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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so here it is. I've decided to build a Vampire Counts army based around conversions of High Elf models. I've already sorted out the characters, but the infantry is posing me some trouble. I built a test model of an infantryman, using a charioteer, two Vampire Counts skeleton arms and a HE infantry shield. I was not satisfied with the results even slightly, even though I've yet to find him a head from my bitz box.

So what I intend to do is take normal HE infantry and convert a unit of 30 spearmen and 30 swordsmen (using a mish-mash of the swords from here). The head swaps should be pretty easy if I can find sixty that look right, but I'm having real trouble figuring out how to switch out the hands for skeleton hands, while keeping both the puffy sleeves and the swords/spears intact. I was hoping to avoid complex conversion work, especially with the Spearmen, as I'm physically rather handicapped and delicate work is not my fortee, but it looks like that's how I'll have to go. Can anyone make any suggestions? If so I would be hugely appreciative!
 

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Athan,

Well done on a creative idea for your HE/VC force. Its great to see somebody doing that.

I would sit down and look at what you have and do a direct corelation across for each unit type you intend to do for your army, then work out what will swap directly.

If I was doing it, I would be looking at making it simpler over a larger scale. For examplel your going to have a 30 spearmen block.... ok... why not just use a mix of skeletal heads and zombie heads to achieve the affect of an undead type look on the elf body itself. Hands don't always need to be flesh... they can be gloved and painted as such. As long as your quite clear to your opponent about what they are and can tell the difference at 2ft between whats your Grave Guard and whats your skeletons, then you should be ok.

OR..... stick with skeletons for your skeletons and put high elf shields etc on them. Instead of the other way round. That leaves your elves as grave guard, ghouls perhaps and zombies and perhaps if painted like those ghosts from LOTR figures... as your spirit hosts, banshees cairn wraiths etc.
 

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Hi there and welcome to Heresy- I've moved your thread over to Modelling and Painting so that more people who are able to help will see your post (dont worry- its still in the general WFB section for a couple weeks).


I dont really know the new modells so am a little unsure how you could intermix skellie/zombie parts- I would swap out a few spear carrying arms for skellie equivalents and same for the shields (but using the HE shields on top)... though to be honest you could do a lot of the 'conversion' with the paint job. Dead flesh tones, rusty armour/weapons and a generally run-down appearence would be a good start in showing they are undead.
 

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I know someone at my local gw that did the exact same thing as you with dwarves. He didn't do any kit bashing, he just painted all the flesh in a ghostly green way making a ghost army instead of an undead one and the result is pretty awesome.
 

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^ I was going to suggest that.

When I started this with Wood Elves, it was actually easier to paint them "dead" and do a few minor conversions. If you get a chance, look at Vlad's face. It's a elf with no nose and fangs.

Infantry-wise, zombie hands are almost the same as high elf hands. Paint can make them undead. If you want skeleton hands, save that for the guys without a spear. It's Hell doing hand swaps on a two handed weapon, they can be very difficult to line up. Feel free to work in VC shields and weapons for that undead vibe.

For heads, there's a few things you can do. You can either mutilate the heads inside the High Elf helmets (shave off the nose, drill out an eye, whatever) or replace them with a zombie or skeleton head.

Post some pics when you've got it worked out, ok?

-Varrius
 

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If I was doing it, I would be looking at making it simpler over a larger scale. For examplel your going to have a 30 spearmen block.... ok... why not just use a mix of skeletal heads and zombie heads to achieve the affect of an undead type look on the elf body itself. Hands don't always need to be flesh... they can be gloved and painted as such. As long as your quite clear to your opponent about what they are and can tell the difference at 2ft between whats your Grave Guard and whats your skeletons, then you should be ok.
This. The high elf spearmen models have disproportionately large hands anyway, so a lot of HE players paint them as wearing gloves. I would then add bare heads of the appropriate type (skull or zombie head - readily available from online bits sellers); weapon swaps are simple enough for your swordsmen unit, or you could just use the command group arms from the spearmen set (you get 3 sword arms per sprue, so you should have more than enough to split your spearmen evenly).

Luckily for you, the HE are getting a second wave in October, with plastic White Lions (easily converted to count as grave guard) and Dragon Princes (who just need an appropriate paint job to count as blood knights). The High elf chariot should be easy enough to model up as a corpse cart/black coach. The lions from the chariot kit would make great dire wolves - again, if you're not going to be using that many chariots these are readily available from bits sites. Bat swarms/fell bats would be harder, but I'm sure you could do something with wood elf warhawks (eagles are too large) and a suitably errie paint job.

The only core unit I can see you having a problem with is ghouls (and they are a requirement for most competetive VC builds in 8th) - it would take some serious kit bashing to make any of the HE plastics look debased enough to eat the flesh of the dead. Witch elves might make a good proxy, given the right paint job.

Good luck with it, and please post some photos when you're done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
wow, thanks for the warm welcome guys! And I'll certainly post pics when I figure out how, can I post them in here or shall I post them elsewhere?

Now, onto addressing all the points you guys have made. For my skeletal infantry and zombies, I'll just swap out bits from the HE kits as you guys suggested, using entire skeleton bitz wherever possible, but I'll stick mostly to HE bits to keep the unit looking cohesive, then give them a roughed-up paint job. As for the other units, I have some ideas. For my Blood Knights the new plastic Dragon Princes are top of my list, and for Black Knights I'll use Silver Helms with headswaps and such, and the horses painted to look ethereal rather than "bony", since I don't think the models would physically go together if I tried to mount the fleshly riders on Skeletal Steeds (which I can't find anywhere anyway LOL).

I already bought ten of the new Sword Masters of Hoeth to act as Cairn Wraiths from the Bitz Barn, but Im debating what I want to do with my Grave Guard. I can either wait for the Sword Masters to be released as a "proper" plastic kit with more than the same ten identical men in it, or I could use the new Plastic Phoenix guard they just released, counting thr Halberds as Great Weapons, and swapping out heads for skulls. As for the Varghulf, Fell Bats and Dire Wolves; those are just beasties roaming the countryside or laying beneath the dirt so I don't HAVE to really convert those, I could just use the original models if I want. Same with Crypt Ghouls, they hang around graveyards and there's no real clue to their original race so I think they would look okay using the original models, or converting up the bases.

On the subject of Bitz, can anyone recommend some really good bitz sites? I've tried the Bitz Barn and their selection is... well, I'll censor myself here and just say it sucks in a major way. they have a decent selection of products, but virtually their entire catalogue seems to be CONSTANTLY out of stock, or they only have two of the item in, which is of no help to me what-so-ever

As always much thanks for all the assistance, and I hope to keep this thread shambling along for quite some time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, sorry if I'm practising thread-o-mancy here folks, but I've started a development thread Here so that you all can see what I've been up to lately! Hope to see many faces over there!
 
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