As a background project and change of pace from my usual hobby projects, I've been slowly working on a Vampire Counts Undead Army for Warhammer. With the release of Nagash and the End Times supplement from GW it seemed like a great time to make efforts in earnest to get my Undead Army ready to take the field of battle.
I knew I wanted a unit of Vargheists, as they offer some much needed mobility to the largely ponderous and slow moving undead army. While I love the battlefield options provided by the Vargheists, I didn't care for the GW models at all. I find the bat-like faces to be silly and not at all in keeping with the overall bestial aesthetic.
I looked on-line for acceptable substitute models, but nothing I could find was readily available or available at a reasonable price. As a final attempt, I reviewed the Vampire Counts army book to see if the flavor text would inspire me to look in a new direction. Once there I was shocked to see that in the art work the derpy bat-like heads presented on the GW models were represented with savage, distorted animalistic faces.
As it turns out, the Dire Wolves' heads which are stylistically similar to the artwork presented in the army book. What is more, these head bits were relatively inexpensive from an online bits store. With a little bit of rotary tool work to sand away a good portion of the mane for the Dire Wolves, they made for a relatively seamless fit onto the Vargheists' bodies.
At this point all that was left to do was to green stuff in the hair to fill in the gap around the heads, add the wings, and throw on some paint on the models. For me, the final result better reflected the bestial nature of the art work and made for a natural tie in with the other more animal-like GW undead models such as the Varghulf and, of course, Dire Wolves.