Harder Than Steel [Squat Exo-unit]

“Harder than steel, we walk through fire!”


 Originally designed for the numerous Squat mining colonies, these exo-suits were used by Squat engineers who operated & maintained the gigantic drills and other mining devices when exposed to hostile environments. The built-in life support systems in the suits allowed them to work extended periods even in the harshest of conditions.


Sometimes these colonies encountered resistance in the planets they were mining and very often the warfare turned into fierce and claustrophobic tunnel-fights far below the planets surface. It was not long until the engineers invented to ad ranged weapon systems into the suits for added security.This habit to arm the exo-suits became very popular and soon all of the Leagues were deploying special units trained to fight with the armour.

Protected by thick shell of hardened plasteel carapace, warriors in the exo-suits can withstand formidable beating and still be able to execute tactical maneuvers. For this reason the training is granted only to the most experienced & trustworthy Squat warriors.

Veteran Sergeant w. Drill-Axe
Weapon Specialist w. Heavy Flamer
Veteran #1
Veteran #2
Veteran #3

Designer’s notes

Hello, First post here and I feel very exited! If you look through last post Migs did, you can see how high he set the standard with his Space Wolves 😉

For you guys who have never seen these Squats before, this Exo-unit is part of a larger Squat force I have been building lately. first of all these are ALL 100% GW parts! no third party kits were used. I had always loved these stunty die-hards called Squats and had seen several armies by other hobbyists during the years, but all of them were merely using the old miniatures, trying to re-create something the Squats were when GW was still selling them in the late eighties – slightly comical biker dudes with strong viking theme. That was not the vision I had in my head – technologically advanced, brutal and fierce. No humor, no viking theme! Very minimalistic colour scheme, very little ornaments nor freehands. This was all very far away dream, until GW released the Iron breakers kit. That was everything I had hoped for! That kit combined with SM Scout parts created perfect foundation for this epic project. I think I should do a new post about the current state of my Squat Battle Force very soon so no worries!

Like I said, First post in this blog and I really wish you enjoy these guys!!!


35 thoughts on “Harder Than Steel [Squat Exo-unit]

  1. Congratulations on your new home, Mikko!

    The exosuits are just so damn cool! Best use of the centurion kit I’ve seen. If these guys can’t convince GW to bring back the stunties nothing will…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First post and its a beauty. I’ve just been examining every one of these trying to work out where all the parts are from. Not only are these the best thing I’ve yet seen centurions used for, they are also the best version of squats I’ve ever seen.

    I totally agree with you about you vision of squats. Comical biker dudes just ain’t my thing either. I may be getting grumpy in my old age, but I really dislike any kind of comic element tainting my Grimdark (can’t abide Orks for example).

    These squats look mean, tough and serious. Love ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bloody brilliant Mikko!

    Vader is spot on: A good example of why GW should reconsider to bring back those 40K stunties! Great to see them in detail singled out too.

    Big compliments to the photography too. This, together with the insane talent here, is what brings Iron Sleet into the Premier League from the beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stefan, quick word on the photography, everything has been shot on an iPhone or iPad! No fancy DSLR set ups, but putting the awesome inbuilt cameras to work with clever lighting 🙂


  4. Fantastic follow up post to Migs’ intro! Not to put pressure on Kari but I’m mildly put very excited for that installment 🙂

    Now them squats. Wow what to say that hasn’t been said. I do like the comical and original take (as anyone who has seen my CD knows, oh and Orks 😉 ) but this was a really fresh take and I can’t wait to see more!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mikko, these are incredibly cool! Hands down the best Squat army/unit and getting very close to being the best all time complete “count as force” and that category is contested by some amazing projects.

    I think the Exo suits elevate the entire army to new heights and add that absolutely critical mid size model to properly communicate your scale. I think it would be awesome to see your infantry man, ex suit and the dreadnought together, and in comparison pictures with some of your human sized models, inquisitors or others.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These are too good! They look so practical too and the helmetless guy makes the squad look so determined. Great work as usual although I miss the older blog


  7. Fantastic! I loved these conversions before (and I agree these are the best miniature realizations of Squats) but the paint-scheme really brings them to life. I never would have thought to put the strong yellow OSL and hazard stripes on the same side of the models, but the asymmetrical hits of yellow work very well on the symmetrical models. Oddly enough one of my favorite details is your basing! The mud stained grass is such a natural effect and along with the very realistic paint job really grounds the conversion, so appropriate for these no-nonsense abhumans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers! I think asymmetry has a special place in 40k design philosophy;) and you are absolutely right about the paint job – its extremely critical to tie them in to the reality like that, otherwise they would end up looking very cartoonish.


  8. These are really excellent, Mikko! What I probably like best about them is that they don’t look like conversions at all, but rather like an actual GW kit! The paintjob adds a nice and gritty touch to them, making them look workmanlike and realistic. This is the design approach that would really make the Squats fit the 40k universe without just turning them into goofy “Dwarves IN SPACE!”

    Fantastic work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are my favourite space stunties of all time! The concept is genuine and great, and the overall execution is, simply put, outstanding – clean, neat and good use of colours.

    There’s just one very minor detail that caugh my eye (and believe me, this just nitpicking ‘cos everybody else is praising these). Don’t know if it’s the angle, but the hydraulic cylinder joint, the one that is connected to the shoulder/triceps, looks like if it is connected somewhat unrealistically. If the idea is that the hydraulic cylinder works like it is meant to and the transmission gives power to tricep piece of the arm, then the joint should maybe be connected somehow different.

    Sorry if I’m using wrong terminology here, I have never studied engineering so I’m just using words that I think correspond the things I’m trying to say. But like I said, this is just nitpicking, and I love these chaps!


  10. Lovely stuff Mikko. Such a phenomenal vision and use of parts to create the exo-suits.

    Kari – I think those are hero pistons….its for when the little squat is overrun under a pile of orks. It helps him shrug them off by expanding his shoulders.

    Migs, Mikko & Kari – Iron Sleet is so much easier to actually comment on compared to your old blogspot blogs.


  11. By the way, would it be possible not to show the entire post on the front page, but that viewers would have to click on ‘read more’ or something if they’d want to read the entire article? So you’d only see the title, first paragraph and a single picture. It would make the whole thing look a bit more ordered and a bit smoother.

    Food for thought. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, terrific models.

    I never realised that there was a guy/dwarf figure standing inside the suit. I had assumed it was a cut n shut marine Centurion (dunno if that’s the correct term, barely look at the Marine stuff now adays)


  13. I agree with a lot of what’s been said here, these are fantastic, and I’m hard pressed to tell where any parts actually came from, of what’s been done to it, which means these guys you’ve made are some of the best work out there hands down.


  14. …how?

    I’mlooking at the Centurion kit and it makes no sense how you get from that to these fantastic models. Where can I see the WIP posts?!


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