square base? They, at least, can relax, the answer is a firm “yes”.

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Indeed although many things have become bigger over the years the boisterous squig remains roughly the same.

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For myself I’m still debating exactly what to do with my newly acquired squigs. Long ago I started to build a Night Goblin army for WHFB and last year I actually got a sizeable chunk of it painted. When I painted the army last year I threw in a handful of squigs but left the squad incomplete in the hope that sooner or later more would come bouncing along. All too often such manoeuvring proves to be wishful thinking but this time it seems I guessed right.

Night Goblins Convert Or Die

As squigs were always intended to be a part of that army surely I should just pop the little beasts onto square bases and get painting. On the other hand however the style of base very much directs the game for which the model is intended. As it stands I’m unlikely to actually play with these, so the point is probably entirely academic. Nonetheless the idea of some AoS skirmish has a distinct appeal. In the unlikely event that I do ever decide to play some old fashioned Warhammer it’ll be my Skaven that hit the tabletop.

It’s also worth considering that despite the aesthetic punch which an old Warhammer army with its ranks of troops neatly defined possesses, a quality which no AoS army can quite capture, some models just don’t look as good in ranks. By putting them on round bases I’d be able to really enjoy and show off everything these dynamic models can do, rather than struggling to make the best of things and force them into ranks which they were never intended to form. After all “ranking up” was a rightly cursed aspect of old Warhammer, a chore which impeded miniatures design and made hobbyist’s lives a misery in equal measure, so burdening myself with it unnecessarily seems like foolishness.

Convert Or Die Squigs

A release as long awaited as this was always going to be of key importance to GW. This was a chance to win over lingering WHFB sounds to the new world of AoS. Furthermore there must have been a temptation to indulge the freedom of the new realms to push the Night Goblins in new and crazy directions, an urge they have wisely resisted. The Night Goblins and Squigs have always been amongst the company’s most classic and iconic races and as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Look no further than the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied the upscaling of the space marines, a range who’s undersized proportions meant it certainly was broke and did need fixed.

On the other hand as a species so intrinsically associated with the Old World there was always a real danger that these little dudes would seem glaringly out of place amid the Mortal Realms. Luckily good models save the day. Just as the sudden availability of truescale marines made it easier for many of us to swallow the new landscape of 40k so too do Night Goblins in the Mortal Realms seem much more palatable when accompanied by these glorious new squigs.

This is not to say that everything is just a rehash of the “good old days” however. New ideas have been brought in but they’ve done so in a way that sympathetic to the old. Take the new Boingrot Bounderz for instance. Again old school WHFB fans could use them as alternative squig hoppers (which the kit also makes) but there’s something irresistible entertaining about goblin knights. Picture, if you will, a whole court of them in full heraldic pageantry, with the squig hoppers as squires and a suitably deranged-looking king bouncing in the lead. Of course, in a process which will be familiar to all hobbyists, now I’ve thought of it I can’t stop thinking about it. Bretonnia may be gone but there is still room for a green knight or two.

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The only thing I’m not entirely happy out regarding these is the way they are held aloft on heaps of mushrooms. It’s just a little over the top for my tastes, although I stress that’s just a personal opinion, but it’s also rather tricky to do very much about it. The fungi are sculpted directly to the legs of the squigs, probably a sensible move when it comes to supporting the weight of the model but making it distinctly tricky to separate them. I did manage it with this one but, given what a faff it was, I don’t think I’ll be losing too much sleep over the others.

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The Night Goblins were always a race which combined spite and silliness with aplomb. there was an element of slapstick comedy about them that brought something uniquely enjoyable to their murderous ways. Whilst still clearly evil creatures this cheeky, quirky element put them in a class of their own, a long way from straightforward baddies like Chaos or the Vampire Counts, whilst their status as weak yet cunning distinguished them from the loutish Orcs. Again it’s pleasing to see that this trait lives on in their new iteration. Goblins of all kinds have always enjoyed seeing their mates suffering misfortune and goblin fans are no better. Can you imagine Stormcast fans universally applauding a model of a liberator being swallowed by a dracoline, as this poor little grot is gobbled up by a squig?

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Amidst all this praise for the new models it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to mourn the passing of the Doom Diver from the range. It was a true icon of the old Orcs and Goblins army which seems not to have made the cut for a new model and has been quietly shuffled into retirement. Luckily for me I was given one a few years ago which will be joining my Night Goblins sooner or later.

Likewise goblin wolf riders, a staple of many childhoods thanks to The Hobbit, have been shuffled off into the great dank cave in the sky. These days if you want to go riding into battle on a big bad wolf you need to be a power-armoured futuristic Viking with a questionable hair-do’s.

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Few things are as evocative of GW’s stable as Night Goblins and Blood Bowl, so I’ve also found myself pondering how the two could be combined, a subject I’ve found myself returning to lately following conversations with fellow blogger and blood bowl enthusiast Faust. So far I’ve only dipped my toe into it but as this combination of Blood Bowl player and the (now retired) Night Goblin Fanatics shows, there’s certainly room to create some alternative members for a diverse looking team.

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Once again though I’d like to emphasise that I have plenty of other projects I ought to be concentrating on so although these squigs and gobbos will definitely get a turn on the painting table it won’t be straight away. In many ways however this is a blessing. I’ve been thinking about what to do with a release like this for a number of years so I won’t be rushing into anything, but instead will be taking the chance to explore the models, see what other hobbyists do with them, and bounce a few ideas around before I commit to anything. At this point I often say watch this space but this time I’ll add don’t hold your breath as well. However if you have any suggestions, ideas or words of wisdom, I’m all ears.

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Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 5

The trouble with batch painting is it doesn’t leave a lot for anyone not involved in the process to look at. For anyone desperate for an update however here’s the state of play on the night goblins and the heap of models still to be completed.

Convert Or Die Goblins (1)

As you can see there’s a lot of partially done robes and the early stages of a lot of green skin, but also plenty that still needs attention. Honestly I think I might abandon my plan to get them all done by the end of the month – nice though that would be to achieve my enjoyment of my hobby shouldn’t be restricted by the struggle to meet self imposed deadlines.

With so much still at the WIP stage however there’s not a lot to show in the way of progress this week – but not much doesn’t mean nothing at all. This little dude, a goblin champion from Avatars of War, may actually be the first goblin model I ever bought and he’s been sitting around part painted for a very long time indeed. As probably the longest neglected model that I’ve tackled as part of these challenges so far it was imperative that he saw the finish-line this month.

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I also added two more squigs, bringing their population in the army up to four.

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I know that technically speaking squigs come in units of at least ten, and who wouldn’t want a huge mob of bouncing mouths to gallop in disorderly style through the enemy lines, but I only own five of the little chaps so (once the last one is painted) I’ll be leaving the squad as is for now. Hopefully someday in the not too distant future Games Workshop will recognise the demand that exists for new plastic models for their most iconic race (the humble squig) and will see to it that the squig-faithful are rewarded at last.

Next week my priority will be finishing off my plague furnace for the Skaven (something of an all or nothing challenge, and failure would mean not meeting my personal Skaven goal for the first time in twenty-one months). However I’m sure one or two gobbos will also manage to scamper over the line to contest the rats’ dominance of the Underway even if I don’t get the whole mob done.


Meet The New Boss

The campaign to ‘fix up’ my rather worn out looking Orks continues apace. Having sorted out those grots the next thing on my to-do list were some Runt Herds to keep them out of mischief and lead/push them into battle.
This first Runt Herd was built without any conversion and to my eye does a grand job of capturing what it is to be an “irascible, infirm and often incontinent old warrior” (as the Fantasy Orcs and Goblins army book puts it).
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ork-runt-herd-convert-or-die-2Now frankly, this guy doesn’t look like he’d share bossing his grots around with anyone else. However the rules (which I admit I rarely pay much attention to) call for one Runt Herd for every ten gretchin. Plus I reckon he’d need some backup, otherwise these little rascals are going to give him the run-around. I also rather liked the old fiction that described how Odd Boys (Painboys, Runt Herds and Meks) like to get together and talk shop, in spite of their radically different fields. Each would then go back to his work feeling like he’s learned something useful. Chatting to his Painboy and Mek mates my Runt Herd would have come to the conclusion that, rather than allow another Ork to help him with his grots, he’d ‘promote’ one of his more ambitious and useful charges by wiring him permanently into a miniature version of a killa kan.
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gretchin-convert-or-die-6Here he is lording it over his smaller charges, all of which are undoubtedly lining up to take him down a peg or two as soon as the boss’s back is turned.
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Incidentally by building this Runt Herd I didn’t need the one that came in the box so I turned him into this Mek (more on him here).
ork-mek-boy-convert-or-die-1This also left me with a number of spare parts, including this squig which I rescued from the bits box and turned into a nasty, yapping squig hound. Not really brain surgery here, I just carefully cut away the runt-herd’s hand and replaced it with some extra hair in the crest, using part of a Boy’s topknot cut to shape. To cover up the damage where the harness had to be cut away I sculpted a ragged ear, presumably scarred by the bite of a rival in a high-octane squig fight.
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squig-convert-or-die-5As always, thanks for reading and feel free to put any praise or abuse in the comments box below.


Weedy Little Gits

From one of the biggest, toughest Orks around to the smallest; my Gretchin. Undervalued, underfed and, more often than not, under foot they’re known simply as the ‘Orrible Grots.
Lately my painting desk has been home to all kinds of Chaos which I’ll try to show over the next few weeks (including a Helbrute, cultists, converted Obliterator and this Chaos Knight). However, partly inspired by the excellent Ork collection of Viktor Svard shown in this month’s Warhammer Visions* there’s been a bit of a swing back towards the greenskins. I’m still chipping away at the boys (who knew I had so many of them?) but, in an effort to avoid too much of a production line situation arising I changed gear a little by taking on this swarm of grots.
*Still not convinced by the magazine overall though…gretchin-convert-or-die-18

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gretchin-convert-or-die-21Feeble and incompetent they may be but I’ve always loved the little grots that scurry alongside the Orks. They’re the source of a great deal of the slapstick silliness that stops the Orks from being entirely brutish and unpleasant. We all secretly know that, in the universe of 40k, no matter how much martial strength the Imperium brings to bear, how vast the devouring Hive Fleets become, how grand the designs of Abaddon or Ghazghkull, how many Necrons wake, the end will come when some cheeky gretchin unplugs the Golden Throne whilst trying to electrocute his mate for a laugh.gretchin-convert-or-die-20

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gretchin-convert-or-die-23Experimented a bit with the bases on some of these. Rather pleased with the results.

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gretchin-convert-or-die-22And here’s some ammo runts. You can never have too much dakka after all, and no self-respecting Ork is going to carry it himself when there’s a grot could lug it around for him.gretchin-convert-or-die-19

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