Alternative Vampire Miniatures

Selected 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 vampire sent,
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." - UnclEvl

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. Lovely.

"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." - Dead Deputy

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. No, sir...

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 as well.

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 services.

"Vampires were now part-demon, part-human, spending eternity battling with their conflicting urges, and hiding unseen from the mortals around them." - Dead Deputy

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" - W.K.

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 is enticing."

- 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 documented opinion.

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