Dio-Bolical Monday No: 12 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 3

The plan for the last week was to get the turret done and begin work on the top section of  the tower.  Every section of this model is a painting marathon but so far I am loving every minute of it.  Yes I know an airbrush would have quickened things up but I’m a brush guy and am happily losing myself in  this project.  Although I consider the progress I am making to be very pleasing I’m conscious of the fact that from a blog posting point of view things might be a little dull.  Hopefully though the images towards the end of this post will provide some idea of scale and why it is a beast of a model.    

The first couple of photos today are of the outside of the turret.  There are five turret windows and each one takes a while to do but I love the way they look.  Not my idea as I have said before but thanks to the YouTube link I have previously posted.  The wooden shingles have all been painted using a combination of various earth coloured oils and most of the weathering has been done too.  The grain and texture engraved in the model is simply brilliant.  As you can see in the second image their is a top piece still to be painted.  I’m leaving that for now so I can pick the top up rather than manhandling the paint work so far done.


With the turret largely out of the way it was time to move on to the stone section.  As with the rest of the model it is very highly detailed and getting into the various nooks and crannies to paint everything is time consuming and more than a little repetitive but with YouTube on I was happily zoned out.  No real secret to any of the painting here.  Just a couple of base colours, washes to get into the dark recessed areas and highlights and dry brushing on edges and where else I felt it was appropriate for weathering.  As with the all the tower painting so far done there is much more weathering to be done but that will come later.

In the third image below I have inserted the room which I got painted last week.  The fit is perfect and was easily glued into place.  


With the room in place I added the turret.  Again the fit is perfect although there is only one way the turret can be positioned so I colour marked it for ease as it will not be glued down, that way it will be possible to see inside the room.  The colour marks aren’t visible when the turret is on.


With the top section put together it was time for a motivational assembly of the main pieces.  It is nice to take time out and see how things are progressing.  So far so good and I am very pleased with things as they currently stand.  That said there is a long way to go.  


Plenty more to paint on the tower.  The base hasn’t even been started and there are figures and other bits and bobs to be done.  A good many weeks work lay ahead.  Next week I will aim to get the rocks done on the base section.  Then I might start to think about how to go about getting the base done.



“Glory” – The Fembruary Challenge

In response to Alex’s annual Fembruary challenge I managed to pick up a couple of female figures from Hasslefree.  This is the first and goes by the name of “Glory”.  I might get the second one done as it’s early in the month but we’ll have to see.

I was conscious of the challenge brief so focused on females with attitude rather than the skyclad females which I have done in the past and which Hasslefree have on offer.  Miss Glory fits the bill of a no nonsense, mess with me at your peril, kind of women.  This is admirable in conflict situations and I for one would be more than happy to have some one like her watching my back although I suspect it would be me looking at hers as she takes the fight to the enemy.  Whether I would be happy to have a relationship with a women who is more hard nosed and intimidating than me or the the average guy is something  else entirely but it probably wouldn’t be my decision to make!

Images Below.



Dio-Bolical Monday No: 11 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 2

At the end of last week I managed to make a tiny start on the top section of the tower so I thought I would stick with that and see how much more I could get done.

The top piece comprises essentially of a circular room and the turret.  As with the rest of the model it is highly detailed both inside and out.  Unpainted but assembled the three main parts look like this.


I started on the inner piece last week and managed to get both the inside and outside of it finished this week.  As you can see from the two photos below there is a lot of detail, particularly on the windows.  The leaded framework on the windows simply took an age to paint on the five windows inside and out and then there was the door to do and the walls as well.  It was painted mainly using acrylics and oil washed for the walls.  The windows were painted in the same way as referenced in part 1 last week.


In situ this piece looks like this.  A lot of work for a piece that as you can see will be pretty concealed.  That said I will probably not glue the turret in place.  It fits perfectly and doesn’t need any filler of any sort and by leaving it that way it will be possible to then look inside.  It will also make transportation easier as well.


I decided my next step would be to start on the turret.  So far I have managed to get some paint on the inside.  The thing with this model is it is huge and it takes a fair bit of time to paint each piece.  I should also mention I am a brush guy.  An airbrush would have speeded the process up but I don’t own one and for now at least have no plans to buy and use one.  


That’s as much as I got done this week.  The aim for the next one is to get the turret finished and then make a start on the lower piece.  If I manage to get that done I might assemble the tower and get a rough idea of exactly where I am at that point.

As impressive as this tower is I am hoping the base work when I get to it will be the making of this diorama along with the couple of figures I have planned.  Before I get started on them though there is a great deal more to do on the tower.


“Halvdan” – A 28mm Hasslefree Figure

Lockdown in the UK continues and will do so for some considerable time, weeks if not months.  As with the previous ones I am reliant on the hobby to help see me through the dark days.  The blog and the miniatures will hopefully keep me busy enough to pass the time until it is my turn to receive a vaccination and the prospect thereafter of a new world.  So far this strategy is proving to be successful and this week saw me pick up another Hasslefree figure to sink my teeth into.  

This little chap is from the Hasslefree fantasy human range and goes by the name of Halvdan.  When it comes to figures I do like a nice simple standing pose and the key feature of this one for me is the angle of the head.  The tilt might be minor but is makes such a big difference in my opinion.  To me the guy looks like he is tired, either from walking, fighting or working and is in a reflective mood.  A great sculpt I think and a joy to paint.

As for the painting and the base work I don’t have a great deal to say.  I went for muted colours and simply chose green because I had done a lot of blue lately!  That’s about as deep as my thinking goes at times.

Images below.




Dio-Bolical Monday No: 10 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 1

This week sees the start of a whole new diorama.  Where I will be going after this one is something I need to give a lot of consideration to.  I love doing dioramas but space really is an issue now so I need to get my head around the problem in the weeks ahead.  A return to much smaller models will probably be the solution but will they warrant a Monday Dio-Bolical post?  Maybe, maybe not.  My blog needs a review so perhaps this will be something I need to consider changing at some point in the future.  In any event there is no rush for a good few weeks yet.  Anyway I digress, back to the Wizard’s Tower.

For those of you who did not catch the very first Dio-Bolical Monday post back on the 23rd November 2019 this is the Table Top World model I’ve just started on.


This is a big tower and will stand at over two feet tall once I get the base work done further down the line.  The kit itself compromises of about 30 pieces, 6 large bits and several little bits which make up the roped hand rail going up the steps.  Essentially when assembled the tower has three very specific parts – a base, a middle section and a top piece.

The good news is I have a clear idea of how I want this diorama to end up looking, the bad news is I still have to decide how best to approach doing the base work.  With so much painting to be done on the tower there is plenty of time to work things out though.  It is with this in mind that I decided I would begin by starting to paint the base and middle section.  However, the first hing I had to do was prime everything!  As is my way this was done using matt white enamel diluted with white spirit and brushed on.  Yes, yes I know a spray primer would have been quicker but it’s not my way and I besides I didn’t have any, added to which I was to impatient to wait for a delayed lockdown delivery to arrive.  Put simply I just wanted to get started now. 

Once everything was primed and left to dry I began to paint the base and middle section.  I needed to work on both these pieces at roughly the same time to ensure I got the colour matching across them both, particularly where they join. 

The image I am looking for is a dark one.  I want the tower to look imposing and dramatic, not something which looks like it featured in a Disney animation.  This determined my base colour of a dark grey.  Given the size of this beast using Vallejo bottled paints was never going to happen.  From the moment the model arrived and was unpacked I knew this was going to be a job for oils.  The level of detail on the kit, along with all its nooks and crannies, meant I needed paint that could really flow into these areas and oils diluted with white spirit has always worked for me.  Having adopted the same approach on the Table Top World cottage in my Fools Gold diorama I was confident this would work out OK. 

After priming and laying down the base colour it was all about different shades of grey, a little brown, some white and a fair bit of dry brushing.  All of which got me to this point.  The image below shows the base section brick work well on the way.


Now strictly speaking there are three parts to the middle section.  The main two can be clearly seen in the first of the images below.  The third if you scroll up to the black and white picture above shows that at the end of the elevated walkway there is a second but much smaller little round roof turret.  Unfortunately the one of the four resin wooden struts which supports the roof was broken when the kit arrived.  In fairness it could have been fixed very easily but after a great deal of inner debate where I lost an argument with myself I decided I preferred the look of the tower without out it.  A bit of a gamble but by carefully removing the three remaining struts I can always add it back later if I decide to change my mind.

You will also notice from the images below that the middle section also has two doors, an upper and a lower one, and windows.  The windows were painted the same way I painted the windows on the cottage in Fools Gold – Part 4 using yellow with a wash applied over them.  This idea came from a YouTube video presented by “Real Terrian Hobbies and Goobertown Hobbies” the link to which can be found back in my Fools Gold post.  In due course I will use their render technique between the bricks again too.  I’ve managed to make a start on the wood and both the doors are more or less finished as well.

The last two pictures show the middle section mounted on the base.  It hasn’t been glued yet and most likely wont be because if I decide I like the end result enough and think it is good enough for a show it will be easier to transport.  The fit as you can see is perfect too.


That’s it for this week.  A lot of work for one week, well for me at least but thoroughly enjoyed it.  I can’t promise to make that much progress every week.  That’s the thing with dioramas they don’t just happen over night and at some point I know I will end up going backwards rather than forwards.  Nevertheless a new journey has begun.

Now I need to think where I go from here.  I’ll probably continue with the top piece as I have already made a very small start on that as you can just see in one of the images above..  The brick work needs more attention too as well as weathering.


Shalelu, Elf Ranger – Reaper

This last week has seen my mood lifted for no reason whatsoever that I can put my finger on.  I would like to report that the weather in blighty has been fantastic, that I have had a Covid-19 vacine and that naked women have thrown themselves at me (again!) demanding that I make them with child.  Alas however none of this is true, well except the last bit, there is a bit of truth in that.  OK there isn’t, I’m lying.  In any event my spirits have lifted somewhat and for that I am grateful.

Reinvigorated for reasons unknown I settled down and painted this little female elf ranger from Reaper, a 28mm figure who goes by the name of Shalelu.  I rather liked painting this one and decided there was a bit of an opportunity for some freehand work on the back of her cloak.  Just a few squiggles really but I felt they provided a bit of interest.

Images below.



Dio-Bolical Monday No: 9 – “Fools Gold” – Part 8 – Final

This week was mainly about getting the figure painted before making some very small and final additions (such as a few twigs and a skull) before taking photos of the finished diorama.  I do find it very satisfying that you can take a few bits of old crap and turn them into something else entirely.  I must give another shout out to Table Top World, the cottage truly is a stunning kit and I can’t wait to get started now on the Wizard Tower.

The central character to this diorama is a Reaper Chronoscope figure which goes by the name of Crazy Pete.  It’s a figure I have had an eye on for a while but hadn’t decided exactly what to do with him.  Then as things do an idea started to form and then as they say the rest is history.


Holding a nugget and doing a jig gave rise to the title of the diorama.  Did Pete discover pure gold or fools gold?  Did he die a wealthy man in luxury or is he buried up in them there hills a broken sole?  Well I will leave that for you to decide.  Meanwhile images of the completed diorama, taken mostly outside for some natural light, appear below.

Thank you for your perseverance I hope you have enjoyed following the build.

Next week I will get started on the Wizard Tower.



“Alain” – A 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper (Final)

Welcome to this weeks Miniatures & Musings!


This week I managed to finish “Alain”, the 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper which I had started painting the face on last week.  This represents my first figure for 2021 and therefore my entry into Ann’s challenge.

The figure provided an opportunity for a little free hand work on the shield, front and back, in the form of a couple of crosses.  As the figure had quite a lot going on and a fair bit of detail I decided to keep the base work simple.

Images below.



Dio-Bolical Monday No: 8 – “Fools Gold” – Part 7

This week I fixed the cabin in place and set about getting the groundwork done around it and the tree.


That was followed once it was dry by getting the groundwork painted and making sure it blended  in with what I had done already.


A few more plants and leaves were added for colour and visual effect.  The pumpkin on the bench outside the cottage dictated autumn and so I went with leaves on the ground rather than just a few on my deadish looking tree.  I also started to paint the edge of the base to tidy things up a bit.


The final touch for this week was adding a barrel, some rubble and planks.  Some more rubble needs to be painted and I have a couple of boxes to add on as well as a steers skull but these will be finishing touches for next week.


All being well I will get the figure painted up for next week and that will complete the diorama.


“Alain” – A 28mm Iconic Cavalier by Reaper (WIP Post)

Before, during and after Christmas, as well as after the New Year, I have barely picked up a brush.  My routine such as I had one went out of the window and I simply got lazier and lazier.  I managed to maintain a slight grip on my “Fools Gold” diorama and to some extent the blog but that is as far as it went.  When I finally picked up a brush I realised I had ran out of time to get a figure done for this Saturday’s post.  Accordingly, and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I was confronted with a blog dilemma, do I not post at all or do I try and make a post out of what I have done to date? 

I decided against no post at all.  I could hear the cries of “thank goodness TIM hasn’t posted, we will get a few days respite!” and concluded that annoying you all was more important to me than I realised!

So, what I have I got for you?  Well let me start by saying this is not a tutorial, it is however a brief guide on how I paint faces.  As you will know I am sure, there a great many ways to paint faces and painters far better than I am have tutorials on YouTube that you can follow and replicate.    If this post is of any use then all well an good but other wise it is just a work in progress.  Next week I will hopefully have the figure completed.

As I have mentioned before I prime using White Matt Enamel paint, Humbrol or Revel, diluted a little using white spirit.  The face paints I use are from “Lifecolor” and the set of six I bought comprise of Flesh Base 1 & 2, Flesh Shadow 1 & 2 and Flesh Light 1 & 2.  The first image below shows Flesh Base 2 having been applied.  Please allow for the fact these images appear at 6 times or more bigger than the head of the real figure.


Next using Black, Vallejo in this case, I block out the eyes and apply a thin line to the mouth.  I don’t concern myself if I have gone outside of the lines as that will be tidied up in due course.


Next I paint the whites of the eyes.  Any white will do, I don’t get excited about an exact colour, perhaps I should but I don’t.  This white was again a Vallejo colour.


Pupils come next and again I use black.  I try to take account of where the figure is looking and position the pupil accordingly.


Time now to tidy up the black around the eyes using the base colour again and then, using the darker of the two shadow colours, outline the areas which need to be darker – around the eyes, hair line, neck, chin and nose.


The next image is a little blurred but at this point I am using the lighter base colour to start the highlights – forehead, chin and cheeks.


The next level of highlight is added to the same areas above.  


Finally some near white to the nose, corner of the eyes and chin plus a little Old Rose Vallejo paint to the bottom lip.  


Now the images on my Samsung Tablet show the head way larger than in reality (as mentioned above already), accordingly the end result looks far from great but in normal eyesight mode the exaggerated lines provide good definition.  Hopefully the finished model will demonstrate that next week but if not then I will go back and touch a couple of bits up.  That forehead is looking a bit to white as things currently stand.

Meanwhile I need to get my act together as this is not a great start to the New Year.  I have lots to paint and do and shrugging off the festivities and establishing some sort of routine is a must.  There are challenges on the horizon and my arse is not in gear for anything right now.