Saturday 27 January 2024

Red Fury: A Tale of 4 Armies

I'm getting towards the end of tidying up and adding to my Vampire Counts army, and I've actually reached the point of starting to add whole units, rather than just repainting and reinforcing them.

I'm also adding a degree of pace and hitting power with a second unit of Black Knights and my 'Vargulf'.

The Vampire Counts are one of what's known as 'Legacy' factions in Warhammer: The Old World, and as such haven't been included in the main army books, but instead are available on a free PDF (which is great news for a cheapskate like me).

The in-world reason for this is that the Vampire Wars ended shortly before the setting period of the Old World's history, and so their forces are scattered and hiding.

The real reason seems to be that Games Workshop have invested heavily in releasing updated Vampire sculpts for Age of Sigmar and don't really want to release the old stuff again and compete with themselves.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I've got a free army list and can start making sense of what I have. Importantly, I can definitely have two units of Black Knights, and if the army includes a Wight character, one of those units can count as core.

These models were released alongside the Circle of Blood campaign and I believe we're the first official Black Knight miniatures.

The standard bearer and unit champion (Hell Knight) have been serving in my army for years as a unit champion and army standard bearer within a big block of cavalry.

They didn't get fully repainted, but instead got the Skeleton Horde treatment and tidied up. The Hell Knight got a new horse (his was the bearded one I used for the musician conversion) and a new shield, whilst the standard bearer got his banner trimmed and the pole detailed, a sword added to his back and a new shield.

Yes, that is the Salamanders chapter badge. What of it? It's also a somewhat heraldic dragon and in a different context.

The other three Black Knights had been sitting in the bits box in various states of disarray. The one on the left was missing bat wings from his helmet, the one in the centre's arm was snapped at the elbow and all three were layered with paint.

Therefore they were all stripped and painted from scratch.

If I'm honest, I'm not 100% happy with the unit and I feel I've been too untidy and the models look sloppy. However, the shields offer a focal point and arguably draw the eye away from some very average painting.

In addition to new shields and fixing damaged elements, I also dug out their swords to strap to their backs. I could only find four and so the Hell Knight doesn't have one. I'm going to see if I can dig something out to use instead.

I never liked mixing these metal models in with my plastic cavalry as the aesthetics are so different, therefore I am quite pleased to get these fielded as a separate unit. Their lance arms remain fragile (I knocked one of them off whilst taking these photos) and in game they are also more fragile due to not having barding.

I suspect I'll still lean towards using the plastic unit in armies if I'm forced to choose, but it's good to have the option.

My 'Vargulf' is actually an Abomination from Rackham Games' Confrontation, which was a really good game with excellent miniatures which was seemingly destroyed by some bad business decisions.

This guy has served as my Vargulf ever since Vargulfs became a thing in 7th edition, but he remains suitably savage looking, if a little too techno for the Vampire Counts.

I painted him years ago very simply, with a base of Mechrite Red (I think) and a drybrush of Elf Flesh, bothe of which are discontinued colours. All I've done this time round is run some Agrax Earthshade over the metal bits.

This picture has pointed out that I also forgot to tidy up his base, so that's now been done.

I'm terms of my arithmetic this week, I'm not counting the Vargulf as I just dabbed a bit of wash on. However, I am counting all of the cavalry as painted (and three off the Lead Mountain) because they all had a fair bit of work to do on them.

I also bought a small scenery piece which will be appearing in my next army update.

Acquired: -12
Painted: 137
Lead Mountain: 852


  1. Tremendous! Love that banner too, great idea.

    1. Thanks. I can't remember exactly what the material is. I think it's the stuff used for embroidery.

  2. Great work on all, and some of those old models were indeed fragile, and constantly breaking. The model you are using for your Vargulf, does have a bit of tech look to him, but maybe Dr. Frankenstein has helped him ! LOL

    1. He may get subbed out for an actual Vargulf if I ever get one, but he's my only remaining Confrontation model (I foolishly sold the rest) so I'm quite fond of him.