Fuelled by the warpstone of Mordheim, Vlad's magic seeped over Sylvania, coiling through the unguarded Gardens of Morr, pooling in the open peasant graves. Across Vlad's lands the dead awoke. Skeletons clawed their way through the dusty soil; Zombies stirred in their muddy holes; Ghouls loped from their crypt lairs to worship their new master. With this act, von Carstein threw down the gauntlet to the Empire. The Wars of the Vampire Counts had begun.
Here he is, finished at last!
I can't claim to be the author of the little piece of fluff typed down in itallics above, that honour goes to Gav Thorpe, the man behind the Vampire Counts' army book for 7th Edition. After buying Vlad, I read all I could find in the book about Vlad, in search of inspiration, and I thought that particullar passage really fit with the pose of the vile count - hence all the green, warpstone and all...
The book also describes Sylvania as a rather barren and wartorn county, and I hope I've managed to capture that essence in the base, with the gnarled, leafless tree, dead grass and leaves. Speaking of the grass, as I don't have any static grass in my flat here in Denmark, I used my own hair istead - a cheap alternative worth trying for other poor modellers! I must admit it was quite difficult to handle, but I hope the end result turned out to be convincing. The leaves I made from a natural dead leaf, grinded to small bits before glueing onto the base an effect I'm very happy with!
I'm not as happy with the OSL on this figure though, compared to what I've achieved on my last two Blood Angel Terminators.. Might be that my technique simply works better with Midnight Blue, rather than Dark Angels Green, or that the placement of the glowing blade makes it hard for the glow to reach the rest of the model, and thus the illusion of green light suffers, with fewer surfaces to be reflected off. Or maybe it's a combination... I think it looks decent enough, though, and I'm still very happy with how the blade itself turned out.
Now that the cloak is in colour, it might be easier to notice the ever so slight conversion I've made to the model. Originally, an extra ghostly head is soaring out from the cloak, but for one thing, I think it makes the left side of the model a bit too busy; secondly the model's front-heavy enough as it is (prone to tipping, even with the extra weight added to the base with putty and sand..); finally - and most important - I screwed up when cutting the loose head out, which ruined the part which should fit like a jigsaw-piece with a hole in the cloak. I gave up on using greenstuff to fix it, and the head's whispy "neck" was too thin to drill a pin-hole through, so I gave up on it all, and simply greenstuffed the hole in the cloak, and have later come to appreciate the choice, based on the two first reasons.
For a while, I thought of using it on the base - might be quite cool to have it come out of the skull's eyesocket, or something - but in the end, I decided against it. The pinning problem would have made it difficult, but also I think it might've made the base too busy, and drawn attention away from the model itself. I've still kept the head though, so it might find its way into another project, sometime in the future.
Hope you all like him; I know I do, and he's been a true joy to paint and work with, so it's not impossible I'll buy me another one, just to test out some other paint schemes. Then again, the other Vampire models do look rather splendid, so maybe a new one instead... I'll save that discussion for later, as at the moment my vallet is thin, and the Space Hulk miniatures are waiting eagerly to be painted!