Blood Teachings

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:

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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.

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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.

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19 responses to “Blood Teachings

  • imperialrebelork

    Wooooooow!!! What a model. This is really great man. The artwork is fantastic and I love how you’ve captured the whole feel of the artwork in your mini. Were you tempted to go with white hair. Would have looked very cool, not to say I don’t like the black hair though. Nice work on the wings. This would have to be my favourite of yours. I’ve saved the pix I hope that’s ok? Really cool.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yes, you’re always welcome to save pics, I’ve got folders and folders full of other people’s models for inspiration – it’s nice to know someone is doing the same with mine πŸ™‚ As for the white hair, yes I was tempted but I thought the black worked better with the pale vampiric skin. The model was very much intended to reference the artwork but not as a direct copy (hence why mine has wings. Indeed deciding to give him wings was the big push I needed to break away from the artwork a little and forge something of my own).

  • imperialrebelork

    I’m loving the output of posts too man.

  • davekay

    “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”

    Could not agree more – great model, great article!

  • Alex

    Great sentiment mate, and what a cracking mini… certainly one to be proud of!

  • FirBholg

    That’s a really fun figure – a nice disparate mix of parts that come together to form a cohesive whole. I like the way you were inspired by the cover of the armybook while still being able to put your own spin on it πŸ™‚
    Also enjoyed seeing the undead wolves in your last post (interesting to see you painting something a little more ‘stock’ for the most part!)

    • Wudugast

      Thanks very much! I’m actually really enjoying painting a few stock models, it’s a nice change to paint something simply because it’s a nice miniature. It gives my painting a little push as well, I know I can be compared directly to other painters and I can’t hide behind an unusual conversion! πŸ™‚

  • Azazel

    Lovely work on this guy – what did you do to the model to update him to your current standard?

    • Wudugast

      Cheers. You know, I really must learn to take some “before” pictures, rather than just getting excited and stuck in! There wasn’t a lot to change on this one though, mostly finishing off the base and adding some highlights/shading to the armour.

  • Joe B.

    Awesome job on recreating the feel of him, and while you are right you have come a long ways since this guy, it’s great to celebrate our milestones.

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I think that, for want of a better term “milestone models” like this really help to define ones hobby. Even though they can be a struggle they’re the ones that we learn the most from. Might make an interesting article actually – recapping some of the miniatures that have helped me get to where I am today. Food for thought…

  • Livan

    What a great exemple of how army leaders can be impressive without mounting them in some MMO Raid Boss. He really looks like he is fighting to keep reason last his hordes crumbles.

    • Wudugast

      Thanks! From time to time I do love a powerful hero riding on a massive monster but as you say, bigger isn’t always better. There’s a lot to be said for a commander who’s just foot-slogging along with the rest and there’s more ways to make him or her stand out than by mounting them on a huge beast or force-feeding them steroids. There’s also more opportunity to pour character into a model like this to help it to stand out.

  • Robbing the Grave | Convert or Die

    […] the Vampire Count himself, a model of a very similar vintage, there’s a lot of elements to this model I wanted to […]

  • Came Back Haunted | Convert or Die

    […] over what colour to paint him, considering both a ghostly off-white and a bloody red to match his vampire master. In the end I decided to go for a haunting green, tying him in to the bases of the army and […]

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