40K’s Squats: The Lost Stunties
Today we look back 23 years at the stunties who rocked across tabletops in 1993. It’s time to face our fears and look at The Squats
The Squats were originally mentioned at length with multiple pieces of artwork in the Rogue Trader hardback that kicked off Warhammer 40,000 all the way back in 1987.
They made an early splash and had a decent range of miniatures in those early days of the Grimdark. Here is a color plate of sample Squat Brotherhoods from Book of the Astronomican in 1988.
Let’s fast forward to 1993 and take a look at the Squat range at that time, once it had some time to grow. It was a very different world with GW rapidly expanding thier early 40K plastic kits and ranges. Take a look at this early spread to get an idea of the game’s factions and major kits 6 years after it launched.
Who still has some of these kits on the tabletop?
Onto the Squats
Here we see two major ranges of the early figures. Up top are the older minis that are fully metal, including the multi-part exo-armor ones (a Squat analogue to Terminator armor). Down below we see the hybrid kits that came with a metal main body and included a sprue of squat arms and plastic weapons in each blister. More on those sprues below. You can say one thing about Squats – they certainly had distinctive headgear. Check out “Pirate”!
Now we move onto the bikes and heavy weapons. Note the bike with multi-melta which was the Squat’s version of the early Ork buggy and the Marine attack bike. There are also exo-armor bikes for some heavy armor and speed. Below are the heavy weapons that would fall into disuse once the plastic heavy bolters and las-cannons from the Imperial Army sprues became widespread.
Next we hit the bit central kit needed to build your squat army, the Space Dwarfs plastic box. This box gave you 36 bodies and a ton of the arm and weapon sprues. This was the bread and butter of putting together your Brotherhood and then round it out with the metal models for the specialists.
Some closeups of the plastic arm and weapon sprues. The weapon sprue was shared with the early Imperial Army range. Take a close look hobbyists – that is what the early gamers of the Grimdark think a lasgun/laspistol should look like.
The Fall of the Squats
Squat Rogue Trader Armylist sample
The most shocking part of the demise of the squats was that they were a full fledged faction in Rogue Trader. They received many miniatures, background, full army lists, and plenty of attention. They were just at much a part of the universe as say Tau or Necrons are today.
Squat 2nd Edition Armylist sample
2nd Edition – 1993
The Squats made a short appearance in the racial background section of the core 40K rulebook. They would appear referenced in other faction’s codices yet never received one of their own. The writing was on the wall. Strangely while the Squats were waning in 28mm 40K, they were growing and thriving in EPIC where they finally grew into a distinctive force at 6mm.
Squat army in EPIC circa 1992
3rd Edition – 1998
The Squats made no appearance in the core rulebook and were never seen again.
~Thanks for this trip down memory lane folks. What are your favorite memories of the Squats?