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Dark Sword Mole Alchemist...Diorama?


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I wasn't sure where to put this guy. He could easily go under the Sculpting board due to the amount of sculpting involved. He took 1st place in Diorama, as well as the Artist Award (from Jason Wiebe) at Genghis Con 2015 (Colorado), and he ranked gold at ReaperCon 2015. He was my first "real" competition piece. Up until then, I only ever painted and sculpted (everything from 28mm to 1:1 scale) for fun, and sometimes to hustle money from Star Wars nerds. *shady look*


The "...Diorama?" is because...to me, he's still not a diorama, but...both times he's been moved there. I won't complain.


In any case, when I set out to start this project, I crawled through the Dark Sword site, looked at every single mini they had (I've done this here at Reaper, too), and picked him out because he was just oozing with personality. Jason Wiebe (our visiting guest that year) even compared the little display to Brian Froud's work, and that alone left me pretty happy.


This is really what pulled me in to competing -- I finally found painting nerds to hang out with, even if the closest ones are 2 hours away. My usual local crowd only primes things, and rolls dice. No hate on them -- priorities, right? I have more fun doing this, and they have more fun doing that. But I kind of think -- somebody spent the time sculpting, putting in time, effort, and on some pieces -- you can actually tell when they've put some love into them. I like to at least give these a little attention. You know? And sometimes, I get stage fright, and never paint anything, because I'm sure I'll ruin it the second I touch it, so it sits in a box. Forever. I have about 100 ounces of just Reaper metal sitting in 2 boxes doing just that.


Any way...


I couldn't find all the pics of this, so it'll skip around. I already had a clear idea of what I wanted to do -- he'd be in a lab with all his equipment and such. Right after a cut a plinth for it, I decided to see what it might look like with a sewer underneath. A few more cuts later, and I had...at least...an interesting shape. But I liked it.




I started working on his equipment, constantly comparing him to check for size. I sculpted these a few times before I got something close to the size I wanted.




More equipment. He's got a little backpack because he's a student, yo.




Started working on the surfacing for the rest of the diorama. It's just a thin layer of Green Stuff on the plinth, and the plasticard wall. And a couple different sized styrene tubes for the sewer pipes.




Look at them books!




He needed a rat, too.




Starting the paint...




To be continued...


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More paints.




I ended up painting the fire really super nice because I was expecting on putting the cauldron on feet that were taller. This did not happen.




Started adding some more stuff. I couldn't find a tutorial for painting glassware -- only jewels and really small phials. After staring at photos of some, I decided to try blending some dark gray to the tops, and it really helped out a bit.




Painting the actual mole. I only had to paint him 3 times to be happy with him. :P




A mostly finished display. Notice some of his concoction spilled on the floor?




And underneath, so you see it seeping through the floor, into the sewer.




The pretty much completed piece...with a tentacly something or other crawling out of the sewer.




Better view, with the rat visible.




One more.




Annnnnd...last one.



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