Horus Heresy/30K: Squat Militia

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Horus Heresy/30K: Squat Militia

I've always had a weird obsession with Squats. They were one of those armies that I just missed as I got into 40k during the tail end of 2nd edition

NOVA Open 2023: Horus Heresy BLAM
Horus Heresy Game Day at YHP Alexandria
NOVA Open 2023: Horus Heresy Opening Salvo

I’ve always had a weird obsession with Squats. They were one of those armies that I just missed as I got into 40k during the tail end of 2nd edition, and never really saw them growing up in New Zealand. But there they were – sitting in index imperials.

I started a “Squat Gang” using the venator rules with a bunch of converted Khadaron Overlords around 2018. Later on GW/ForgeWorld released a few squat Dramatis Personae: Grendl Grendlsen, Squat Bounty Hunter and Ragnir Gunnstein, Squat Ammo-jack which were some of the first new squat models (outside of White Dwarf special edition models) in close to 25 years. The followed up with a squat miner gang the Ironhead Squat Prospectors, the Claim Jumper and the Vartijan Exo Driller. Don’t get me started on Leagues of Votan, while I have the box set – they don’t really count as squats to me.

I’ve also been slowly collecting a Squat Epic 40k force.. but thats for another blog post.

Last year I started taking an interest in Horus Heresy, and headed down to the Board Room in Arlington where the Victory Gamers crew were playing some narrative games, where one of the armies was a chaos cult force. After a few too many beers, I learnt about the V1 Cults and Milita rules where you had the option to run Abhuman Helots and Survivors of the Dark age rules to respresent a squat force with higher WS, T and lower M & I + RT era Rhinos (I’d picked up 17 of them in a trade recently so neededa project to use them on) and Land Raiders.

I’d quickly bid way more money than I’d ever admit to my wife on a massive ebay listing but it included a tonne of bikes and trikes, some of them still in blister packs. This was followed up by two more ebay purchases of old GW and Iron claw squats that left me with a decent sized squat force.

Next up I wanted to add a land train, so off to Ramshackle Games where I picked up Minimumus Squat’s Bounty Hunter Crew as well as a bunch of bikers and Jetbikes. I’m a big fan of his vehicles, though the bikers do come in a little bit smaller than the old squat bikers and the resin is an absolute PITA to glue together – something that can be solved using super glue accelerant such as that from Bob Smith Industries.

I’ve also added a variety of third party space dwarves such as those from Ninjabread/Ontos Games, Macrocosm, CP Models and Satyr Art Studios. I’ll probably grab some of the Kev Adams space dwarves (and more importantly – arms) from Uscarl Minis as well. I seem to always miss out on the notifications whenever Magglet releases a kickstarter though!

All up I’ve probably sunk over $2500 USD into the army so far, and I can see it growing… but its something you won’t see on any other gaming table – virtually anywhere else in the world. I’d guess that its the largest RT Era squat army in the USA, or at least close to it!

I worked out a rough color scheme I wanted to use for the standard infantry, something that was fast to paint (there were going to be a lot of them) and matched the early art on the boxes. A quick zenithal airbrush followed by a drybrush in white, Iyanden Yellow for Helmets and Gloves, Blood Angels Red and Dark Angels Green for their uniforms and Snakebite Leather for Hats, Webbing and Boots.

Next up is one of two squads of Thunderers. In this case 10 heavy weapons teams armed with Lascannons. I’m currently in the process of painting an identical squad of 10 armed with heavy bolters as well as miscellaneous armed with other weapons such as missile launchers, conversion beamers and grenade launchers from Citadel/GW as well as 3 bases of mortars from Macroscosm and a RT Era Mole Mortar.

This unit in Resin will most likely be used as a command squad or similar depending on what rules I’m using and came from a kickstarter called Röknaut Space Dwarfs by Ontos Games that are loosely based on the unreleased 2nd edition Squats that never quite made it into retail. I’d have preferred them if they were slightly smaller and in lead – but they are a good “in between” for newer GW squats and more old school ones aesthetic wise.

These guys are mostly GW/Citadel/Ironclaw squats by Bob Olley and were part of one of the ebay purchases I got last year. I’m quite happy with how they were originally painted, so I kept the paint job, added a wash and rebased them all so they were consistent with the rest of the army. The only downside was the seller packaged them very poorly, and a number of multipart ones arrived broken or chipped and I have no idea what the matching paint colors are to touch them up.

More from the same purchase, such as living ancestors, hearthguard, a squat mechanicus, and guildmaster engineers. Again I’ve stuck with the original paint scheme on these.

More GW/Citadel/Ironclaw/Olley squats – painted up in more modern contrast paints to get them ready for the NOVA open in a rougly similar scheme to the older ones. I’ll need to do a darker wash over the blue and purple at some stage to tone them down, but I’m quite happy with how they turned out. I use them as Militia Grenadiers, Medics and Characters.

Some characters I purchsed from Macrocosm, but are a mix of Macrocosm and CP Models Runts. I’m currently using them a Commissars/Discipline Masters or other Characters. I’ll most likely buy a bunch more from CP Models as I’m a real fan of these sculpts.

Squat beastmen from Macrocosm. I’ll likely buy some more of these and am also painting up a heavy weapons team. These will do double duty when I start building out my militia beastmen army next.

Trikes with a quick and dirty/unfinished paint job to get them table ready for NOVA Open. Still need a lot of work done on them, but am currently running them as proxy “sentinels” for my 30k militia list.

Bikers which also need a bit more work to finish them, but good enough to play at NOVA. I’m currently using them as militia cavalry/rough riders for 30k. I’ve got a bunch more in resin from Ramshackle games if I want to have even more bikers for additional mobility.

And heres how I ran them at NOVA Open, with Grenadiers (anything painted blue and purple) in the Rhinos, using the Ramshackle land train as a Malcador tank with Battle Cannon, Demolisher Cannon and heavy flamers and an Armorcast baneblade in support + some more abhumans in the ogryns and ratlings.

Theres a lot more to come and I’ll probably update this post as more gets painted and I add to the army. Let’s see your squat forces in the comments.