|Level||120 Normal / Elite|
|Health||88,992 - 1,073,184|
|Location||New Tinkertown; Fizzcrank Airstrip, Borean Tundra; Foot Steppes and Terrace of the Makers, Storm Peaks; Halls of Stone; Boralus; Overspark Expedition Camp, Mechagon Island|
Cog Captain Herk Winklespring is a gnome who was formerly a captain in Gelbin Mekkatorque's personal squadron, serving directly under the High Tinker himself. As a member of G.E.A.R., he plays a prominent role in the Heritage of Gnomeregan questline. He later joins Tinkmaster Overspark's expedition to Mechagon.
During the Fourth War, Herk was one of the gnomes assembled in New Tinkertown by Captain Tread Sparknozzle and a gnome adventurer to form the Gnomish Elite Aerial Rangers, along with Emaedi Autoblast and Fizzi Tinkerbow. He helped guide the G.E.A.R. Commander through Gnomeregan to retrieve the Prototype Arcane Engine and subsequently traveled with the rest of G.E.A.R. to the Fizzcrank Airstrip in the Borean Tundra to defend it from the Ironbound troggs. When the rangers discovered that the troggs were under the control of a leper gnome, Winklespring identified the enemy leader as Telzo Sparkspanner. G.E.A.R. subsequently traveled to the Storm Peaks—which Tinkerbow had tracked Sparkspanner's signal to—using their prototype bombers but were forced to land on the Foot Steppes when the signal tracker started going haywire. To give Tinkerbow time to figure out the new trajectory, Winklespring set up a cloaking device and instructed the Commander to thin the numbers of the nearby Ironbound using a de-shrinkified assault tank. The rangers subsequently relocated to the Terrace of the Makers closer to the signal's source, from which Winklespring and the Commander set about clearing out Sparkspanner's army outside Ulduar; the Cog Captain piloted one of the bombers while the Commander manned the gun to rain destruction down on the troggs and reprogrammed constructs. After the plane was struck, Winklespring maneuvered it into Sparkspanner's location—the Halls of Stone—where he and the rest of G.E.A.R. confronted Sparkspanner and his giant mech, the Smasher X900, with Winklespring and the Commander fighting the mech head-on while Tinkerbow and Autoblast defended the flanks from waves of troggs. Sparkspanner was finally defeated, after which Winklespring instructed the Commander to return to New Tinkertown and give Captain Sparknozzle a report of the succesful mission.
Winklespring later made his way to Boralus and was recruited to Tinkmaster Overspark's expedition to Mechagon. As the most experienced pilots of the team, he and the adventurer flew the lead during the journey from Boralus to Mechagon. After arriving on the island, he can be found in the Overspark Expedition Camp acting as a flight master, but can only be seen by Alliance characters.
- Heritage of Gnomeregan
- Main article: Gnomeregan's Finest#Notes
- Main article: Shadowed Halls and Dusty Cogs#Notes
- Main article: The Gnome Behind the Trogg#Notes
- Main article: A Signal in Storm Peaks#Notes
- Main article: Operation: Troggageddon#Notes
- Awaiting orders.
- Do we have a mission?
- Reporting for duty.
- We are go for launch.
- For the Alliance!
- It's a good day to fly.
- On your mark, Commander.
- The skies are clear.
- Herk first appeared in the 2011 short story Cut Short. He was not added to World of Warcraft until the release of patch 8.2 in 2019, 8 years later.
- He was at one point planned to appear in patch 7.2, likely in the scrapped Mage Tower scenario in Gnomeregan. He would use the same model as the male version of Gnomeregan Tinkerers.
Winklespring as a flight master in the Overspark Expedition Camp.
- Patch 8.2.0 (2019-06-25): Added.