by the White Knight
The notion of "vampires" or "Vampyr"is
a very ancient one, the word itself tracing back to Magyar origin. As with many
myths and superstitions, there is an underlying current of facts. Vampire tales
have been most commonly reported in folklore from Hungary, Moravia, Silesia,
Poland, Greece and Albany, but earlier records exist in China, Tibet or India.
Two views exist on the nature of the vampire. according to the first, the vampire
is a demon which entered a dead body, while the other opinion believes it is
in fact the spirit of the deceased himself.
"But first, on earth as
Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life....
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave
Go-and with the ghouls and afreets rave,
Till these in horror shrink away
From specter more accursed than they!"
- Byron, The Giaour (1813)
While earlier descriptions depict the vampires as vaporous, gasous
creatures or bloodsucking bird-women, the current image is that of a dark, pale
and mysterious being. All incarnations however share their need to feed on human
blood. They are creatures of the night and shun the light of day, which some
believe would kill them. According to superstition, the vampire can be destroyed
by discovering his grave, exhuming the corpse and driving a wooden stake through
its heart.Other suggested means are decapitation, burning or tearing out their
hearts. More dubious alleged weaknesses include crucifices, holy water and garlic.
On rare occasions these creatures have been known to display
a semblance of human emotions, even love. Many have found the lure of eternal
youth and the prospect of an immortal love very appealing. There seems to be
a special, almost sexual thrill in the vampire's combination of sensuality and
death and many are those who have sought out the Dark Kiss. But one should never
forget that underneath his air of refined nobility, the vampire is a fierce
monster and will show you no mercy. He's at the top of the foodchain, and you're
just another snack...
1. Reaper Miniatures
This manufacturer of "Dark Heaven" and "Warlord" fantasy
miniatures has built somewhat of a reputation as a source for undead characters.
Vampires have played an important part in achieving this and to this day I believe
they make some of the finest vampiric models ever to stalk the nights.
Sculpting is very good on most of these miniatures. The "Dark Heaven"
models do have solid bases. And I mean SOLID. I still think the models are worth
the extra trouble of rebasing though. The Reaper website offers hollowed-out
square bases to assist in this undertaking. The newer "Warlord" models
come with slotted bases.
2. The Foundry
The famous manufacturer of fantasy and historical miniatures officially produce
no vampires except for a long gone "Birth of a Vampire" limited edition
miniature. What they do have is a number of cracking male and female "revenant
elves" and how anyone could see those as anything other than vampires is
beyond me. For some uncomprehensible reason they pack'em with a set of cherubs...
3. Assassin Miniatures
The German company specialising in mostly female limited edition models. The
range includes two vampires, which as it so happens are female and limited edition.
Both models are still available, but there's no telling how much longer that
will be the case. Buy them now if you want them or cry later.
Yes, I know decapitation is supposed to kill vampires, but it's not like it's
an exact science...
4. West Wind Productions
If you go to their website, you will find that they have a range called "Gothic
Horror" and in that range you will find a miniature line called "Vampire
Wars" and in that line you will find... How did you guess? Indeed, vampires.
They produce bloodsuckers of all types you can imagine and then some. You won't
just find the charming, distinguished gentleman, no, this time you'll see the
true nature of the Beast...
To give you an idea, there's a model of Dracula with concubines, a vampire
in batform, Dracula's carriage, Nosferatu, vampire acolytes, a vampire hearse,
vampires from ancient times, and many more. They also have some vampire children
in the "Kindernacht" line. They really thought of everything...
"There seems to be something for everyone in
this: undead samurai, vampire confederate and union hunter (at a push), some
ancient, some indian, a little bit of medieval...oh, and that cardinal(?) which
I am ordering NOW!" - Rob
"Love that ecclesiastical fellah."
5. Freebooter Miniatures
This is Werner Klocke's own company. You may have admired his work for Reaper
miniatures, but did you know he also produces his own range of miniatures. These
are all multipart models, with eacht individual component being available separately.
The miniatures come with removable square scenic bases. One vampire so far.
|"The mythological elements of the vampire
as we know it today have come about largely as a result of western romantic
literature heavily plagiarising early folklore, as well upon drawing upon
real-life accounts of the unpleasantries conducted by historic figures
such as Vlad Drakul and Elizabeth Bathory. These works painted the vampire
as a tragic yet both a romantic and a sexually charged figure, that appealed
greatly to the prim, dour, Victorian readers of the time." -
6. Heresy Miniatures
Small company of some strikingly original miniatures. [well, maybe the vampires
aren't that original, but they're still good models] Most models from this range
are multipart, and often come with multiple options for heads or weapons. For
this showcase, Andy Foster brings us a deadly Vampire Lord and Lady...
7. Black Tree Design
Which was Icon , which in turn was Harlequin. Is there any showcase they won't
feature in? I still have to find it. Their vampire is called Vladimire Le Stat
and you'll find him in the "Fantasy Armies" section, both mounted
and on foot.
8. Wizards of the Coast
A bit tricky to get hold of these days, because OOP, but their
discontinued AD&D range had a cracking flying "lesser vampire".
the model shows some nice detailing overall and is suitably evil looking.
He sure ain't no silk-wearing fanged dandy like some of the others, this fellah.
9. Fenryll Miniatures
French manufacturer of resin miniatures. The resin has the advantage over
metal that it can hold more detail and is easier to cut. However it will break
more easily and you should especially mind protruding bits like the weapons.
While many Fenryll miniatures are well detailed and often look better in person
than in the pictures, the vampires are not that good. I also wish they would
decide on a sculpting style and theme and stick to it. As it is, their miniatures
dont always mix well, not only with other ranges, but with other fenryll miniatures
10. Jeff Valent Studios
This manufacturer offers a small, but varied selection of miniatures, pre-textured
miniature bases, and some 28mm model kits, like this one with a vampire and
vampirehunter. resin miniatures. They also offer molding, casting and even sculpting
now part-demon, part-human, spending eternity battling with
their conflicting urges, and hiding unseen from the mortals
around them." - Dead
11. Alternative Armies
This company offers fantasy miniatureser, some classical, some in alternative
settings. Unfortunately their sculpting style tends to be alternative as well,
often looking like 15mm miniatures in the 28mm scale. The "Vampire Legion"
miniatures from their "Alternative 28mm Fantasy" range are passable
if you'd want to build a unit of rank & file vampires.
"I think these could look really good as a unit with
a couple of them West Wind oriental vampires for command figures"
12. Excalibur Miniatures
Another German company, making some excellent fantasy & sf models. All
the miniatures I ever got from them were well sculpted, had very little flash
or mold lines, and came with slotted bases. Their (sole) vampire miniature is
a bit of a disappointment though. Well, to be fair, I suppose it's mainly her
outfit that bothers me. But what do I know...
"In some cases the lines between
blood, sex, magic and fetishism blur so much that it is difficult
to tell them apart. It is impossible to say for sure what attracts
us so much to the vampire myth, but certainly the prospect of immortality
- Dead Deputy
13. Shadowforge Miniatures
We hardly need to introduce this Australian manufacturer of all-female miniatures
anymore. Their stuff is crisp, casting is excellent and bases are slotted. They
have two models that can serve here: Tataiana (vampire) and Rachel (assassin).
Unfortunately these are among their earliest models and not quite up to their
current standard. You can find them in the "characters" section.
| "Perhaps the legacy of
Victorian society remains with us subconsciously, and we all yearn to express
our desires and urges more openly in the same manner as the vampire, protrayed
simultaniously as the ultimate predator and the ultimate seducer. Whatever
the case, we can be certain that the myth will remain with us for some time
to come." - Dead Deputy
14. Pinnacle Enterprises
Manufacturer of miniatures in the "Weird West" setting of the "Deadlands"
& "Great Rail Wars" games. Vampires are not an unknown and the range includes
a pack of "Nosferatu".
15. Lance & Laser
Another company that produces fantasy & sf miniatures. Look in the "Fantasy" & "Warchest" ranges for vampires. Note that I have never seen these miniatures in the flesh, so it's hard to judge the scale.
16. Stone Circle Games
A different kind of critter alltogether can be found in Stone Circle's "China
Town" range with this Penangalan. A Penangalan is a female vampire whose
head and intestines detach from her body and float off in search of blood, particularly
that of pregnant women and unborn children. Charming...
"Nice!!" - Bloodfinger
If you're looking for other undead allies to fight alongside or under the
command of your vampire lord, then take a look at the excellent All
Things Bony and Tombs
of the Pharoahs showcases.
If you want to share your comments or feel that I left out a company that
should be listed or if you represent a company that was left out or whose products
didn't get the credit and appreciation they deserve, feel free to contact me
on the FU-UK!
Froth Forums or directly by clicking here.
Naturally, any free samples you might provide would greatly aid us to form a
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