Tag Archive | diorama

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.



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.


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.


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.



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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

Cling wrap and cardboard

Regular access to the internet is re-established. The four days without the internet were both relaxing and very stressful. Quite the dichotomy!

I started adding water effects to the diorama. Because the section that I was making water didn’t have any sides, I needed a way to keep it in. My solution was to take three pieces of card and tape them together, so that they could hinge around a section of the diorama. I then attached a strip of cling wrap (plastic wrap) to one side, with some hanging off each end.

These extra bits I used to pull it tight and tape it together. Then, I poured in 3-4mm of water effects and have left it to set. My main concern is that I haven’t tightened it enough and all the water effects just leaks out the bottom. I am hoping that if any does leak, I can either easily pull the excess off, or even sand it down.

Once I have added a few more layers and it has completely set I will pull the outer off, and we will see how it turns out.


Water effected

Just a quick one today. We have had almost three consecutive days of rain, and somewhere it has effected our homes phone line. So no phone or internet. I am forced to post from a public computer. Time is limited!

This has given me an opportunity to work some more of the On The Hunt diorama. The stage is almost finished being painted. I want to add water effects to part of the base, but I don’t know exactly how I am going to go about this. So I have set up a little test on an old base to see if I can achieve what I want.

Progress pictures.

On the hunt stage

Took an hour out today to work on my diorama. I decided that painting the stage first, before the central figures, would be the way to go. This way I can paint the miniatures to pop from their environment, rather than tr and push the background back on figures that are too dull.

This is the base colour. I will add detailing after all this is dry. This also seems like a good chance to try some water effects out on the base section, submerge the chest and skull a little. There is also a technique where you paint slightly thinned PVA glue over areas that I want to try. It should simulate wet or seeping areas, without having to have any depth to them.

I also gave the two sewer hunters a brown drybrush, because for some reason this is how I work now. Some time I really should try a different method, just to change things up a bit.

On the hunt

Content, and actually hobby related. Shocking, I know.

Work on The Campaigner continues. I have a couple of interesting articles already lined up. Also, the Creative Challenge closes this weekend. So I will have to go pick up the entries for that.

Speaking of which, I had my test platform for the Creative Challenge lying around. So I decided to take a stab at the challenge myself. Now, I realise how wrong it would be for me to enter my own challenge. But this should give me an idea on how well the platform works, and give me some ideas for what I could change to make it better.

This is the stage for the scene. I didn’t really have time to go all out on the story or modelling, so I decided to opt for a standard Warhammer-esque piece. This is going to be a sewer. The raised part and steps are constructed from foam, over which I have added a layer of wood filler. The backdrop has also had wood filler applied to it. All the details are stuff I have pulled from my bits box.

I haven’t really painted many humans, apart from a small amount of peasants, Men-at-Arms and Grail Pilgrims for my Bretonnian army. So I decided to do an atmospheric scene using two sewer hunters. Rather than construct some kind of fight, hopefully it will look like one hunter is about to charge off, while the other tries to calm him.

The most challenging thing was getting the right heads. I don’t want the characters to look too noble, but they also had to communicate what their characters were about. In the end I went with a stoic eyepatched head from the Empire Militia sprue, and a bald snarling head from the Flagellants sprue. Once these guys are dry I can fill in the gaps with greenstuff.

Like I said, it isn’t amazingly original or complicated. But it doesn’ t feel right to put peopleĀ  through a challenge I myself haven’t attempted.