Tuesday, 6 February 2018

To Squat or not to Squat, that is the question....

Whether is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune......
I think my English teacher did an ok job. Thats all I remember though.

Anyway.

The new Squat.

Grendl Grendlsen


GW released a comedy teaser video last week and then pics of the figure dribbled out over the weekend. First blurry shots of an unpainted fig in a display case. Then better pics of an unpainted figure...



Then eventually the fully painted figure



It would seem, however, that you simply can't please all of the people all of the time.

The oldhammer crowd (as well as many others) having been banging on about bringing back squats for years. It must have been fucking annoying to work at GW and hear the same old droning requests over and over again. It's something the video teaser alludes to. The video infact shows that GW are very much more self aware than they ever used to be. Something that i'm very pleased to see.

They even harken back to the old RT fluff by naming the unit that Grendl served after a badge that appeared in the Book of the Astronomican all the way back in 87.



GW have bent over backwards to serve you up a figure that has been desired for years in a way that is humorous and cool while tipping the hat to the companies past and it's older fans and inserted it into a new version of one of their classic games. You actually cannot ask for anymore than that.

But apparently you can...

It seems the issue is that certain members of the Oldhammer community don't understand how stylistically miniature design has moved on. The assumption that GW were going to produce a figure that looked exactly like a 1987 Perry Squat is beyond ludicrous. The Perry's don't even make Dwarves that look like that anymore. In the 30+ years since the Perry's and Bob Olley made the original squat ranges GW has gone through a host of stylistic changes. It's what a creative business has to do. They cannot continue to produce the same product for 30 years and expect to have a business that makes any kind of money. They are the worlds premier miniature company, they have forged ahead with technology that has paved the way for hundreds of companies to follow. Of course they were going to develop the design of the Squat on from 30 years ago. 

Let's look at this logically.

Since squats wandered off (i'm not even getting into where they've been) the only other abhumans in the Imperium have had a couple of iterations.

Ratlings



followed by






and then



These latest ones are bigger then the old squats by quite a margin! So we can see that anthropologically and physiologically the races in 40K move on as sculpting, design and knowledge of anatomy becomes less of 'Yeah that looks about right!' affair and more of a 'He wouldn't be able move around never mind fight with a body shaped like that' situation.

Ogryns too have changed throughout the years to better reflect how their bodies might actually be built.

Then most recently we have the first Bounty Hunter that was released for Necromunda. Gor Half-horn.


Here he is in his RT heydey with his mate who isn't trusted with a gun. And here he is for the 21st century, all gussied up with new tools and a bad attitude. 


What we've also got consider is that in their Original incarnation, Squats were just Space Dwarfs. They were based on the same sculpting style and shape as fantasy dwarves. Dwarves in space. So when we consider what might have happened to the styling of a squat, then we need to look at the current incarnation of Dwarves in Age of Sigmar.


Taller, less rotund, with knees, braided beards. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that maybe a squat might take his design cues from the the Duardin. And not the heavily armoured Kharadron but the actuall dwarfy looking ones.

So if that is how GW portrays its dwarfs these days then to make a squat we stick him in a quilted armour jacket, stick a helmet with a cool visor on his head and give him a bolt gun. There you go. A Squat.

So. It comes down to this. 

When you saw the way existing races had developed over time. When you saw the way older characters had been redesigned. When you saw the way Dwarves were portrayed in Age of Sigmar.

What did you honestly think was going to happen when GW brought back the Squats?

25 comments:

  1. Well said that man. Taking those sacred cows and riding them across a field of landmines.

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  2. I dont think its the height, its the proportions thats the issue. It doesn't look like a squat. Scale creep is fine but your examples all show similar proportions and the scale correctly relative to other models in the range. Personally I think its an easy fix and I would just chop some of those legs off. Opinions are free and personal, no point worrying about other peoples. The design of the new squat, with sun glasses, hammer, etc, I think is great but the proportions are way off the old designs. Look at your examples as a rough guide. All the ratlings are roughly a slightly taller rectangle. The beastman is about 2 or 2 and a half squares on top of each other. The squats were all roughly a square. The new one is more 1.5 high and 1 wide. Too tall and skinny imo.

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    1. WP already said more changed than just size. If you look at the AoS dwarf he's proportioned much like the Newcromunda Squat. Probably about 1.5/1. And of course real people are taller and skinnier than any GW model at any time. (Save perhaps the RT navigator.) We all know this. The style changed. The new models have to work with the new, not the old. This way, perhaps, someone playing AoS and Newcrowmunda can move AoS to space. Besides, I might be able cut a too skinny and too tall squat down to size. If he was just bigger he'd be too fat and too tall. Nothing I can do with that. I can live with this. Nobody has to like the new look. It's . . . entirely optional. But I do think it would be silly to pretend it's not there. Frankly, even the new Olley space bugs do not look quite like the old ones, even if they do scale together quite nicely. I love them, mind. But there's no pretending they're the same. Similar. The references are there. But Olley's style has evolved some, I'd say. Even if it's the same guy sculpting in the same style. He's working off different art now, and his technique has doubtless evolved at least a little. I should think it would be insulting to pretend he hasn't learned a new trick or two in thirty odd years. Sure. The proprtions of the new GW dwarf are different. So? No big. Buy or don't as you choose. I think WP just wants us to quit whinging about how awful this thing from Nottingham is when his friends maybe work there. And maybe worked on it. And maybe did it out of clear admiration for the old. As a somewhat professional artist of sorts I can assure anyone that my friends do not like all of my stuff. And . . . that's life. But I hope they would get tired of someone complaining incessantly about how bad I've become. I hope.

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  3. And people wonder why he company stopped listening in the mid noughies!! Would you want to listen to that lot bitching?

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  4. I hate this new one "squat" impostor. I called him abomination :(

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  5. A well stated arguement...but as a counter point I think you only have to look at the current KS for Space Dwarfs (painted by Mr No Butt) and how successful it is... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/552367619/space-dwarves-28mm-sci-fi-miniatures

    those look a lot like 30 year old squats and they seem to be doing just fine.

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    1. No one is doubting that there is still a market for old style squats, but up until this weekend that is all there was. OLD STYLED squats. We can still have them. I'm painting an army of them now. Doesn't detract from the new though. I wouldn't put a new goliath with an old goliath cos I don't think they'd mix. Doesn't mean I can't see the positives (and negatives) in both.

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    2. Yes. What WP said. And I'll bet GW sells the new squats to more folks than the 90 odd backers of the kickstarter. Though . . . I am REALLY glad folks are willing to sculpt oldish new miniatures for me and my friends.

      . . . Also,there are positives to the old Goliaths? I mean, other than potentially using them as a very expensive dolly on which to sculpt a large miniature. ;-)

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  6. I think some people behave like spoiled brats towards GW. It's a company, it makes stuff to sell, recently it's been making stuff that seems a bit more responsive towards old schoolers and I for one welcome that. But the idea that they owe us something is daft. However... I guess there's one thing that would make me a bit disappointed if I was someone who had been eagerly awaiting this moment, and that's if there was absolutely no way that you could use this squat alongside old ones in your collection. I'm not saying GW are obliged to follow the retro style. so e.g. I think one of the appeals of the 'new' (as of a few years ago) forgeworld fimir releases was that you could mix them in with old ones. Even the new Slambo, though bigger, could probably be used with an old-style RoC warband because, well, Chaos. But if I was a squat collector and this is a model that's so out of proportion that there's no way I could use it amidst my other squats, yeah, I'd be a little disappointed. But not angry or annoyed with GW. That's dumb.

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    1. I understand your point but if you were the kind of person that likes to use the original necromunda figures rather than the new ones but still want to play the new game (as many people are likely to do) then the very presence of the above figure means that your Squats from ancient times can now be on a table, in warhammer world, playing an up to date game with rules that are specifically for them rather than jury-rigged from another race. It's shiny on both sides!

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    2. You're right, it'd be rather sad if GW hadn't evolved their designs at all in the last 30 years. And this point is a very good one too - having Squats back in the GW universe has its up sides.

      It's just a pity that GW no longer sell 28mm figures... :(

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    3. You also can't really use the new beakies alongside the old ones. Just . . . different scales. It's time to admit that.

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    4. "then the very presence of the above figure means that your Squats from ancient times can now be on a table, in warhammer world, playing an up to date game with rules that are specifically for them rather than jury-rigged from another race."
      Very good point!

      "You also can't really use the new beakies alongside the old ones. Just . . . different scales. It's time to admit that."
      That's fair. For me, given that the basis of my collection is what passed for 28mm in the early 90s, and I'm always looking to add cool things to that rather than start something completely new in a new scale, it's always going to limit the appeal to me personally. (as noted above, things like chaos get a pass here because chaos always allows for some distortion of scale) But I think if GW made business decisions based on stuff I wanted they'd be out of business within the week! They're far better advised to keep doing what they're doing and it's just great that they're appreciative of the old school too - Necromunda was always my favourite game so seeing it back makes my heart sing.

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  7. I think you are totally right about the evolution of designs coming out of Games Workshop and that people should not have expected things to be the same as 30 year old designs. That being said, I think it is fair to not like the new design aesthetic. I thought that some of the later (6th, 7th, 8th?) edition stuff had some cool models. What's happened with AoS figures just doesn't do it for me. Also, the more multipart plastic figures I do the more I like one piece white metal castings.

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    1. In all fairness I haven't told anybody whether to like it or not. I haven't even stated my opinion. All i'm arguing against is the blind knee-jerk reaction of individuals who stated 'it's not a Squat' because it doesn't look like a 30 year old figure.

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  8. I think that's fair enough. There is something I don't like about the model, but I think it's more the clothing around the thighs and the way the jacket ends than the proportions. Leaving aside the general tallness of the models (ie from 28 to 32mm), a lot of 40k models have got less dumpy over the years, and it seems reasonable that he should be the same. Also, I like the way that he looks squattish, but not downright comical.

    That said, I'm still waiting for plastic Sisters of Battle.

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  9. Dear WP,
    If you drew a Venn Diagram with one circle representing "People Who Complained About The New Squat" and the 2nd circle being "People Who Play With Unpainted Armies". The 1st circle would be entirely inside the 2nd circle.

    You know what I mean... ;)

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    1. Blue plays with unpainted armies? ;-) :D

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    2. It's hardest when it's someone close to you.

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  10. More bugged that he doesn't look like his own artwork really. If he did I would have bought one.

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  11. I think that there is, within the’Oldhammer’ community, a number of people happy to be stuck in 1988. I am one of those people, however I’ve always looked forward to GW producing improved versions of their original works. But then, it is what it is - some people will like the new stuff, some people won’t. Each to their own and all that.

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  12. Great spot on the Vega Rams reference! That makes me like him more!

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  13. I like it.

    I also like Primaris Marines ... they have a lot o aesthetic in common with RTB01 beakies but are much bigger. So I have an army each of both .... I don’t bemoan the fact that GW aren’t churning out 30 year old models because that’s not reasonable. Nuff said

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  14. Hear hear! Also, if GW had made one that looked exactly like the old ones, they'd probably be complaining that it de-valued their existing collections... GW is more relevant now to all sorts of players than it has been in years... long may it continue.

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