Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Here we go again.


If you don’t want to know what led to the whole “Let’s make a present”-stuff, feel free to scroll down to the first picture.


I have to admit: I am not world’s best painter. To be honest – I am far away from that. I cannot remember color theory, keep forgetting important steps or read a tutorial just to throw it away ‘cause I cannot imagine how I should turn the advices into actual results. Life is hard …

Anyway – it seems that persons in my proximity have caught attention of what I am trying to do and figure that it is actually *good* and from time to time ask me to do some presents.

And that’s what I am doing for them. Presents.

Often those presents have got something to do with my boss. She is the driving force behind this whole “You do wargaming! You can paint! You make present! Ugh!“—stuff.

A specialty of her is to ask me to think of something and prepare something just to then remember me that I have got like 5 days left until the specific gift is needed. Thank you, ma’am!

And – oh, yeah – there has to be an owl in it. She loves owls and she wants everyone to know.

Therefore a typical process of creation  looks like this:


1st. Not much time left

2nd Owls are needed

3rd No owls available

4th panic rises

5th awkward moments are happening

6th The badly needed inspiration comes to mind

7th realization of lacking skill follows badly needed inspiration

8th panic rises further

9th Finally! Owls are available! Construction may begin.



So – Let’s make a present.


The following present was the very first “big” present I made. I want to run you through the process of creation as it was a lot of fun for me to improvise and think of that whole stuff, and I think it would be a shame not to share it.

The present was for a colleague who left us. Normally she would have gotten some kind of standard present from our workplace, but she didn’t want to. She had bad experiences regarding standard presents, so my boss was a bit unhappy. She didn’t want to let our colleague leave without anything in her hands.

Normally my boss would have done something on her own. She is a good painter - I guess like Bob Ross (just different hair style … and not so many little happy accidents). But she didn’t have got time, so I stepped in.

I had Five days left, and of those five days I was away for two days – not much time to come up with something.


So when I came home from work first thing I had to do was checking the materials available.

My boss wanted the present to be an owl. Well … as I don’t care about owls (only time I do is when they start screaming at night and keep me awake), I didn’t have got any owl miniatures.

And then there was the question of what kind of present I wanted to make.

I thought of a diorama, went through some stores in my area, didn’t find any helpful inspiration, and after a few hours of searching the Internet, I finally found what I was looking for: an owl mage.

And that triggered a thought on the meaning of the present.

Our colleague had been forced to make some hard decisions beforehand, which did not only have an impact on her work but also personal life, and my idea was to give her some kind of advisor to lead her through the upcoming time of her life.

I figured this idea to be on one hand quite good and on the other hand to be somehow hilarious, so the idea was settled.


Next thing I needed was a showcase.

Luckily enough I had some miniature tanks which showcases I didn’t need. One of them seemed to fit the figure and leave enough space to create a small scene around it.


I only had an overall idea on the topic by that time, but finally the whole concept rushed into my mind.

Why not make a path, where the owl mage has a decision to make? The decision might be easy – go left or go right? Both paths will lead out of the diorama and therefore he cannot see what awaits him. He asks his crystal ball for advice but that doesn’t provide the answer and so the mage has to decide himself which way he wants to take.

So I bought the owl mage and went on my two-day-trip. When I came back, the mage had already arrived. Time for me to start.


First things first – I had to take the dioramas measurements and to make a plan …






Then I did a first test fitting of all the elements I had thought of and made a plan, just to ignore it and continue with a second test, in which the owl mage was put together with a tree which I took from my forest box to create an outline I wouldn’t be able to read later on and started.







A main element of the diorama would be the path. Therefore I had to carefully outline how I wanted to create it, especially as the parting of the ways should be clearly visible.





After that was done and put away to dry, the next thing to do was the road sign.

Checking my materials box, I found some balsa wood and plastic styrene. Using a scalpel, a rough file and some glue, those two elements became one to make a great road sign.






Then I had to let it dry. Next thing to do was painting the owl – but that is a different story for the next post …

Edited by Knochensack
  • Like 7

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did we stop? Ah, right … drying and stuff. Painting? Painting what? An owl? Owl my god.

Right. Painting the owl.


Well – painting the owl started off quite funnily. As I told earlier I never cared about owls. Another thing I never cared about were wizards.

So I totally lacked a concept for coloring our magnificent feathered friend here.

I had to get some reference material and then I had to figure how to paint the object I desired to be finished.

Regarding my first problem, I took some time to get me inspirational music ...


NieR - Hills of Radiant Winds


… and then undertook some time to find me some pictures I figured to be acceptable as reference material.

I finally chose this one to be my first reference picture and then change what I wanted to change.





Regarding the second problem, Doctor Fausts Painting Clinic was a great help. Thanks, Doc.

It took some time, but finally the basic colors were on and a few highlights set. Time … to dry (Blade Runner reference)






While that was happening (I mean the owl drying), I went over to the tree which had been lying in my forest box for quite some time and started cleaning and dry-brushing it.





Everything was going well. Time to hamper my efforts. I know that will happen sooner or later. Well, this time it happened later.

I had applied some Noch scale train terrain putty to make a wonderful smooth terrain around the path and let it dry overnight, but … well it didn’t dry and stuck to the base. No. It fell off – in big pieces. Once it was dry, of course.


Wonderful. Splendid. Marvellous. Gnaaaaaaaaaaaaaa(………)aaaaar!




Why the @##!!)§(!=§”?!”)§ is this !”)%&$=§@><Ä‘!=§ not doing what I want it to :_!)§/% do! Damned!



Unfortunately I didn’t have got any material left to redo the whole base. And then there are only two days left. Bravo, monsieur! What an outstanding effort! You wasted a whole night and half a day for just nothing. And now you cannot finish you work because you do not have got enough material left for what you are planning to do.

There was only one solution. I went over to my neighbor. We often meet for wargaming or painting sessions, so I know he has got some terrain putty. When he opened the door, I just hold up my hand: “Sorry – no time – need putty! Now!” He understood.

Ahh – he had enough putty left. And it stuck to the base.





Great! Very great! I am not entirely lost.


Back to the owl.




Using some lighter colors and several washes, I finished the eyes, the crystal ball and the mages staff in a rather fast and easy way. And it looks good, too.

I chose a more human form for the eyes, as I totally messed up painting owl eyes three times on that miniature. I didn’t want to do it again once more. And it makes him more lovely, I think :-D










Well then – everything left is painting the base and putting some grass on it … and then we can go over to this place:


Let's present a ... present! Owl Mage


We are done.

In conclusion: Wonderful. I have never made a present or gift like this before and it was indeed a lot of fun. Not only the process of gathering all the different ideas and inspirations, but also the construction itself. My boss was happy and our colleague loved it from the first moment on. She told me that the owl will have a special place at her new work place. Hopefully it won’t be the paper basket.

There is only one thing that makes me sad: That I had to give the diorama away in the end. I really loved the outcome and I was so surprised everything went so good. What a colorfowl experience for me.


More to come.

Edited by Knochensack
Removed animated image
  • Like 10

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a colorfowl experience for me.


I see what you did there!


Great WIP Thx.


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

What a colorfowl experience for me.


I see what you did there!


Great WIP Thx.



Ohhh - a typo! Shame on me. ::P:


Glad you like it!

  • Like 1

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 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
    • By NyarlaBcn
      Last year I painted Reaper's Halloween Knight with - I think - some success (you can check the mini on my Insta account, @albertnyarla); so I decided to start a tradition and pay hommage to my favourite festivity this year too. 
      Here I went with one of my favourite horror tropes, the Witch, with this fantastic Witch Coven by Reaper, under the "Tree of Despair" from Bones IV, with a couple hommages to good horror movies. Had to refrain myself to include even more references to avoid getting it too crowded. 
      Overall, I'm happy with the outcome. It will mean everything (if you like it) to give it a like and maybe a follow on Instagram, it really helps with motivation ^^ 


    • By joshuaslater
      Cool factions in this game!
    • By Cyradis
      This is the end result of me trying ~2.5 sources of light for OSL. Red from magic runes below, teal from a flame in hand, and some moonlight from above.
      The character is our magic user (archivist/wizard/mystic theurge for Wee Jas), who got pretty beat up last session - but he got better. Hence title "revived". His familiar is an Aussie magpie, which was so vexing to paint, because instead of just a black bird, she has some spots. Gah!
      The character is pale, with black hair, and wears black and gray.... so I had a bit of an adventure trying to work around that too.
      The figure is a converted version of Dark Sword's Stephanie Law "Male Mage". I took it off the base and put it on a new one (I think MicroArtStudio?). I also filed off the tiny beard to make it just a little more different. I then took off the staff, and took the Bird on a Rock from that kickstarter and put it on the hand. That thing is on there with superglue, greenstuff, and prayers.
      The red OSL specifically wouldn't have been possible with my Reaper reds; that's Kimera paints. I tried Reaper Blood Red and it just wouldn't go bright enough. On the palette, it looks the same as Kimera's "The Red", but The Red is just sooooo much more vibrant. I thinned the heck out of it and started glazing it in.
      Weakest point I think is the bird, but eh, that's okay.
      Photos aren't perfect, but still better than what I used to get. Going to fiddle around with stuff again soon.

    • By SGHawkins09
      This chaos toad was another one of my ReaperCon entries, this time in the Painter's category. As I had multiple entries in the category, only one was judged and this was not the one chosen. Even though it was not the one judged, it is one of my favorites that I have painted recently. It is a fantastic sculpt by @TaleSpinner with fun details like the shrunken head and turtle shell canteen. 

  • Who's Online   25 Members, 1 Anonymous, 159 Guests (See full list)