Ah, the dangers of assembling the walking dead! Click through to see some of the Vampire Counts models I’ve put together recently, along with a description of some of the gruesome injuries they inflicted on me.
In preparation for an upcoming Mordheim campaign, I’ve been assembling some of the plastic Vampire Counts models that have been groaning and hissing from my closet shelves in impatience the past several months. So far I’ve put together the Ghouls, Skeleton Warriors, and Grave Guard from the Vampire Counts Spearhead box, and a box-full of the older Zombie plastics. A few of the finished models are featured just below (click for slideshow).
Skeleton Warrior15-Feb-2010 19:48, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 4.3, 9.1mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100
Zombie plays with arrow15-Feb-2010 19:49, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 4.3, 9.1mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
Surprised at pic being taken15-Feb-2010 19:49, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 4.3, 9.1mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 100
Heads up!15-Feb-2010 19:49, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 4.3, 9.1mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100
I am hideous, do not take my picture!15-Feb-2010 19:50, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 4.3, 9.1mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100
Ghoul makes off with prize15-Feb-2010 19:51, Panasonic DMC-TZ3, 3.3, 4.6mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
The Zombie set, released a few years ago, is a lot of fun. Plenty of room for conversions, and I indulged in a few minor ones with this box. I have two Zombies with Bretonnian man at arms heads in this lot, one poking an arrow through his hand. The theme of injuring myself started with this model. After drilling a hole through one of his hands, and gluing the shaft of an arrow into the hole, I grabbed the arrowhead with a pair of tweezers. The arrowhead had part of the shaft still sticking out of it, with a dab of superglue on it, and my intent was to poke it into the hole in the Zombie’s hand, making the join inside the hand where it would not be visible. A clever plan, but I did not anticipate the arrowhead firing out of the tweezers with some velocity, streaking right over the top of my glasses and directly into my eye. There was much cursing and pain, and I didn’t seem to be able to get the little piece of plastic out of my eye. Finally, I lost track of it, but from the pain in my eye it felt like it was still back there somewhere behind the eyelid. I couldn’t go to the eye doctor because we were snowed in, but fortunately after a couple of days the pain was completely gone. I realized that the tiny arrowhead had fallen out somewhere, and that what I had been feeling was just a scratched eye (which heal quickly). I finished the Zombie with some green stuff for the arrowhead, and he is gloating in the pics above.
Next up were the Ghouls from the Vampire Counts Spearhead boxed set. These guys are fairly pose-able, despite the fact that their torsos cannot be twisted at angles to the legs. The arms and heads can be put in a variety of positions, especially if you are willing to fill gaps in the arm sockets with putty. They look great, and fit in well with the old metal ghouls.
Next were the Skeleton Warriors and Grave Guard from the Spearhead set. These guys do not strike me as being as pose-able as the old Skeleton Warriors boxed set, particularly the Grave Guard who only have legs in one advancing pose. If you are using them for Warhammer, the fixed leg / torso arrangement is probably an advantage to ranking up, though. Since I will be using my models for skirmish purposes, I can’t help sometimes but evaluate a plastic set from a pose-ability standpoint. They do provide a wide variety of heads and arms, though, and overall the models are better sculpted than the earlier plastic Skeletons, so I set my pose-ability complaints aside.
Both the Ghouls and the Skeletons in this set require a fair amount of gap filling with green stuff. Below I show some pics of filling in one of the problem areas on a grave guard: the join in the two halves of their armor. You will see in the pics above that I have used a different putty, Milliput, on the bases. I like Milliput when I want something with a shredded or crumbly appearance, but green stuff smooths very nicely and is what I almost always use for gap filling.
To fill a crack like this, the first thing I do is roll some green stuff between my fingers to form a thin cylinder of it. Then I tear a small bit off, and stick it onto the miniature approximately where the crack is, either with my hands or a sculpting tool depending on how accessible that are of the miniature is. Then I use a wetted sculpting tool (the kind with a beaded end), to push the green stuff onto the crack and press it into place in two or three points. Wetting the end of the tool keeps the green stuff from sticking to it instead of the miniature. Then I wet the end again, and smooth and sculpt the crack into the shape that I want to fill the gap. If I use too much green stuff, I just tear bits of it off with the tool as I work (press in to make the green stuff thin at the point where you want to tear it off, then just sweep it aside with the tool).
All of these miniatures required a standard amount of trimming with a razor knife, and as I had just changed the blade before starting I cut myself a number of times. Added up with the eye injury, these fifty or sixty undead miniatures took a toll on my body!
Next up are the Dire Wolves and Corpse Cart from the Spearhead.