Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Excellent points! Thank you for sharing! Your diorama's are an inspiration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is always interesting to hear how someone else approaches creating a scene. While I do things from a somewhat different perspective, you have some splendid ideas; AND your creations are GORGEOUS. Thanks for the insight.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome writeup!  I'm a fair way off from creating dioramas, and certainly won't be doing one for a competition anytime soon.  However, this is awesome info for that specific arena and just fans of the hobby in general.  Very informative and well structured.  I'd like to suggest adding The Rise of Fantasy by Juan J Barrena (I got my copy from Nocturna Models) to the list of books.  It has some general painting tips but is primarily oriented at vignettes/dioramas.  Lots of good info about composition as well as step by step walkthroughs of 7 of Juan's incredible dioramas/vignettes.

 

edit: grammar

Edited by hammer570
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great write-up, Kris!

 

I'm a huge fan of dioramas and vignettes, it's what I'm most passionate about in this hobby. I paint up single figures regularly for usage in my D&D games, but my true love is to tell a story with every figure and that usually entails me building a vignette or diorama to do this, at the very least I like to do a scenic base for a single figure even to be used in games.

 

Would love to hear other pro artists thoughts on dioramas/vignettes composition as well if they feel like coming in here and adding their two cents.

 

For me, I try to follow what Kris says and keep things compact as that's been the biggest hit to me when I've gotten feedback, keep figures to odd numbers and make the entire piece as compact as possible. Make the story easily understandable so that you don't have to explain it other than the title. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple is key.  I always try to use as few figures as possible to tell the story.  Mainly because I don't want to have to paint that many figures, and secondly because adding too much overly complicates most stories.  I also love using some of the same colors in my bases as I do in the figures because I feel like that helps tie everything together.

 

Technically this:

IG_4254_1.jpg

 

Tells a story!  1 figure!  It can be done.  ::):  Though usually for the dio category, I'd try to use at least 3 figs.  Regrettably, everyone keeps moving my single fig stuff to dio...sigh.  ::P:

I like using triangles and an odd number of figures as well. I love using levels.  Building up can be a good thing, as long as the vertical elements find a way to draw the eye back down to the action.  I studied a lot of paintings in HS/college, so eventually I get a sense for composition and what works. Looking at sculptors like Bernini and Canova can give some good composition hints- they try to convey motion.  I stalk CMON as well.  people come up with some great ideas!

 

it's hard to visualize sometimes the best way to limit where a viewer's eye goes.  Whenever you're plotting our compositions, try to figure out where your eye might wander and find a way to create a line or barrier that limits escape or pulls the eye back.  I'll often use trees, but I curve the branches down over the scene, so even though they go up, they draw the eye where I want.  If you're creating a rocky scene, point your rocks towards where the action is. Overhanging elements or not containing them to the square/circle/confines of the base itself can help create a more natural-feeling scene. Be wary of base size- smaller is sometimes better.  Too large a base and the figures get lost.  I think of it like a camera panning waaaay out.  When we get close, our brains wake up.  Too much empty space and we're watching settlers crawl across the great plains and impatiently waiting for the action to begin.

 

Also, post WIPs on the forums!!  Everyone loves to help out with things like color and composition, so use the resource of the brains around you!  It's one of the reasons I like posting WIPs, because I get great advice/perspectives on things and people see what I wouldn't otherwise have noticed.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thx for sharing this Heisler.

 

I'm currently building a diorama.

Great pointers.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this Heisler!

(Did I get you thinking for this post? Did I enable????? ::): )

 

 

How to Build Dioramas; Aircraft, Armor, Ship & Figure Models. Shepherd Paine, Kalmbach Publishing

 

Lords of Lead! I used to love looking at Shepherd Paine's stuff, starting with all the little blurbs he did for Monagram Models waaaay back in the day!

 

Dioramas like this:

post-14271-0-43106800-1462582656_thumb.jpg

 

Where he gave directions and explanations caused me to try and replicate his stuff!

There was an excellent guide on how to paint faces in those directions too, have to see if I can find any of those, and I had most of them...

post-14271-0-26300500-1462585923_thumb.jpg (Just saw that and had to add it....)

edit 2 (Just saw that one of those old 4 page color sheets went for $25 on ebay!!!!)

 

Started a life long liking of dioramas.... But the whole Idea of doing them with Fantasy minis is still pretty new....

 

I know that there were more books from him as well, because when I worked for B&N, I used to gaze at them....

 

George

Edited by knarthex
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very though provoking write up!  I'm just now feeling confident enough to try to do small dioramas/vignettes.  I'm currently kicking myself in the face for having so much open space on the top of the Aztec-ish one I'm working on (my first!).  I'm having thoughts on the story as well in my head.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen a couple of topics about dioramas and vignettes. Again there is some good information here for anyone looking to enter a diorama or vignette at ReaperCon 2018.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Heisler

Over on giyomuSan's WIP thread, you said:
 

When you are dealing with how many minis to use I have a couple of rules of thumb.

1) Go with an odd number, for what ever reason our minds like odd numbers they look more natural.

 

 

I have one I'm working on that includes 2 figures - a knight fighting a dragon.   Based on this rule, it seems like I should add another figure, but that seems like it would detract from the story I'm trying to tell. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

@Heisler

Over on giyomuSan's WIP thread, you said:
 

 

I have one I'm working on that includes 2 figures - a knight fighting a dragon.   Based on this rule, it seems like I should add another figure, but that seems like it would detract from the story I'm trying to tell. 

 

 

From a composition viewpoint, groups tend to work best with odd numbers, particularly three. But in a combat vignette I would say that you have two groups, each of one figure, so you should be fine.

 

Note that composition "rules" tend to be a bit contradictory and are all subject to local variation anyway. From the description, it's pretty likely that your figures are looking at each other, which satisfies a "rule" that you should have some idea what figures are looking toward. You will likely have one large and one small figure, which gives you dynamic imbalance. With luck you will have the figures at opposite corners of the base, which tends to be more pleasing than opposite sides (or the same side). You might have leading lines from the neck-line of the dragon and pose of the sword.

 

I could go on.

 

:B):

 

The short version is that there's not really anything wrong with a two-figure combat scene.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally on board with Doug on this point. Nothing wrong with a two figure combat scene, it has action, direction and story. Although a third element could be added, it does not necessarily need to be a figure, it could be something decorative that is not going to overpower the other two pieces. Groups don't always have to be characters sometimes an object can fill the role as well.

Edited by Heisler
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By odinsgrandson
      Here is our current adventuring party for Iron Kingdoms.  We started a new campaign shortly after Reapercon, so I was able to make use of several of the convention minis.
      This party is quite an odd mix of races.  Lately, I've been quite fond of having a semi-cohesive color pallet for our adventuring parties.  The last one I did was all in cold blues, so with this one I went for a very warm pallet.
       
      Lil is an investigator who 'secretly' is a Thamar Advocate.  She's just the stock mini of the vampire hunter from Reapercon (by Bob Ridolfi)


      This Pygmie Troll is very fond of hitting things and also alcohol.  He was made by resculpting the head and hands from the Jason Weibe's Dwarf Brewmaster (07015)


      Our resident Bone Grinder was made from Bobby Jackson's River Widow (03913).  I only made superficial changes to her (adding a few extra bone-grindy items to her belt).
      ]
       
      For our Trollkin Axe Flinger, it turns out that we already had the perfect mini.  This is the version from the Undercity Board Game.


      This Outcast Skorne Bushwacker/Warlock was made by simply head swapping a Malifaux rifleman.


      This Lazy Cyclopes (under the command of the Warlock) was a sculpt that I made quite a few years ago.  I showed it off to several sculptors at Gencon, and they all gave me some pointers on things that I could improve on.  Still, I was fond enough of him that I decided to paint him up.


       
    • By Kev!
      Howdy,
       
      International Mini Painting Month - Day 7
       


       
      Kev!
    • By Magma
      Last night I took a painting lesson from a friend who happens to have won many awards for mini painting and this year won Grand Master in Lock and Load 2018. So for the model of choice we choose to paint the Reapercon Sophie. We both painted one and this is what I ended up with.
      First model I have painted fully in maybe 10 years.
       
      Gothic Sophie.




    • By Adrift
      I thought this year would be my last ReaperCon. Somewhere along the line, I forgot the joy of speed painting and just painting miniatures for tabletop quality that I can use for gaming, etc. Somewhere along the line miniature painting became something that had to 'wow' or be appropriate for competition.
       
      I rediscovered my love of miniature painting at the Speed Painting, Sophie Says, and Paint by Die Roll tables at ReaperCon 2018; having 45-60 minutes to paint a miniature was such an exhilarating challenge and I present to you my fun!!!
       
      Barnabus the pirate was a Paint by Die Roll.
      Esme was a Speed Paint.
      Judas was a Sophie Says. 
      Michelle was a Speed Paint.
      Ogre was a Paint by Die Roll.
      Sekhmet was a Paint by Die Roll.
      Trista was a Sophie Says.








    • By dks
      Reaper released a new miniature for each of the 4 factions at ReaperCon this year. 
      This was the release that represented the River Widows: a woman and a big axolotl, both sculpted by Bobby Jackson.
      (I figured that "Cailleach" was Gaelic but I didn't know how to say it.  A web-search says it is like "Kal-ee-akh".  The diphthong "ai" is the sound in our word "pal", not "pile".)
      I put both figures on one 30mm round base, with a tree stump that I sculpted for her to stand on.
       
       
       
      I did an image-search for axolotl colors.  There are black, brown, green, yellow, pale pink/white ... but apparently the lighter colors are rare in wild specimens and more common for pets.  I chose light olive-green (with dark mottling) with reddish gills, similar colors to what Cailleach is wearing.  (But see below for how it would look as a lighter color.)
      I can imagine people getting this axolotl figure to use on its own, for dioramas, etc.
       
      I changed her hair a bit to match Talin's concept art more closely (shown here in a photo from the ReaperCon program).

       
      The stock miniature has wavy hair covering both ears.  I cut away the mass of hair on the right and sculpted a new ear and curls.  I also added some sharper curls on the left side.

       
      If I hadn't done that conversion, the figure would have looked more like this:

       
      A quick experiment to make the axolotl lighter-colored:

       
      Enjoy,
      Derek
  • Who's Online   10 Members, 1 Anonymous, 0 Guests (See full list)

×