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Well, I did it. We now have a cute little Christmas scene with mama Blightfang and her wee ones getting ready for the holidays! A little early for some holiday cheer but it was fun
Learned a few things: don't use wood glue to hold down snow it gives a disturbing yellow cast. Blightfangs scales are actually leaves, making her more of a forest dragon than a classic green, and I think one of her children was adopted...
I really had a lot of fun with this, even if it wasn't my best work. It came out well. I really like the red and teal fades on the wings.
I hope everyone enjoys this little window into the holidays...
and one more thing. Although it shows off the teal wings really well and it's an adventurers favorite view, the backside of a dragon is not the most exciting!
This is the third in a series of four posts each concentrating on a different entry category. You can find information about the scoring system itself in the Painter Division post. From here forward I will just concentrate on how the component guidelines apply to the other three divisions
The Diorama Division does not exist in the MMSI structure. At MMSI a diorama goes into the Open Division as it encompasses the same set of skills. I, however, felt the Open Division ignored or down played the story and what is a diorama without a story? This is the division that lets you show off the same skills that the Open Division does and wrap it around a story. Again if you have just a single entry then the judges can just go ahead and score your entry, no discussion is necessary. If you have multiple entries, then there will be a discussion between the judges on which entry they want to score. That conversation is typically the only conversation although these discussions tend to be longer than they might be in the Painter Division. However, when selecting the scoring entry the conversation is still based on “I can score this one higher than the others” or words to that affect, till they come to a decision just as it would be for the Painter Division.
Let’s take a quick look at the scoring guidelines the judges use (which is published as part of the MSP Open rules. One cautionary note’ these particular scoring guidelines may change slightly):
Painting Skill: 30%
What does this mean for the Diorama Division? In this division we are really want to see all your hobby skills as well as your story telling ability. While the components remain the same the emphasis has obviously changed a great deal.
Difficulty: This is a tough one for the Diorama category, since most dioramas are difficult to begin with. We reduced the emphasis here because we feel that you should not take a hit for a good story that is comparatively simple to tell.
Creativity: Creativity steps up a bit here. While painting is still factor this is the portion that shows us the story you are telling. Now painting is combined with your ability to convert, sculpt and tell a story to your audience. The entrant’s imagination comes into play here, you are looking to tell a story to your viewers. You are striving for the audience to understand your story without commentary from you. It can be subtle or in your face but if you have to explain it then you have not succeeded.
Workmanship: This remains a pretty straightforward component but in the Diorama Division there is a higher emphasis on it. It reflects how well constructed the entire piece is. Any type of non-painting effort is represented here. This is includes your ability to do conversions and/or scratch sculpt or at least be able to blend your miniatures in with the scene you have constructed. A missed mold line, poor assembly or a poorly executed conversion could easily drop you a while numeric value in the scoring.
Painting Skill: Everything that was said about painting still applies in the Diorama Division but there is less emphasis. At this point workmanship and creativity components exceed the painting component. While we don’t expect your abilities to be exactly equal in those areas you cannot count on your ability to paint alone to carry you over the top.
Presentation: There is more emphasis on the is component as well. You are building the entire entry, essentially from scratch, and the presentation of everything you do affects the story. From the miniatures to the setting, this is where it all comes together. How you present it can be the difference between gold and silver.
I decided to stop being silly and start posting my progress here. :)
For this diorama, I'm using 02648: Schumacher, 03631: Quoralei, and 77511: Xiloxoch with some pretty heavy modifications.
This is going to be a long post. Strap in and get ready!
The concept for my diorama starts with me deciding what a swamp mermaid (or 'Meremaid) looked like. I got on pinterest and started looking around for evil mermaids, etc. I know that, historically, mermaids/sirens lured men to their death, but generally speaking people think more Ariel anymore. I didn't want that. I wanted something that looked pretty on top, was deadly under the water. When I was searching for miniatures, I would find one or the other, so I knew I would have to do some converting. I also knew I wanted a kneeling man, preferably with an outreaching arm. After some searching on my own, and asking around on the forums, I ended up deciding on these component pieces.
The man was going to be the easiest conversion, so let's start with him.
I pretty much just cut off his sword, modeled a thumb (cause I accidentally snipped it!), and bent his arm.
I'm going to go back in and reduce that thumb a little, but it was arguing and I was tired. :) It will be painted like a glove since it has some separation from the sleeve now. I would love it if I could either unbend his fingers or sculpt new ones on, but that did not look right when I tried it. I may end up doing a complete hand transplant, but we'll see.
Next up, my 'Meremaid.
The reason I've been doing all this practice resin is that I want her to be submerged from the waist down. I'm not interested in doing a whole lot of converting and painting and then having my resin screw up and wanting to die. :)
So, started with 2 component parts:
This is after both had some cropping done. I removed the head of the naga, and the dangly bits from Quoralei's arms. They were just getting in the way, and not what I imagined for her.
Then a little more surgery:
That was a scary cut to commit to. Even though I can order more and nothing is set in stone, it was worrisome.
Test fitting her into her new legs:
See how her neck is bent funny? I think she had some difficulty somewhere along the way. I straightened out her head and one of her arms a bit, and I think it made a big difference. I had started this mini last year sometime as a quick paintjob that I then hated. That's why she's got some paint on her. I also decided I wanted to redo the 'fins' on her back, so she has some weird growths for a bit. :)
Greenstuff begins! I am by no means a master sculptor (see the above thumb), but I feel like I did this justice, especially considering it will be somewhat submerged.
I knew I wanted some sort of dorsal fins on her, I just had to make them myself. I used pieces of the existing model and cut them up and thinned them out a bit to give the effect I was looking for. A little smoothing, a little priming, and she looks good as new!
I decided to do a little zenithal priming on her so I could see the details and see if anything stuck out as 'wrong'.
I also decided that I wanted her to have a little bit of a fin on the end of her tail, so I cut that out of some bonesium I had laying around. I like the asymmetrical, angular look of it.
When I looked at her now, I wanted her to have a few more details, so I added some skulls to the base and gave her a crown. It's super fancy because it's made from toothpicks. lol
I also threw on a coat of black green, because I want her to look more crocodilian than fishy... We'll see how she turns out.
I also decided I wanted to add a bunch of foliage and swamp-y stuff, so I used my leftover green stuff to play around. Again, NOT a pro at this. Definitely have a steep learning curve ahead of me!
I made a cute little lizard for her base, just because. I intended to use the snail shells in her crown, but they were just too big. I didn't think starfish and normal 'mermaid' stuff would work in her hair since she's not in the 'sea'. I may do some moss or net-type things eventually. For now, I'm happy with her conversion and hope to move forward with my resin experiments into actually pouring them onto practice bases instead of just into molds.
Let me know what you think!!! I'd love any C&C since I'm hoping to enter this at Reapercon. Also, if you're a judge, look away!! :D
Hi there! I've started a diorama project, and I thought it would be good to post my progress here. This is my first diorama attempt- I have just been trying All The Things to see which ones I like best!- and so far, so good, I suppose. I'm one of those folks who learn best by doing, so here goes.
I'll be using Reaper's 03172 Hippocampus and Pegaso's Nymert, along with some Morland Studios Sea Accessories. I've built the base from scratch using Excalibur casting stone poured into a laser-cut plywood disk, along with lava rock, bark chips, and some hydrostone...so far. I'm going to need to add some Milliput along the edges to finish the angle, and do a bit more work with the Dremel before priming.
I was having a hard time envisoning how the figures would interact, despite sketches, so I decided to go ahead and start attaching the one element I'm certain of: the hippocampus. After cleaning him up a little and using the Dremel to modify his base somewhat, I glued it in. I tried to twist him a little, to give some spiraling motion that would match the nymert, but this is one tough seahorse. I am going to do a little torquing when I pin to the tail, but that's it. The nymert was a little tougher; she'll have to be pinned to a coral tower in the back, so I had to add an extra pin. I did it before cleanup, and I am crossing my fingers that I can get it to look natural in the end.
As I was deciding on the final placement of the nymert figure, I realized that I hadn't thought enough about the most important element of the dio: the story. No matter how I placed her, she looked like she was attacking the hippocampus! Not what I want! So I need to add a third figure, some sort of baddy for the two of them to be fighting. But there's very little room in this design for any additions. Soooo.....
Tentacles. This is a Fimo armature for what I hope will be a few evil-looking tentacles trying to trap the two figures. I sculpted it onto regular armature wire, attached it with CA glue and 2-part epoxy, and carved back into it to whittle it down a bit. I will use green stuff to sculpt the final tentacles, maybe more wire if necessary.
(Also, if you look closely, you can see the hole I drilled into the lava rock 'coral' for the nymert's pin. More of the lava rock drilled out than I wanted- it basically disintegrated- so I'll need something fairly sturdy to fill it when I'm ready for final assembly. Maybe Durham's. Or more 2-part epoxy or JB Weld.)
And that's it! That's how far I've come. Next week I'm going to mount the hippocampus and the nymert, I think, even though painting will get trickier; I can't really finish the tentacles until I do.
I have created a little diorama / terrain piece to go with my Lost World Project.
I used the base of Kaladrax Bones, now OOP to create some Aztec style ruins.
The smaller Aztec ruin pieces are from Greenstuffworld.
For the creatures in the murky river I used the Moray Eel of Reaper's 02948: Familiar Pack VII, sculpted a lungfish and some Trilobites myself ( almost invisible in the murky water as they should be.) and I sculpted a second eel.
And a Bones Centipede 77427: Dungeon Vermin - Centipede .
The Plantlife are the Plant Dragon and the Deathstar Lilies from Bones
77505: Dragon Plant and 77504: Death Star Lilies .
The Triceratops cadaver is a plastic Triceratops skeleton which I fleshed out with putty.
The little feathered raptors are Ral Partha Velocirapors and I used putty to give them feathers.
There is a juvenile Barchiosaurus in the back he's from a Paint and Play set from Wild Republic.
The Flying Creature is an OOP Metal Terradon from Games Workshop.
The Giant Centipede is from Safari Toob Animals which I repainted.
Thanks to @knarthex for providing me with flock, @strawhat for sending me the Toob Animals from which the Giant Centipede is now used, @TaleSpinner for his advice on sculpting feathers, I'm not superb good at it but I think it worked.
@SisterMaryNapalm and @malefactus for their ongoing support and tips.
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