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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.
By Rob Dean
Just before everything shut down, I ordered a Hot Wire Foam Factory kit, and picked up a few easy-to-handle 2x2 foot sections of one-inch pink board. The first warm day, I took it outside and cut a couple of trial hills:
I have an FLG game mat lining my gaming table, and I hoped that the usual Woodland Scenics flock would be suitable in color. Unfortunately, with the first hill I tried flocking, I found that I had misplaced my reserve flock supply, and that I did not have any lighter green.
Nevertheless, it looked close enough for gaming, so I ordered more flock.
The second hill, a dedicated corner piece for my small table, was delayed until the flock arrived, but got an an attempt at a more mottled appearance.
With yesterday’s remote game, I finally had a chance to open the table (which has been functioning mostly as my partner’s work-from-home space) and try the hill in the corner.
I think that’s close enough for gaming, so that’s probably what I’ll be going forward with.
By Rob Dean
After a painting hiatus of a couple of weeks, I sat down this morning and finished off this SOLID resin building from Apocalypse Miniatures. As best I can tell, the roofing is supposed to be sawn sections of log, but, as with some of my previous buildings, I don’t necessarily want the roof to be faded to a gray indistinguishable from the stone work, so it’s a “wargame conventional brown”.
So, the village progresses. This is #3 of 10 of what I got in the Apocalypse Kickstarter, and 4 of 12 of the resin building upgrade project (with Tabletop World providing the other two).
I hope to have them on the table in a battle soon.
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