Archive for the ‘Vampires/Werewolves’ Category

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From the painting desk #61 – Terrors that flap in the night

November 18, 2018

It’s more than a couple of weeks since Halloween, so time to recap! As is tradition, I put on a horror themed miniature game for my friends, which in turn was a good incentive for me to get some vampires painted.

Click for a larger version

These two ladies are part of Bad Squiddo’s My Last Sunrise line, and they’re lovely! I showcased the third one in a previous post. Long, flowing robes and clean sculpting (courtesy of Gus Kearns) made these really fun to paint. Again, I went with a very grey skintone – I had both corpses and statues in mind. I painted the robes in bright colours to counterbalance the grey skin. The painting isn’t as smooth as I’d like – it was a bit rushed so the blending is just not there especially on the blue dress. Other than that, they’re ok.

Click for a larger version

Another miniature from said Kickstarter campaign, this one needs no introduction. He’s obviously the big D, Dr. Acula, Alucard, the mysterious owner of Carfax Abbey…so yeah Dracula. A quality sculpt by Gary Morley and a easy to paint mini, I’m quite happy. As with the notorious cloaker, I went with a very, very classic look with red cape linings and all. I went for a more human – if pale – skin than with the brides, to represent Dracula being a bit more sophisticated and trying to blend in with humans.

Click for a larger version

This one is from Reaper, and documentation in this blog reveals that I bought the mini…nine years ago, back in 2009. Sheesh. Well, after nine years of waiting, she’s now finally painted! As you may have noticed, I love painting red, so I went with that here as well. It was a quick, rough-ish paintjob but I feel it does the trick. After all those years in the cupboard I’m just happy that the mini is finished. It’s still a pretty neat sculpt, so kudos to Derek Schubert!

Click for a larger version

Vampires come in all flavours, and this one from Heresy is definitely one of the nastier-looking ones. Paul Muller has managed to sculpt one of the nicest vampires around, in my opinion. I gave the mini a really quick paintjob consisting mostly of drybrushing and washes, but I’m still immensely happy with the end result. It looks like a nasty beast, just like I wanted it to.

The Halloween game itself was great fun as usual, with vampires successfully eating every single villager before sunrise. A random selection of photos shows you many of the usual suspects appearing in these Halloween games as well as some of the painted minis showcased above. You can click on any photo to open a bigger version in a new tab. Thanks to the players for the photos!

The hunters…

…and the hunted

Nosferatu stalks his prey

A hapless nightwatchman flees from approaching zombies

A damsel in distress

It’s a monster rampage!

Due to some really poor luck on the vampire’s part, these two basically spent such a long time together that they became a couple

 

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From the painting desk #60 – All the single ladies

October 19, 2018

With my painting desk finally set up and Halloween approaching at full tilt, I’ve been painting a lot in the last couple of days. It’s time to showcase my first finished minis in god knows how long.

The first one is a pirate from Black Scorpion. I really love the posing of this mini, it makes for a nice change compared to typical fighting poses and gives the character a whimsical, flirty feel. I painted the legs as having pants on because I’m quite sure no one would choose to dress their female minis in a cropped top and a loincloth while the men are fully clothed, amirite Black Scorpion? For a bit of diversity and a painting challenge I went for non-caucasian skin which I think turned out nicely. The closed eyes are a nice touch and saved me the trouble of painting eyes!

Photo of pirate miniature blowing a kiss

Click for a larger version

 

The second miniature is a vampire from Bad Squiddo’s My Last Sunrise Kickstarter. It’s a wonderful sculpt of one of Dracula’s brides. I love the combination of alluring and monstrous on the mini – the exposed leg and flowing dress create a wonderful contrast with the snarling, beast-like face and the hand that is almost a claw. And no, that’s not white in her hair! I haven’t yet given this mini a blast of matt spray so the old Citadel ink I used catches the light something awful.

Photo of female vampire miniature

Click for a larger version

This was super fun to paint! A really crisp, clean sculpt and it was easy to make her look good. The drapery is great and the face is full of character. Of the three female vampires in the KS, this one looks least like a human, prompting me to paint her in a very gray, inhuman tone. For the base I went with my autumn mix as it fits the horror theme much better than my bright Caribbean basing.

It’s really good to be back in painting action. Hopefully plenty more blog posts on the horizon too!

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Halloween fun

November 1, 2015

So, Halloween is behind us, and it was a blast! We had a few friends over for gaming, too much food and a movie, and while sadly a couple of guests had to give it a miss due to a flu, the evening was a success. The movie of the evening was Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. I was seriously suspicious at first, but the movie was an absolutely brilliant 80s horror comedy that I had somehow missed until now. We ate, ate and ate some more, here are some pictures of what was on offer:

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

Photo by Emmi Lounela

I did a lot of prep for the game, which in my mind was the main event of the evening (although the food and sweets most likely were it, actually), painting the last minis until 6AM Saturday morning. Even with that I wasn’t able to finish everything on time, so the priest mini you’ll see in the photos had to go on the field unbased. In the end I had most of the minis finished – pictures will follow in later posts – so we got to play the game with fully painted minis. Plenty of pictures to follow, just click on any of them for larger versions.

The game featured an unlucky town somewhere around New England in the 18th century. Every year this town gets attacked by monsters on Halloween. It’s not that big of a deal, some towns have to deal with drought, some with Indians, some with monsters, and at least the monsters attack only once a year. The scenario was very simple, with an endless stream of villagers streaming towards the village church from the edges of the board, monsters trying to catch then and five villagers armed with muskets trying to drive the monsters away. There were some bonfires scattered around the table, making life more difficult for the monsters and weakening them in combat if they got too close, with the church and the priest having a similar effect. The game lasted for 12 rounds, or the twelve tolls of the church bell on witching hour. The system we used was a simplified and streamlined version of Ganesha Games’ Fear and Faith, utilising the Song of Blades and Heroes engine.

The monsters were a werewolf, a vampire and a group of zombies. Each had their own strengths and weaknesses: the werewolf was the strongest in combat, but if he killed anyone, he had to stop for a while to savage and eat the body. The zombies were slow, but all but impervious to shooting and they added anyone they killed to their ranks. The vampire was the weakest one in combat, but usually had more actions than the others. He was also unable to go too near the bonfires and the church grounds. The villagers couldn’t kill the monsters, only drive them away momentarily by shooting – after all, the monsters were the stars of the show. The players were running the monsters, trying to gather as many points as possible by eliminating the villagers.

What followed was a riot. I don’t have a detailed report of the game, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We saw the vampire and the werewolf rampaging around, the zombies milling around in confusion, plenty of villagers die and the monsters getting driven off several times by well-placed shots. During the entire game, only three villagers made it to the church alive, with the vampire proving to be the most efficient killer despite the werewolf collecting big points by catching the priest on the final round. Everyone really enjoyed the game, especially my girlfriend playing said vampire and trying miniature games for the first time. And NO, the game wasn’t biased…

First off, the monsters:

The zombies (Photo by Joonas Laakso)

The zombies (Photo by Joonas Laakso)

The werewolf (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The werewolf (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The vampire (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

The vampire (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

And then the game itself (photos by Emmi Lounela):

In the darkness of night, the church offers sanctuary (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

In the darkness of night, the church offers sanctuary

A villager's eye view of the church. It's far away and there's a vampire waiting (Photo by Emmi Lounela)

A villager’s eye view of the church. It’s far away and there’s a vampire waiting

The werewolf catches sight of two villagers

The werewolf catches sight of two villagers

Will the musket be enough?

Will the musket be enough?

The bonfire offers meagre protection

The bonfire offers meagre protection

In the woods the vampire attacks a villager

In the woods the vampire attacks a villager

Photos by Mia Meri:

The werewolf goes after the priest and a villager

The werewolf goes after the priest and a villager

“Where is your God now?”

This lady took down two zombies - it wasn't enough

This lady took down two zombies – it wasn’t enough

The town's previous priest is a little under the weather

The town’s previous priest is a little under the weather

The gentleman lines up his sights

The gentleman lines up his sights

The priest by a bonfire proved to be a tough nut to crack

The priest by a bonfire proved to be a tough nut to crack

Safety looms but the vampire is close behind

Safety looms but the vampire is close behind

Divine light

Divine light

...for the night is dark and full of terrors

…for the night is dark and full of terrors

This is what it's all about!

This is what it’s all about!

Cthulhu hovers outside reality

Cthulhu hovers outside reality

So that’s it! We had so much fun, I definitely recommend themed games and plenty of sugar for everyone. I’ll leave you with one more horror, happy Halloween everyone!

hallodork

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Blood Bowl-a-rama #13 – Repainting for nothing

April 18, 2012

A few days ago I did something I don’t usually do: a slight repaint on one of my models.

I had this werewolf from West Wind, who I originally painted for my Underworld project (now sadly defunct), and happened to need another werewolf for my Blood Bowl team, the Drakwald Ravens.

Click for a larger version

A quick pant and base repaint later, I had a new player, Anti-Christian Wolff. Apart from the base and the pants, I didn’t change the model and the differences apparent are due to photography. This repaint was actually a step back, due to my decision to not highlight the black on the Ravens’ uniform. It does make for a sleek, sporty wolf though.

Click for a larger version

Anti-Christian’s debut started out pretty impressive, as he scored what proved to be a winning 2-1 goal against the crafty bourgeoisie dwarves of Blackpit Arsenal. A few turns later a disastrous sequence of dice rolls meant that poor Anti-Christian dropped dead – from heart failure due to the elation from the goal, we concluded.

That’s Blood Bowl for you.

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Waiter, another round of upcoming zombie goodness!

July 3, 2011

It’s time for another look at what’s up and coming in the world of zombie (and assorted nasties) cinema.

Death Valley is a new series coming to MTV. Imagine Cops with vampires, zombies and werewolves and a hefty dose of humour. And it looks pretty awesome to boot. See this link for the trailer.

Monster Brawl features zombies only marginally, but it would be a crime against humanity to leave this one without mention. Eight classic monsters in a fighting tournament to the death. If this isn’t cool, what is? If you’re not convinced – and let’s face it, you might not be – see the trailer below and rethink.

More info on the film’s official site.

Dead Genesis

I’ve mentioned Dead Genesis a few times previously. The movie is doing the film festival rounds and has apparently been quite well received. They’ve released the first five minutes of the film, and it’s a pretty good, harrowing watch. Reminds me of the original Night of the Living Dead, which is always a good thing.

Infected

Infected might not be the most original title for a zombie film, but to compensate the movie doesn’t seem very original either. Still, it does have Michael Madsen in it, which always gives a film a few extra points. The movie is currently in post production according to iMDb.

Shouf Shouf Zombibi

What’s next? A Dutch zombie comedy? Yes. Not much I can say about this one, but it looks pretty zany! It’s coming out in 2012, according to the official site.

This concludes another episode of Upcoming Zombie Goodness, stay tuned for more!

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From the painting desk #10

February 12, 2011

I’ve gotten some painting done after a while, here are my two latest.

The first one is a werewolf from West Wind (see the review). A very simple, down to earth paintjob, but I think he came out pretty fine. It’s been a good while since I added stuff to my Underworld project, so maybe I’ll eventually finish that, after all.

Click for a larger version

The second one is a Horrorclix Alien repaint. Since the Aliens are based on the dire AvP movie, there are a few miniatures that are attached to scenery elements, such as columns or walls. The old stone wall didn’t really suit my Aliens, so I slapped some old bits and pieces on it, covered it with loads of greenstuff, painted it to match my Aliens and smeared some glue over it for that creepy slime look. I think the matt wall works nicely with the glossy Alien, and I’m quite happy with the way the whole thing turned out. A lot of GS went into it, though! There’s a before/after shot below, although It’s not the same model obviously. I’ve photoshopped the Alien on the right a bit, since black is a real bastard to photo.

Before/after. Click for a larger version.

Comments more than welcome, as always!

 

 

 

 

 

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When werewolves attack

August 4, 2010

I tried out WHFB’s 8th edition a few days ago, and it left me wanting to play a decent miniature game instead. With this in mind and my gaming boards still in place, I decided to give Fear and Faith a real test drive. I had tried the rules out a bit before, but wasn’t really satisfied with them back then, although they seemed to have potential. I remember thinking that F&F might work a lot better as a scenario-based game, which it does. Not very surprising, seeing as that’s how it’s marketed…

What to game then? I still had my WHFB Empire minis on the table, so I decided to go for some traditional horror: a werewolf terrorizing a small village. What started out as one scenario turned into a three-game mini campaign. A friend came over the play and the game was on. Since I game fairly rarely, I figured it would be fun to jot down what happened.

Scenario #1 – Werewolves in the mist

The objective in the first scenario was for the werewolf to enter the village, capture the priest and take him back to the mystical, ancient ruins to transform into another werewolf. The villagers’ objective was to get inside a big stone tower and hide there. The priest could only start moving once contact with the werewolf was made.

As this was the first game we played, we took some time to get the feel of the rules, but got the game rolling nicely. The weather rolls brought a thick fog upon the landscape, reducing visibility to almost zero. As a wolf howled in the distance, the villagers started to get nervous, many of them shuffling towards the safety of the tower. Many villagers remained fairly ignorant, though, especially a few workers in a nearby orchard who kept on picking fruit for the whole scenario.

The peaceful village

As the werewolf neared the village, the village gatekeeper’s dog darted off into the fog, barking. The gatekeeper shuffled behind him, but quickly lost sight of his faithful hound in the thick fog. Meanwhile, the rapidly moving werewolf managed to evade the dog.

Almost out of nowhere, the werewolf struck. It leapt over the low village wall, and chased one of the villagers – delirious with fear – towards the tower, before turning towards the surprised priest. The villagers darted this way and that, while the priest desperately tried to evade the huge monster. It was to no avail, and the werewolf swatted him down, picked him up and started to move out of the village.

The villagers seek shelter

The villagers were no warriors, most still trying to get to the safety of the tower or milling about aimlessly. Hearing that something was wrong at the village, the gatekeeper and his dog returned to the gate to face the beast. In a heroic moment, one of the villagers ran up and grabbed the priest’s cassock, pulling with all his strength. This surprised the werewolf completely, and it stumbled to the ground, dropping the priest. The stunned priest barely got to his feet however, when the werewolf struck him again. The priest again falling unconscious, the werewolf tore the poor heroic villager to ribbons and headed for the gate, only to find itself staring in the eyes of the gatekeeper’s watchdog. Unfortunately for the dog it was a no-contest, and the werewolf ripped the dog apart in short order, causing the gatekeeper not only to flee, but also fall into a deep gloom and lose all heart as his faithful companion was killed.

With the gatekeeper and his dog out of the way, there really was no-one left to stop the attacker, and the werewolf loped into the woods carrying the captured priest.

The werewolf makes off carrying the priest

Scenario #2 – To the rescue!

The villagers certainly couldn’t leave their spiritual shepherd in the clutches of an ungodly beast. A team of five hunters – sadly not present at the raid – went after the creature to try and bring back the priest. The objective for the hunters was simply to bring the priest back inside the village walls, while the werewolf tried to stop them.

Bad luck was with the hunters from the beginning. Not only was it raining (which was impairing their vision and wetting their bowstrings), but they had barely reached the priest who was lying unconscious in an old stone circle, when night fell and a bloodcurdling howl sounded from the ruins close by. Very close by.

The werewolf charged the first hunter to reach the priest, who hastily scampered to safety behind the large standing stones. Another hunter loosed an arrow which whistled harmlessly past the werewolf. One of the hunters bravely faced the beast, which charged at him full tilt. Another hunter joined the fray, and the woodsmen managed to overpower the beast for a moment, bringing it down to the ground. Lacking silver weapons, however, this was the best they could do, so the other hunter broke off to help with the priest.

In the meantime one of the hunters picked up the priest and started carrying him to safety. The two remaining hunters watched on from further away, unsure of what to do.

The werewolf recovered quickly in the combat, and summarily tore apart the hunter pestering him, causing the two others helping the priest to cower in fear. In fact, one of the two stumbled away in his panic and fell to the wet forest floor. A third hunter witnessing the slaying went into shock. He ran away for a bit and then simply froze in place, not daring to move.

Almost leisurely the werewolf went after the fallen hunter, while the other one composed himself and resumed dragging the priest to safety. The two hunters further away finally sprang into action, with one of them making a quick sprint towards his friend carrying the priest and loosing an arrow at the beast. His aim was off, though, and the arrow hit a tree trunk far beyond the wolf. The fallen hunter scrambled to his feet, just in time to see the werewolf’s claws rend him to pieces. Luckily the other hunters weren’t close enough to see the disturbing sight.

With two hunters down, the werewolf ignored the priest and his helpers for the time being, and hungrily tore into the shocked hunter, who simply stared as the slavering beast charged him. As the two remaining hunters carried the priest through a small thicket of trees, they heard another horrible scream behind them.

Of course, the werewolf wasn’t too far behind, and charged one of the hunters, chasing him off the priest. As the remaining rescuer shuffled on with the priest, his friend threw himself between them and the beast, buying some time before he met the same fate as all the other hunters attacked by the werewolf.

His sacrifice was not in vain, though, since what followed was an amazingly unfair running contest between the hunter carrying a priest and the slavering werewolf. What was even more amazing was the fact that the hunter won, due to some crazy dicerolling. The werewolf only inches away (both rules and story wise), the tired hunted cleared the village wall and the villagers chased off the beast with burning brands, pitchforks and other assorted mob tools. The priest was safe and there wouldn’t be another werewolf joining the party.

Against all odds the hunter and the priest make it back!

Scenario #3 – Official response

The beleaguered villagers sent a messenger to their king, complaining about a vicious beast causing all sorts of havoc. The king responded by sending his royal hunters: the hunt master with silver bullets, two of his apprentices with muskets and a mounted pistolier. They were to bring the beast down and bring peace to the land. The scenario was simple: the werewolf tried to get from one board edge to the opposite one, while the hunters tried to kill it.

Again luck was with the werewolf. Night fell quickly, hampering vision. What followed was a fairly lacklustre effort by the celebrated royal hunters, as their shots flew wide in the dark forest. The werewolf was simply too fast for even the mounted pistolier to catch, and even the hunt master with his silver bullets failed to hit his target. In the end the werewolf escaped all too easily, chased by the shots of the hunters.

The werewolf evades his hunters

All in all a victory for everyone concerned, as the werewolf escaped with his life, the villagers and their priest were left to live in peace and the hunters could report to the king that the beast had been driven away.

And that’s it, our mini-campaign finished. My impressions of the games were excellent. Fear and Faith works very well as a scenario-based game, and the game mechanic is very light and speedy.

What was most important for me in this game was the story. Look at this post. Then back at this one. Then at that post again. Then back at this one. (Sorry. Too much of this.) You should see what I’m talking about. We didn’t really game to win – even if that was an aspect of the game as well – but mainly to have a fun game. We managed to tell a story and to turn a load of old terrain and a bunch of miniatures into something entirely different. There were almost no rules arguments, we simply went with what seemed suitable for the scenario and the situation at hand. Rules were bent, adapted and made up to suit the scenarios. The most important things, fun and flavour were never left behind.

What more can I say? This, to me, was perfect miniature gaming.

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Werewolves by West Wind – a review

February 20, 2010

My review of the Reaper werewolves is one of the most read articles on Dawn of the Lead, which would suggest that there is an interest in werewolf miniatures. Another thing leading me down that track is the fact that I have a bunch. It’s time to put three of those under the looking glass and see what some of West Wind Productions’ lycanthropes are all about. Two of them are from West Wind’s Secrets of the Third Reich WWW2 (Weird World War 2) line. The line includes all sorts of fun things, with nazi zombies, vampires and the like adding to the chaos of war. The line has several werewolves, and I bought a few for use in my Underworld miniature project. The third one comes from West Wind’s Gothic Horror range.

All sculpts were very nice, and almost completely devoid of flash or mould lining. Big thumbs up to West Wind for this, since cleaning up bad casts is one of the aspects of this hobby that I hate.

Jager Werewolf “Wolfgang” looks vicious. His head is tilted up and his teeth are bared. His posture suggests that he’s either going through a painful transformation or simply howling at the sky in fury. His pants are torn and his whole upper body is bare. I really like this model except for one thing – and this holds true for all the WW werewolves reviewed here. The model has lost one finger and two toes in the transformation process. While I’ve no qualms about the shapeshifting altering the number of digits, the three-toed feet look birdlike. Combined with an almost scaly texture, Wolfie and his buddies look like they’re walking around on chicken feet. Other than this, he’s a wonderful wolfman. Wolfgang comes with a round 25mm slottabase, and is sculpted by Andy Cooper.

Wolfgang

Click for a larger view

Jager Werewolf “Mondheulen” translates smoothly as Moonhowler. Whereas Wolfgang looks very much like a wolf, Mondheulen looks like a werewolf in mid-transformation. His face/snout is almost rat- or bat-like, a little bit like this fellow or his friend. His proportions are weirdish, with an improbably slender waist and long limbs.  These don’t really bother me at all, but simply add to his menacing presence instead. Mondheulen looks very bestial and bloodthirsty, and his pose suggests he’s charging after some unfortunate victim. Like Wolfgang, Mondheulen has torn pants and chicken feet. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him, bless his little heart. Sculpting and basing as above.

Mondheulen

Click for a larger view

As the comparison pic below shows, the two werewolves are slightly larger than your average 28mm humans, making them just a bit more intimidating.

Jager size comparison

From left to right: Foundry, West Wind, Hasslefree, West Wind

Loup Garou (Great Werewolf) is a solid chunk of metal. He’s as big as the Reaper ones and even bulkier, a big beast. He’s a multi part casting, with the arms and the head being separate components. The parts fit well enough, but you’ll have to fill in gaps with greenstuff if you want a smooth finish. The werewolf itself looks pretty nice – again apart from the notorious feet (how hard could it have been to google some info on the subject?) He’s reaching forward with his left arm and his face is locked in a ferocious snarl. In my opinion it’s not quite as good a model as the Reaper ones, but comes close enough to be lovely nonetheless. The Loup Garou comes on a fairly thin integral metal base, and I unfortunately have no idea about the sculptor. If some reader knows this, do drop a comment. (Note: Thanks to reader Joel, I found out that this one – and apparently all of West Wind’s stuff  – is also by Andy Cooper. Thanks!)

Loup Garou

Click for a larger view

Loup Garou size comparison

From left to right: Foundry, West Wind, Hasslefree, Reaper

All the models are available through the West Wind Productions online store. The Loup Garou retails at £5.00 and the Jager werewolves at £4.00 each. This isn’t that bad a price for quality models, so I had no qualms about paying, even if £13.00 for three models sounds a bit steep.

Overall verdict: The West Wind werewolves are well worth buying. While they’re not quite as good as Reaper’s offerings, and if the chicken feet don’t put you off, you have some nice wolfmen in dynamic poses, and that’s always a good thing, isn’t it? Also, the Loup Garou is large enough to become a centrepiece model, if you put some time and effort in his painting and basing. All in all, these are a fine offering and well worth adding to your collection.

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Hired Hitmen by Foundry – a review

December 12, 2009

My Underworld project is giving me ample opportunity to review all the lovely new models I’ve bought, and next up is a pack of heavily armed gunmen, namely Foundry’s Street Violence pack Hired Hitmen. As some of you may know, I’m using these minis as modern vampires, giving them the trademark black clothing and very pale skin.

Like all of Foundry’s Street Violence packs, there are five models – in this case one female and four males. Sculpting is nice overall, with good and characterful facial detailing, flowing trench coats and solid posing. There is just one problem.

I don’t usually complain a lot about my miniatures. Like most sensible people, I buy models that I like so there’s usually not that much to fault. That’s the case here, too, except for the atrocious mould lines on these miniatures. While I’m not averse to spending a bit of time to file and screape off mould lines and such, on these models it was a chore. I must’ve spent between 10-20 minutes on each of them with a selection of knives and files to get them to a paintable state and even then I had to (read: ran out of patience) leave some lines on in hard to reach places and on hair in places. The moulds have apparently been very misaligned, and if these hadn’t come from a trusted seller in an official Foundry blister pack, I’d seriously be suspecting a recaster. Then again this isn’t by far the first time I’ve received faulty castings from Foundry, as miniatures almost regularly arrive with missing thumbs or gun barrels, or with my favourite: a mould line with thick flash running right across a model’s face. It’s a shame that such wonderful models are let down by sloppy casting.

With that off my chest, it’s on with the miniatures!

Model #1 – Gabriel wears a suit under a long trenchcoat. His pose suggests that he’s either keeping watch or moving towards a corner, holding what seems to be a G36assault rifle. The model is ok, but it’s exactly that. Ok, nothing fancy nor too characterful.

Model #2 – Ivor Trobsky carries a light machine gun, and wears a fur-lined trenchcoat over his suit, meaning that he could probably be painted as the most heavily armed pimp ever. The model is pretty static, however, and the copy I received has an awful mold misalignment screwing his head up somewhat.

Model #3 – Valerian is cool. The combination of shades, four long braids of hair and a massive arsenal (an AK47, an MP5K and a grenade launcher. Yes, a grenade launcher.) somehow make her seem, I don’t know..unstable? She certainly looks like she could level a city block. She wears a sweater like Leon’s under a business suit.

Model #4- Leon looks somewhat menacing (or like an evil wargamer) with his bald head, moustache and beard combination. He’s leaning slightly forward and to the side, indicating either movement or just a very aggressive posture. He carries an MP5 with a silencer attached, and wears a ribbed turtleneck sweater under his coat. Leon just might be my favourite in the pack, although it’s a close race with the next guy in line.

Model #5 – Ian McIntyre has the appearance of an elegant gentleman, with a suit and an executive haircut. Combine this with a sniper rifle, and you have a classic modern day assassin. Ian’s competing with Leon for the title of nicest model in pack.

Like all Street Violence packs, Hired Hitmen costs €17.15, which amounts to a little under €3.50 per model. It’s not that bad a price for quality wares, but since in this case the quality was dubious, I’d have been pretty disappointed had I not happened to buy these for the measly price of €6.50 for the whole pack.

Overall verdict: These people appear to be solid professionals. Their business-like attire attests to this, as well as their fairly heavy and sophisticated weaponry. While I use them as Underworldish vampires, there’s a ton of other uses for them as well. As the name suggests, they’re excellent as hitmen, but could serve as organised crime or corporate operatives just as easily. However, if  you have a chance to pick these up in person, do so and check the casting quality to spare you from the chore of crunching through tons of mouldlining.

As I’ve mentioned before, Foundry has some pretty terrible fixed p&p rates, so you’ll probably get these cheaper from a retailer. The German MiniaturicuM is a good choice for EU residents.

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Vampire Spawn by Reaper – a review

September 22, 2009

Every now and then you see a miniature that you just have to have. Most miniature enthusiasts know what I’m talking about, and those two that don’t…well, you’ve saved yourself a lot of money. For me this pack was a great example. I found myself returning to the Reaper website time and time again, before my vampire/werewolf project finally justified me buying them. What a happy coincidence!

There was a time when vampires were scary. When they were thirsty, they didn’t look angsty and talk about it, but ripped someone’s jugular vein open instead. When they walked out in the sunlight, they glittered for a few seconds maximum before bursting into flames. They were soulless, merciless, somewhat bestial and most of all plain scary. While not all hope is lost – there is still 30 Days of Night, see it now if you haven’t already – vampires are turning more and more into mopey emo kids instead of being at the top of the food chain. I’m happy to say that the Vampire Spawn (03383) pack by Reaper returns to the roots of the vampire.

The pack consists of two vampires, one male and one female. They both come on integral bases, which fit nicely on a standard 25mm round base. Some flash and mould lines were present, but they’re nothing exceptional and cleaned up easy.

The male is in one of the coolest poses I’ve seen in a while, and he’s the model that originally sold me on this pack. He’s springing through the air arms spread wide and his mouth open, with his hair and shirt flying behind him. From the snarl on his face you can tell that some hapless victim is going to be in a world of hurt in approximately one second. The hands are exaggerated and his long nails resemble claws, giving him a very bestial, demonic look. He is wearing a collared shirt and jeans, with the shirt open, sleeves rolled up and the jeans torn. He wears a necklace with three claws/teeth around his neck and has bandages around his wrists. While the clothing might sound modern, it is actually pretty timeless. You could probably use this vampire in pretty much any time period in the last two hundred years or so. Sure, the jeans have back pockets but it’s going to take only a few minutes to file them off should you want to. There are a few rocks attaching the model to his integral base, but the model still conveys the springing movement well.

The female is in a dynamic pose as well, but her stance is somewhat confounding. Is she springing to the side or is she just crouching there with one foot on a rock, or has she just landed there? I have no idea. Fortunately the weirdish pose manages again to convey the feeling of a vicious predator. She looks fast and threatening,  and her snarling visage and large hands enhance the look. She wears a corset, a torn skirt and fingerless opera gloves. She also has an anklet and a necklace. Even more than the male, this model can be used in many many different time periods. She’ll fit right in as a modern day goth, a Victorian harlot or a wild west saloon girl.

The miniatures are pictured below, and have been painted with black ink to bring out the detail. Larger versions open in a new tab.

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Both models are sculpted by Derek Schubert and the pack retails for $8.99 at Reaper’s Online Store. I think the price is fine  for such quality minis, and the value is even better for us in the Euro zone.

Overall verdict: There really aren’t enough scary vampires around in miniature, so Reaper’s offering is a welcome addition. The clothing makes the miniatures suitable for a lot of settings and time periods, which makes them very useful indeed! I can’t really fault anything in these babies, which is probably why I bought them,  but if I have to come up with something critical to say, I think that some people might find the rocks on the integral bases inconvenient for rebasing and difficult to remove. Other than that, they’re excellent!

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