Vlad III Dracul

Back to the sculpting bench after a hiatus to focus on painting. I’ve had the idea to sculpt the Wallachian warlord Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) for some time now.

Besides the spooky factor, there’s lots of inspiration for wargaming in 15th century Eastern Europe. The Ottomans are finishing off the Byzantine Empire, taking Constantinople (1453) and the “Empire” of Trebizond (1461). The Italians are carving out an empire amidst the wreckage, there’s Catholic-Orthodox friction plus a whole host of ethnic warriors with their own distinct looks.

There’s some nice 28mm Vlad figures on the market, such as a mounted figure from Old Glory and foot figures from Citadel/Wargames Foundry and The Assault Group, but all have him in full plate armor. Certainly what he would have worn for battle, but I wanted him in clothes since the region and period had such distinctive dress.

First, the face. After a bit of fleshing out I finished the face first. I’m hoping to capture those arching eyebrows, long nose and large eyes from this picture:

Here’s the completed face, without hair.

The wire dropping down from his arm will support a Turkish-style sleeve similar to the one on the archer figure below. Vlad’s arm will be through the hole and the sleeve will hang down.

Plenty more work, the right arm, sword, hat details, but Vlad is moving right along. I’m not sure if I’ll try to cast him or just paint the green, but I’m sculpting him with casting in mind just in case.

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