Aina, Female Valkyrie – A 28mm Reaper Figure

Aina has been sitting in my to do pile for far longer than she deserved to be so this week I made a concentrated effort to get her done and dusted.  A search through my ever increasing pile of lead revealed that she is not the only figure to have been neglected.  In truth I do not need to buy another figure for at least 5 years based on my speed of painting but you know and I know that is never going to happen.  The buy list is as long as the to do list, perhaps longer.  Who am I kidding, it’s much longer.  I digress.

As you can see from the title, Aina is a Female Valkyrie.  A three part figure of high quality as typically produced by Reaper and a joy to paint.  The pose suggested to me that she should be based with an element of height.  A few slate chippings from the garden and a nice wood turned base from my neighbour Kerry and away you go.



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Purple Dame, Purple Dame

What we have this week is an experiment.  Being honest it didn’t work out as I had anticipated.  There is I think a simple reason for this.   It was a tougher assignment than I thought.

The figure is a “Diabolist”, a Reaper Pathfinder Miniature.  The idea was to paint the figure and any base work using as much as possible a single colour and shades there of.  I got the idea from a model I had seen during a google search.  I thought it looked very cool and very different.  Inspired I gave it a go.  I can’t fault the quality of the figure, I rate Reaper as most of you know.

I decided on purple as the single dominant colour and I think that was my biggest mistake.  I chose a colour I liked and that I felt provided a good gothic style mood but I struggled with subtle variation.  I think this says more about me as an artist and my understanding of things like colour wheels  than of the colour itself but on reflection I think purple feels like an advanced colour to work with.  Had I chosen to go with green as the dominant colour I think I might have achieved a better contrast.

If I do another experiment along these lines (which I wont be any time soon) I will go with green.  In the meanwhile I will leave you to make up your own minds and if you have any constructive criticism fire away as I’d be pleased to hear what you have to say.


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Covid 19: Lockdown Breakout – (A 28mm Diorama)

Not for the first time it started in China.  A place called Wohun. They called it Covid 19.  It would also become known as the Coronavirus.

The first the western world learnt of it was in eary 2020 but China had been dealing with it since late 2019.  They thought they had it under control, that the virus was contained.  It wasn’t.  Worse than that it was deadly and there was no known cure.

To begin with countries reacted slowly as they failed to comprehend the situation and the speed with which the virus could spread.  It soon became a pandemic and as realisation kicked in so did the safety measures.  To start with populations were requested to self isolate, to keep a mimimum of two metres apart, and the vulnerable were advised to stay at home and go nowhere for twelve weeks.  But as the number of confirmed cases escalated into the millions and the death toll increased daily by the thousands such requests soon became orders and in next to no time countries were in lockdown.  Nobody was allowed to go anywhere while governments worked out how to contain and control the outbreak.

Self isolation became the norm and daily TV bulletins provided statistical updates and medical progress.  People remained surprisingly calm and hopeful but after three months things began to change.  With no medical breakthroughs and food distrubtion in decline questions and conspiracy theories began to circulate.

China pointed the finger at the Wohun animal wet market as the cause of the virus outbreak.  Bat disease crossing over into the human food chain.  But Wohun was also home to the Institute of Virology and suspicions grew that China had after conducting biological weapon tests deliberately let the virus lose on the world.  With a weakened world China would be free to take military advantage.

Alternative theories suggested environmentalists were behind the outbreak and significant improvements in air polution were sighted along with other examples as supporting evidence.  Others bought into the idea that it was a global governmental experiment to see how best to deal with an ever increasing world population.  Decline in travel and the ability to work from home were viewed by many as examples which justified the theory.

Growing unrest was not lost on governments.  Martial law was enforced.  The aim was to calm the public, to reassure them that all was well but it provoked the opposite effect.  It confirmed to a great many people that something of gigantic proportions was going on and there was a need to know just what that was.  While most people remained hostage to the situation others were determined to escape their confinement in search of the truth.

The authorities had other ideas and adopted a policy of continued confinment by whatever means necessary.  Breaking out from lockdown was a life and death situation but for some it was the only way.

It was time to seek the truth.





“Marise Greyshroud” – 28mm Reaper Miniature (Ann’s Challenge)

Ann’s April Challenge was a simple one, just get some outstanding crap done.  What I like about a challenge like that is it makes me realise I am not alone.  At some point we all start something which either never gets finished or takes a hell of a long time to get done.  I’ve often wondered why this is.

Personally I think it is down to one simple reason.  I get excited about the next project and move on before the previous  project I was excited about gets finished.  This was the case with this figure – Reaper Miniatures “Marise Greyshroud”.  I had a few ideas for this one but then I got inspired by a bigger diorama and so this one got pushed back further and further until Ann’s Challenge came along.

Not a great deal to say about it.  Purchased early last year but since then it has sat neglected on my desk gathering dust.  Not an exciting piece (although I liked it at the time) and this is reflected in the paint job I think.  A simple bit of base work with a couple of skulls added for further interest and it is now done as far as I am concerned.  Not one of my favourites but if it wasn’t for Ann’s challenge it may not have got finished at all.

Looking at my desk I notice I have several other part completed figures.  I really ought to get these done but I think I will wait for the next challenge!


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OMG! – A 28mm Diorama (Part 5 – Final Diorama)

Well finally I got this diorama finished, I hope you didn’t get bored with the WIP posts.  By coincidence today would have been Salute 2020 at the Excel centre in London.  Unfortunatley it had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak and since then the venue has been converted into a 4,000 bed Nightingale emergency hospital.  Who would have thought that a few weeks ago!

Back to the diorama.

The final figure got painted and positioned.  Another fine figure from Hasslefree which goes by the name of “Jholkar of Bolverk”.  Other than a little tidying up and some little bits of vegetation the model was complete.

Below are images of the completed diorama.  At the end I have also included an image of the model in its early stages where I was playing around with the pieces and how it would in theory go together.  I thought it might be of interest to see how the basic design played out.

This model is destined for Telford unless I come up with something better in the meanwhile or the show does not go ahead in light of the prevailing circumstances.  Also I haven’t as yet come up with a better title than “Oh My God!” If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Now it is time to move on to something new.  Maybe I will give some of the ideas you guys came up with a go at some point in the future too.

Here’s hoping you like the end result.  The images aren’t the greatest but unfortunatley rain prevented me taking some outside pictures.


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OMG! – A 28mm Diorama (Part 4)

This week has all been about getting one figure painted.  The figure as you will now be able to work out is the OMG element of the diroama.  Sorry it isn’t a dragon or the other things some of you guessed at and I hope you aren’t too disappointed.  Well done to Bogenwald though, he rightly guessed a giant following last weeks post.

The figure in question is from Reaper and is a Hill Giant which goes by the name of “Krug”.  He is a very big chap, solid metal and weighing a ton.  Well OK not a ton but very heavy for a figure.  So heavy that fixing his arms and head which were all seperate castings into place proved a challenge.  Fortunately I go there in the end and once fully assembled the painting could begin.  Given the weight, holding the “miniature” and keeping it steady proved difficult at times and painting in instalments became necessary.

Below are various photos of the figure including a couple where he has been positioned on the base and some of the ground work has been done.  This coming week will see the fifth and final figure painted and positioned.  All being well there will then only be little bit to tidy up so I should get it completed.  With the diorama complete you will hopefully be able to get the perspective on this chap relative to the others.



OMG! – A 28mm Diorama (Part 3)

Since my last post, OMG Part 2, I have managed to more or less complete the waterfall and most of the base work.  Once all the figures have been put in place some minor additional ground work will need to be done, including some vegetation to add a little bit of colour, but that will come later.

The first two pictures below show the waterfall still drying out.  You can now see that the top part has gone clear while the bottom part still has a little way to go.  I have also added some mist/water spray to the bottom of the fall.  This was done using some type of fabric stuffing that She Who Must Be Obeyed had laying around.  The bridge has still not been glued down yet as access to the fall is still required.


With the bridge taken out again and the waterfall dry it was time to take some white paint and dry brush some highlights to simulate the cascade and hopefully bring the fall to life.


Time now to get the tree leaves on and start work on painting the figures.  Until they are done, one in particular, it wont be possible to do all the further work on the base.


Next we have the first of three figures.  In total there will be five.  The eyes on these figures were very important.  They needed to appear to be looking up for reasons which will become obvious either in the next part or when the diorma is complete.  The plastic bases are temporary and purely for keeping the figures upright while taking photos.  All three of these figures are from Hasslefree.  This figure goes by the name of “Jakevim the Swine”.


This young lady is called “Morwenna”.


And this guy is called “Hurin”.



Here we have all three in their final positions.  The final layer of ground work on this side of the diorama has now been completed and a splash of colour added with a few plants.  I decided to go with more is less and chose red as I felt it stood out.


That’s it for this post folks.  Part 4 should see work on the fourth figure and probably the key element of the whole diorama.  At that point you will get a very clear image of just what is going on.  All being well I should be able to wrap the whole thing up in part 5.













“Viharis Tenspire” – a 28mm Reaper Wizard (Ann’s Challenge)

A break this week from OMG! as I promised Ann that I would take part in her challenge.  I enjoy painting all sorts of figures but none more so than the occasional wizard, so I didn’t need much encouragement to enter her challenge.  The brief was “March Might & Magic” and magic doesn’t come much better than a wizard.  I am sure there are other manufactures out there and before too long I will have to check some of them out but for now nobody does a wizard sculpt better than Reaper in my opinion.  The figures and the detail in them are to my mind simply stunning.  As you can probably guess I am a fan!

What we have here is “Viharis Tenspire”.  A lovely mini which I decided to simply base on one of my neighbours wood turned bases he so kindly does for me.  As with most of the wizards their clothing provides plenty of opportunity for free hand painting.

As required by the challenge a picture of the figure in the box followed by the end end result.  One of my personal favourites.

Images below.



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OMG! – A 28mm Diorama (Part 2)

Earlier this week it was pointed out to me by “Badktothehammer” that the WordPress phone app had an image on it of the near completed gorge.  How this came to be is a complete mystery to me.  Whilst I was constructing this post in parrallel with build progress of the model I posted nothing so cannot understand how that came to pass.  We will put it down to Gremlins and my incompetence.  In any event the image if you did see it is among those you will see below in this post.

Without further ado and putting all the behind us let’s get started.

Firstly a reminder of where I ended up in Part 1.


This week saw the base and figures arrive as anticipated.  First though it was time to continue with the build.  With the blocks clad and everything dried out it was time to use some good old filler to fill the various gaps and to build up the upper base work.

The next few images, all very unexciting it must be said, show the base being turned up and down while filler is being added.  This is a slightly tedious task but an important one and slowly the outline of the base is coming together.


As the filler dries some more carving was needed to blend with the plaster board.  So far looking good and I am pleased with the way it is shaping up.


Time now to set things to one side and allow to properly cure and dry out.  In the meanwhile time to start working on the tree and where I plan to put it.  I wont go in to detail on how the tree is built because I have covered this before and only recently I posted a two part tutorial in TIM’S Memory Monday.  The image below shows the wire armature constructed and initially positioned.


Another feature of the base is a wooden bridge across the gorge.  The reason for this will become more obvious when the figures get to be placed into position.  The bridge was made using twisted wire and wooden coffee stirrer pieces.  It will be fixed into place later once it has been painted and more ground work has been done.  I did wonder about giving it side supports but decided against it as I want to avoid it blocking out too much of the waterfall.


Next we have an image showing the tree put in place using some Milliput and the finer branches added.


Next work started on adding some finer ground work and doing some painting.  More groundwork will be needed but will only be done once the figures have been painted and can be positioned on the base.  As well as painting the base the tree was also painted along with the bridge.

The next two images below show the tree and bridge being painted and some additional ground work.


Next up it was time to paint the gorge.  This was done using a variety of colours – Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Black and White.  I used some Woodland Scenic paints as the base colours but then moved to oils diluted with white spirit.  The nice thing about plaster board is the paint soaks in and produces natural highlights.

After some painting I began to start the waterfall. The first step was to lay down the top three edges using Woodland Scenics Water Effects.  This stuff is thick and does not run.  It goes on white but after time, quite a lot of time if it is applied thickly like here, it eventually dries clear.  Behind these will be added Realistic Water, in this instance produced by Green Stuff World as their UV product can be dried in seconds using a UV torch.


The next step was to create the waterfalls using Woodland Scenics Water Effects once again.  This is done by simply putting down the effect in strips and once dried applying it to the model.  Woodland Scenics have YouTube articles on how to use their stuff so rather than me attempt to explain how to use them you would be better to watch the videos they have on offer.  Link below.

The next image shows the second waterfall being added with the first having already been done above it.  Despite its white appearence it will all dry clear and then it can be highlighted.  As you can also see my wooden base has arrived and the gorge has now been glued to it.  The water effects has also been added to the bottom of the base to seal the connection between gorge and base.  Realistic Water will be added to this and if not sealed will leak everywhere.


Next a test picture showing the bridge in situ.  Not permanently fixed yet and nor will it be for a little while but I wanted to make sure I was happy with it.  So far so good as far as I am concerned.


Now a couple of images of the lower pool area being worked on.  Firstly with the ground work primed and then with it painted.  Notice the top waterfall cascade is starting to turn from white to clear.  Only taken 48 hours so far!


Happy with the progress being made but much, much more to be done.  Figures not even started (there will be five of them in total), more ground work to be done, tree to be “leafed” and waterfall to be finished to name but a few.  We will see how things go as I also need to do a figure for Ann’s challenge too!



OMG! – A 28mm Diorama (Part 1)

In my recent Miniatures and Musings post I made reference to a new project – OMG! – a working title which may or may not change in due course.  To those of you of an older generation OMG! is short for Oh My God!  I’m sure most of you were well aware of that but I will hold my hand up and say most of these text abreviations have had to be explained to me by my lazy kids who cannot be arsed to type something out properly.

At this stage I cannot be certain how many posts this project will run into, best guess would be half a dozen at most.  It isn’t the biggest project by any means but the nature of the build will require a fair bit of drying time which may well stretch things out.  What that will allow me to do though is run a few other things in parrallel while I am having to wait.  I know some of you like Work In Progress posts so the aim here is to work bottom up and end with the finished model.  At this stage I don’t want to give too much away, partly because all to often there is a need to adapt things part way through due to unforseen circumstances.  However, start we must and here is the first post.

The base I am aiming to create is essentially a gorge.  I want cliff edges left and right with a waterfall slightly off centre and a tree somewhere on it too.  The tree and the gorge are intended for scale which will become more obvious I hope when the model is completed.  Having said that it wont be really true to scale as to do so would require an enormous base but the illusion is all I am looking for and hoping to achieve.

I decided that I didn’t want a big base but it did need to be dramatic.  I managed to find a nice wooden base on ebay from a guy I have bought from before which had the dimensions 255mm x 155mm.  It is now on order and should come within the next week or so.  I didn’t need the base to get started so my first job was to dig out some styrofoam blocks from my modelling boxes stored in the garage.  I also dug out some plaster board while I was there too.

As I have mentioned to a couple of people recently, plaster board is in my opinion great stuff to work with.  In this instances I wanted it to clad the styrofoam blocks.  The image below is of two base blocks glued together having first been shaped to outline the gorge.  An elastic band was used to pull them together and cocktail sticks were used at the edges to stop the elastic bands from biting into the styrofoam.


As I wanted the build to go higher I set about working on the next level while the first was drying.  Cocktail sticks would be used along with PVA glue to eventually attach the upper build to the lower build.


A rough outline of the gorge in styrofoam was completed.  Time now to start on the cladding.


Sections of plaster board were bit by bit glued to the styrofoam blocks.  Each was roughly carved to create the cliff like appearance that I wanted to achieve.  Gaps between the pieces at this stage is not important as they will all get filled in due course


Piece followed piece followed piece until eventually the blocks were covered to the extent that they needed to be.


Now it was time to set everything to one side so it could all properly dry out.  The base and figures I ordered are due to arrive next week which means I can work on them as I wait for future parts of the build to dry.  For now though it is time to go off and do something else while I wait.