Finished version of my diorama for ReaperCon 2015 entitled “Earth Checkpoint #E76B24L”. This is the first diorama I’ve created, and I’m reasonably happy with it. I like to use my miniatures (at least in theory), so I probably won’t be making dioramas with any regularity.
The road sign is from the exit that you take to get to Reaper HQ in Denton, TX.
I decided to enter a diorama for ReaperCon and have been making excellent progress. I’m using the miniatures from Victoria Miniatures that I painted up a while back, plus some resin scenery from Secret Weapon Miniatures and Itar’s workshop. The base is a jar candle lid. The road is sandpaper and the roadside is a mixture of model railroad ballast, grass tufts, static grass and dried rooibos tea. I may need to redo the road sign (and it needs to be mounted properly), and I’ll need to make a better “checkpoint” sign. I may find something for the soldiers to stand on as well – there’s not quite enough of them showing behind the jersey barrier.
Last year at ReaperCon, MonkeySloth and I won two boxes of figures from Victoria Miniatures out of Australia. Each box had ten riflemen, one box male and one box female. We split the sprues evenly. James Wappel posted recently about their highlander bits, and I decided to pull mine out. I think these are supposed to be W40K Imperial Guard stand-ins, but I’m not sure since I don’t play that game. They come in at least 4 pieces each plus accessory bits, which is different than I’m used to. However, they went together very easily with just a little bit of cutting and sanding (they’re resin, so I made sure to wear my respirator). I can definitely see an advantage to resin here, since it barely took any work at all to remove the flash. Metal and even plastic are a lot harder to deal with.
After cleaning, I primed them black, and gave them a nice directional highlight to start with (hard to see in the photo since the camera is in the “head-on” position). I started down the path of making them both caucasian, but then remembered that I’m purposely trying to paint in a multi-ethnic fashion. While trying to decide whether to go asian, african or something else, I saw the NPP Poison Green on my palette and decided to go with that instead.
While painting my “martians,” I got an idea for diorama that would suit the ReaperCon theme. I don’t know if I could get it done in time, but it’s something to work for nonetheless. The idea is a roadside checkpoint, with a sign in English/Spanish and Martian that says something like “All humans must present identification.” Maybe throw in a sign or scenery that implies they are near Dallas. I think it would be best to then just leave it at that. It would let the viewer’s imagination run wild (I know mine did). A big portion of the diorama score the story you tell, and I think that’s a good one. It would be my first diorama, so it might not turn out quite like I’m imagining, but I think it’s a fun idea.