To kitbash, convert, or purchase: "modern-looking" vampires

Ardavion

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I'm looking at starting a Vampire gang for Necromunda; miniature wise I've got thralls sorted, but the vampires have got me in a quandary.

While there are a lot of vampire models out there, the ones I've seen are very much in the fantasy vein, and specifically are vampires making lots of grand fashion statements or clad in baroque, ornate armour; while I'm sure there is some potential for such garb amongst Necromunda's creatures of the night (and some might have once been fancy uphivers with fancy clothes), to me it doesn't really scream "far future/ultramodern grimdark".

Plus, you'd think they'd want to shy away from all the bat iconography.

Given this, I'm thinking that modern vampires and future vampires would fit more the Underworld/Vampire: the Masquerade/Blade aesthetic (heck, even Buffy to an extent), and the best way forward would be to kitbash *any modern or futuristic mini* with the Frenzy Vampire Heads and/or Noble Vampire Heads from PuppetsWar.eu, but I'd like to ask how other (more learned) people might approach this:

What minis already exist that would fit the bill for a futuristic vampire, such as would be found in the underhive (and yes, you can link that Blade mini you've found)?
What is (in your opinion) the "line in the sand" between futuristic/modern vampires and fantasy vampires? Do you know of any models that come close to blurring that line?
What other "vampire" bits are out there for purchase? There doesn't appear to be an awful lot of variety out there for conversions, so on the face of it I'm stuck with PuppetsWar for male vampire heads, and that seems to be it (e.g. no suitable "claws/talons/long fingernails" hands, so if you want those you're buying a full mini just to cut off their hands, and female vampire heads are firmly attached to their scantil-clad, bosom-heaving, corset-wearing bodies instead of sold separately).
What ideal list of bits would you put together to produce a suitably non-fantasy vampire miniature? Is there any reason or reasons for the specific list of bits?
Am I overthinking this, and it is just a simple headswap on modern minis (or weapon swaps on fantasy minis)?
Am I *really* overthinking this, and I should just have normal models, and say that they're hiding their fangs?

Let me know what your thoughts are on this, as I'd like to see what people think on this, since it could help inform me (and others) how to put together suitable models in the future.
 
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cainex1

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I have the old and new noble heads and can recommend them easily. The fit at the neck is similar to Dark Eldar so you can nest them in existing plastic or come up with a collar or no collar solution. And you might be able to use the new Witch Elves for some female vampire heads.
For your bodies, if you want that sleek Underworld look, you can shave Eldar down and you end up with something like a padded/armored bike suit. DE Wyches and Warriors are obvious fodder if you want the goth look. For the hands... Gretchin are human scale and their nails are straight up talons.
ALSO, amongst the newer Blood Angels line are some heads with bared fangs that would be good in you plan to do any in carapace or powered armor (or if you want to cut them out of the marine neck brace thing and add a proper neck) maybe on one of the new Enforcer bodies.
Beyond that, just find the bodies you can that look more civilian. Vampire heads are quite hard to find for some reason.
If you're curious, I was once building a massive Blood Angels army.
......
OH YEAH! What house? That actually makes defining them a lot easier.
 

Ben_S

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I see I already got beaten to mention of Blood Angels (and Dark Eldar).

no suitable "claws/talons/long fingernails" hands, so if you want those you're buying a full mini just to cut off their hands,
Depends a bit on size, but you can get arms from the GW Crypt Ghouls and use their hands. Or perhaps some of the GSC Hybrids.
 

Ardavion

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OH YEAH! What house? That actually makes defining them a lot easier.
I wasn't thinking of any particular house, to be honest; I'd have thought that as soon as you're turned you no longer have a house allegiance, but a house "wine preference", and regardless of what you look like, if you're a vampire you would do well to work with other vampires, even if the human you used to be couldn't work with the human they used to be because of their house; if I had to throw houses into the mix, I'd probably consider the Frenzy heads for Goliath as a thematic best-fit, for example, but honestly any and all houses (and people outside of houses) would be on the table.

If there is an easy-win concept builds for a certain house that hasn't been talked about (or is an alternative to one that has already been mentioned) and people want to comment, I'd appreciate the viewpoint.

I'll look at the crypt ghouls/GSC hybrids/Gretchin for arms/hands; it means either going to third-party GW bits sellers, who I think charge a bit much for the privilege of just picking out one part, or buying a whole box for a handful of pieces - if people do that, how easy is it to offload the rest of the bits in the box to recoup the money?

I'd appreciate some links to the Blood Angels models that would work, since a generic "Blood Angels" search on GW doesn't provide a good indicator of which set(s) provide them (the Space Wolves, however, have plenty of models with fangs).

Wyches would be a good fit for female vampires, but they'd potentially need arm/hand swaps and greenstuff to make them more vampiric; they wouldn't work for male vampires in my opinion (it's OK if people think they could be good male vampire models; I'd enjoy knowing the thought process behind it - what bits go together to make them work?).

Thanks for the responses @cainex1 and @Ben_S, they're appreciated; I'm hoping that this thread can get a few different viewpoints on what people like to use or build to represent something like this (people could ask a similar question for other types of mini, like Pit Slaves or Wyrds, for example, and people could post their interpretations and how to build them).
 
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Ben_S

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I'll look at the crypt ghouls/GSC hybrids/Gretchin for arms/hands; it means either going to third-party GW bits sellers, who I think charge a bit much for the privilege of just picking out one part, or buying a whole box for a handful of pieces - if people do that, how easy is it to offload the rest of the bits in the box to recoup the money?
If you know any undead/flesh eater players near you, just ask them. They're bound to have spares.

If that's not an option, my first port of call is usually eBay. You find regular box-splitters and bitz-sellers on there, with listings like this:


(I have no connection to the seller and am not necessarily endorsing either them or this listing.)

As you say, you usually pay a bit of a premium to get the bits you want. The other - often cheaper, but less reliable - option is to look for collectors selling leftovers from kits they've built. You don't get your pick of the kit this way, but if you just want some spares and aren't too picky then this is usually the better option.

If you're looking for undead spares, then keep an eye out for corpse cart bits. The rider/driver comes with a choice of three heads (so, people will have spares) and they look suitable for vampires.

 

Ben_S

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I used one of these for a fantasy/Mordheim vampire of my own:
 
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Ben_S

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And for a Blood Bowl vampire too:
 

trollmeat

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“Vampire gang for Necromunda”, rather than some slender/fancy nobles with fangs and snooty hairdos, immediately brings to (my twisted) mind mismatched outfits with pieces sourced from power armour (such as a model having just one shoulder pad) with robes and chains. Those heads, both the Frenzy & Noble, would work well for that.

You could even go all out and make then representatives of the Blood Guild, who offer discounts on slightly chewed slaves, for yak comp 29 :p
 
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Scavvierising

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The rogue trader from BSF with a vampire head swap kinda blurs the modern/fantasy line. Maybe swap his smoking hand for a napkin to wipe the blood of his chin. The female GC magus could work. Maybe the GC locus(?) Dude in robes with hood up might work as a good starting point. Even the kill team rogue trader might fit the bill.
 
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Ardavion

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“Vampire gang for Necromunda”, rather than some slender/fancy nobles with fangs and snooty hairdos, immediately brings to (my twisted) mind mismatched outfits with pieces sourced from power armour (such as a model having just one shoulder pad) with robes and chains. Those heads, both the Frenzy & Noble, would work well for that.
Do you have any reference images online to how that would look? They don't need to be full-on vampires, I guess, but just seeing the general idea visually might help; my idea of vampires runs all the way from well dressed Vlad Dracule through Count Orlok to The Strain and 30 Days Of Night, with several different steps of Blade mixed in throughout (swerving wide away from Twilight and most other Young Adult vampires), but none of them really had "mismatched" outfits.
The rogue trader from BSF with a vampire head swap kinda blurs the modern/fantasy line. Maybe swap his smoking hand for a napkin to wipe the blood of his chin. The female GC magus could work. Maybe the GC locus(?) Dude in robes with hood up might work as a good starting point. Even the kill team rogue trader might fit the bill.
There does seem to be a theme across existing vampire models that, generally, character models fit best with vampires, as the overall impression of vampires is that they're definitively "characters", rather than just a stable abhuman or similar that leads to a "rank-and-file", or common, occurrence, and character models help to present that, so I'd expect that using character models would be ideal when wanting to follow that line of thinking.

How would you approach vampires if they were meant to be more numerous? Vampire armies actually tend to barely have many at all, with zombies, skeletons and ghouls vastly filling out their ranks (with some possible vampire knights), but in the Necromunda vampire gang rules the ratios are much, much tighter (3:1-5:1 Thralls to Vampires, depending on the ruleset).
 
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Ardavion

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Perhaps it would help if you told us your plan for the thralls?
For my personal approach, I bought 15 old Frateris Militia models off eBay:
1998P323-00.jpg
Thing is, I'm keen on understanding what *Other People* would do; I have a plan in my head for my vampires (Anvil Industry officer coats, legs and various arms, the aforementioned PuppetsWar vampire heads, and some AoS Ghoul claws from eBay to mix in with the pistols and CC weapons I give them) but would be interested in what people's approaches would be for vampires in Necromunda.

If people had different views of what vampires should look like (which by the comments is true), how would that translate into a bits list for someone with a similar idea? How many different suppliers would the miniature be comprised of (e.g. mine above is three suppliers - GW, Anvil and PuppetsWar; someone may kitbash entirely GW parts, either as a preference or a challenge)?

For example, some people may buy some "vampire thrall" minis and do hand swaps - if so, which minis, and from which supplier? Would they find BB cheerleaders, or Third Party Female Thralls? Maybe these Vampire Thralls with hand swaps?

Would your vampires fit more Dracula's Host, a Strigoi Gang, or something else?

In many ways, I'm not really asking for help: I just think that thinking around the options for something like this is interesting in and of itself, and it can help inform me (and many other) as to potential ways to construct a vampire miniature (I've already taken some comments on board and bought Renegade arms from Anvil, which will fit with the frenzy heads quite well, but then also the more "rough-and-ready" noble-head-type vampires, like Julius in the Van Helsing Tv series).
 
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Ben_S

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You're right that vampires are normally unique characters. I think if I were wanting 5 or so, then I'd be tempted to start out by converting Delaques - although that could be a bit confusing if anyone were using the Delaque models as Delaques. Dark Eldar would be another option that avoid that problem.
 

Punktaku

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I’m not sure about mini sourcing, but if i wanted to do a vampire gang in Necromunda, i’d probably look at Alucard and the girl cop Victoria from Hellsing as a starting point (Gang Leader and Sniper). And they had to fight an entire army of Nazi Vsmpires (and some werewolves too). Then i might consider messing with my opponents head and getting some of the kid models from Hasslefree to use as Eldar Vampires like Shinobu from Bakemonogatari (close combat with big ass sword) and Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund (also close combat). So i guess under the new rules (which i don’t have) my leader and champions would be Vampires and everyone else would be Thralls (since there don’t seem to be a lot of vampires with guns...).

Also would need Saya from Blood C+... but that’s another sword user...
 
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Ardavion

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I’m not sure about mini sourcing, but if i wanted to do a vampire gang in Necromunda, i’d probably look at Alucard and the girl cop Victoria from Hellsing as a starting point (Gang Leader and Sniper). And they had to fight an entire army of Nazi Vsmpires (and some werewolves too). Then i might consider messing with my opponents head and getting some of the kid models from Hasslefree to use as Eldar Vampires like Shinobu from Bakemonogatari (close combat with big ass sword) and Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund (also close combat). So i guess under the new rules (which i don’t have) my leader and champions would be Vampires and everyone else would be Thralls (since there don’t seem to be a lot of vampires with guns...).

Also would need Saya from Blood C+... but that’s another sword user...
The "new rules" for vampire gangs are for NCE, I think you can find them in the vault.

To be honest, I'm not too bothered about having N17/N18 rules, especially for this thread; I'm wondering more around how people would represent vampires in Necromunda on the tabletop.

In some regards, you could use the long coat models in the Street Violence range from Wargames Foundry (a la Blade) if you wanted vampires with guns, just make sure to paint fangs on the faces, or do a head swap, but I agree that there aren't a lot of long-range vampire examples out there.

Not sure about an army of Nazi Vampires, but the ones in Hellsing were much more basic and feral; there are a lot of zombie Nazi models out there that could potentially fit the bill there, or again buy Nazi minis and do a head swap (seems to be a worrying theme in my comments, this "head swap" malarky).
 

Fold

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I think Delaque plastics are a perfect base for long coat "blade" style vampires.

You could also use skitari coats (replacing the torso with an IG flak vest) using legs from e.g. SM scouts or Catachans for the same look with an open coat (such a conversion would be a great start for an actual representation of Blade himself.
 

Punktaku

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Oh, i wouldn’t do an army of Nazi Vampires, that was more of a comment on a full army of actual vampires existing somewhere (in the manga and Hellsing Ultimate, which stuck closer to the manga than Hellsing did).

Since this is all speculation and pondering anyway, i think i’d try to find a cowboy in a duster as a base for an Alucard-style leader. Reaper Minis has some, but i don’t know if any have twin pistols (which would need to be switched anyway).
 

Coenus Scaldingus

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Head swaps seem the logical way to go, as the main difference between an ordinary human and a vampire are pointy teeth - the superhuman strength and agility aren't really visible, although dynamic models may help bring it across a bit.
For female vampires, the Coven Throne set has 3 plastic heads, although one (with the braid) doesn't really display any fangs. Very baroque hairstyles, but those can be changed of course.

The suitable bodies depend entirely on how you envision them beyond that. Sleek and sort-of functional, like Blade/Underworld(/basically the Matrix, even if those weren't vampires), or in fancy clothes, or ornate but largely practical armour. For the latter, many 40k parts would work, even if going for a traditional undead look: skull iconography everywhere. Could see something like Inquisitor Greyfax as a basis for something along those lines, or some Sisters of Battle. (Have seen some of the same turned into Fantasy figures, i.e. Mordheim Sisters of Sigmar.) In the middle category, the GSC Magus, or the Rogue Trader from the box set. For the first category, you could look into assassins (Officio Assassinorum, Death Cult Assassins, including the one from the RT box). Harlequins are a further option, including greatcoated ones from the Troupe Master, Solitaire or Death Jester.

And since you mentioned, it, alright then, an actual not-Blade mini: https://footsoreminiatures.co.uk/collections/character-figures/products/night-stalker