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By Dan S
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.
As an entry to @Glitterwolf’s painting Pandemic challenge I figured I’d try something a little different. I printed up this scaled-down nurse from Silent Hill. Plan is to have her with a wall that is flaking away (crackle paint is the intent here) and dirty tile floor.
a long time ago (I swore I had it bookmarked but alas...) I found a write-up by an individual who painted up some amazing veiny zombie skin using batting as a mask for the airbrush with the dark bruised colours going on first before adding the skin tone overtop. Since I can’t find the reference, I’m going on trial and error and some fuzzy memory.
im going to have to be very careful with the cleaver as it is less than 1mm thick.
primed white and her dress was then covered with tape to minimize cleanup later.
A good vibrant purple (mix of warcolours Violet 5 and Vallejo game air alien purple). Never planned on painting a zombie purple before.
Then I hit it, using some batting that I teased and stretched out with Vallejo game air electric blue. The right, her left, leg turned out better but it’s more splotchy than veiny. I feel for the skin layer I’ll need a finer mesh (more space between) but thicker strands. Will have to play with the batting to see what I can come up with.
Thinking of priming up a couple plastic spoons to try this on to see how things turn out before I attack her. Hope to start some work on the base tomorrow night.
Thanks for looking.
Yes! We can do it again! Let's make a tank! Let's make a beautiful tank!
Once again, it's a diorama project based on a game scene, once again, it's Combat Mission.
In this particular diorama, the commander of a Panzer III M is a reallylucky person. In a shootout during the Let's Play of German wargaming channel "TaktikfuchsTV", his Panzer III got hit around 20-25 times, prompting everyone to believe that this particular tank was dead. And I mean ... DEAD!
But to everyone's surprise, the crew reentered the vehicle and drove away - going like:
Here's the scene:
Kauder reenters his tank (In German)
So I got me a commanders figure and a tank ...
First off, some pictures to see what this project will look like:
So I got me a Panzer III from Tamiya and started to do some minor conversions ... and over the course of one afternoon, this vehicle was finished.
I am really proud of those selfmade smoke launchers.
The vehicle will be displayed with open hatches. That's a challenge due to the really lame interior, but that's not a problem. I'll use colors to make the less detailed parts dark and the detailed parts white - I hope that will work!
Tomorrow I'll go over the armor and do the shell damages. The only thing I am not certain about is the frontal armor provided by the spare tracks.
I don't know how those look when they are hit. They are pretty massive and I simply cannot imagine them looking the same way as a normal armor plate when hit.
I've got to dig deeper into it.
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:
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)
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
I'll need a Pegasus soon for one of the PCs in the D&D 5e campaign I run for my son and his high school friends.
The metal Reaper one is lovely, but IMO, too fragile for use with a bunch of rambunctious teens. I was looking around for some options when I saw the Bones Sphinx, and figured her wings would "bolt" onto Silverhorn the Unicorn fairly easily.
So here is my attempt to create my own Bones Pegasus, since I can't wait for Bones 5 to deliver me one:
I cut off Silverhorn's horn (and set it aside for later), and drilled two holes in the shoulders. I took the Sphinx's wings, and cut off the tabs, then shaped them best I could to fit the shoulder profiles of Silverhorn, before drilling a hole to pin them with.
Next up is glue and green stuff.
I have a feeling he's going to droop over time. Not sure if I'm going to attempt to pin his back legs(s), but at a minimum, I'll probably glue him to a 50mm base to keep him upright, even if he droops.
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