Thursday, March 4, 2010

84 - Vampire Counts Crypt Ghast (Originally the Reaper Ghast and Crypt Miniature)

Woot! This guy was as easy to paint as I suspected. I needed that for sure. With him out of the way, I'm now 2 miniatures behind my schedule. I currently have a Blood Raven meltagunner basecoated Opaque Red sitting at my painting station. Hopefully, the motivation for painting I feel at the moment will help me finish him before bed.

Now about the Ghast - he's actually not from the Games Workshop Crypt Ghoul plastic kit. He's a Reaper Miniature I purchased almost a year ago, back when I first started this hobby. The first dozen or so models I bought were mostly Reaper minis; the detail, diversity, and, most importantly, cost of their line of miniatures really appealed to me. Before discovering cheap miniatures on eBay, the idea of paying MSRP (or even at a 20% discount) for GW minis made me recoil in horror. So I figured I'd ease my way into the hobby by painting some cheaper, moe affordable miniatures that were equal in quality (in my opinion).

I've pretty much segued almost entirely into GW models right now. I'll occasionally buy a Reaper miniature as a stand-in for a Warhammer Fantasy special character/ lord/ hero type because, again, the prices GW charges for these independent characters is mind-boggling. Why pay $50 for a Lord of Change when I can get a close equivalent from Reaper for $15? (In fact, I managed to purchase that exact Reaper minature for about $5 on-line from a secondary retailer.) Granted, the actual Lord of Change is much more detailed and probably larger and taller, but the Reaper equivalent isn't that far off. Or an even better comparison: why spend $20 on a GW Mounted Vampire Lord when you can get a similar figure from Reaper for $12? Now, again, the GW model is much more finely detailed but in this particular case, the Reaper miniature is pretty damn cool too. In fact, you wouldn't know it from the description of the model, but it comes with two heads - the helmeted one you see in the picture and a non-helmeted one showing the Vampire in all his dark majesty.

Just in case you're wondering, I don't work for Reaper or for Miniature-Giant (the on-line retail store I've linked to in the previous paragraph). I'm just a very frugal collector who, as it is, spends way too much money on this hobby. Anytime I can trim costs from this very expensive past time, I will (e.g., buying decorative basing material from general craft stores rather than from dedicated hobby stores/ manufacturers, buying stand-in minis from Reaper or some other maker rather than from GW, using craft paints rather than specialty paints, etc.). At this point, all of those things have served me rather well in terms of producing decent table-top quality miniatures. About the only thing I might replace in the future is my use of craft paints. If I get to a level of painting where I think craft paints are holding me back, then I'll make the invesment in Vallejo or GW or Reaper paints. I'm obviously not there yet.

Finally, a little bit about the paint scheme for the Ghast. I pretty much followed GW's online article on how to Crypt Ghouls - I basecoated him with Dolphin Gray, then gave him a liberal ink wash with Leviathan Purple. After he dried, I went back over the upraised parts of his musculature with a drybrush of Dolphin Gray and also added in some watered down streaks of Opaque Red into some of the deep crevices of his skin to give the impression of infected, torn flesh. The tombstone, by the way, was from a Halloween decorative kit that Michael's was selling over the holidays. I think for a set of 4 or 5 tombstones, I paid about $5. The relief seemingly carved into the front of the tombstone is actually a plastic Empire shield scavenged from the Warhammer Fantasy Giant kit. Overall, it took me about 2 hours to complete the Ghast.


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