Jim Van Cleave’s Vampire Bride


This is my build-up of “The Vampire Bride”, a Graveyard Scenes kit hat I purchased from the CultTVMan Hobbyshop.
My girlfriend, Rebeca, is a big horror fan and I wanted to do up something as a tribute to her and her favorite genre. This little resin kit proved perfect for the job!

The base was a simple two pieces (bottom and back). The Bride has a selection of arms (two for each side). After experimenting a bit, I went with the two that were outstretched but relaxed. There’s quite a bit of flash and mold line on them, which is easily sanded away. I actually left some of the mold line on the arms to show where the seams of the gown’s sleeves are.

The base was primed and sprayed with Testors ModelMaster Navy Aggressor Gray, then sealed with clear acrylic before adding a sludge wash from an old thinner bottle. Bits of thinned flat browns, grays and greens were sparingly dabbled on and rubbed in to further stain the concrete. Anything applied to the vertical slab was always rubbed downwards to depict runoff. The moss and grass were painted with a dark, flat green and then drybrushed with a lighter shade to bring out detail. I chose to do the snake as a boa (similar to one that my girlfriend works with) and was done in flat, dark tan (with just a tiny bit of aluminum for scale shimmer) with black detailing. The title plaque was done in brass, sealed and then sprayed with a light coat of Transparent Black, which was wiped off the highlights. After drying and sealing, the lettering was done in flat red and sealed a final time.

The Bride was primed and sprayed with Tamiya Flat Flesh (I *LOVE* this stuff!) and sealed. Then, I masked everything but the dress and carefully sprayed a mist coat of Andrea White Primer over the whole thing…just enough to tint it but still allowing the flesh color to show through (Primer is great for doing “see-through” fabrics and light tinting!). Flat white was painted onto any cloth not directly touching her skin and along the mold seam on her arms. Her hair was done in layers, starting with black and working through several shades of brown and, after sealing, was hit with a light wash of flat Rust to blend everything. Her eyes are painted brown with red at the center. I painted the necklace gold, but carved out the center of the cliche’ “heart” necklace and inserted a jeweler’s crystal of my girlfriend’s birthstone (emerald) instead. The gore from her feeding was done with the tip of a tightly-folded paper towel dipped in flat red. I then flecked some arterial spray with an old toothbrush and brushed microgloss over it for the shine of fresh blood. For those wondering, I did the blood and spray mostly to one side to show how she’s bent her neck to attack her victim and the resulting outward spray and flow. I gave the gown the wash treatment and flecked some extra around the lower edges to give her the whole “risen from the grave” look before giving her a final seal and pinning her to the base for all eternity.

I hope you all enjoy my work as much as I (and hopefully my Lady!) do!

Jim Van Cleave

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