Starting my first MESBG diorama

27 thoughts on “Starting my first MESBG diorama”

    1. Glad to hear it and it sounds like you’re in the same position as me with Fallout. I have a gaming PC so I can play it there if it becomes Xbox and PC exclusive but that would make it so a lot of people can’t play the series which would be a real bummer.

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  1. Glad to help with the Master, looking forward to seeing how you paint him. You can always use the other Master and make a statue of him. That is an excellent job on Alfred’s coat, I had to go look at GW’s site to see what the original looked like, what an improvement!

    Believe it or not, what I use to keep things square while drying is legos! The different sizes can be used to fit the thickness of what you’re using and can build it up as high as you need.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words on the painting πŸ™‚ I actually chucked the Master in your package so you’re going to receive a poorly done, semi-painted version of him. I don’t know why I did that, it just seemed more fair if you got a copy in return. When you see him, you’ll wonder how I ever painted Alfrid very well πŸ˜€

      Using Legos is a very clever idea. I would have never thought of it and I actually have a couple of Lego sets here in the apartment so I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks for suggesting it!


    1. Haha! She’s more impressed than my fiancee. At most, she’ll say something that I slaved away on looks “good” or “nice”. Its a real tough crowd around here πŸ˜€


      1. Ahh… That makes sense! Well then I appreciate her kind words even more! I don’t know how much she’ll like the Master’s gaudy and ill-fitting clothing but I will try to shoot for a high standard on it too πŸ™‚


  2. Excellent work on Alfred. I’m not familiar with the figure but it certainly looks like you have done a great job and the coat is excellent. Some bits like the book are tricky to get brush access and wherever possible I get those bits done first to save messing others bits up later. But I guess you have worked that out too now! Not that I get that right every time myself!

    I use the same wooden sticks in my models. For scale I simply slice them in half long ways. Using a wire brush helps to add grain, allows paint to soak in and provides texture for dry brushing.

    I buy oak wooden bases on Ebay for some of my dioramas so this link might be of interest as an example-

    I love and dislike MDF kits. I like the precision and fit but not the finish, it always seems so flat and I am not good enough to paint depth on flat surfaces. As much as possible I add texture and use chinchilla dust. It worked well on some WW2 buildings I did some while ago. If the buildings are four sided then I pull them together using elastic bands until the glue sets and they are fine.

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    1. If I were smarter, I would have probably painted Alfrid in sub-assemblies but I’ve never been able to fully figure that out. I think display painters take an arm or a head and basically pin it on something and then they paint just that piece and then assemble it all later. If I had done that with the arm that held his book, I probably could have gotten better freehand than I did but oh well. I can live with the results I have gotten πŸ™‚

      A wire brush sounds really handy. Cutting all of the wood grain lines by hand was the most time consuming part and if there is a faster and less labor intensive way to do it, then I am all for it. I will have to remember that πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing that eBay link! They sell those kinds of things in a craft store that is pretty ubiquitous here in the states and I picked one up recently and have had my eyes opened up to these kinds of bases. I assumed most people used resin ones like the one I bought and now I know better! The wooden ones are much more economic and look nice. I will definitely be getting more in the near future πŸ™‚

      I have heard that rubber/elastic bands are the way to go and I think I understand why but I wasn’t entirely sure. I completely understand what you’re saying about textures. It is my chief concern as I paint it and we’ll see how it turns out. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have more to learn when it comes to MDF kits! πŸ™‚

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  3. Really cool, I feel like the Hobbit era miniatures and scenarios generally don’t get as much attention from both GW and the fans so it’s nice to see a diorama in that style (at least that’s what I assume based on this post).

    Great work on Alfrid, he looks very screen accurate and I love the little details in his book!

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    1. I completely agree and I wonder if it has something to do with how the movies turned out. Well that and the high cost of the Hobbit minis and Finecast but if you can get past those two things, most of those sculpts are higher quality than a lot of the LOTR-era ones so I think they deserve more credit too. Thanks for the kind words as well πŸ˜€

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  4. Well, Alfrid looks finished to me, Jeff! πŸ™‚ Really nice! Colour scheme looks spot on to me!
    Interesting that you write about “the somewhat icy reception that my work has received in the MESBG social media sphere” – knowing human nature, no doubt some people will be jealous of the standard you achieve and be unable to see that you are sharing your work with a community and not saying “look at me, aren’t I good”! They’re the one with the problems, not you but, giving some people the benefit of the doubt, 2020 has been a trying year for many people!

    I’ve only built a couple of MDF buildings, but have found they usually go together very well – in fact, the fit of parts is usually good enough to keep them together without glue (although I wouldn’t recommend that for handling purposes). I think I just spotted some superglue on some of the joints with my buildings, although I did assemble them completely before considering painting.

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    1. Thanks, John! That is interesting about the social media topic and something I hadn’t considered at all. I appreciate you sharing those thoughts as it certainly could be a factor. I will delve into it a bit further soon for sure πŸ™‚

      Thanks as well for sharing your experience with MDF. I realized earlier today that I should really dry fit everything once I get it painted and varnished and then get a sense of how easy or not easy it seems like it will be to glue it. I’ve got quite a bit of menial painting to go to get to that point so I better buckle down and focus on that first πŸ™‚

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  5. Great job on Alfrid. I think I will take inspiration from your work when I get around to painting the Alfrid mini I have on my to do list…. although I intend to have it be Alfridβ€˜s replacement since our gaming is further along the timeline.

    I wonder what is in the Fallout future following the disaster of Fallout 76…

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    1. I don’t know if you use GW paints, but I’m happy to share the paints I used on the coat if it would be helpful, just let me know πŸ˜€

      Fallout 76 was the biggest misstep in the franchise for sure. In many ways, starting fresh and trying to put that behind them would be in their best interest. Bethesda as a company seem to be struggling a bit in terms of releasing high quality products in recent years so maybe that is a positive that will come from new ownership. I certainly hope so!


  6. Wow, that is some bloody amazing freehand there! If the rest of the diorama matches that (and I’m sure it will) this will be incredible. Consider me watching this progress with interest πŸ™‚

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  7. Very nice job on Alfrid and great start to the diorama. I’m glad you’re doing one bc you’ve been talking about for awhile now. BUT I cannot for the life of me fathom why you would choose Alfrid as a subject? Of all the characters he is probably the most disliked. And it’s not like he’s an iconic character that people will recognize as being from LOTR. Maybe the rest of the diorama will reveal..πŸ˜€

    As for MDF kits, I have found that they usually go together pretty well. But it was pretty smart to do the painting while it’s still apart. I wished I had done that. My pattern with MDF kits is that I usually figure out how to do it perfectly after I’m about half way through it. πŸ˜€

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    1. To be fair, I’ve been talking about doing dioramas since I was in the hobby around 2016 so it was past time to actually make a full on diorama and not just a miniature on a display base πŸ™‚ And haha, I knew someone would make this argument at some point on this diorama. “Cool diorama, but the Hobbit movies suck, mate!” is what I’m sure somebody will say when its done. I actually like Alfrid and the Master of Laketown. They were one of the few interpretations in the Hobbit that I thought worked well but I probably am in the minority in that regard πŸ™‚ We’ll see how you feel as I get the diorama done. Maybe I can make an Alfrid fan of you yet! And if so, maybe I’ll work on a Jar-Jar Star Wars diorama next πŸ˜‰

      It sounds like I got the MDF half-right in that I’m painting it first and then gluing it but I just need to be a bit more patient and then I can probably glue it all in one go and be all set. Got a fair bit of painting to do in the meantime so I don’t need to worry about gluing anything for a while yet.


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