Category Archives: Soulblight Gravelords

Prince Duvalle

Probably my favourite vampire miniature of all time, Prince Duvalle leads the Crimson Court – a band of Soulblight vampires for Warhammer Underworlds. I know there are a lot of strong contenders out there but as a vampire lord this guy just ticks all the right boxes – even if he does, from some angles, appear to be taking a sudden and inexplicable interest in his own hand.

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The rest of the Crimson Court are nice models too of course, and will certainly be making their way across the painting desk sooner or later, but Duvalle jumped straight to the head of the queue.


Shambling Bones

A couple of months ago when the Soulblight Vampires range was released I toyed with the idea of using the new skeleton warriors to kitbash grave guard. For those unfamiliar with the various ranks of undead soldiers in Games Workshop’s ranges the skeleton warriors are the rank and file, the grave guard are the elite wights – yet although the old grave guard models have held up very well to the passage of time, scale creep means they are now a lot shorter and less imposing than the newly released skeletons. Here’s a quick reminder of how the old grave guard look alongside one of the new skeletons (taken from the Cursed City box).

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Hardly the imposing undead champions they claim to be are they, not when the new boys tower over them in every respect. Keep in mind also that the hunched pose of the Grave Guard actually emphasises his size here, bringing his face closer to the lens of the camera and making him look bigger than he is. In the flesh the size difference is even more noticeable. Could I, I found myself wondering, mix parts from the two kits to make bigger grave guard?

Well the answer, it turns out, is yes. I wouldn’t call these an entirely unqualified success, I think on a second attempt I could make improvements, but overall I’m pretty pleased with these. For the first one I went for a straightforward sword and shield arrangement.

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Pleased, and perhaps overconfident, following this success, I went on to try making one with a great weapon. Games Workshop’s two-handed weapons are always a horrible nightmare to assemble even if you’re using the right parts in the right places, going off-piste tends to turn into an exercise in which the entire lexicon of swear words gets worked through at least twice. Still, I persisted, and here’s the result.

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The first thing that struck me here is that his proportions are very odd and his stance somewhat awkward. The same can be said of the first one, and indeed the stock Games Workshop skeletons – indeed the very awkwardness of the new models is one of their great strengths, placing them neatly in the uncanny valley and emphasising their inhuman nature. That said it’s always easier to appreciate these things when someone else does them, and criticise them as failings in your own work – and that’s exactly what I did with him at first. My solution in end was to steer into it and give him a tall, bat-winged helmet to really labour the point, and on the whole I think it works. Standing next to a skeleton warrior they certainly look a lot more businesslike and imposing than their predecessors did.

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Now we’ll have to see how they look with paint on them. In the meantime any comments, suggestions or feedback is very welcome.


Garage Days Revisited – Part 1

Recently I received a gift from a friend, a box of miniatures which he’d been given by a friend of his. Apparently when my friend was helping his friend clear out his garage they’d uncovered the models, neglected and filthy, on the floor (I wasn’t there of course so I may be misrepresenting what happened – they may have been clean and on a shelf for all I know but where’s the harm in a little dramatic licence?). The owner of the garage (and the miniatures) didn’t want them (the miniatures – I think he kept the garage, I’m slightly hazy on that part) so donated them to my friend, who passed them on to me. It’s a nice little pick-and-mix of old models and you can expect to see them appearing on the blog over the coming months as I get around to painting them, but to begin with there are a few that have jumped the queue by insinuating themselves into upcoming or existing projects. First of all we have this vampire, who’ll be joining the ranks of the undead I painted last year.

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I’ve been fond of this model for a very long time but never managed to pick one up so it was amazing to open the box and find him lurking inside. Painting him turned out to be a lot of fun and getting to play around with two different reds on the one model made me feel quite arty.

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If you’re reading this then a big thanks to Tom’s mate (whoever you are) and my apologies if I have met you or do know your name and have just forgotten. Hopefully whatever you were doing with your garage has worked out as you intended – at least your old models have found their way to a loving home.

Meanwhile the keen eyed among you will have spotted that he’s on a round base. Could it be the start of something? At this stage, who can say?