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By Dan S
Dan's Build Journal #4
The Ranger's Camp
Finished Project Pics:
My Other Build Journals:
Well its been almost two weeks since I finished my last project, and that itch start a new build has flared up again. This time I am going to attempt some type of Ranger/Woodsman's Camp, which compared to my last couple of projects should be quite a straight forward and relatively simple build.
Laying the Foundation.
To build the foundation of this project, I cut out a piece of XPS foam to serve as the base and then used blocks of polystyrene which I'd cut with a hot wire tool to form the very basic shape and contours of the landscape. I want give to the illusion that the camp is quite secluded and well hidden and so it is going to be set up in a small clearing at the base of a wooded hill. I'm going to build the hill so that it sweeps around the camp, shielding it from three sides.
During my recent Ruined Keep build, I'd started working on an LED campfire, but got cold feet and ended up abandoning the idea scared that I'd mess up and spoil the project. This time I am going to go for it. I removed the outer casing from a cheap flickering LED tealight, cut a small hole in the XPS foam base, and then hot glued the tealight into the hole so that only the LED was protruding above the surface. I'll come back to this at a later stage.
The next stage was to get nice and messy with some Sculptamold, which I used to reshape the contours of the hill into something a little more organic and natural looking. I also added several plaster of paris rocks that I had left over from a previous project to add a bit of visual interest. The rocks were originally created using Woodland Scenic's Rock Moulds.
The Sculptamold is applied quite thickly in places, and so it may need an extra day to fully dry. In the mean time I have a bunch of accessories to paint up and prepare, including a woodsman's lean-to, a roasting spit and a sitting log which I will likely start work on over the weekend.
By Dan S
Dan's Build Journal #2
Ruined Keep Edition
Finished Project Photos:
My Other Build Journals:
For those who followed my Halfling/Hobbit home build journal (Link here), you will know that I recently set myself the goal of building a series of display pieces throughout the year, to serve as scenic backdrops when photographing my miniatures. Maintaining a build journal is my way of holding myself to account (I have a bad habit of starting and not finishing things). I took a short break following my last build to catch up on some unpainted miniatures, but I am now ready to get cracking on my next large project, an ancient ruin.
Future planned projects include:
Sewers Dungeon Adventurers Camp Industrial Complex Spaceship Graveyard Urban Trenches
With the Ancient Ruined Keep project looking to be the most complicated of bunch I have chosen to start that now, as I will be returning to work in a week or so and will no longer have a lot of free time, however after this project I have no set order planned, so if anyone has a preference as to what I should start next then I am happy to accommodate.
Stage 1 - Casting the stonework.
For this project I am going to be using 'Hirst Arts' blocks. For those unfamiliar with Bruce Hirst he produces silicone molds that can be used to cast a wide range of highly detailed modular terrain blocks which can be glued together in endless configurations and designs. The molds I will be using in this project are #704 and #708 (ignore the 3rd mould in the picture, I mixed up too much stone and so filled another none related mould to set aside for a future project as to not waste it). In my last build journal I used Plaster of Paris to cast the small rockface, this time because of the size and potential weight of the build I opted for Dental Stone which is similar to Plaster but sets harder and is much more durable.
I suspect given the size of the project, it is going to take me at least a day or two to finish casting enough blocks, so here are a few screen shots of the blocks to give you an idea of what I will be working with (its basically glorified stone lego for diorama builders ).
By Dan S
Dan's Build Journal #1
Completed Project Photos:
My Other Build Journals:
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, my interpretation of Bag End. 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.
Here is my vignette featuring the Blacksting Wyvern hunting down a 500MD helicopter.
This is a little project I had fun with recently.
i painted the Blacksting Wyvern from Bones a bit more than a year back and was quite happy with it collecting dust on my shelf (original post: https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/86236-blacksting-wyvern-speed-paint).
Then, I stumbled across a 1/48 helicopter model I had almost forgotten about. 1/48th scale does fit nicely with 28mm heroic scale.
The creatives juice started flowing and I decided to make a surprise encounter between the modern warfare machine and the legendary beast.
I experimented as well with epoxy resin + food coloring for water, tree bark (for rocks), a couple of random 3D-printed broken statues/rubbles and toilet paper plaster for the terrain. I didn't have a clear acrylic rod for the flight stand, but wooden dowel painted black blends OK.
I also forgot how much fun it is to build and paint plastic models. It is both similar and very different from miniatures painting.
I'm quite happy with the result even though I could have been neater on a few places and it is a bit big for my light box.
We all keep knick knacks and trinkets to make things from in the future. Whether it's some small bit, like dragon pendant I got from Salvation Army for 50 cents or some cardboard forms that hold tech devices in place that look like good buildings for Battletech.
I wrote about Bottlecaps as bases a while ago.
Recently, I found the plastic mounting bracket that's been floating around my bench and figured out what I wanted to start making. I usually draw out what I intend to do, but the shape of the bracket defined its purpose.
This compilation uses a bunch of various finds. So towards that end, I am going to have a little contest.
Guess all of the items which I used in here and you will get a random Bones mini. I will provide a numbered list and one clue because one SET is fairly hard to figure out.
5. ______ Bracket
Clue: These odd pieces were disassembled from a triangular cap.
The bricks are actual brick I bought off of Wish. I got the standard bricks plus the square in gray and brick red. I also have small triangles in brick red.
The stone was split length wise so it was nice and flat. The terrain is a custom grind of bark, black walnut bark, dark cork and and coarse normal cork.
The gears are from Michael's jewelry and findings section. Some of the white on the terrain is baking soda mixed with super glue.
Here's the piece primed...
Stay tuned and enjoy.
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