I first started work on my Vampire Counts army way back in 2010. Back then Warhammer was going strong, Age of Sigmar probably hadn’t even been thought of, the zombie miniatures were already ancient (although everyone reckoned they’d be replaced “soon”) and the cover of the Vampire’s army book looked like this:
It was this piece of artwork that proved to be the central inspiration behind my collection. To me it perfectly captured what I was looking for in my army – a vast shambling host of the living dead, anchored together by the terrible will of the Vampire that has raised them. There can be no doubt that this is the Army Book for the Vampire Counts, placed front and centre, without whom the army would simply crumble and cease to exist. It was this effect that I wanted to illustrate with my models, that gloriously red vampire lording it over the dull coloured ranks of his corpse-slaves.
For me this Vampire Count remains one of the most important, if not the most important, models I’ve ever made. We’ve all put together conversions in our early days that turn out to be a bit of a bitz jumble (whadayamean I still do!?) but this was the first one where I really thought I’d nailed it; the components, the pose, the painting, everything came together to capture the character exactly as I’d envisioned it. Coming back to him almost seven years later was a real pleasure and, even though my painting overall has come on a great deal, he didn’t need much to pull him up to my modern standard. It goes to prove once again that, no matter one’s level of skill or experience, being passionate about a model will bring a great deal to the quality of the finished piece.