Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ecaterina Sokolov - WIPs

EDIT: The finished model can be seen HERE.

In December 2016 I slowly started putting the Coven Throne together. The whole model is impressive enough, so the conversions I planned were rather small. 

First, I gave the Countess a new haircut (inspired by THIS picture) and her handmaidens got some fur trims on their clothes. The plan was to make them look a bit like old russian nobility.


The project kept growing while I was working on it. While looking for inspiration on russian noblewomen, I noticed that they used a lot of pearls. So I ordered 1mm ball chain and used it to add pearls to the whole carriage. ALso, the commoner scythe in the skeleton's hands was replaced with a much more noble halberd.


Then, the base. I wanted the Countess to be both connected to the forest theme the rest of the army has and also be somehow more civilized. So I planned a stone path coming from her palace into the forest - the idea with the bent fence came a bit later. I joined some bent and cut nails with drilled sprue pieces and then held it carefully over fire to make the plastic bend too. Maybe it's not as wide as a proper entrance to the forest, but it works much better than my first idea - having the ghosts phase through the fence. That doesn't really work without translucency.


Next, the spirit horde. It was a big challenge to make the normal ghostly parts different from the metal parts while still keeping them distinctly uniform. In the end I painted ghostly parts white, metal parts light silver - and then glazed it all with blue and green. The effect is subtle, but that's what I needed. There are some freehands on the robes, but that's also very light. The whole thing was quite a pain to reach everything with the brush.


Now, the carriage itself. As most of my vampires, Countess and her entourage are kept in the black-red-white colour triad - except any special effects that is. The whole carriage was thus a one big excercise in painting everything in those three colours. It was a bit demanding, but turned out okay in the end.


And as the last WIP picture, the Scrying Pool. I wanted to paint an image there, because the background in the book describes it like that and I never seen anyone doing it on this model. My first attempt (above) was rushed, sloppy and flat. Next one took much more time but also turned out much better.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Hautfell's Skeleton Regiment

A Skeleton Warriors unit from Games Workshop painted around November 2013, plastic. Probably the first unit that big with so similar poses - it wasn't easy on my nerves. But in the end, it came out pretty well. I still had to re-glaze the green parts on them a moment before taking first pictures because I found the shade not fitting the rest of the army.

Preferring regularity and order, Hautfell rose to be a specialist in raising skeletons rather than other undead. Unlike zombies or other wretches, skeletons are very uniform and easily form row upon a row of soldiers ready to obey any order necessary. Reminiscing the empire troops he was used to, necromancer outfits his skeletons with matching colors and long spears, pushing them forward as a hardy block against their enemies. Lack of the usual undead smell is an additional benefit.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Rado Krebs

A common necromancer miniature from Games Workshop painted in October 2013, plastic. Bought to serve in my army as the weaker, helper necromancer. While painting him I discovered that old people's faces are just easier - both to draw and to paint. Also, a nice change from Heinrich Kemmler model, the older one has only front and back, this one is much more 3D.

Haunched journeyman of necromantic arts to his master, Alexander Hautfell. Kicked around and ridiculed most of his life, he has seen necromancy as a means of revenge and is nowadays a bitter and vicious person. Busy scribing down scrolls and rising up skeletons, he isn't clever enough suspect that his master would probably - at some point - frame him for some rebellious act against their vampiric protectors.


Alexander Hautfell

A Heinrich Kemmler miniature from Games Workshop painted in October 2013, finecast. Probably my favorite necromancer model, I looked quite a bit for it and when I finally got I tried to make at least a bit special. That's why he got those skeleton hands and a freehand on his cloak.

While von Greifens excelled at close combat, subterfuge and diplomacy, they lacked a really good practitioner of Necromancy in their midst. They could manage like that for a while, but when they needed to face real opposition in Varsavia, they needed numbers and magical support. After some searching and initial disagreements, Constantin managed to ally with an exiled imperial nobleman and a master necromancer, Alexander Hautfell. While the mage was ready to help the bloodsuckers in exchange for their protection, he was way too proud and arrogant to let this situation continue indefinitely. Sooner or later, he will wring control of this land from them.


Ioana von Greifen

Monique Denoir model from Reaper Miniatures painted in September 2016, metal. I always liked arts of white-haired vampire women and that was the guideline for this model - all the rest had to accommodate that. I tested various schemes out and choose this one, black, red and white, even without adding gold details that some other vampires got. I'm pretty satisfied with the effect - especially the hair, scabbard and the back tabard... actually, her back is much better than her front...

When brothers were escaping from Castle Greifen after killing their sire Laurentin and heading for Varsavia, they found themselves needing money and a cover for giant Fledermaus traveling with them. An armored wagon belonging to a Tilean caravan was perfect for that - and the guards didn't put much of a fight - except one, that is. A single mercenary woman stood up to Sorin, completely surprising him. Her moves fast and attacks precise, she kept up with the vampire's speed and was using his own strength and size against him. Only after a lengthy fight, when she got fatigued, Sorin was able to defeat her, barely winning. But instead of killing her, he captured her and turned her into a vampire. Ioana was her name and she became the youngest von Greifen that night. She rather quickly accepted the new situation and the new family, becoming quite an asset. She followed Sorin on his missions, learning the craft and improving her martial prowess. After the turning, she became ever quicker and stronger - clad in heavy armor and with an elven sword, she bested many warriors eager to test themselves against her. There are stories that even the self-proclaimed master of the sword, Lucan von Greifen, tasted defeat after dueling Ioana, but the stories themselves are unclear and Lucan is known to cut such short - often literally!. A temperamental woman even before her turning, others quickly learned a wide plethora of curses from various languages from her, for her tongue was as sharp as her blade.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Prenzlauer Guard

GW Chaos Knights converted into Blood Knights. The unit was painted in August 2013. The WIP post can be found HERE.

The Prenzlauer Guard - a small, but very hardy unit of guardsmen employed in the von Greifen family since the time of Laurentin von Greifen. While they were sworn to protect him, they were bloodthirsty enough to quickly jump at the occasion of a rebellion against their deranged sire when teamed with Constantin, Sorin and Lucan. When times are calmer, they are working as lesser governors of keeps and camps in the von Greifen's lands. When riding to battle, they all sit on giant, black, undead chargers outfitted with heavy armor lacquered with bloody red paint. Carrying giant weapons and eager to jump into the fray, they are far from the subtlety preferred by Constantin. Still, being able to obliterate hardened units with a single charge ensures them a stable place in the vampire's army. This reliability - despite their once proven unloyalty - is thanks to how easy it is to manipulate them.


Prenzlauer Guard - WIP

Back then in August 2013 when I was building this unit, getting original GW Blood Knights was way too costly for me and I really didn't like using Dragon Princes for that - they seemed to be popular at the moment. I choose Chaos Knights, as they were bigger, meaner and spikier - everything I needed for a unit of vampire knights. I removed all the chaos iconography, mounted quite a lot of Grave Guard bits on them, added some greestuff details, bigger weapons and even sculpted faces for them. It wasn't by any means perfect, but good enough for the first try. 


Today I would do it differently, but it's always like that. At least I made some progress along the way. At least I have Blood Knights. And now the whole conversions. Sorry about the quality of the photos...


Standard Bearer

Knight 1
Knight 2

Monday, September 18, 2017

Zombie Legion - The Regulars

Part of the Zombie Legion

The first unit I got for my undead army. Standard GW Zombies painted in July 2013. Bought some sets and bits and managed to glue together 65 of them. Back then, only having experience with pre-8th Edition WFB, that was crazy. How little did I know. Speaking of crazy, doing an assembly line with all 65 of them almost drove me insane - but at least I tasted what would the hobby part look like with a vampire counts army. With those and some proxies, I started learning the rules for 8th Edition WFB.

Constantin pragmatically believes that quantity is a quality of its own and that's why he favors zombies as the bulk of his army. As long as one doesn't expect anything spectacular, they don't disappoint. With enough bodies thrown at them, even Bretonnian knights and Chaos Warriors can be brought down. This tactic worked numerous times for the Vampires and that's why Constantin keeps a force of them at all times. And while rotting Ogres and Minotaurs are effective, the strong core of his Zombie Legion were always peasants. Even with simple weapons, they did their job as well as any other dead warrior - and their bodies were a really plentiful resource - they were his Regulars.