A Vamp for Vampifan Part 2: The Red Duke

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally finished my vampire miniature painted this month in honor of Bryan Scott, a.k.a. Vampifan; a gamer who sadly passed on earlier this year. I chose The Red Duke from Games Workshop, a classic Vampire Counts miniature that I have had since its release in the late 90’s. Had I known Vampifan better (or at all), I probably would have chose something different, i.e. one that looked a bit more like Ingrid Pitt rather than Christopher Lee.

No one tells me anything. I blame Roger.

Anyway, once I got him positioned how I wanted, I gave him another coat of Vallejo black surface primer and did a quick drybrush of Citadel Celestra Grey to underpaint the model and highlight everything I needed to see in order to paint (my eyes ain’t what they used to be). Then I got to work.

Behold the results of my efforts. I have to say, since I started using Instagram and was forced to begin using my iPhone to take pictures, I have noticed that pictures taken with my actual camera really suck in comparison to anything I take with my phone. For some reason, if I try to load my iPhone pictures into WordPress, it doesn’t work. Normally I would blame Roger for this (and everything else); but it’s far more likely that WordPress is to blame.

Please forgive the shitty quality of these pictures, is what I’m saying.

I followed Duncan Rhodes Jr’s GW recipe for vampire skin: Rakarth Flesh base; followed by an Agrax Earthshade wash; highlight with Flayed One Flesh and finally with Pallid Wych Flesh. Of course, the only skin the Duke is showing is his face; but I think it looks suitably vampiric. The armor is a mix of four or five red washes and paints from different manufacturers (please don’t ask me what I used), as well as the same number of gold metallics. The one thing I’m unsure of is the purple…the more I look at it, the more I think it should be black. But I wanted to add a bit of color to the Duke besides red. What do you think?

Speaking of purple, THIS happened while I was in the midst of painting: I spilled my Druchii Violet wash all over the place, because I accidentally swatted the shitty GW flip-top bottle cap and knocked the whole pot over. Fuck you, GW. Between your paints that dry up far too quickly and your fucking stubborn resistance to dropper bottles, I’ve about fucking had it with your planned obsolescence business model. Know what I’ve never accidentally spilled? ANY PAINT IN A FUCKING DROPPER BOTTLE. Like Vallejo. Or Army Painter. Or Reaper. Or any cheap-ass craft paint I can buy at Wal-Mart. All these paints seem to last a hell of a lot longer, too. Coincidence? DOUBT IT.

Sorry. I’ve been drinking.

One thing I am really happy about is using the cape from the Heroclix Hobgoblin. I did this out of necessity, because I somehow lost the Red Duke’s own cape over the years. (Very unlike me. I’m sure it will turn up somewhere.) I think it looks a lot better than his “official” cape would look; and it adds a bit of realism to the motion of the rearing skeletal steed. (Also, it turns out I didn’t need to sculpt any reins, so…yaay me!)

As a small bonus, I also repainted this Horrorclix Nosferatu. Unlike the Red Duke, it took me about 30 minutes in total to rebase and repaint him, so it’s hardly a huge accomplishment. Still, I thought I’d include him in my Vampifan tribute.

True to form, I waited until the last possible minute to post these miniatures. I hope Vampifan would have liked them. It’s Halloween, and if there wasn’t a pandemic, I’d be expecting trick-or-treaters at my door in a few hours; but it’s looking like it’s going to be a quiet night.

Perfect night, in fact, for a vampire movie…

10 thoughts on “A Vamp for Vampifan Part 2: The Red Duke

  1. Dave Stone

    Excellent work on your Red Duke and Nosferatu Keith, I like the added purple it gives another point of interest to all the red and gold, I think if you had done it in black it wouldn’t have been as impressive.
    Know what you mean about GW paints especially their whites, brand new pot first time using it great, second time already starting to go gloopy ! Plus they never seem to last as well as others.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Dave. The more I look at it, the more I’m starting to come around on the purple. I looked at a lot of reference pictures,and almost everyone went with the red and black scheme; come more red than black, and vice-versa. I wanted something a little different that wouldn’t detract from the rest. I did a lot of staring at the horse’s caparison and barding before I committed to the brush; that’s why it took me so long. I was stuck in the deciding stage!

  2. Dick Garrison

    Smashing work! I love him (though not in a sexual way of course!), I think the colours are spot on myself, but then I’m not as “Grim Dark” in my painting choices as some so what do I know.

    I tend not to use Citadel paints mainly due to cost and the Miniature Paints I do use are easy for me to buy locally (when the bloody shops are in lockdown of course!!)

    I like the Nosferatu vamp too, I do like this style of Vamp a lot. Sorry I wasn’t clear that your Vamp should be a cross between Pamela Anderson and a St Trinians schoolgirl, you’ll know for next time (next time????). Any you were right to blame Roger, works in this house anyway!

    Cheers Roger

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Roger! Glad you like him. (No need to qualify it; there’s no kink-shaming here.) I like the Nosferatu look too; I know I have a GW Strigoi vampire around here somewhere, still in his blister, that I have yet to get to. If this does become an annual thing, I have an old Isabella von Carstein I never painted; perhaps she’d do. She’s wearing a ball gown, though. If I need something a bit more “vampy”, well, as the other participants have shown, Reaper can certainly provide what I need!
      Regarding GW paints: sadly, they’re the easiest line for me to get outside of craft paint. Some hobby shops also stock Army Painter, because it’s relatively easy to get; but apparently Vallejo isn’t easy; their restocks take a long time and the initial cost layout is quite hefty for retailers. I only know one shop that carries the Vallejo line, and it’s located about an hour away from me. (I’ve heard tell Hobby Lobby carries it, but I don’t shop there.) I can only get Reaper miniatures through Reaper, and Coat D’arms through Scale Creep here in the States, so my paint purchases generally coincide with my bigger orders.
      Although I have hundreds of paints from different manufacturers, Citadel is the base that I built my collection around. I tend to use them less nowadays because when I open the pot it’s usually either gloopy or separated. Old GW paints don’t have this problem, so you gotta scratch your head…

      1. Dick Garrison

        I have three old GW paints in my collection, Bleached Bone and Shinning Gold that are in hard plastic hexagonal pots with stupid black lids that weld themselves on and are shaped so you can’t get decent purchase on them to get them off!! and one pot of Goblin Green that’s so old it’s in one of the softer clear plastic hexagonal pots with the white flip lid! The Goblin Green I quite like the other two not so much.

        I might have to go looking for some new paints soon as my dark flesh tone (Horizon Paints) as just about had it and Miniature paints don’t do anything comparable, though this might have to wait till after Xmas now.

        Hadn’t really thought about making “Vamp for Vampy” an annual event tbh, it was just a thought I had to mark his passing this year, perhaps we’ll see what people feel like this time next year before making a decision.

        Thanks so much for taking part in this, I’m sure he would have appreciated it as much as I do.

        Cheers Roger.

  3. Jeremy Winstanley

    Nice work, Keith. I too have that Horrorclix Nosferatu and went with a similar paint scheme, although I gave him a dark blue coat and red pupils, so he looks a bit more E-Villllll. Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet of late – mainly due to not having a huge amount of time that I can do hobby stuff. I’d usually be all over Halloween with my distinctive brand of macabre nonsense, but as I’m slowly working my way through “The Mandalorian” I find myself leaning towards painting a lot of black and white armour.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      No problem, Jeremy. I’m happy to find you safe and sound. I have not watched the Mandalorian at all, despite having a Disney+ subscription, much to the chagrin and annoyance of my friends. My problem is that I only have Disney+ on my bedroom TV, and I almost never watch TV in bed. Thanks as always for the kind words!

  4. Matt

    Holy crap, that is an awesome paint job — the red and gold work beautifully, the purple works incredibly well and overall it’s just utterly excellent. The addition of the cape really gives it more dynamism. Congratulations on not going the sexy female vampire route.

    The Nosferatu is superb and he’s a wonderfully creepy little bugger.

    As for paint, I’m rather stuck at the moment; I have about 99% of my paints with me, but for some inexplicable reason (i.e. stupidity) I packed my white shades into a box that’s in storage. So I’m stuck with Vallejo Ivory and Citadel Corax White, which is not actually white. My local game store here in VT only stocks Citadel paints and is always out of White Scar, so I think I’m going to splurge 75 cents in Walmart and pick up some of their white acrylic. Citadel paints really seem to have gone downhill since I used them in the late 80s/early 90s; my Corax White is all of three weeks old and it’s already turned to paste.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Matt! Citadel paints and their overall shittiness has been a topic making the rounds on the blogosphere and podcasts lately; I am personally fed up with cracking a pot and finding the contents have solidified when I just bought it a few months ago. I’m going to buy some stainless steel ball bearings to serve as agitators (you can find them for nail polish bottles, too, so I’m told). I almost bought 1800 BBs for like 2 bucks at Wal-Mart, but then discovered that the brass will eventually rust and discolor your paint. Since I don’t own a BB gun, I’m glad I didn’t buy them, as I would have no use for them at all.
      My unsolicited advice to you, Matt, is to buy Vallejo or Reaper white and black paints. I haven’t used a GW white or black in years, and I also haven’t had to replace one, either. White and black are colors that get a lot of use, and there are simple to find in any paint range. I would imagine Army Painter makes decent black and white too.
      You can’t beat a dropper bottle, especially for paints that get used a lot.

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