I’ve got a little bit of everything to discuss in today’s update so I’ll break things up by subject matter to make it easy to see what you’re going to be reading about. Let’s not waste any further time and get into it!
MESBG – As the title suggests, I am working on my first true MESBG diorama after thinking of ideas for years and wanting to try my hand at one for a long time. I think now is the right time because my skills are at a place where I feel like I can use most painting techniques with confidence and I’m painting at a high level after several years of learning and practice. Making a diorama (or two!) for MESBG makes perfect sense as well because Lord of the Rings is one of the few things I never tire of and for as long as humanity and civilization exist, it will be a classic and well-regarded. While I haven’t missed painting MESBG for gaming purposes much, I do miss painting it in general and I think this is a great way to scratch that itch. Additionally, I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder at the somewhat icy reception that my work has received in the MESBG social media sphere but I’ll talk about that more when I get further along with this dio.
So who was I painting first for this diorama? Alfrid, the bloke above on the right. The trick is, he basically wears all black and has nearly black hair. So how can you paint him to make him look interesting? Games Workshop gave him a blue outfit which I felt was too bright and not in line with the character so I stuck with a dark brown with dull colors to capture his look from the movies. As you can see below, he is something to be proud of!
I’m very excited to share him with you because this is by far the best and ambitious freehand I’ve done. While I got the idea from another really talented painter who used a bluish color scheme, I think the colors I chose channel the spirit of the movie and make him about as good as he can in miniature form. Truthfully, he is only 90% done and I need to glaze in the shadows in the recesses of his clothes and touch up a couple of things but after working on him all week, I’m happy with how he is looking.
While the pictures are a bit darker than what I would like, I wanted to show some other little details I added in. Since I painted the pages in the book towards the end, it was really difficult and annoying to try and get the brush in there and paint anything without messing anything up. I barely managed and while I don’t love the ledger on the right page as much as I had hoped, I think it looks good overall and will be a nice little detail in the diorama which is what you want. A diorama should be feast for the eyes and so that is what I will shoot for.
Finally, here’s a look at something that gave me some consternation and probably could be better but I’m going to roll with it anyway. I wanted to find a base that was rectangular for the diorama I’m working on which was pretty tough. I ended up with this one from Model Display Products (a great supplier in the UK) that is really tall. Quite possibly too tall for the miniatures that will go on top. We’ll see how it ends up looking when I get further along. It will certainly a grand and as prominent of a stage as you can find!
I am proud of the wood planks which were done from scratch with popsicle sticks (as we call them in the US). They were a pain to cut up and I think I actually bought ones that are too big for this scale but they’re going to be mostly covered up (hence the half-finished looking paint job) in the nearish future so I’m not sweating that too much.
So that is where the diorama stands now. I have 4-5 more things to paint so it will take a while before this is done. One thing I like about this project is that I can paint up one thing needed for the diorama and then stop and work on something else if I want. I think that will make it a fun project to work on and I can chip away at it when the mood strikes. I want to give a shout out to friend of the site, Bret. I actually attempted to paint the Master of Laketown first and I totally botched it. He was kind of enough to send me a spare that he has. I couldn’t have painted Alfrid as well as I did without messing up the Master so I certainly appreciate his help in all this. The alternative would have meant buying the $35 from GW again and then I’d have an extra Alfrid that I’d have no use for so he really did me a solid!
Fallout – As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been working on some MDF terrain for Fallout to fill out my “board” a bit better. This is my first MDF terrain so I’m kind of making it up as I go along truthfully. I’m working on a construction trailer which I thought would fit nicely in the Fallout universe since there are industrial and manufacturing sites that have little trailers somewhat similar to this.
What you’re looking at above is the floor piece which is pretty much done. I’m working on basecoating the walls now and then I think I’ll give it a similar texture as the floor but with a zenithal type of highlight. It seems to me that the trick with MDF terrain is to give it texture so you don’t feel like you’re just looking at a flat piece of wood. I think the stippling on the floor and the dirt spots certainly do that. Thus far, this has been a nice thing to chip away at when I’m not doing crazy details on the diorama. It is a nice mix of challenging painting on the dio and mindless work on the terrain.
The only concern I have now is how to glue this together successfully. It seems to me like if you’re not careful, you could have crooked walls really easily which is definitely something I don’t want. I was going to use wood glue but I know that takes a while to set so I’m not quite sure, outside of using some books to keep things in place, how you can ensure everything stays in place as it dries. If any of you have experience with this, I’d love to hear any gluing/assembly tips you might have.
The other big thing that happened with Fallout is Modiphius announced that Fallout New Vegas will be getting miniature releases next year. Before playing Fallout 4, New Vegas was my favorite game in the series so I’m excited by this news though I will be plenty busy doing Fallout 4 minis and terrain for a while I imagine.
On the flip side, Bethesda, the company who develops the Fallout games was shockingly bought by Microsoft. This is a bummer to me as I have never owned an Xbox system (I’m a Sony and Nintendo fan) and I hope that Microsoft won’t make it so you have to buy an Xbox to play Fallout in the near future. It COULD mean that Modiphius (the makers of Fallout Wasteland Warfare) may have trouble with the Fallout license since they’re potentially dealing with a new company. I don’t think that will be the case since the game is popular and a money-maker but it goes to show you how fast things can change. Even if that did happen, it wouldn’t dampen my interest in Fallout Wasteland Warfare because I’ve got tons of painting and gaming to do before I’d come close to exhausting what has already been released. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what happens there and I look forward to learning more about the Fallout New Vegas minis that are coming our way as well.