I wanted to start off by sharing the “final” photos of my Hobbit diorama and a few thoughts on making my first diorama too.
I say “final” because one day I’m sure I will upgrade my camera because the one I have is approaching being ten years old and it does struggle a bit with black surfaces. You can see this in a few of the photos where the light parts are a bit blown out.
Other than the gluing mistake I made early on, I would have to say that I feel fortunate that this project came together pretty smoothly. I’m exceptionally proud of the freehand and detail I instilled in this diorama. I approached this whole project with the mentality that this wasn’t going to be an overly complicated diorama so my greatest concern was adding as many details to it so that it would be a feast for the eyes. I think I achieved that goal and I also think this project is the best thing I’ve created yet. Not too long ago, I worked on Theoden for Golden Demon and the project was not successful and GD was cancelled due to COVID. As bad as that was, I think that project really helped propel me to success on this one and so I’m thankful for that.
I’ve always been fascinated by dioramas and have wanted to make one but in roughly four years of painting, I’d never made anything more than a mini on a display base prior to this project. While I wouldn’t have thought this at the time, I’m glad that I waited this long to make the first one as the patience and all of the skills I developed up until this point came in handy and enabled me to be successful. Ideas for dioramas and projects are cheap and easily discarded (I’ve had hundreds, most of which I thought better of and never started) so finding a good one that you’re ready to work on is worth your patience. This diorama is fairly simple (it was mostly about painting stuff well which plays to my strengths, I think) and didn’t require a lot of scratch building (which I’m not good at) for example so I think it was a great “starter” diorama for me and I hope to become better at other skills needed to make dioramas. While it takes a long time, the results are very satisfying and I will certainly make more in the future.
Here are the final shots of the diorama and I saved the best couple for last (even if you’ve seen this angle before).
As you might have guessed, the mail did finally come this week and I got everything I was waiting on thankfully. I have decided that with the exception of paint (where don’t have a choice other than to get it shipped by the post office), I will not be buying anything that I want if it will shipped by USPS to hopefully prevent frustration until things get better. I don’t think that will impact my hobbying very much and will make me happier until the post office becomes reliable again. But enough about mail woes, let’s take a look at some recently painted Fallout minis.
Last week, I knocked out another Super Mutant Hound because they’re fast to paint. It also is the second-to-last mini in my Super Mutants Core Box so I figured why not chip away at them a bit more. I also had a hunch that I could improve the way I painted the skin even more just like with the last super mutant. On the left in the picture above is the oldest one I painted. That one is plastic and so it is slightly less detailed. It was one of the first Fallout minis I painted and I was making it up as I went truthfully. The middle one was done a month or so ago and the one on the right I just finished up thanks to the ultra matte varnish I received. I believe the middle one might have received too much Vallejo varnish (because I gave it multiple coats of matte varnish, possibly foolishly) which dulled its brightness but you can still see that it is much better than the first one and the most recent one is way better than the previous two. The first one I could just about get rid of as it is noticeably less good looking compared to the previous two and I don’t see myself needing tons of these minis for gaming. The level of contrast is too low and oldest one looks bland as a result. I am proud of the growth and improvement in my painting you can see and when you put the two most recent ones together like in the picture below, they do look pretty nice together. I know I’ll have to paint 1-2 more if I acquire more Super Mutants so I hope to make those look as good as the most recent one.
Finally, I got something else in the mail to help improve my Fallout terrain or so I hope. Tamiya makes an affordably priced plastic kit that has barrels in it. Since I can’t get the Fallout ones without ordering from Modiphius directly, I figured why not give it a try.
Well, they looked good initially but I’m running into some issues. The plastic doesn’t take filing that way and you have to do some filing to get them looking at all smooth. There is also a bit of a seam on the other side of the barrel which is aggravating and hard to fix. To irritate me further, I tried painting one yesterday and I hoped to be able to freehand the radiation warning sign as that makes it clear that these barrels are dangerous (there are normal barrels too in Fallout which are a solid color like red, blue, or green) and with two attempts I couldn’t do it. The paint is so rough on the barrel now that I will throw this one away. Annoyingly, there just isn’t quite enough space to do that kind of freehand. To make matters worse, the seam lines were either not cleaned properly or are going to be a problem with these barrels. I’ve started a second one and was more careful about filing but I’m still seeing some rough surfaces. If I can’t get this one smooth then I may have to breakdown and buy directly from Modiphius after all. It is definitely a bit frustrating as I will need some barrels in the near future for gaming and I seemed destined to end up with something I’m not happy with at the current rate.
That’s it for me but I am happy to report that I have the next week off work so I’m planning on getting a game of Fallout in over my break and possibly writing up an article midweek so don’t be surprised if you get a little spoiled during the week of Thanksgiving 🙂