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By Dan S
Dan's Build Journal #1
Completed Project Photos:
My Other Build Journals:
I recently undertook the task of creating several display pieces to serve as scenic backdrops when photographing my miniatures, however being the procrastinator that I am, I have instead found myself with an ever growing pile of unfinished projects. In an effort to break this cycle I am no longer allowing myself to start new projects until my current one is complete. I figure a progress journal would be a great way to hold myself accountable, and hopefully by sharing my build process even inspire others into giving diorama building a try.
Anyway, without further ado here is my current work in progress, a good old fashioned hobbit hole. I managed to pick up a cheap and incomplete resin kit (front wall and chimney) on Ebay a while back. I painted it about a month ago, and it has sat on my desk gathering dust ever since. Today I finally started to put in some real work on the build.
29/05/20 - Laying the foundation.
The first job was to lay the foundations of the build. I hot glued thick polystyrene sheets to an old photo frame and then cut them to shape using a hot wire cutter. The challenging part was then getting the front wall to fit convincingly into the hill, being an incomplete kit, the front wall was completely rectangular and just didn't look right no matter how I positioned it. To fix this, I measured out and then cut some thick card stock in to triangular sections, and then cut some thinner strips to match the wooden beams on the front of the house. I then glued these to the house so that the walls now followed the contours of the hill more organically. I also made some curtains using some old fabric (The original kit has holes for windows and I needed to hide the polystyrene behind them).
Next I mixed up some Sculptamold and started to cover the polystyrene and base of the picture frame before adding some rocks that I had cast previously with Plaster of Paris (They are probably hard to make out in the photo, as they blend in with the white sculptamold, but once painted they should stand out nicely). With that done I decided to call it a day, and give the sculptamold the night to fully dry before adding any paint. And that is pretty much how I spent my Friday afternoon.
Apologies for the poor picture quality, I took the photo during the evening in poor lighting with my ancient phone camera. I'll get some better pictures up once I have something more substantial to share.
WIP Thread here
I finally finished this dragon. I took a lot longer for the base because I got a little carried away, but I'm really super happy with how it came out. To begin, this was a request from my mother in law to take inspiration from a set of china she has.
Here's the plate
In the end though I'm really happy with how the dragon come out and took lots of pictures:
I'm going to do my best next time to rein in the base a bit, but I'm super happy with how this came out.
A few weeks ago I posted my Paladin (Essach Stonebreaker) converted from a bones Duke Gerard miniature. This is that same character, but advanced to more heroic levels (we'll see if he actually lives that long in this campaign lol).
Presenting Duke Gerard in metal, converted to hold a mace / morningstar / scepter from the "Good" weapons pack from Bones III.
Like: First attempt doing anything like the landscape on the shield. Generally good depth of color. Got the face much, much better than on the plastic version (part of that is thanks to the sculpt though...better detail). Better management of blonde hair on a pale face, which is tough since that risks being very low-contrast (and by proxy, low-interest). Better at abutting color - I'm still too reliant on black lining for my line work, which leads to deep shadowing...not always a great look.
Needs work: Smooth lines, patience...I'm not painting at tabletop speed or anything, but I'm probably still working too quickly to accomplish show-worthy painting. Looks great at arms length, but I can notice the hell out of flaws, lumps, and bumps as I get closer.
Still, it's a step forward for me. Additionally, I finally got a light box so I can improve the pictures just a wee bit! In fact, the little white flecks on the substrate are from a previous mini photo shoot ( a white dragon, which I will post later). My next goals are 1: to get better at slowing down and smoothing out my lines and 2: to work on my mini photography.
Anyhoo: here's Duke Gerard, converted into my 5e Paladin of Lathander, Essach Stonebreaker!
"Fond of bright colors, chiefly green and yellow," as Tolkien described his hobbits.
Stonehaven does some incredibly character-rich sculpts, and this is one such. This lady is full of vim, vigor, optimism, and a can-do attitude!
I imagine her as maybe the irrepressible kid sister of a grown adventurer, who has heard stories of adventure and wants to be a part of things. (Big sister played by Daschelle, 44009 )
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