It's funny, I never had particularly strong feelings for or against beetles until seeing them mount-sized in WG. Now I've spent the last 15 minutes or so following Scorp's image links and researching different species, and it's brightening this cold, rainy, dreary afternoon.
Always happy to spread my crazy fascination with bugs!
Just answered your beetle question in the Q&A thread, btw.
BTW, it's actually shown up in SYWBAA before, as the weapon of choice for Bob the Blue Orc.
Yep, I've always loved that halberd piece. So wicked-looking. I cut and painted that black one for Bomm years ago, before I even started making SWYBAA. I always intended for him to "upgrade" to it in SYWBAA at some point.
Regarding beetle mounts for the Dwarves: What species of beetle do you see as the premium, most desired mounts, and which ones are more common, garden-variety? In Into the North, Atlas warbulls seem pretty valuable, but I was wondering if all beetles are rare and difficult to procure, forcing poorer dwarf clans to use big goats or boars; or if beetles are essentially the dwarven equivalent of horses, with different varieties and levels of quality?
The Khepridin beetles are generally used only underground, in Nidavellir. When on the surface, dwarves may ride large goats/boars, or just ponies or small Nordic horses. The beetles are naturally averse to bright light and have poor eyesight, preferring to navigate in the dark using their other senses. That said, the Desert Dwarves ride Khepridnir almost exclusively, night and day, since they consider them a sacred part of their heritage, and because the beetles are very adept at traversing shifting sand dunes.
As for the types of beetles, preferred breeds vary by purpose and by clan.
Since scarab-type beetles are specialized for digging (with modified forelegs and head plates for moving soil quickly), these are used for tunneling more than for war. They may also be used for transport and draft animals, since they are extremely strong.
The war beetles are typically the males of any family with long horns and/or mandibles, like Rhino and Stag beetles. Different clans favor different breeds. The Atlas is favored by Clan Firebeard, who breed them to be red or iridescent orange in color to match their clan's fire motif.
(I could probably sit and come up with different uses for different types of Khepridnir all day, since there are so many kinds of beetles - beetles make up a quarter of all known animal species! - but I'll try to restrain myself.)
Looks like the PHP gallery system I installed is totally busted with the newest version of PHP, so for now I have switched back to the old gallery page completely: http://saber-scorpion.com/lego
And after all of those hours and hours I poured into building the new gallery... *sigh* All this SQL database crap is overrated. There's a lot to be said for good old simple HTML web pages. They just work.
I can't access the MOC galleries. I want to look at some old figure galleries but it seems all the links are down.
Yeah, I just noticed that yesterday. Still trying to figure out why that happened. It doesn't seem to be a problem with the database...
I'll keep trying to fix it, but in the meantime, most of my stuff is on my Flickror the old Brickshelf, and I have a backup of the old site gallery here: http://saber-scorpion.com/lego-backup/(note: for the links to work, you have to manually change "lego" to "lego-backup" in each URL)