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Alternative Vampire Counts models: Special

It’s been a while since the last alternative Vampire Counts models post. In case you missed it, I covered Rare here, and I covered Core here.

Now it’s time for Special!

Corpse Cart!

GameZone makes an alternative Corpse Cart.


Hexwraiths & Black Knights

I combined these two because many of the alternative minis for one could just as easily work for the other.

Games Workshop makes the first alternative here: Morgul Knights. LotR minis are a little petite compared to WHFB minis, but, especially if they wholly make the unit, they can still be used and fit in nicely.


The LotR Ringwraiths could also work well.

GameZone makes a set of Mournful Knights that I really like for my VC army.


There are many different poses of these models.

Mantic makes some decent, not-too-expensive cavalry that could be used – Revenant Knights.



Mantic’s Undead Revenants, although previously mentioned for another unit, could make decent alternative Grave Guard.


Mantic’s Undead Wights could also work. They are heavily armored skeletons and styled similarly to the other undead Mantic models.

Crypt Ghouls!

Forge World makes some models that I use in my Vampire Counts army as Crypt Ghouls. I greatly prefer them to the official model.


I think the models are really well done, and they still fit the VC theme nicely. Forge World also made a limited edition Skin Wolf that can still be found on places like eBay.

If you like the idea of using werewolves for crypt ghouls, but you either aren’t willing to pay Forge World prices or prefer a different style, Mantic also makes Undead Werewolves.


All kinds of Bats!

There are several options in a VC army that involve bats. Here are some models that could be used.

Wyrd Malifaux Night Terrors


Reaper Bat Swarm


Another Reaper Bat Swarm, this time by Werner Klocke


Reaper Crypt Bat


Another Reaper Crypt Bat


Games Workshop Giant Bats


Spirit Host!

The first alternative Spirit Host is a model from Privateer Press that I think is pretty cool, and it’s easily the right size.

75038_BoneswarmWEB (1)

The next two models are by Wyrd.

First, Malifaux Kiria Avater. It comes with a 50mm round base, but should be able to fit on the proper base.


Next, Malifaux Poltergeist. It comes with a 30mm round, but shouldn’t be too small to use a 40mm square.


The next alternative Spirit Host is by Reaper Miniatures. I like this model a lot, especially when compared with the cheesy guys-in-sheets GW model.


The next option is to take several of these guys by Reaper and put them together on a 40mm square, similar to the GW model.


The next alternative is actually another GW model:


I think the Forge World Mourngul makes an awesome, if tall, alternative Spirit Host.


The last two alternatives I’ve found are two Reaper models. The Night Spectre is a very appropriate model.


Next, the Reaper Nightspectre.


Next will be Vampire Lords & Heroes. They will be broken into 2-3 parts due to the fact that there are literally dozens upon dozens of options!

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs cont.

I did a lot more work on the Scibor Strielecs.

From where I last left off, the next stop was the NMM on the guns and chainmail:



Then I basecoated the brass:



NMM Shadows:



NMM Highlights:




At this point they are basically finished, they just need touch-ups.

I got to spend a few hours at my FLGS tonight with my husband. I painted, and he played a Warhammer Fantasy game with a friend of his who has a YouTube channel that he posts battle reports to. If you haven’t already come across his channel, he posts a lot of great battle reports:¬†

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs cont.

I really haven’t had as much time to paint over the last 3 days as I would have preferred, but I have been able to work a little on the Chaos Dwarfs here and there.

I have been working on the next 5 Dwarfs. In the last post about them they had barely been basecoated, and all with an airbrush. Since then I did some work on their skin and beards:



Then I finished their beards and neatened up the basecoat on their leather coats:



After that, I airbrushed the basic highlights and shadows on their coats:



Then I fine-tuned the shadows and highlights on the coats and did the smaller ones with my lovely size 3 W&N Series 7:



I’ve gone from using a size 0 to a size 3 very recently, and I really prefer the bigger brush! I’ve even been able to do eyes with it because of the amazing point.

Hopefully in another day or so I will have these guys done and be onto the next group of 6.

I also decided to stop fiddling around with Vaeloth and get him done, so I took his armor in a completely different direction:



I used Vallejo’s alcohol-based Liquid Silver, which coats very nicely.

Also, soon I will be putting up a series of posts about alternative WHF Vampire Counts models. There are a ton of great options out there, and I’m trying to be very thorough.

Tutorial: Scibor Moscal Strielec part two

In case you missed it, here is Part One of this tutorial. And now to finish the Scibor Strielec!

17. Basecoat the bag and strap with RMS Chestnut Gold.

18. Highlight the bag and strap with RMS Tanned Leather.

19. Basecoat the gun and chainmail metal with RMS Stormy Grey.

20. Basecoat the hat with RMS Amber Gold.




21. Wash the chainmail and line the crevice in the gun with Army Painter Dark Tone Ink (I’m starting to really like these inks!)

22. Start highlighting the gun and chainmail with RMS Cloudy Grey.

23. Gradually add RMS Ghost White to the RMS Cloudy Grey and continue with the non-metallic metal on the gun and chainmail.

24. When that mix has gone as far as it can add RMS Pure White.

25. Shade the dark areas of the gun barrel with Army Painter Dark Tone ink.

26. Drybrush the hat with RMS Creamy Ivory.

27. Wash the hat with Army Painter Soft Tone ink.

28. Basecoat the skull on the gun with RMS Polished Bone.

29. Wash the skull with Army Painter Soft Tone ink.

30. Drybrush the skull with RMS Polished Bone.

31. Wash the skull with GW Seraphim Sepia.

32. Drybrush the skull with RMS Polished Bone while the GW Sepia is still wet.

33. Drybrush again when dry, very lightly.


34. Basecoat the brass with a 1:1 mix of RMS Chestnut Brown and VMA Orange.

35. Shade the brass with RMS Brown Liner.

36. Mix a little VMA Yellow Ochre into the Chestnut Brown/Orange mix and begin working up the brass.

37. Gradually increase the VMA Yellow Ochre in the mix and continue on the NMM brass.

38. When that mix has gone as far as it can add VMC Golden Yellow.

39. Wash the brass with GW Seraphim Sepia.

40. Final highlights on the brass NMM with a mix of VMC Golden Yellow and RMS Linen White.

41. Put in glints with RMS Linen White.




Tutorial: Scibor Moscal Strielec part one

I’ve completed a test model for a Chaos Dwarf army using Scibor Strielecs as Infernal Guard with Blunderbusses. Here’s the step-by-step:

1. Basecoat the beard and skin with Vallejo Model Air Mahagony.

2. Use Reaper Master Series Tanned Skin mixed with VMA Mahagony and coat the skin.

3. Highlight the skin by adding RMS Rosy Skin gradually.

4. Paint the eyes with RMS Linen White.

5. Line the eyes and paint in the pupils with RMS Brown Liner.

6. Use RMS Flesh Wash on the cheeks and between the fingers.



7. Highlight the beard with RMS Rust Brown, then mix in RMS Palomino Gold and gradually increase the Gold as you layer highlights.

8. Wash the beard with Games Workshop Seraphim Sepia.






9. Paint the gun haft RMS Shield Brown

10. Wash the gun haft with thinned RMS Brown Liner.

11. Basecoat the coat with RMS Dark Skin.



12. Wash the skin with a mix of RMS Flesh Wash and GW Seraphim Sepia.

13. Airbrush shadows in the coat with RMS Blackened Brown.

14. Airbrush highlights in the coat with a 4:1 mix of RMS Chestnut Gold and Dark Skin.

15. Use a brush to touch up the shadows on the coat with RMS Blackened Brown.

16. Touch up the highlights with RMS Chestnut Gold.

The rest is coming up tomorrow!

WIP: Chaos Dwarfs and Reaper Hyrekia Dragonthrall Mage

I finished basing the Reaper Hyrekia model by painting the Oxide Paste, painting black around the edge, and putting some turf on the base to be vines, moss, etc. I’m pretty happy with how she turned out considering she was a pretty basic tabletop model:





I’ve decided I do like the Bones plastic. It doesn’t hold sharp details very well, but paint goes on easily and adheres really well to it, and that’s really important to me. I’ve painted far too many models that I’ve had to touch up repeatedly just because they were handled (carefully!) before being sealed. That problem is mostly with metal models, but it can happen with plastic and resin also.

I also got some work done on a test model for the Chaos Dwarf Infernal Guard. I’ll put up a step-by-step of painting a Scibor Moscal Strielec tomorrow!

Upcoming projects!

It appears that there is an entire Chaos Dwarf army in my future, as well as a Be’lakor Daemon Prince (with a daemon throne base I’m really excited about), and a Legion of Everblight starter set. What a great way to start painting in 2014!

I do still have room in my schedule to fit in some commission work. Contact me if you are interested!

How to tell recast Forge World miniatures

There are a ton of recast miniatures in circulation, and it seems that most people cannot tell the difference. There just isn’t a lot of information out there about how to tell the difference, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to post about a few things to look for if you suspect you may be dealing with recasts.

1. When purchasing new models on eBay, the models come from Russia or China. Although there certainly can be legitimate Forge World models currently located in these places that the current owner wants to liquidate, most of the time those will be used. These countries have different laws regarding intellectual property, copyright, and counterfeiting, so Forge Word/Games Workshop has been unable to shut these re-casters down.

2. The way the models attach to the sprue could be a clue. As an example, Forge World Chaos Dwarfs come on large triangle sprues.

FW on sprue

Here is a recast that appears that the original Forge World model used to make the mould was cut from the large triangle on the bottom of the sprue. This  made the mould have a rough bottom from the cuts. They put a gate on the middle of the original sprue, and then the recast model was cut there causing the white area in the middle.

Infernal Guard - Sprue (weird bottom) Infernal Guard - Shield set #3 (see through and weird sprue)

3. Thin casts is another sign of a re-cast model. This can often be seen in flat areas, faces, arms, and legs.

Here you can see through the wings of the model, and the cast is actually so thin that there are holes beyond what there should be

Cinderbreath - top (see through wings)

Although not pictured, the face of the rider on that model had extra thin features. His nose was just a thin line of resin, and his cheeks were malformed.

Here is another example of a thin cast. The shoulders and necks are so thin they have holes in them. This model is actually supposed to have symbols on the inside of the shoulders, but the cast is too thin to preserve them.

Infernal Guard - Body 1 (see through shoulder and collar)

Here is a warmachine that is too thin on the bottom.

Skullcracker - bottom (see through)

4. Miscasts beyond the norm are another indicator that the model is a forgery. On this model there is a weird texture on the bottom. You may find weird textures like this on the bottom, inside, etc.

Skullcracker - bottom (see thru and weird texture)

Magma Cannon #1 - bottom (inscription)

Here is a model missing some details, and other details are much softer than they should be.

Cinderbreath - front (shiny and poor detail)

This bit has areas where the resin filled what should have been open space. This type of miscast is common on recasts.

Skullcracker - arm bit (see through and filled in)

This bit has a similar issue.

Skullcracker - Chain bit (see through)

5. Double mold lines are also a giveaway for counterfeit models. One mould line would be part of the mould from the original, and the other mould line would be from the casting process. They can be next to each other or perpendicular from each other or at other angles, but any particular part of the model should have one mould line running around it, not two.

6. Peculiar packaging is another sign.

Here is true Forge World packaging.

Real FW bag proper forgeworld packaging

And here is the packaging of one particular set of “Forge World” recasts. Notice how there are ziploc bags inside the mostly unmarked manufacturer sealed bag and a stick on label with writing on it instead of the brand labeling.

Magma Cannons #2 and #3 (sealed package around two ziplock bags) Infernal Guard - sealed set of 10 (sealed package around a ziplock bag )

Ultimately, the only way for sure to tell if a model is truly Forge World or a recast is for Forge World to test the model. These signs are clues that there may be a problem. Please remember that it is illegal to even possess counterfeit (recast) models. It is illegal to recast for financial gain, as well as for your own personal use. It is illegal to sell or trade them. This violates intellectual property and copyright law. If you suspect you have counterfeit models, you should contact Forge World/Games Workshop legal. They will probably request pictures and contact info for whoever sold or traded them to you. If you have unknowingly purchased counterfeit models on eBay or through PayPal, they may be able to help you with a case against the seller. They may also ask you to send them the models to be tested.

Upcoming Post: How to tell Forge World recasts from the real thing

Recently someone I know bought what he believed were Forge World Chaos Dwarfs. They were second hand, and he had no reason to believe they were anything other than what the seller claimed they were. As used models they were a little worse for the wear, but still a great deal overall.

Unfortunately, the models turned out to be counterfeit. Now he is having to deal with a PayPal claim and the legal department at Forge World to get this resolved. Selling counterfeit goods, even unknowingly, is a violation of patent, copyright, and trademark laws. There seems to be a lot of Forge World recasting going on out there (especially on eBay), and not a lot of information available about how to spot it.

In the next week or so I plan to post about some of the ways to spot a fake Forge World model and how we determined these in particular were fake (aside from the confirmation from Forge World!).

Forge World Giant Spined Chaos Beast

Finished pictures of the Forge World Giant Spined Chaos Beast finally! This model was a lot of fun to paint, and the base is my very first marble base, which I learned a lot from so hopefully the next one will be even better.

Finished 1Finished 2Finished 3 Finished 4