The Dragon Master – A 28mm Diorama

You may recall that I mentioned in a previous post that I had an idea of how I might use my recently acquired Citadel Textured paints.  Some interesting ideas were received in response to my invite to guess what I might be up to and they have given me some ideas for other things I might do further down the line.  However, what you see here, which hopefully has come out OK in the images, is the use of these paints on the wings of the Dragon.

This week I will leave you with the end result and next week or the week after I will post a “Making Of” article for those of you who might be interested.  For now though some photo’s of the completed diorama.


DSC_0595 (2)DSC_0601 (2)DSC_0605 (2)DSC_0598 (3)DSC_0603 (3)DSC_0596 (3)DSC_0597 (3)DSC_0602 (1)DSC_0599 (3)DSC_0600 (2)DSC_0604 (1)

Tom Goldentome – A 28mm Reaper Figure

In Wednesdays’s post I made reference to a bronze medal I won at Telford for a figure I had yet to post on my blog as I only just got it done in time for the show.  To put matters right here is the figure along with a couple of photos.

The figure is a 28mm Reaper Dark Legends wizard that goes by the name of Tom Goldentome.  A reasonable amount of freehand on this one which is why I thought I would stick my neck out and enter it in the “Fantasy Figure Under 60mm” category.  Not much else to say other than it was painted entirely in acrylics



The Temptress – A 28mm Diorama (October Challenge)

I needed a change from painting Dad’s Army figures (I reckon you all did too!) even though there is only one more post to go.  I knew I would rush it so I decided instead to take a short break to do something else.  Besides I also needed to complete something for the October Challenge.

For October Orc’s were never going to be an option with the time available to me even if I had wanted to go down that route.  Completing a neglected model on the other hand left me in with a realistic shout.

So what we have here is a model I am calling the Temptress.  Both the guard figure and female temptress were painted months ago and sat on the side far a part from each other as I had no idea quite what to do with them.  At the point where I had given up on ever having an idea and was about to settle for simply basing them it occurred to me for the first time that they looked quite good together!  After that it was reasonably easy to come up with an acceptable setting and the rest as they say is history.

The “Temptress” goes by the name of “Lenore” and is a figure produced by Hasslefree Miniatures.  The guard is a figure from Other World Miniatures.  The base comprises of an MDF window and frame with cat litter and slate chippings for the ground and masonry work.

The images below look dreadful on my laptop but acceptable on my phone and tablet.  Quite why that is I am not entirely sure although my laptop, a self winding one, could be showing its age!







Apocalypse: “What the f**k was that?” – The Making Of (A 28mm Diorama)

Originally it had been my intention to put up a “Work In Progress” post before publishing the final diorama but after some deliberation I decided against it.  If there was a “wow” factor to be had then it would be lost by a WIP post so I decided to go for a “Making of …” post instead!  The original post and final photo’s can be found here.

The Inspiration

Like most of the things I do the initial inspiration comes from finding some figures that I would like to buy and paint.  The challenge then becomes how to fit them into a diorama.  In some cases an idea alludes me for some time, occasionally completely but sometimes ideas come thick and fast as was the case with this one.

It all started with some internet browsing and discovering a site called “Other World Miniatures”, not a site I was aware of.  Various searches led to me finding a set of 5 Giant Rats which I rather liked the look of and thought would be fun.  Instantly I was reminded of the horror author James Herbert and his trilogy – The Rats, Lair and Domain.  All books I have and read on more than one occasion.  The seed was sown.  The fact that “Backtothehammer” and “Pete S/SP” both picked up on this was great to see.

The Concept

A while ago I made a conscious decision to try and limit my dioramas to small bases.  There were two reasons for this.  One was space, dioramas take up a lot of it and I have a lot of them now.  The other was aimed at stretching my imagination.  How to get as much detail as possible onto a small area?  The only way is up!

In the book “The Rats” the furry little bastards appear all over the place but the “London Underground” and the more obvious “London Sewer System” were already set in my mind but what was the story line and how to represent it?

Clearly for the rats to appear as “Giants” some humans would have to feature for scale otherwise the idea would be lost.  From there is was an easy leap to the rats being mutated as a result of some form of nuclear fallout.  Now all I needed was a contrived situation which would bring the humans and the rats together and the search for food by both groups seemed natural enough.

How to depict the search in a diorama format required some thought and of course I needed to find suitable figures too.   Hasselfree Miniatures is one of my go to sites these days and once again they came up trumps.  I bought four figures all of which I thought would be suitable but in the end settled on the two I used as being the most appropriate.  To my mind they both look like they are acting cautiously in their search and that was most appropriate.

With the only way being up it seemed like a good idea to have the diorama on three levels – basement/sewer, stairs, building/room.  Now all I had to do was build it!

The Build

It made sense to start building bottom up so first of all I laid down some bricks.  The bricks are 28mm scale and come from “Juweela” who produce scenic materials.  These bricks are simply brilliant.  I went with bricks to reflect the London Sewer system built by the Victorians.

I small circular section of plastic piping found in the garage was used to produce the “tunnel” effect which was then clad with bricks before being positioned on the base.


The next job was to build the stairs.  This was done by casting some pieces from a “Hirst” mold and trimming as applicable.  I also needed to create a floor (using coffee stirrers and match sticks) to connect to the stairs which would in due course have a brick wall and door added to it as well as one of the figures.  The other figure would be positioned at the top of the stairs and in the image below you can see that the stairs have been prepared to take the slotter base of the figure.


Now it was all about building up the walls and adding more details.  The door is an MDF purchase which was made to make the Gothic windows in my “Wizard Library” boxed diorama.

I had some over and they were ideal for a door entrance.

The walls alone felt a little plain so I decided to add some pipe work.  For this I simply used some plastic sprue.  I had a small steering wheel from an army jeep model in my bits box which made for a nice addition and the pipe joints were made using the protective plastic tubes which come with paint brushes.

The light was a spare one from my WW2 Diorama …

… which was broken down and attached using some twisted wire.

Another spare wheel was used as a drain cover at the base of the sewer and to which later a ladder would go under.

It was then time to start using some filler with PVA to fill the various gaps.


In between these various stages I conducted a few dummy runs in terms of figure fit and positioning.  I also played around with the various components.

I wanted this to be a piece that had interest from various angles and was chuffed with “Wudugast” who picked up on this point and kindly commented accordingly.  Having set myself a bar to reach it will be interesting to see if I can replicate the concept in future dioramas.  Clearly some ideas will lend themselves more readily than others.  Time will tell.


So the build complete it was then just a matter of painting things up.

Completed Diorama

Job done.

DSC_0605 (1)DSC_0596 (1)DSC_0593 (1)DSC_0599 (1)DSC_0603 (1)DSC_0607 (1)DSC_0608 (1)DSC_0610 (1)DSC_0594DSC_0607 (1)DSC_0609 (1)DSC_0597 (1)DSC_0598 (1)

The Narrative

An accompanying narrative is not something I normally do, in fact I think this is a first.  It was fun to do and I felt the diorama needed an explanation.  Something to consider again perhaps?  For anyone wondering, the words are my own and not a quote from a book.

Until next time.  Don’t let the bed bugs bite … or the rats!







Apocalypse: “What the f**k was that?” – September Challenge (A 28mm Diorama)

When the bombs fell the rats new instinctively to head underground to the sewers.  There they made their lair and every three weeks they bred and  then they bred again.  As they bred they mutated and with each new litter they grew bigger and stronger and when the bombs could be heard no more they would be ready, ready to return to the surface.

Above ground the survivors continued their daily search for anything and everything of value.  Food and water were priceless commodities in the dawning of this new age but the dangers were many and nobody worked alone or unarmed as every building was systematically explored.

As the two women progressed through the Gothic ruin Jenny thought she heard something.  Closely followed by her partner she nervously entered the arched doorway and onto the first of several stone steps which led to the blackness below.  Then she heard the sound again, they both did.

“What the fuck was that?” she said before starting to take her next tentative step into the unknown.

Below the rats had heard something too.  They weren’t nervous and they weren’t scared but the lead rat was curious.  His nose twitched at the smell he sensed from above.   He didn’t know what it was but it stirred his stomach like nothing had done before.  Then he realised what it was.  It was food and he was hungry, very hungry.

It was time to return to the surface.



DSC_0593 (1)DSC_0594DSC_0610 (1)DSC_0598 (1)DSC_0597 (1)DSC_0609 (1)DSC_0607 (1)DSC_0605 (1)DSC_0596 (1)DSC_0599 (1)DSC_0603 (1)DSC_0607 (1)DSC_0608 (1)




Space Marine – A 54mm Figure (The August Challenge)

Earlier this year when I went to the model show at Torquay I bought two items which for me were very different.  I had wanted to have a go at doing a bust at some point and also fancied doing a Space Marine, the latter being driven largely by the inspired work of fellow bloggers.  A trader at the show had some fine looking pieces for sale so I decided to take the plunge for no other reason than “what the hell!”.

The bust of an Ork I did a little while ago…

… and shortly afterwards I started the Space Marine before I got side tracked by something else as so often seems to happen these days.  Then along came Azazel’s challenge for August and I decided the model would fit the criteria (“Cool” – hopefully – and bigger than normal criteria) so I got my arse in gear and set about completing it.

So what have we got here?

Well firstly the model is 54mm scale so typically larger than your average gaming scale figures.  It was produced by Craftworld Studio and is made of resin, not my preferred material as some of you know, and comprised of a dozen or so parts.  The base came with the figure and for now I am not planning to expand it but that may change later in the year.  Pending what else I get done between now and January I might use this in one of the club’s in-house annual competition categories and if I do then I might beef the base up a bit.

The figure was painted only using acrylics.  Normally, especially on 54mm figures, I usually use oils too but decided against doing so on this occasion.  No real reason for that decision other than the fact that I quite liked the way he was turning out using just the acrylics so decided to leave well alone.

Has he been painted correctly?  Is he the right colour scheme?  Have I picked out all the relevant parts and details?  Buggered if I know, it’s a genre well outside of my comfort zone and I didn’t do much in the way of research, just simply went with what I thought looked right and OK.  Will I do another?  Not at 54mm scale that’s for sure but I wouldn’t rule out 28mm/Heroic scale as something for the future.  It was fun and I already have a few ideas floating around so who knows?

Images of the completed Figure below.



The Wizard Library – 28mm Box Diorama (Part 3 – Final)

I actually managed to get this little boxed diorama finished at the end of last week, just in time for the Torquay show (more on that in next weeks Miniatures and Musings post).  The good news is you have been spared another a detailed “work in progress” only post.  The bad news is I forgot to take some photo’s off the assembly before it went inside the box.  The consequence of this is that the photo’s taken looking inside the box have some unwanted glare and reflections.  What you do see though is the view as finally intended.

At the end of “Part 2” I was left with a number of things to do.  The figures had yet to be painted, some outstanding scenery items needed painting as well and the electrics had not been done.  Even more worrying was the need to complete the overall assembly.  Now there is a little known rule associated with diorama building and I’m sure Pat will confirm this.  No matter how much you test pieces for fit and accuracy before final assembly you can bet your house on it that it wont go together the way you intended the moment you fucking add glue!  This little number was no exception but a little tweak here and there and I just about got away with it in the end.

First up we have a few more work in progress shots.

This first photo is of the inlaid roof.  Wooden rafters were attached to a suitably sized square of MDF which was then painted.  The LED lights were then added.  The angle of view into the box coupled with the rafters doesn’t allow for the LED’s to be seen.


Next up we have a first view of the wizard and his apprentice.  This was an early photo taken at the time when I was working on composition.  The figures are from Reaper.


Up next we have a couple of images of the two bookcases which are sighted at the rear of the room along with the wizard’s desk and chair.


Wizard and apprentice now painted but the side table still to be finished.


An early test fit of the sides and rear walls.


The finished electrics for the wiring.  A simple battery operated system with an on/off switch.  All concealed by the lid of the box.


The lid of the box actually contains another vision panel.  This needed to be covered up and was done using some thick black card, the type they use for mounts in picture frames, and the diorama title and narrative were added.


Next we have a few pictures of the wizard and his book stand in the lead up to the final push.


So now we come to the finished diorama.

First a basic shot of the box.  For scale the box is a perfect cube measuring 16cm on all sides.


An overhead view of inside the box with the lid up and the ceiling removed.


The remaining photo’s were all taken looking through the front vision panel, the intend view of the completed diorama.  The aim, which I think I have achieved, was to make sure everything could be seen without something else getting in the way.  Without the lights on the box is dark.  The lights, given the background scene, are intended to provide early morning sun rise light.

Hopefully the pictures will allow you to get the idea but as I mentioned at the start, glare and reflection do take the edge of it a bit.


So there you have it, The Wizard’s Library.  In the next post I will let you know how I got on at the Torquay show.


The Wizard Library – 28mm Box Diorama (Part 2)

At long last I managed to get some more work done on this boxed diorama.

While I worked out where I was with the project and what needed to be done next I decided to stain the wooden box.  Nothing exciting in this at all but it needed to be done and allowed me to think about other things at the same time.  Real multi-tasking.  Try not to be blown away by the two photo’s below!


My next step was get the back wall painted.  Again nothing special, just grey paint, shading and dry brushing on top of the chinchilla dust render.  The wooden coffee stirrers were stained too.


The same colour scheme was used for the right hand wall.  The pillar was a simple piece of split wooden dowel with a rubber washer plinth at the bottom. The door was a bought item and the shield above the door was a computer print out.  The shield crest is that of Arthur Pendragon which is apt as will become known when the diorama is finished.


Focus then passed to the left hand wall.  The fireplace was another bought item as were the candlesticks and various bits and bobs which sit on the mantle piece.

I decided the wall looked bare and need some interest and some colour.  To remedy this I chose to make a few “Oil Paintings”.  The pictures themselves were printed on the computer but all the images are of figures which I have painted, mostly  by Reaper.


Next it was time to concentrate on some of the many bits and pieces which will be placed in and around the room.


So that’s pretty much where I am for now.

I have a couple of bookcases to finish painting along with a couple of figures.  The lighting needs to be sorted and I still need to keep an eye on how it will all be assembled in the box.

Plenty of fiddly stuff still to do so not sure yet if the next post will be another work in progress or the completed diorama.  I will also be taking time out to finish another little project I have been working on which may end up being my next post.








Wasp Apocalypse: “Get Out Of My Room!” – A 28mm Diorama

Now what I should have been publishing is part 2 of my Wizard Library boxed diorama but before I went on holiday and since I got back I have been distracted by the desire to complete this model instead.  It is the first of what I hope will be at least a series of three little dioramas with an apocalyptic theme.  There might be more, we will see.

Every now and then I get an idea for a vignette or diorama which excites me for absolutely no reason that I can think off whatsoever.  This is such an example.  I can’t say it’s the best idea I have ever had or that the models are in some way truly outstanding but something goes off in my head which says “yep, you gotta do that one”.  Perhaps it has something to do with being different but in truth I’m not sure.

Some of you may recall that in a recent post in relation to Azazel’s March challenge I featured this figure.




You may also recall that I said the base work hadn’t been completed because it was due to feature in a little diorama which I had planned.  Well this is that little diorama.  Originally titled “Get Out Of My Fucking Room!” but then toned down in case I take it to a show!  I had intended for this to be a two-part post, a work in progress followed by the completed scene but unusually things went well so I decided to treat you to a single post.

Key to the scene as you will see in the photos below is the little girl.  I came across this figure some while ago and just knew I wanted to use it in something and although I had plenty of ideas I wasn’t blown away with anyone in particular.  The figure by the way is from Hasslefree.  That changed when by chance, playing around on Pinterest I think it was, I came across CP Models Wasp Jumpers.  Some how I knew the two had to go together and the end result was this little diorama.

The base measures 4.5cm by 4.5cm, it’s small.  Small bricks, ground plaster board, bits of MDF and a window from my bits box were the primary items for the build.  Small bits of clear plastic were used for broken glass and the wall paper was a computer print out.

The figures themselves were painted using acrylics and some oils.  The wings for the wasps were free hand.  I would have preferred the pattern to have been painted more thinly but on the positive side it is reasonably identical on both wings, above and below, and on both wasps which I am pleased with.  Both wasps were coated in gloss varnish as on balance I think I preferred the slightly more mechanical type finish it gave.

CP Models only do one Wasp jumper figure.  The higher wasp is the one I originally posted and is in the official pose, the second was modified slightly to make it appear a little different.  At one point I thought of only having the one wasp but then decided I rather liked the sinister image of the second appearing above the little girl.  I also considered adding more bits and bobs to the damaged room but with such a small base I thought it would be too much of a distraction from the figures themselves.

So, onto the photos, starting with a few work in progress images.  As always I would be interested to know what you think.  Apologies for some of the photo’s but with a reasonable amount of detail in such a mall area focusing and depth of field proved a challenge!



Azazel March Challenge (Part 1 – Gender Ambiguous)

For reasons I cannot begin to explain, last week when I posted details of my little German chap it seems some of you, maybe all of you, saw a waspish character as the first image.  Not surprisingly this created some confusion with a few of you bringing the matter to my attention.  Like I say, I have no idea how or what happened; when I went into edit mode all I could see was my fully intended post.  All very odd.

As far as I can tell the image seen was one of the three photos below.


The figure is a “Wasp Jump Trooper” and one of three I bought for a little diorama I have planned.  Then Azazel added to the March Squad challenge with “Gender Ambiguous” so I thought I would complete the figure with the exception of the basing.

There wasn’t a great deal more to be done.  I wanted to apply gloss varnish and do something more with the wings.   Gloss varnish was a bit of a gamble so I would be interested in your thoughts on whether it looked better matt or as it is now.  The wings needed some interest so I went for a free hand pattern which I could repeat on both wings top and bottom.

The “final” figure is below.


DSC_0030DSC_0035DSC_0034DSC_0031 (1)DSC_0032 (1)