Another quite old model today – one of the 2-part Zoats for Warhammer Fantasy circa early 3rd Edition. There were at least three designs of the original Zoats – this one, the “Mage”. “The Warrior” with a mace-axe and also the original one-piece casting, which was a fair bit smaller. I’ve just read about the existence of a “Baby Zoat“, though I’m a little dubious, as the sculpt looks a little …modern? There are certainly more modern takes on the concept though, especially with the popularity of “Oldhammer”.
While the paint here is nothing special, this guy was actually painted back in the 1990’s, and I’ve learned enough by this time to know when to not strip down the models from my youth – especially when I’m sure I could find another on eBay if I want another go ’round. I don’t think it’s terrible – the drybrushing works on the rough, lizard-scaled skin, and I gave the more coarse scales on his back and flanks a slightly more pale/rough look. All I’ve done “today” was to tear him off the old green-flocked horse base and cut a slotta into a modern AoS-style cavalry base, and add some base clutter. I think it adds a huge amount to the presentation of this old model. I’d love to work out some stats to play AoS with it. That would be awesome!
For anyone wondering “WTF is a Zoat?”, they were Bryan Ansell’s attempt to add some uniqueness to Warhammer, back in the early-ish days. Not a terrible motivation, especially given just how cribbed Warhammer is from everything else and how generic it was back in those days of 2nd and early 3rd edition. The story goes that the Design team of the day hated them and instead came up with the almost-as-ill-fated Fimir who were also lost and forgotten, but made a small, Forge World/Warhammer Forge comeback a few years ago. After all, what’s “Dark Fantasy” about a ripped, lizard-rhino-centaur sorcerer who looks he could tear the limbs off your torso without a second thought? Uh-huh.
Sure, the concept art looks a little goofy and weaksauce, but the models certainly don’t! It appears that the design team won out, and quite quickly as I cannot find the Fantasy Zoats listed in the old Catalogues at all, even the ’88 and ’89 catalogues list the Fimir, but no sign of the poor old Zoats! (Aside from the 40k ones.) Their genesis and demise is discussed briefly here as a side note to a discussion on Fimir. Worth a read.
I did at one point have the 40k Zoat models, which were tied in as larger Tyranid creatures and which recycled the same body piece as the fantasy models, though I thought they were fairly poor executions of the superior-looking fantasy versions, I do at this stage wish I hadn’t traded them away back in the mid-90’s. In fact, after writing the previous sentence, I took a moment to have a quick look, and in a couple of weeks now, I should have two of the three 40k models arriving in my lap. So that’s going to be a thing, then.