The League Of Who? DIY Epic Squats!

It’s been a while, this. You ever get those project ideas which come really quickly but then take forever to get stuck into? This was one of those..

..which makes it all the sweeter to be finally able to show it off!

After Dan converted me to the Church of Granny Grating with his adorable Imperial Guard, I’ve fallen hook line and sinker for the charm of the technique, and after he decided to theme his army around the force featured in the 1992 (1993?) White Dwarf Battle Report, I decided to undertake a similar project based around the Squat force that fought against Ghazgkull Thraka’s Ork horde-

-and then, stuff got in the way…..

..and then this happened!

Yup. Stop the clock, as they say.

Now, the new look Squats are very much a source of controversy, but this army is firmly old school early 90s classic feel. So, to the pics!

Here’s how we start – wine box card and granny grating crosses, note slightly different shapes for assault troops (with swords) Hearthguard (greenstuff blobs to denote exo-armour) and banner poles to denote command stands.. no point going over the construction here as we’ve done it plenty over the last few years!
Thunderers – each of these lads mounts a shoulder fired heavy weapon, a granny grating clip off superglued to the shoulder
Grand Battery – 10 Mole Mortars, 5 Thudd Guns – drinking straw barrel, cardboard shield, granny grating undercarriage and wheels made by sling a sausage of greenstuff
Not fooling anyone yet, are they? But you wait till they’re based and painted!
Primed white, Vallejo Goblin Green for the overalls, cheap red craft paint for the flak jackets and Cadmium Yellow for the helmets, flesh tone craft paint for the faces. Everything then got a thinned Vallejo Brown Ink wash.. and then it was time to tackle the metallics!
The metallics were initially silver before I checked some pics online and discovered I needed to do bronze.. so initial basecoat of Vallejo Mithril Silver, overlaid with a craft bronze (that had virtually nothing in the way of pigment) and finished with a Brown Ink wash.
Hearth guard – yellow over white primer, overlaid with bronze craft paint and washed with brown ink.. yeah, I know, but from two feet they look pretty good!
Basing was a craft brown, layered with Garage Floor Dust (TM), dry soil and Jarvis mixed flocks
Grand Battery! I actually primed these guys gold with some spray paint I had from making Christmas decorations a few years ago, happily after a wash with Brown Ink they homogenised pretty well with the infantry!

So there we are, first tranche complete! Next up I’ve got a Guild Biker force to put together, and I’ve got some ideas for that… Granny grating is this stuff, so as you can see it’s an absolute steal, and one sheet has done all these Squats, Dan’s Imperial Guard, my Star Wars armies and there’s still a fair bit left!

Hopefully this has inspired you to give this technique a go – we can’t claim to have invented it, and sadly the original creator seems to have disappeared – this is as close a link as I could find. If anyone knows anything more, please let us know!

Stay safe and thrifty out there, and Slavia Ukrainia!

May the 4th Yet Be With You – DIY Rebel Strike Mechs

So after a slightly impassioned – some may even say hysterical- piece a few weeks back, it’s time for a new project. Or, more accurately, time to reopen an old project and add stuff to it.

Inspired by Dan’s endeavours with granny grating, I built a small force of Star Wars rebels and stormtroopers, as well as a teeny tiny Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader… cue much chipmunk voice “I am your father!” “That’s not true! That’s impossible!”

This was for a couple of reasons- I like Star Wars, I like Epic, and we’ve been playing with a ruleset for 6mm battles and I wanted to test out what we had.

Now, we did have The Battle Of Aberdeen planned, but honestly, savage urban battles between a cartoon villain Russian horde and the plucky defenders just felt queasy given the current situation, so we shelved the plans for now and took our interests as far away from current reality as possible…

..which for me meant building these forces up for a May 4th battle! First order of business- vehicles.

I based my design on the units shown in the excellent and venerable RTS game Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds, so while the Galactic Empire has the iconic walkers from Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, with the Rebels I was left guessing a little bit, so I took this as my model:

As you can see, it’s a sort of repurposed hover car/ speeder things with jets and front mounted lasers. So with the standard fare of materials (and of course, Hope), let us get started:
Foamboard for the body, dimensions as you can see marked on them
Cardboard layer around the exposed foam on the sides, detailed with cereal box cardboard overlay frame
Now we’re getting somewhere! Cockpit made from squidgy blob of greenstuff and I had a go at etching cockpit details on with a cocktail stick. Drinking straws, cut to lengths of 1cm and glued on with a mix of superglue for immediate hold and PVA for a lasting reinforcing hold.
Granny grating lasers mounted on the nose, and we’re ready for priming!
Primed grey as that’s what I had to hand, then given a coat of Wilkinsons’ Granite Dust house paint, then washed with grey, black and brown inks thinned down. Quick drybrush of Granite dust again, silver washed with black for the metallic bits, Vallejo Hot Orange for the squadron markings. I based them on 20mm cardboard squares, painted brown and dusted with the magical mix of Garage Floor Dust (TM), earth and flock. I created the illusion of hovering by basing them on a couple of granny grating “spikes” glued into the middle of the body.
And shown with the rest of the Rebel Scum..
Teeny Luke Skywalker leads the troops forward!

Right, next up will be the Empire with a few AT walkers, so until then, stay safe and thrifty out there!

That Was Another Year That Was – The Great 2021 Hobby Retrospective

Well, we survived a second year of The Great Plague. As the hangovers and queues for booster shots and lateral flow tests subside for another year, let’s take a little look at what we’ve done hobbywise…

Here in the UK, we kicked off the year with a third and (so far) final lockdown – and when the weather is freezing and dark and Nurgle’s apostles are rampant across the world, it’s always tempting to hunker down with some nostalgic reminders of a happier time. Which is exactly what we did – my pet project, while Dan rolled on with his, was the creation of a DIY Space Fleet set, the short lived 1991 precursor to Battlefleet Gothic. And seeing as this project involved squares, it was perfectly suited to lockdown remote gaming.

Speaking of my compatriot, Dan’s 1991 Blood Angels and the “quick fix” (where have we heard that before..) 20mm fantasy Orc horde have been trundling along merrily this year even if they haven’t quite met with completion – and when summer rolled around, bringing with it Freedom Day and crushing disappointment as we nearly nearly nearly won the Euros, we put on our BIGGEST GAME EVER, in which said greenskins would play a pivotal role… And Dan has sworn faithfully that he will undertake no new projects until these are done, meaning he’s got some serious papercrafting to do -I might help out a bit there, as he’s got 3 Rhinos, a Thudd Gun, a Land Raider and a Land Speeder to make and I vividly remember 2017’s Leman Russ build taking quite the toll on his sanity.

For myself, I managed to get my Accidental Tyranids (Hive Fleet Imprudens) finished, and now Dan’s got his 1991 style Terminators completed I can see some Space Hulk on the horizon (perhaps with this kind of scenery…), particularly if the Omicron variant dooms us all to another lockdown.. I also knocked up a test figure converted from Valiant Miniature’s oversized 1/72 WW2 infantry, with the intent of knocking together a Levy force for Firefight and using the rest as Brood Brothers to augment my Hive Fleet Imprudens ‘Nids. To date I have produced precisely 1 figure, but that said I have been busy writing rules… not going to raise anyone’s expectations too much on that topic as these things take SO LONG to come to fruition in reality.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our addiction to granny grating. Dan got the ball rolling in 2020 building his Imperial Guard army for Epic, and that rolled out in 2021 into mini Kings Of War and teeny weeny Star Wars forces that saw action toward the end of the year using the classic early 90s ruleset “Hellfire”.. and the air was thick with “I AM YOUR FATHER” “THAT’S NOT TRUE, THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE” squeaked out in Chipmunk voices.

We’re SO cool.

Honourable mention goes to Dan’s terrain cloth, built using the techniques shown on Mel The Terrain Tutor’s video (and wherever you are Mel, we wish you well and hope to see you again soon- stay safe brother) – and seeing as we’ve got loads of the dust sheet left, we’re planning a desert cloth, a snow cloth, and also a proper retro single colour flock as shown in the early 90’s White Dwarf battle reports, so stay tuned on that. Oh, and of course our brief fixation with zombiesTHAT was quite the game!

For our blog, this was another good year statistically – 18,221 views up from 18,065 in 2020, although visitors were down to 7343 from 8265 in 2020.. Likes were way up though, 245 from 171, and comments 186 from 150, all time bests on both fronts. Comments are a bit of an iffy metric to judge on, as WordPress counts all the comments we make too, but the “likes” are encouraging – definitely a sign that although we may be getting less “passing trade”, we have a solid base of folks that know what we do and enjoy/ have forgiven us for it.

So, for 2022? As stated, Dan has vowed not to embark on any more projects until he’s finished his Marines and Orcs, and I know he has some more units planned for the DIY Guard. My goals are writing, testing and God forbid actually self-publishing some rules.. also my aforementioned Levy platoon and Brood Brothers… also, I quite fancy rounding out my 2nd Ed 40k Orks into a legit army.. but granny grating has called to me with it’s siren song and whispered to me of…. well, let me leave this here:

So, how about y’alls out there in the blogosphere? What are your goals for 2022?

Stay safe, sane and thrifty out there, may your booster jabs be side effect free and may you forever test negative….