Lady Aiyana and Master Holt – diorama start

Since I quite enjoyed the Beastman and Greatsword diorama, I decided to take a stab at another. While I have a few lying around, I haven’t really painted to completion any Warmachine or Hordes models. So, I decided to get a couple out and give them life on a little scenic diorama.

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I chose Lady Aiyana and Master Holt. It is important to realise from the outset, I have no idea who these two are. But they were in the same blister, and looked like interesting models in their own rights. Also, they aren’t in battle poses, so I could create more of an atmospheric piece. Above is where the diorama is currently at. Let us explore how we got to this point.

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The rocky outcrop is made using building insulation polystyrene. I liberated a small offcut from a building site down the road at the start of the year. The polystyrene was cut roughly into shape and glued to a 40mm circular base. I then glued smaller pieces to it to create the ledges and outcrops. A couple of these, where a portion of a miniature would stand, I reinforced with a piece of brass rod. Also, much like the previous diorama, I added a dried branch to add a bit of height.

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Once the polystyrene was dry I filled in any gaps with wood filler. After this had dried I coated all the polystyrene areas with a layer of PVA glue, to prevent damage to the shape when I undercoated the piece.

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Next I added a couple of sizes of small terrain covering to the tops of the outcrops. I didn’t want to cover the entire thing, as the sides would be the solid rock, while on top would be loose dirt and gravel. While I was at it, I added a rat to one of the ledges on the back.

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Lets take a second to look under the base. I drilled a hole through the centre of the base, and when gluing on the polystyrene I also glued in this bolt. It is a little crooked, but I gave it a quick test and I still get the result I want. What result, you ask? You will have to wait until the end to see.

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With the terrain scatter dried I sprayed the base white. Then, I gave all the rock outcrop section a basecoat of grey, while giving the tree a watered down bone layer. I then painted brown onto the ground covering, also applying a watered down layer of the brown to the tree. The ground cover was then drybrushed in random sections with an ochre red, black and white. This was to create an irregular look, rather than have all the ground covering unifom.

The rocky outcrop I mottled on white, black and a lighter grey, and then stippled water over the colours while they were still a little wet.

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When the base was dry I used PVA glue to stick static grass and model railway bushes randomly about the outcrop. While doing this I placed the miniatures onto the base, so that I didn’t place any of the details in a position that would make adding in the miniatures awkward.

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As for the models themselves, they were very straight forward. Lady Aiyana is a single piece, and required only the most minimal cleaning. Master Holt comes in three pieces, his two forearms with hands and weapons, and his body. These had a ball join on the end of the forearms that inserted into a cup on the body. I decided to slice off the ball join and insert pins instead. Once this was dry I used greenstuff to fill the minor gaps that were left.

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As with the base, I undercoated both figures white. This was followed by a watered down layer of bone, to provide the foundation for the rest of the colours.

I am happy with how this new diorama is progressing, and can hopefully get back to it quite soon.

Wasteland diorama completed

Onto the painting of the Beastman and Greatsword today. Not the most clean, masterful job I have ever done, but I liked some of the effects I got by working with a white undercoat.

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Firstly I put on watered down layers of black, bone and khaki. These were left to dry, and then another layer was put on top to strengthen the colour. I really liked how the black came out. It has a nice soft quality to it, rather than the usual hard black sheen that undiluted black usually produces.

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Then a collection of subsequent colours were added. Originally I had planned to paint the Greatsword entiely metal, but the black looked so interesting I decided to keep the main elements black and choose a few segments to pick out in metallics.

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Once I had all the colours on I gave both models a black wash.

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I then picked out highlights in the original pre-washed colours, as well as another level of highlights with some white added. For the Beastman I wanted rusted weapons and armour, but decided to approach it differently to how I normally paint rust. I dabbed Bestial Brown onto the metal areas, followed by another dabbing of Scab Red. I then dabbed Chainmail back over the top to break up the rust and make it look more dispersed.

Overall I am quite pleased with how this turned out. As I mentioned earlier, the painting isn’t fantastic, but I am interested now in exploring some more with white undercoats and diluted paints. I am also really pleased with the rust effect, which seems like such a minor triumph, but having a number of techniques to achieve a certain result is always a benefit. Also, the diorama base itself came out great, a lot better than I had hoped. Certainly, I am excited to tackle another diorama quite soon.

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Experimental Diorama – The Painting

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Got some paint onto the base part of the diorama. Since the undercoat was white I decided to use paint with water added, to a consistency of about 50/50. Using a selection of ochre reds and bone colours I managed to get a nice wasteland look.

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I will make a start on the figures next. Depending on how these go I might come back to the base and add a bit more depth to the tree. We will see.

Experimental Diorama – The Start

It has been quite a few months since I posted anything on here. Mostly because I haven’t achieved very much hobby related, apart from continuing to put together The Campaigner. But my backlog of other stuff is starting to clear up, and miniature related activities begin to appear near the top of the to-do list. Such as this little project, which I finally started today.

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I have had this offcut block from The Campaigner Creative Challenge for some time. So I decided to try out a couple of new (in the very least, new for me) modelling ideas as part of a diorama. Above is said diorama, in a state just before undercoating. I will take you through some of the main elements.

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The first main element, and my first experiment, is this dead tree. As I mentioned earlier, I had a backlog of things on my to-do list. Once of these I did a few weeks ago, which was giving the backyard trees and bushes a much-needed pruning. I know, the excitement of home ownership!

While engaged in this drudgery I kept a handful of interesting branches and twigs I found as I pruned, such as this one. Over the last few weeks this has been left to dry out. I then cut a wedge out of the bottom and glued it to the pine block with PVA glue. To make sure it was sturdy I also inserted a pin.

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On top of the tree is what appears to fast becoming my trademark flourish, a tiny rat watching on. Look at that totally inept greenstuff job on his front left leg and paw! Appalling.

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The second main element, and the second experiment, is the ground. Take a moment to look at that very light pink/orange/brown, bumpy thing that is on the top of the pine block. What do you think that is?

Another thing I had as part of my backlogged to-do list was finish off a number of canvas paintings I had started. One of them called for a flesh colour, which I mixed up. Some of the paint I used was a little old, and had these odd clumps in it. This was fine, as it all basically sunk to the bottom and I could dip my brush in the top layer and use that to paint with. After using this flesh colour I left it, and it dried onto my palette.

When it came time to clean the palettes (as I occasionally do) I found that the flesh colour had dried as this thin, bumpy film. Using a flat tip blade I was able to lift the whole dried paint patch as a single piece off of the palette. It was roughly circular, but I trimmed it down and glued it to the top of the pine block. Instant bumpy terrain, all with dried acrylic paint!

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I decided to finish the scenery off with a couple of small rocks that I had cleaned, as well as a ram skull from my bits box. I also filled any gaps between the tree and the pine block with wood filler.

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The third main element, and a different approach for me in that these two models have been used completely unchanged. They are straight ‘out of the box’, no conversion work at all.

My initial choice was the Beastman model. I won him at a tournament a few years ago, and have been looking for something special to do with him. Looking through what models I had opened and available, I chose the Greatsword to accompany the Beastman. The Greatsword has some nice movement to it, which balances the static pose of the Beastman quite well. It also helps to create a nice composition in the diorama, with the Beastman and tree together in one corner, and the lunging Greatsword in the other.

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I have kept the models and the base separate during painting, to make things a little easier. Since I was trying some new modelling techniques I decided to give a new painting technique a go. So I have basecoated the diorama in white, as opposed to my usual black.

Hopefully I can get some paint onto this tomorrow.

Time for the rats to leave their mothers

…and by mothers I mean the painting table.

I’m pretty happy with how they’ve turned out and I have learnt a lot about quick painting techniques along the way. It’s just a pity that so much got in between me and getting the little furries finished off. Well they aren’t completely finished… I haven’t got around to the bases yet, mainly because I have absolutely no basing materials yet. I intend to paint a few more things and then organise basing everything in one big group.

I definitely like the ones that I initially painted in darker colours better. The ones I did with the lighter cloth turned out having less depth, so I’ll definitely have to build up from black or something next time.

What’s next on the table? I’m not sure at the moment, but I am feeling the pull to get back into Warmachine / Hordes. There aren’t too many FB players left over here at the moment and WM/H wins over 40K for me. Maybe I’ll be back to post my reasons soon.

Anyway, on to the pictures:

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More warriors ready for an adventure

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In spite of having a cold, I mustered up the energy and will to finish off the three warriors. After some consideration, I decided to attempt a different skin colour scheme on the Pit Fighter. It is achieved with a mix of Dheneb Stone, grey, black and Elf Flesh. Though in what amounts, I cannot say. I just added colours and mixed it around until I achieved the desired colour.

The Campaigner Issue 4

090613-TCMIssue04 For those interested, The Campaigner Issue 4 was released today. This is the largest issue yet, and I am really happy with how it came out. A nice mix of interviews and educational features. I hope I haven’t hit my stride really, really early.

We three

Almost finished putting together issue 4 of The Campaigner. And slightly ahead of schedule too!

Celebrated by making some progress on the three warriors I have been working on.

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This is the first basic layers applied. Khemri Brown on first, most of it going onto the Wardancer. Then mixed black with a little grey and applied this to the Witch Hunter. Finally a thin layer of Elf Flesh onto all the skin areas.

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Once those were dry, I could apply the next level of base colours. Firstly, another layer of Elf Flesh, to flatten out the tone. This was followed by Mithril Silver onto all the metal areas. Scab Red followed, picking out a few choice areas. Finally, I applied a layer of Dheneb Stone to areas I intend painting quite light colours, like the Wardancers hair.

That should be all the base colour painting done. Next I can move onto washes and highlights.

Slight warrior progress

This is more of an update post than anything, though some painting will appear in just a moment.

I have been hard at work putting together issue 4 of The Campaigner. I am especially eager for this to be something special, as it is the issue I will be hauling along with me to PAX Australia. It is really coming together nicely, and at 44 pages is the longest issue yet.

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With that said, I pulled a half hour out of my schedule this weekend to make some slight progress with the Warhammer Quest miniatures. With the Wardancer, Pit Fighter and Witch Hunter undercoated black I applied a Bestial Brown first coat, as well as a grey to the base. At the moment I am still sorting the colours out in my head, especially with the Wardancer. It will be a challenge making him fit the dark red primary colour theme I have been utilising, while still having him look like a Wood Elf. However, I am looking forward to the challenge.

The Pit Fighter, the Wardancer and the Witch Hunter

Managed to slip some hobby time in this weekend, amazingly. Painting was out of the question, but preparing some models for eventual painting was certainly an option.

I have three metal Warhammer Quest Warrior Pack miniatures that I want to add to my Warhammer Quest set. These are the Pit Fighter, Wardancer and Witch Hunter. Two of these I could attach to the bases I sculpted earlier, which meant I just had to create an additional base.

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Since I haven’t bought some more Milliput I decided to go with the wood filler. This time I added more filler than I needed, with the idea that I could sand it back to the level I wanted. Once I had filled the base with wood filler I allowed it to dry for a couple of hours. This meant it was easier to manipulate the wood filler and create the details I needed.

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The Pit Fighter and Wardancer went onto the two bases already created, and I prepared the Witch Hunter to go onto the new base. I drilled out both his feet and inserted pins, which I then pushed through the drying wood filler so create a guide for where the model was to go.

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Once the wood fillerĀ  was dry I sanded the top down to create a more even surface. When the pins were dry I glued the Witch Hunter to the base. I also glued the Pit Fighter and Wardancer to their bases. Once this dries I will undercoat them.

I am very happy with how the wood filler base came out. Making the base higher than I needed and sanding the top down worked well. It gives the base a more consistent look with the other bases from Back to Base-ix. Also, letting it dry a bit before creating the details made working with the wood filler a lot more manageable.

Once I pick up some more Milliput I will have to go through the Warrior Pack rules I have left and see who I can add next. I do not believe I have any more official models left, so the rest I will have to convert.

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