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.

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About matt

Freelance Graphic Designer, thinker, and Warhammer tragic.

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