Oldhammer Zoat Mage

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”.

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

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!

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

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.

Zoat Concept Art - Copyright GW

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.

Oldhammer Zoat Mage

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.

12 thoughts on “Zoat!

  1. Nice mini mate, and doesn’t it seem strange that they didn’t develop Zoats more, given the more recent determination to IP everything! Still, it makes them what they are today I suppose – special snowflake footnotes in the history of the game, and all the more lovely for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, there’s always the chance that Zoats will make a reappearance in either of the two universes – especially at this point in time. Fimir could potentially also be lifted from their spot in the Forgeworld Ghetto, along with Chaos Dwarfs, but it seems to me that 40k would be the more likely place to see one of them (Zoats specifically) make a return, given patterns of the last few years…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would be stunned, but stranger things have happened I suppose! Funny, but as I think about it, I’m kind of drawn on how easy it would be to introduce them into AoS via Warhammer Quest… they have that WoW vibe about them that would seem to fit in with AoS quite nicely, and a single monster/hero in WQ might be a good entry point… Hmmm…

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a good point. WQ would be a good start. I might have to fudge my own Character card for the Zoat to be playable in WQ, now that you’ve mentioned it… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a unique miniature and I never heard of Zoats.

    I like the paintjob and the new base does indeed improve the overall look. I also like the eyes. Red and black are excellent choices for a lizard.

    I was thinking a purple wash would go very well between the scales and as a shadow colour. So if you feel like it you could come back to the mini with some strategic wash placement. This would break up the rather monotonous green. That said, with the orb and the subtle variations in shade you do have a lot of visually interesting stuff going on with this one.

    I could see those coming back in WHQ, but I feel the AoS treatment may diminish their charm.

    Finally, here in NZ you can buy some energy balls (almonds, dates etc.), which are called Zoaties. So turns out we were eating their eggs all along and this may explain why they were never released in larger numbers. Poor Zoaties…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks – I always thought Zoats were a cool thing and it was a shame that they met their demise so quickly. If they did the AoS thing well and tactfully, they could be great. I’m thinking much more Adeptus Mechanicus or Genestealer Cult in their execution than Fyreslayers.
      Having said that, I do have a few Fyreslayers, though they’re going to need a bit of work before painting…
      I don’t think I’ll touch this guy up, but I do like the idea of the purple wash – something I’ve often used on Ghouls and Zombies and such. I’ll probably incorporate add that (and some other colouration ideas) onto the Space Zoats that I paused to buy off eBayed while literally writing the post. Once they get here, anyway….
      Zoaties, eh? I guess it makes sense, though – and something else that we can all blame the Kiwis for!


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