The Squat range first appeared in White dwarf 94 and in the book of the Astrnomican and obviously they'd been in the RT rule book. Heavy weapons appeared in WD 97 along with command models. Two model appeared in the adventurers range in WD99 and then in WD100 this lot appeared.
The god like genius that is Bob Olley (he charges by the mm you know!) produced this range of Squats for citadel at the height of the Golden Era. They were his first of two ranges of squats and the 32 figures here help make the humble squat one of the most numerous ranges within the early Rogue Trader ouvre.
How come on one figure from this range made it to the 91 catalogue then? How come this range is so overlooked when folk look at classic RT ranges? I'm not sure I've heard of any body trying to collect this range. Why does nobody love this bunch of mini psychos?
I think we need to first of all see what we have to compare them against. There were two other Squat ranges around at the same time. First up is the Perry range.
These are the guy that appear in the RT rule book and are the archetype of RT squats. Roughly uniformed but individualistic. Beards and extremely cool looking. All the original range had punning names based on gun manufacturers. They looked like the were capable of nonchalant violence and were armed to the teeth. Shades and cigars were the order of the day.
Later the immortal Mr Olley did a second range of squats.
These guys had similar trappings to the Perry ones. Quilted flack armour. Helmets with photo visors. Standard issue lasguns, shades, special weapons. Great for expanding your troop base for your squat squads.
And there was this lot.
There is nothing standard about this crew.
First up the weapons are less than standard. They have the same random pattern as the Space Pirates the Bob did. Good luck making a decision about what some of them are supposed to represent.
There are no uniforms here either. Helmets, skull caps, flight caps, bandanas and at least two of these guys are wearing capes. Capes for flips sake!
Just look at the general. He's like a mini Zod!
Adding these guys to your pirate crews or adventuring band adds a bit of abhuman spice to your mob. A couple of wise cracking bearded grumbles to anchor the gun line as you assault the church of the lucid shirt button.
However, I'm thinking this very individuality could have been their undoing. 40k may have contained everything you needed for a tabletop scifi, adventure skirmish game but it's not why it became popular. Armies feature troops that are armed and dressed in a uniform manner and that's what the Perry and the other Olley range offer. These mad, bad and hairy little individuals just didn't fit into an army list. The second factor that counted against these guys is that they were sculpted by Bob. Kids are fickle little bastards and Bob has a unique approach to sculpting figures. Many people don't like them and certainly those of us who love them these days have grown into our love. The Perry figures were just easier to read and therefore were more popular. This fantastically bonkers range of space hopping nut jobs just kind of faded into the background. When was the last time you heard anybody talking about them never mind talking about them fondly? It's such a shame. They pop up on ebay occasionally but suffer from the "it's a squat so I can charge silly money" syndrome. They'd be a great range to collect but maybe just a few of them mixed into to your warband for flavour. So come on, who loves this range?