28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Aravir, Elf Ranger

My intended post this weekend was a further update on my “Operation Overlord” diorama but progress was hampered by preparing for and going to the Telford IPMS show (where I am now!).  Fortunately I was able to finish the final Reaper figure I bought a while ago (I will be buying some more!) and arrange for this post to be scheduled for publishing.

So here we have Aravir an Elf Ranger.

I rather liked this little lady, she provided a nice lot of detail to paint.  Being an elf it seemed appropriate to go for fauna and flora base work.  I saw an image on-line of someone who had applied heavy make up to the eyes which I rather liked and thought it would be different so I gave it a go.  I also chose to go with metallic green for her armour, mixed using silver enamel with sap green oil paint and blended with a small amount of white spirit.

Images of the completed figure below.


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28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Morrdha Vampire Noble

The down time while I waited for things to dry on the buildings for my WW2 diorama “Operation Overlord” gave me the opportunity to finish another Reaper mini, this time “Morrdha” a Vampire Noble.

This was a nice little Reaper mini to do and provided another small opportunity to do some free hand painting on the pages of the book and on the sword.  Neither is particularly exciting or overly adventurous but it was fun to do and hopefully added a little more interest.

Little to say about the figure itself, a one piece casting with a nice lot of detail to pick out.  Another vampire and another white face making it a little different from typical flesh painting when it comes to shadows and highlights.  Painted using acrylics and oils.

Photo’s of the completed model below.



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28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Wizard Domur High Mage

Work continues nicely on my WW2 Diorama – Operation Overlord but as anticipated there is significant down time as I wait to for things to dry before I can continue to the next stage.  This down time, which will be ongoing during the build, will enable me to complete some outstanding figures starting with the remaining Reaper figures that I have.  I think I have two to do after this one, although do have plans to buy more!

According to the Reaper site:

“This Reaper 25th Anniversary metal miniature is entitled Domur, High Mage. A special edition miniature, Domur, High Mage was released February 2017 and is a bearded wizard holding a spellbook”.

The Reaper site also said:

“Reaper 25th Anniversary miniatures are one offs, when they are sold out you’ll not get your hands on them again”.

So I bought one, painted it, based it and here it is!  I rather like the faces which appear in the green magic floating out from the book.

The book, table and candles were scratch built and I used a Greenstuff World rolling pin to produce the cobbled floor.  The table was made from a rustic piece of wood found in the garden for the leg and a button from She Who Must Be Obeyed’s sewing box for the table.  The book was just folded pieces of paper with a little bit of freehand script.  The candles were made using small cut off pieces of paint brush plastic tube protectors stuck to a circle of card made using a hole punch.  Twisted wire was then pushed through the circle of card and up through the plastic tube to create the wick and then the tube was filled with filler and left to dry before painting.

Photos below.





28mm Reaper Dark heaven Legends Mini – The Harbinger

This week I was hoping to post details of my neglected model for the September challenge but things got the better of me and the base I want to put it on still hasn’t arrived in the post yet.  Truly a neglected piece if ever there was one!

So instead my offering is another Reaper miniature.  If you are getting bored with them (I’m not) then you will be pleased to learn that I only have another three to do before I kick on to something different.  The figure reminds me of something IRO would do so I’ll dedicate this piece to him.

I’m not sure I can explain why I went for this one but in a rather horrid way I rather liked the flesh torn horse.  Not a great deal to say other than that.  I tried for a desolate looking base hence the bare tree stumps and no hint whatsoever of vegetation.  Seemed appropriate for the figure in my opinion.

Photos of the completed model below.



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28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Rafael Maladoni

The next figure from my Reaper to do pile.

Here we have Rafael Maladoni who on the face of it fancied a take away, a light lunch!  Well the figure was certainly one I could get my teeth into (all puns welcome!).

I liked this figure and enjoyed painting it.  Not a lot to say although for the last photo I took onboard IRO’s suggestion of placing a backdrop behind.  I went for a black and white graveyard scene and have to say the photo for a first attempt doesn’t look to bad.  I will definitely look to do more photos like this but it may not be for a little while.  I think I shall take it on as a project to eventually do all new models with a backdrop but I like the idea too of backtracking to do some of the older ones as well.  An ideal subproject to keep me out of mischief during the winter months.

Photos below.


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28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Trista, The White Wolf

Back to modelling!

Another figure in my current series of Reaper miniatures.  Fortunately I had done a lot of this figure before I went on holiday so despite everything that’s going on I managed to finish it off this week.

Some intricate painting on this one sets it a little apart from one or two others recently.  I enjoyed the challenge it provided and also the colour scheme as it was nice to do something in a rather nice blue.

Painting figures is one thing, deciding how to base them is something else entirely.  I decided the blue of the figure some how lent itself to a warmer climate which in turn threw up the idea of a Roman or Greek style pillar.  Not only have I never made a pillar before but I’ve never tried to produce a marble paint effect either.  Had I managed to do this one earlier it might have been a candidate for the August Technical challenge.

The pillar was made using various bits and pieces.  The main element was a simple piece of wooden dowel.  To create the bottom of the pillar I stuck three different sized rubber washers to the dowel which in turn was stuck to a spare square base which I had in my bits box.  The top of the pillar was given a rough cast finish using a little ground cat litter and the corrugated shape of the pillar was created using some cardboard which I ran through my Green Stuff World corrugator tool and then simply stuck it to the dowel.

As for painting the pillar I primed it in white first and then gave it a wash of light brown coloured acrylic.  While it was wet I applied various streaks of black, brown and white to create the veins using a dry brush to blend a little.  I didn’t have to do too much blending because the paint was naturally absorbed by the cardboard.  I repeated the process a couple of times until I was happy (which is to say I reached the stage where it was as good as it was going to get!) before applying a coat of gloss varnish.  The corrugated cardboard created a vertical seam which after painting pretty much disappeared but I decided not to leave it to chance so added some plant life to disguise it completely.

Photos of the completed figure appear below.  Ì didn’t get chance to do a backdrop for the photos, as suggested by IRO, this time around but aim to address that in the next post, or the next one or the one after that!



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“The Dragon Slayer” – A 28mm Reaper Miniatures Diorama (The August Challenge)

I wasn’t sure if I’d manage to submit a model for the August challenge or not but a recent change in the weather provided some unexpected modelling time and in the end I managed to complete this one with a few days to spare before going on holiday.  The model features two Reaper figures, a Crusader Champion and a Red Dragon.

As with my recent “Fantasy Island” diorama I thought I would post the finished model first and follow it up with a “Making Of” article sometime afterwards.  However, as the August challenge was a technical one I think I ought to at least make a few comments now.

First up is the base work.  I’ve never done a base featuring what I hope looks like a lava flow and trying to get it to look something like the many pictures I looked at was harder than I thought.  I’m not unhappy with the end result but I’ll leave it for others to decide if it looks the part or not.  It’s certainly colourful!

The dragon also presented a challenge.  I’m not sure trying to hold it while attempting to paint it counts but it was certainly hard to do!  A big part from a painting perspective was the amount of blending, highlighting and shading.  Getting the wings to look right wasn’t easy either and in the end it was all about brush strokes.

The Crusader was relatively straight forward although it did have a fair amount of relief work to be picked out and painted.  I also came up with what I thought was a nice paint mix to produce a light metallic blue to provide a contrast in the overall colour scheme.  I’m not sure the free hand “S” for Slayer counts!

Photos below.




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28mm Reaper Dark Heaven Legends Mini – Graveflesh Servant

Those of you who follow my blog will know that the fantasy genre is a departure from my usual fare of mainly Old West, WW1 and a little bit of WW2, Dark Ages and other periods thrown in when I get bored and need to do something different.  I mention this only because I don’t really know what a Grave flesh Servant is.  I’m guessing he is something akin to a grave robber come zombie(ish) charachter?  In any event it doesn’t much matter.  The thing is the figure simply took my fancy when I was browsing the Reaper site.

At the risk of repeating myself and becoming even more boring I just love the detail to be found in the Reaper white metal figures, they are a joy to paint.  More Reaper figures will follow.  Several sit primed on my desk and the list of future purchases grows ever longer.  For all that though I have an urge for putting together a small Old West diorama which will require some minor figure conversions.  With so much to do I’d better get on with it!

Dark, hopefully atmospheric, photos below of the completed figure set on a small desolate base with a no thrills wire tree and a few rocks added.  Painted in acrylics and oils.



Fantasy Island – “The Making Of”

Firstly, thank you to those of you who commented on the original post last week, I really appreciated what you had to say.

For those of you who may not have seen the initial post and the images of the completed model a photo reminder along with a link to the article.




One or two of you already have thoughts on how it was constructed so I suspect this may well confirm your thinking.  Let’s get started.

The inspiration for this model came from an image I saw online, a drawing to be precise, which got me thinking about how I could bring something like it to life.  My intention at this point was to insert a copy of the image but I never downloaded it at the time and now I cannot locate it.  I’m going to therefore lie instead and say that the inspiration was entirely mine, I’m simply that creative!

For a while I mulled over how to build it.  Much of what I wanted to do was straight forward but my big concern was the potential weight issue and how to keep it from toppling over.  I’m no engineer, mathematician or physicist so this was a big problem in my head.  In the end though it didn’t turn out to be the issue I thought it would be.

The key to the “floating island” is of course the waterfall.  I had done a waterfall before in a diorama I called “Rocky Mountain Deer Hunt” (see images below) but the backdrop was a solid one which wouldn’t be the case for this model.  I couldn’t be sure if it would be possible to see through the waterfall or not so I needed something strong enough to support the island but be transparent if necessary.  This naturally ruled out a number of options and pretty much left me with needing to get hold of some clear acrylic.


As is often the case EBay came to the rescue and for a small cost I bought an A5 sheet of 5mm thick acrylic.  Getting a wooden base was an easy purchase but now I was stumped by what to use for the island.  It needed to be light, solid and versatile enough to be able to shape it.  In the end I went for Styrofoam, not a product I’d ever used before but a few things I’d read gave it the thumbs up so I thought I would give it a go.  Once again EBay provided the solution and I managed to buy six small blocks which were an ideal size.  I only needed one so expect to see others appearing in models over time!  I now had all the things I needed so it was time to start the build.

Step 1

The first thing to do was cut off a suitable length of the acrylic sheet.  I read online that up to 5mm thick this stuff can be cut using a tile cutter and then applying a little pressure to snap it.  Like many theories it was great but turned out to be complete bollocks.  In the end I took a saw to it and some sand paper to smooth off the rough edges.  I also drilled a couple of holes which I counter sunk to ensure the screws would be flush once fixed to the Styrofoam.


Step 2

Now that I had cut the acrylic I could determine the location and size of the hole I needed to drill into the wooden base.  It needed to be a reasonable fit and a tight one but any rough finish would be covered eventually by ground work.


Step 3

Carving Styrofoam is pretty easy and a sharp knife is all that’s needed to cut away chunks of it.  The main thing I needed to do at this stage was get a rough outline and rebate the block in order to counter sink the acrylic.  Styrofoam can also be drilled so having lined things up I drilled two holes into the block and inserted a couple of raw plugs.


Step 4

The first moment of truth, making sure it all lined up!


Step 5

Before screwing and glueing I shaped the top of the block further.  I needed to make steps around the top to be able to fix rocks and stones to build it up.  Once glued I made sure it was level and left it to dry.  At this point I could still remove it from the wooden base if I needed too.


Step 6

Once dried the next on the to do list was building up the rocks on top and around the Styrofoam.  For this I used slate chippings from my front garden.  Initially I was concerned about the weight but the acrylic was thick enough not to bend and the positioning on the base ensured it wouldn’t fall over.


Step 7

The build up of the base was a slow process.  To ensure things didn’t fall a part it proved necessary to build and glue in layers allowing each layer to fully dry before moving onto the next one.  In between drying times I started building a wire based tree, a method I’ve used before.  Rather than repeat the various stages of the tree build a link appears below to the two part article I produced previously.

Part 1


Part 2




Step 8

Having advanced to this stage I then realised that I hadn’t fully thought through how to start the waterfall.  In some way I wanted it to be magical, coming out of thin air but using the materials I had (Woodland Scenics Water Effects) was proving difficult.  Getting it to stay upright in some way just wasn’t going to work, it needed some support.

The solution presented itself purely by chance when out walking with Buddy, my dog.  Someone had cut their hedge and lying on the ground was a piece of wood with a hole in it.  I figured I could use this in some way, the result of which can be seen in the photo’s below.

The basic tree was now fixed into place along with the first step of the waterfall.  Woodland Scenics have some great tutorials on how to use their products to I would suggest checking them out if you ever want to undertake a waterfall yourself.


Step 9

The next step was to add the main waterfall to the model and stick it to the acrylic stand at the front and around the sides and at the back.  Adding white paint to the Woodland Scenics Water Effects gives the effect of fast flowing water.

It was also time to start constructing the base at the bottom of the waterfall and disguising the drilled area.


Step 10

This step was all about painting the base, finishing the tree and adding suitable vegetation.  I like this stage on a model, the colour which gets added really starts to give things a lift and for the first time it starts to look a bit real.

I figured a decent sized waterfall would throw up a certain amount of spray and mist (well it does in my fantasy world even if it doesn’t in the real one!).  For this I used some stuffing used in soft toy making, I’m told by She Who Must Be Obeyed that this is called Kapok.  This was glued in place at the bottom and then just teased out.


Step 11

The final step was to paint the Reaper figure I’d bought specifically for the model, position it and blend in the base.

I got lucky with the figure.  Clearly it had to be a fantasy based figure give the nature of the model but ideally I wanted a figure which looked like it was at the edge of the waterfall having come to a reasonably dramatic stop.  As soon as I saw this figure I knew it was the one for me!


Step 12

The final model!



So there you have it, how I made “Fantasy Island”.  Hopefully I’ve covered it all but if there is anything anyone would like more details on please just let me know.






Fantasy Island – Featuring Nienna a 28mm Reaper Elf Ranger (The July Challenge)

As this is my 100th post I wanted to post something a little different .  It is also my second contribution to the July challenge (a centre piece/something cCool).

What you have below are photos of the completed model.  Normally I would post construction photo’s before the end result but on this occasion I will publish In reverse order so in the coming weeks I will post details on how I made it.  Until then no more words just pictures.