A look at the Soulblight Gravelords and Cursed City models I've been slowly plugging away at...
My six Fell Bats are all based up and ready for primer. I tied them together with a "graveyard fence" theme. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm assembling them with an eye toward ranking them up in the future, so their positions were carefully arranged, including the extension of one of the trees, so their wings won't bang into each other.
I guess this post is also a peek at how I build my armies– I don't put together a 2000 point list and build to that, I collect and paint as I go, working around a theme, and imagining the army's hierarchy. Which brings me to the inhabitant of the Tombs of Tithing:
You'll notice that my Fell Bats don't have any "perched" bats in them. That's because I got three boxes, used all the flying bats for the two units, and pulled out the three perched bats for other uses. I had the idea to use one set of wings as arms for a vampire model. They were a perfect fit for Lady Annika, requiring only a small amount of trimming and sculpting to touch up the upper arms where they originally would have attached to the bat's body. The position of the left arm looks like she's pointing at someone, and the wings themselves don't cover up the slim physique and pose of the figure which, in my opinion, is the entire point of the Annika model.
Because I'm not using the model to represent the special character, I put her on a unique round base, with a broken crypt and metal spikes to match the environment of the tombs. I considered changing her hair, but the two spikes resemble bat ears, so it's appropriate for the model and really works for her. My only issue is that, without a head or hair swap, the core model still looks like the same person, rather than a different character. I don't know, maybe I'll do something with it...
The concept for the character was inspired by the "Bloofer Lady" from the Bram Stoker Dracula novel– Lucy Westerna would escape from her tomb every night to prey on small children. When asked what happened, the kids recalled seeing a beautiful (which they mispronounced "bloofer") lady.
This creature is anything but beautiful, a horrifying nightmare that feeds on the townsfolk. Offerings are brought to her tomb in the hope of keeping her away from the rest of the town. The bones of those sacrificed litter the steps of the tombs.
The Fell Bats seemed like an appropriate retinue for the bat-lady, and I carried the graveyard theme through their bases. Her companion (and muscle) is a Vengorian Lord. I'm in the process of converting this guy with the head from Mannfred's Dread Abyssal. I'm not a fan of the "giant vampire-centaur" so I'm going with a more standard creature. I've got a base of putty for the neck attachment, and I'll be sculpting fur and muscle over it. I might bulk up his shoulders a bit too.
The force is shaping up nicely. The Cursed City bat swarms and rats won't necessarily be part of the army in the end, but I still like to think of them as part of the overall menagerie– Even the zombie cats. I imagine them hanging around the tomb, screeching and hissing at anyone foolish enough to stray too close. Once this batch is painted, I'll probably add some Vargheists to carry on the bat theme, and then I'll start thinking about points and what else will be needed to function as a workable army.