Jump to content


WIP: Dragon Diorama (Here be Dragons! possible entry)

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody!


I am working hard on a diorama to, if I get it done in time, submit to the Here be Dragons! competition.


I have a lot of pics from the start, but I hit a problem tonight and wanted to ask the forum for opinions and advice.


The diorama will tell a story. To test the idea, I won't tell you what, and if you can guess it then the story is well shown to the public :)


Some pics:






That was "version 1" of my idea. Of course, cleaning of minis (removing bases) and sculpting needed to be done (I cleaned the minis already, sculpting flames is next).


I was quite happy about this composition, but something kept bothering these last couple days, something I finally put my finger on:


- The wizard dwarf holding the shield is too static!


I went through the rest of my Reaper order and found a mini that I originally intended to go up there, quickly put it together, and then set a new scene (let's call it v2):



As for composition, I brought these friends:


(version 2.1):



...or version 2.2:



Also, to balance the diorama, this little guy (non Reaper, old mini I don't know where it comes from):




These are the minis available to me, basically:



Size comparison of the little dwarf:



Sorry for the bad pics.


Now, help me! Do you think the story is clear? Do you like v1 or v2 better? If v2, v2.1 (fighter to the side) or v2.2 (fighter in the path of the dragon and under the flame blast, mostly)?


Should I keep the little dwarf? Should I add something else?


There are pieces missing (like bushes, foliage on the tree plus burning tips of the branches, etc) but basically that it is. Any comment or suggestion is deeply appreciated!





  • Like 12

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump for opinions? I will need to define the minis if I am to hit today's narrow priming window, thanks to weather conditions :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My preference is version 2.1 with the inclusion of the dwarf. For what it's worth, it seems more "realistic" that the fighter would approach from an oblique angle. It also keeps all the interesting bits from falling in a straight line which allows you to seem details from every angle. Regardless of how you proceed - I'm looking forward to seeing this progress.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The composition is great, I like the way you placed the rocks and three, it had movement and creates a dynamic landscape on the diorama. I also like the idea of "magical" shield blocking the Dragon's fire, it's convincing even if the Dwarf look a little stiff.

I see you have Gilok Onyxfist on your work bench. Because of the way he's crouching and seem to be fighting back with a ball of energy, he would be my first choice.

Then, I would use Thorvald as a brute force fighting in close combat and Brock Battlebow ready to strike from his hideout.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm, thanks. I agree the dwarf-ess is very cool, plus the hammer gives a sense of shielding, blocking...


The base has tracks molded in, like someone run up and found he/she needed to leap... and then had to cast up the shield before being toast! That is the sense behind using the magician with the cloak, it help bring together that dinamic feel.


I can use the girl, surely (she was my first choice after all!). It bothers me how static her braids are, and her skirt. Painting movement there would be really difficult...


Metalchaos, Gilok would look cool indeed there. He looks like he had time to set, thou... and if I put him up, I feel I would have to also sculpt his energy/magic up crashing against the flames! Which would be cool too :)


I will clean him quickly and check the post.


BTW, I love Thorvald but he is sooo looking down :(


Thanks everybody! I cut one of my fingers just now so this will go slowly; I will set a few different scenes and snap some pics for you guys, and then let the wife decide (as usual LOL)

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaosscorpion!


As I mentioned, yesterday I dug a xacto carving tip into my left-hand index finger. The cut was clean, so even when the whole cut was about 1/4 of an inch it is curing well. However, loosing the ability to bend your index finger due to the bandage is very very bothersome (plus, my hand kinda hurts in general). So I cannot really clean minis, since holding them is awkward (plus, not a nice grip and again sharp pointy things... ummm).


I, however, spent some time thinking on the dragon. Originally I was going with the old idea of black dragon, green scales, etc... then I thought, with not paint her (it is a her in my mind) like a real world lizard? A colorful lizard; after all, nature is telling us "stay away, this one is dangerous!". Like a bright, venomenous snake!


The scheme I chose might not come from the deadliest lizard we have around on Earth... but I kinda loved the oportunity of bright colors:




A Gecko. Why? Because it is green. And the other main, big element of the scene will be a great red spout of flame. So, contrasting colors.


I took the picture throu some software, checked the values (I don't really know why, but it is more info to process. Then I can perhaps draw conclusions as to what works with some other piece of information; what color is actually brighter? etc). I took pictures of my available greens and discovered... most of them are biased into the blue hue. The most "yellowish" green I have is a caqui color.


And the Gecko is a very yellow-slanted green color. Bright, too. I mixed some colors and found this one:



The base would be the one marked as "50/50". It is a (more or less) equal mix of artist-grade Pthalo Green and an old craft paint I have called "sunburst yellow", which is the brightest, cleanest yellow I have in hand. It is a nice, bright green. Steps up are adding yellow (for highlights), and down is more green). Down the spectrum is a splotch adding a little black, and a little white. Of course it looses some brightness but it is nice to see the colors and know what to expect from them.



I even did a quick test on the dragon scales and looks good :)


So I proceeded to look for old paint pots to clean so that I can mix the green and save it. This dragon is going to take some amount of paint!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Boltgun Metal, the memories of painting... bolters, actually...



Mixed some paint:



It looks a bit fluo, right? It will be darker when it dries, I keep telling myself...


First coat, prepare to be blinded...



Second coat.



The thing is bid! These two coat took me about 3 (three!) hours. And I found so many mold lines I want to kill myself :(


But the good thing is, as always, the first time you hit a mini with the brush you actually see all the detail, and start thinking about what color will go were, and transitions, etc.

  • Like 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it is a plastic "toy" I picked up in a general stuff store in France. It doesn't mention the brand, (and since then I filed off the typical plastic toy things like "made in China", etc), but it is similar to these:



Best thing? It was 12EUR :)


And yes, it is pretty even if it's general quality is not miniature-grade.

  • Like 3

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 Neatpete
      The new Kickstarter got me motivated to dig up some old bones. I realized after all these years I have never painted a dragon, so I got after it. Rather happy with how this came out.

    • By rubegon
      As commanded by the very, well, commanding @Glitterwolf, I’m going to paint this big boy.  I’ve been eyeing him on the corner of my desk for months now, and to be honest I’m a little afraid of him.  He’s probably going to look somewhere between terrible and mediocre by the time I’m done, but at least he won’t be grey anymore.
      I’m probably going to use the airbrush that I barely know how to operate quite a bit.
      I think we’re going to need a bigger brush ...
      I only have up to a size 2, which I guess would be like mowing the grass with nail clippers.  Should I get a size ... 4?
      All are very welcome to critique/comment/heckle/throw tomatoes/etc.  I need and will be very grateful for any advice and assistance I receive, but please don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t do very much good.

    • By Maledrakh
      A large mini ragepainted sloppyfast in under an hour just to blow off some steam and get it off the tray it has been standing around for ages on.
      Well, large mini I say. Compared to most other dragons of the Bones kickstarters, this one is rather smallish.
      However, back in the day when heavy metal was king, this mini would be considered a large miniature of a dragon.
      pics below the clicks
    • By Rainbow Sculptor
      Hey everyone! It's been a long while since I could post on here, I've been really busy with work. I've started a new commission piece from a client I won't name just yet but whom has given me permission to share my sketches/WIPs/ and sculpting process with you guys! 
      The project is to sculpt several nereids/sirens/water nymph type characters. One full body and at least two others partially submerged. They should be gorgeous and make men want to leap to their deaths so I'm avoiding any monstrous type features. Although we want them to be mostly humanoid I will be adding in some little features to indicate their magical/watery/fey nature. 
      Here are my initial sketches where I'm exploring posing, body types, and the kind of shape language I will want to use in the sculpts. My drawing hand was failing me today so these are REALLY rough but I got my ideas down and I'll have enough to move to the next stage which will be creating a mannequin in ZBrush.  
      *Apologies for the more sexual images. These aren't intended to be offensive in any way merely educational on the topic of character design*

    • By Pegazus
      Yes, a 2020 ReaperCon WIP! And a massive undertaking at that. I'm trying very hard not to nerd out and put this whole project into, er, Project. There's just so many pieces to keep track of, that maybe I'll just use this first post to keep track of things.
      Some background stuff, starting with a quote from the "Paint a giant robot! Group WIP" where I wrote some of what's planned:
      You can read the rest of that post here: Paint a giant robot post and a second one to see where I'm going with this: PLA print post in same topic
      Biggest takeaway is that, while useful, my PLA printer can only do so much. I have a resin printer backed on Kickstarter, but considering it's now 3 years late, I don't think I should hold my breath on it ever showing up. Especially when I can get a new Elegoo Mars resin printer with more capability for relatively cheap (<$300). The PLA machine was bought with both hobby and household goals in mind, and it's served well. But the resolution just ain't there! More on that down the posts.
      I also had the chance to gain some experience on  paper plants at ReaperCon (Main post for that in the Terrain section post here: Vellum Paper Plants - Alien Jungle (WIP)
      Basically, I have the scrap booking machine to make my own alien plants:
      Which now leads me to this WIP. This is going to tie all those pieces together. The robot WIP will still be to get a good camo scheme, but that print job is not going to be used for the final diorama. Instead, that will be the resin printer's job. So, let's break down the WIP work that I can see so far, and will be edited later to add things and mark completions.
      Tasks to be completed:
      Figures Needed
      Wight (being pulled down backwards, caught by hidden lines) Gremlin Unit 01 (stole a supply crate and ran; actually just bait to get the larger CAV to follow) Gremlin Units 02 and 03 (trip line pair, successfully snagging Wight across the chest) Gremlin Units 04 and 05 (trip line pair, successful across another part of the chest) Gremlin Unit 06 (burner unit, cut Wight's left gun in two) Gremlin Units 07 and 08 (trap door unit, hiding entrance to jungle path with camo doors strapped to them) Gremlin Units 09 and 10 (trip line pair, successful across right thigh) Gremlin Units 11 and 12 (trip line pair, broken cable across chest, possibly falling over from sudden jolt) Gremlin Unit 13 (ECM unit, some large radar dish looking thing) Gremlin Units 14, 15 and 16 (cargo units, loaded up with stolen supplies and headed out) Gremlin Units 17, 18, 19, and 20 (gun units) Gremlin Units 21, 22, and 23 (missile units) Gremlin Unit 24 (large gun unit) Gremlin Unit 25 and 26 (junked units; scavenged for parts?) Gremlin Unit 27 (2nd style missile unit) Gremlin Unit 28 (personnel carrier unit)  
      Wight Conversion
      Right Leg: cut from pelvis; reposition Feet: cut off both feet and swap positions since the tread is only on one foot Base: cut away from right foot, possibly keeping full base around left foot Left arm (maybe): cut gun into two pieces, having one falling to the ground after being cut by a heat lance/chainsaw rope  
      Details to be included
      Camo doors at front leaving marks on the dirt path, but hiding the ambush from the main trail Pieces of old broken larger CAV units around Wight gun cut in two, maybe showing inner details. May have to 3D print an add-on piece Dust being kicked up by the stolen crate (going to try using dyed cotton) IN WORK One cable snapping dynamically, with several bends and twists (superglue on thread?) Multiple vehicle tracks around camp Campfire and tents for people A latrine Other camp details (laundry, chairs, sports equipment, bored carvings, etc)  
      Jungle Plants (V=Vellum cuts, B=bought, S=Sculpted, F=Found, P=Printed)
      Large lotus flower like plants, but dry land and maybe odd colors with a large conifer cone growing from the middle (V) Jester hat plant (balls on stems around a central point) (V) COMPLETED Spiky yucca like plant (V) Jagged leaf plant (V) Tentacle plant (V) Tripod trees (three spoke trunks) (V) Large palm fronds (S) Coral like trees (P) Horn tree (lots of horn shaped leaves from a central trunk) (P, V) Ball vine (like ivy but with odd leaf shapes) (V) Cabbage-like jungle plants with large wrinkled leaves (V) Fuzzy vines (thin wire coated with static grass) (S) Anything I can buy from N/HO scale train setups and painted alien-ish (B) Reaper figures that can be clipped and painted to be plants (B) Odd trees with strange leaf shapes (onion shaped) (V) IN WORK Random grass-like jungle plants (V) IN WORK Stem ends from mandarin oranges (seriously, pull one off and look at it, stem towards the ground) (F) Anything and everything else (VBSFP)  
      Base mounting system
      Design and print modular tiles with bristles on top (basically, Bristle Block toys) Allows mounting of all the above jungle plants Fill in around plants with thinned plaster via a syringe to create the ground surfaces
  • Who's Online   12 Members, 0 Anonymous, 157 Guests (See full list)