Today we start with my other project - the Blood Dragon Vampire Counts army. This project is still very much underway, in fact so much I'm unable to give any approximate time of finishing. I think, however, that I'm beginning to finish this and hope to make it really soon.
The army is somewhat themed in a way that it contains no vampire models whatsoever. I do like the GW vampires very much, but I decided to make this force unique and interesting. The inspiration behind the army comes from two main sources, the old Warhammer Armies-The Undead book and Warcraft.
The former was very influential throughout my entire career as a wargamer. Back in the days of the fourth edition of the Warhammer game system things were much different, much more fandom and climate was present in the game (and much fewer children were playing too...). The old army book, published before the undead were divided into Vampire Counts and Khemri, contained so many evocative graphics and so much quality background material it would be really shameful not to use this plethora of inspiration.
If the old Undead book provided the spirit of the army, Warcraft on the other hand provided me with its body - you see, the ultimate nemesis for Azeroth (the world of Warcraft) comes in the form of The Scourge - a massive undead force amassing in the northern, polar regions of the world, but quickly spreading southwards to engulf the whole domain of Azeroth. But this is not what we should be looking at here.
The Warcraft undead were designed in a very generic way, the classic skeletons, zombies and ghouls all present there without any unifying or classifying factor - no colors, no banners, no uniformity to speak of. This was exactly what I wanted. Of course, an unifying factor is needed for an army. For mine, I decided to use a single color - dark green. Otherwise the colors used are neutral and not in any way striking.
Anyway, I know some minis are due, so here they are:
These dire wolves were made form the warhounds of Chaos models. Some heavy conversion work went into the making of these, cutting, sanding and sculpting all in contribution to the effect that is other than uniform, plastic dire wolves GW is forcing upon us.
Here, I cut out the tail and the spike on the wolf's sole (that's right kids, the sole; all canines, felines and similar walk on their fingers only) and glued on the bone parts from the plastic undead horse model - here thanks are due to Robbie B. for supplying the horses. The ribcage in the abdomen area was gouged out with a rotary carbide cutter. i was unable to find a picture of this extension anywhere; it looks like a spherical razor. It is generally used in engraving and is wonderful for cutting out pieces of a mini too.
This one has had its tail, right leg and the top of the head removed and replaced, again, with the horse parts. I don't like the way in which the head turned out, on second thoughts I'm positive I'd be better off with gouging out pieces of the head area and gluing the bones in instead of shaving off the whole head top. Overall, my least favorite of the five.
This, on the other hand, is my beloved. Almost no conversion here, save for adding the bony tail, filing down he spines and sculpting the fur. The model is undead enough as is, with a ruptured stomach and skin peeling off the skull. Lovely!
The warhound used above comes with a second, optional head, which is also splendid in terms of being undead-looking. It would be a terrible waste not to use it, so I did - on the fourth model. This one has a very menacing baying pose and this was fine, but its original head was a pain for me. It sports two sets of horns, which is very nice for a Chaos warhound, but not so much for an undead wolf. Having a spare hornless head, I cut out the horned one and swapped it. The amount of green stuff used here is copious, as was the gap between the head and the body, but overall I'm very pleased with it.
The fourth wolf also didn't have any major conversion work put into it, again cutting down the spines and resculpting the fur did the job.
The last one I don't have the photos of, but it's very similar to the first one, same model, minor differences in conversion.
The bases are made of cork and the well-known baking soda snow mixture, but I will be covering it with the GW Snow Scatter, as it has proved to be a very decent product, which I will show you next time we see. All bases fit to each other:
Some final words... the flesh of the wolves was made using the formula found on the Brushthralls website, under 'Painting Dead Flesh' article. The Thralls are a lovely, very professional bunch of hobbyists and their articles solved many of the problems I've had on various occasions during the pursuit of my hobby.
That's a wrap, if you have any questions in regard to any of my projects please feel free to ask and leave some comments.
See you next Friday!