Monday, July 5, 2010

First Week: Multiple Projects and the First use of Magic Wash

Hello, welcome back. It’s difficult to decide where to start. Do I start writing about things I have already done and try to catch-up to the present or start with what I’m doing now and sprinkle in past projects when things are slow? …Yeah, I’ll choose the latter. So, I’ll start with some of my current projects. There are many, but I’ll stick to the top ones.

My top project that I have been working on is a diorama displaying four Long Tom Artillery pieces (Iron Wind Metals) of the 14th Legion of Vega moving into firing position on the world of Skondia during the Fourth Succession War. The artillery will be guarded by a Partisan anti-aircraft tank and a squad of infantry. So far, I have the artillery painted and most of the board made up. I still need to paint the Partisan and the infantry and put in a small pond just behind the hill.

I originally intended to make the terrain from papier-mâché. I found a great recipe online, however the down side was that I based it on a piece of plexiglas, so the terrain shrunk, warped, and popped off the glass. There was no saving it, so I went back to square one. Perhaps I can use the recipe for something else in the future. I used a piece of gator foam (similar to foam board, but stronger) as the base and used some small pieces stacked up to make the hill. I then smeared modeling clay around the hill to round it out, spayed deluded Elmer’s glue on the board and sprinkled the diorama with Buff Talus from Woodland Scenics. Once it was dry, I sprayed the board with primer. And once that was dry, I applied various shades of brown using delta paint.

The paint was pretty heavy, so after letting that dry for a couple days, I then applied several varieties of grass and bushes from Gale Force 9 and trees from Virtual Village. Check out the photos and tell me what you think. I was going for a savanna look. I will post new pictures with better lighting and background once the whole thing is complete.

Original wet papier-mâché base & the base later dry and comming off the board

Long Tom Artillery Lance moving into position to shell several Lyran positions on Skondia 3029.
As a side project, I have been working on a statue that will be in the center of a roundabout just outside of a Lyran military base on the world of Skondia before the world was seized by the Draconis Combine during the Fourth Succession War. The miniature is a 25mm Iron Wind Metals miniature mounted on a “stone” pillar made from Milliput epoxy. I painted the piece with black primer from Reaper and various paints from Vallejo and Delta. Once those were dry, I used a technique that everyone seems to be raving about, but until today, I had not tried—Magic Wash.

Magic Wash is a mix for making miniatures really pop by driving the dark colors of the wash into the recesses of the miniature. This trick is accomplished by using Future Floor Wax. Until today, I had been simply using premade washes, but I can’t see myself doing anything like in the past again. It’s simply amazing! The Wash is made by mixing one part Future to four parts water and one or two parts of a dark color. In this case, I used two parts Vallejo Black Ink. If I weren’t making a statue, I could have made a dark blue wash for the blue cloak and if she had flesh, I could have made a dark flesh for her face etc. Anyway, check out this technique and tweak it as needed. See you soon.


  1. Very nice Diorama. I sort of felt that you should have gone all the way and extended this into a game table. The result is so professional, it would look great as modular sections for a larger layout.

  2. Nice work, I would also like to see a full-scale wargameboard! It's really amazing all the diferent textures and colors.

    I also love the artillery and statue!


  3. Thank you for the complements! I know this diorama is small, but it was kind of a test bed for what I have been reading on game board design and diorama making. I figured that having off-map artillery literally off the game map on their own board rather then just on paper would be cool and unique. Later in the year, I will have the whole game board complete. In fact, that is all I have left for the battle I have designed. The mechs, tanks, infantry, buildings, etc. are all done. (More on that soon) Hint: Draconis Combine vs. The Lyran Commonwealth in the 4th Succession War. The battle board will be 4’ X 6’ or 1.2m X 1.8m.