Friday, 10 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes - Purgatori & Vampirella 01

A number of bloggers run painting and/or modelling contests, sometimes for fun and sometimes for prizes. I rarely ever take part. More often than not it's because I'm not interested in the theme of the contest but sometimes when someone announces for example, it's "Zombie Painting Month" I think, well for me every month is "Zombie Painting Month!" Recently, however, bloggers Jeremy "Jez" Winstanley and Roger Webb announced a new challenge called Forgotten Heroes. The brief was simple - convert or create a figure into a costumed superhero of your choice from any source. The rules were -
  1. The character you create must not yet have had an official or unofficial miniature made for it*.
  2. The figure must be in 28mm scale.
  3. The figure must be completed during the month of June.
  4. In your first post, you should provide a bit of detail on the character you’ve chosen and why.
*In a slight change to the original rules, you can create a character who has had an official or unofficial figure made for them, as long as you don’t use the original figure to make YOUR version. This was requested by someone who wants to make a ‘proper’ version of the character, as the official figure was not very good.

At last, here was a contest I was very keen to enter. My first choice of who to create should come as no surprise to anyone. It had to be my all time favourite superheroine - Vampirella. Not for nothing am I known as Vampifan. Whilst no one has made an official 28mm scale figure of Vampirella there are a lot of unofficial figures of her available. Vampirella lookalikes abound! I have most of them in my collection but even so, I still wanted to make my own version of her.
Vampirella was created by writer Forrest J. Ackerman and artist Trinna Robbins for Warren Publishings black and white horror magazine comic Vampirella #1 in September 1969. Her origins have changed over the years but it is now acknowledged that she is the daughter of Lilith, wife of Adam who was cast out of Eden by God. Lilith spawned numbers of demons and vampires but they made her weaker, so she created Vampirella to hunt down and destroy them. Vampirella is a vampire, and needs blood to survive and has many of the typical vampiric powers, including superhuman physical abilities, shape-shifting into a bat, immortality and a mesmeric stare. She is not prone to the race's traditional weaknesses, such as daylight, holy water, garlic or crosses. She does not attack people to drink their blood, except occasionally when she herself is attacked or desires to kill. She is almost always scantily clad in her signature red sling suit with a white collar and wearing shiny black knee-high boots.

My second choice of figure to make was another female vampire. I do love female vampires! This one would be another of my favourites, Purgatori, who originally appeared in her own series produced by Chaos Comics. After Chaos Comics folded the rights to her usage passed over to Dynamite Entertainment, who are also the current publishers of the Vampirella comics. Whereas Vampirella is a good vampire who fights the forces of darkness, Purgatori is an evil bitch, through and through. Vampirella and Purgatori have fought each other in the past, most recently in the epic crossover series, Swords of Sorrow, which I reviewed here.
Purgatori was created by writer Brian Pulido and artist Stephen Hughes for Chaos Comics and made her first appearance in Evil Ernie: Revenge #1 in October 1994. Purgatori was born in Egypt around 1390 BC, and raised in the city of Alexandria. Her parentage is unknown, save that she had the blood of the Fallen Angels in her veins. Her human name was Sakkara, and she was part of the team of slaves that built the burial tomb for Queen Ostraca. Sakkara's job was to grind corn all day under the desert sun, and she was constantly whipped by the brutish male guards. Amongst the slaves was a foreigner, an old man of Celtic origin, who told Sakkara he knew a way to escape slavery and achieve immortality. Sakkara was enlisted into Ostraca's harem and soon the two married. A year later, rebellion in the city caused Sakkara to flee and seek out the old man. She found him as he was being attacked by guards. She killed them and he lived long enough to direct her across the desert to a cave set into a mountain peak. There she met Rath, an ancient Celtic vampire. She wanted to gain immortality for her revenge; he wanted a weapon to help him turn man from the civilized path to the wild ways that Rath advocated. Rath drank Sakkara's blood and fed her some of his own, turning her into a vampire. As Rath's blood mixed with her own, it combined with the strange blood of the Fallen Angels within her, transforming her into a creature with blood red skin, horns, glowing white eyes, and bat-like wings. She soon attracted the attention of Lucifer, who brought her to Hell, where he named her Purgatori. She spent millennia there and has only recently arrived on contemporary Earth to cause chaos and mayhem.

The picture to the left shows Vampirella and Purgatori slugging it out. My plans for this project are to make two versions of both characters. First up will be normal 28mm scale figures of them. I say "normal" so as to distinguish them from my second versions. My second versions will see me creating Chibi versions of them. Yes, that means small bodies and big heads. For this, I blame Jez. A while ago he asked me if I had ever thought of making a Chibi version of Vampirella? I hadn't but once he mentioned it, the idea just wouldn't go away. Soon after that, he announced his plans for the Forgotten Heroes contest and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
I'm pleased to say that all four figures have been completed and I'm ready to show them off. Please tune in to my next post and you can see what I've done with these two favourite characters of mine. I have a question for you. Do you want to see all four figures next time or shall I split them into two separate posts - normal figures first then the Chibi figures?

Bryan aka Vampifan. 2016.

20 comments:

  1. THAT was really interesting. It was so nice to read an in depth rendering of two such iconic comic book anti-superheroes (I say anti in the same way Han Solo was always described thus in the early days before Empire Strikes Back hit the screens).

    You really caught my imagination with this and am very much looking forward to seeing more, more, more, on this topic. Especially Purgatori. who is one of my all time favourite female vampires (behind Victor in Underworld, who is my GOD of fictional characters).

    T

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    1. Many thanks for the kind words, T. I know what you mean about anti-heroes. It's not the same as being a villain, is it? Purgatori is very much a "bad girl" but I liked her from the moment I first saw her. As for Vampirella, my love for her stretches back so many years. Victor from "Underworld" is so cool. It's a shame no one makes a figure of him.

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  2. Very enjoyable read Bryan. New style of writing from you, which is very noticeably in depth and.... well I loved every bit of it. You certainly make me want to know more about these two maga vampys. Can`t wait to see what you show us next.

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    1. I must admit, Steve, that this project has really captured my imagination and I have been working hard at it these past few weeks in order to meet the June deadline. Yes, it is a different style of writing from me, but necessary I felt for the project. You won't have long to wait to see what I have done with my conversions. All will be revealed next time.

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  3. Sounds like a good plan and will look great when done. Looking forward to seeing both sets of these two gorgeous gals

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    1. Thanks, Simon. I'll be posting them on Monday.

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  4. look forward to seeing this, i suggest a massive splurge so all of them at once!!!

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    1. Thanks, Andy. All four at once - it shall be so!

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  5. Can't wait to see your gals, Bryan. I would suggest all at once, purely so i can see the comparison between artwork, 'normal' and Chibi.
    Had to look up Viktor from Underworld, as I wasn't sure which character that was. Hmm, possibly one of the LOTR elf characters might make for the good basis for a conversion?

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    1. Many thanks, Jez. I'll certainly post all four on Monday so you can do a comparison between normal and Chibi.
      Bill Nighy played Viktor in the "Underworld" films. I haven't looked into the possibility of making a conversion for him.

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  6. A tantalising tease of a posting Bryan. Can't wait to see these lovely ladies. Though I'm surprised Vampirella's now legendary team-up with Ash wasn't mentioned ;-)

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    1. Really? It must have slipped my mind. Who'd have thought?

      Cheers anyway, you cheeky monkey!

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  7. I wish you well. I only wish I could sculpt to any appreciable level and I would take part.

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    1. Thanks, Clint. For me, sculpting and converting is a part of the hobby I very much enjoy. I'm sure you'll be with us in spirit, my friend.

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    2. I have thought of something I could sculpt. Star Trek "Tribbles!" Which would be funny but not in the spirit I think!

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  8. And now we're all in, looking forward to these Bryan, I've posted this over on the FH blog page, hope that's OK.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger, I was hoping you would add it to the FH blog. Much appreciated.

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  9. Sounds a great idea. I think 1 big splurg sounds good!

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    1. Thanks, Ray. One big splurge coming up then.

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