Monday, January 26, 2015

P3 Grandmaster Diorama - "Contract Renegotiation" Part 2

Welcome back to my articles on building my P3 Grand Masters Competition Winning Diorama!

Having gathered my plans and reference, and roughly laying out my key pieces to help me visualize  and plan the overall size/spacing of my elements the next step was to start constructing the environment and the models to go in it. I started with a thick sheet of plastic and split the back wall from the floor (I actually flipped each piece once cut so that the join at the back would be of two factory cut 90 degree angle segments since I would be snipping chunks away from the front and uppermost wall sections anyway) and used my strongest plastic glue to bond them together with a couple tacks of superglue to hold while it fused the rest. I also cut a doorway while I was at it.

I began work on the two "businessmen". I pictured this environment as being kind of a hide out/warehouse/base of operations filled with military surplus that had fallen off the trucks of many different nations and made its way into the hands of the entrepreneurs of the five fingers. These guys were wealthy enough to have hired the Sea Wulfe so they should be well equipped, but clearly they have tried to short him - so not overly polished and slick.
I used an Idrian for the first with a simple head swap and arm swap as the basis of the model. I used a trencher head with a great expression and distinctive helmet along with a pistol hand from the piratical Mr. Walls.  To further emphasise the criminal nature I gave him a studded poncho not unlike that worn by Croe or Croes Cutthroats. to make the poncho I used greenstuff and more mini rivet heads from Grandt Line.

The second figure was a Cygnar ranger model. I liked his pose and he has a really great face. I also didn't change him too much as I like the idea of him being a Cygnarian deserter or vet making his coin in a new trade. I also gave him one of Mr Wall's pistols and did a bit of reposing with Greenstuff so that he would be peeking over the table instead of just ducking behind as I had original envisioned. This would give a more direct line of connection to Gorman and strengthen the storyline in subtle ways.

Turning back to the environment, I decided to cut cork to make the bricks, initially I cut a whole bunch of very tiny bricks scaled to the size of the men, but I realized that it was going to make the back wall rather busy, and when I looked back at my inspiration photos from Citadel hill in Halifax I realized that larger chunkier bricks would be the way to go for this project! So I began cutting all over again and was immediately more pleased with the overall appearance.
With that done I got out my hole saw drill attachment and made space for a window and for the placement of a base beneath the floorboards (I would like to play with my fancy limited edition Gorman from time to time!) and began to reshape the edges of the back wall before super gluing each brick into place. As I went along I made more adjustments to the shape of the wall using my best clippers and a lot of patience. I also added in a metal gear (from a scrapbooking store) for the window
and framed the doorway with strip styrene. I left gaps between the brick rows for now as mortar would come later.....

Other than painting, the next step would prove to be the most time consuming and laborious segment of the project. I took strips of styrene in two different widths and began to score each one with a knife and a scribing point to imprint a woodgrain texture. This was then further enhanced by scrubbing along the grains with a wire brush, chopping to a variety of lengths and working the ends and edges of each board with files, knives, clippers and sandpaper to give a great final texture and appearance. (Note that the pieces for hiding Gorman's base are just set into place in this picture- they would be shimmed to sit flush before the final stages)

Next time: More build details - Wrecked Warjack, accessories

Monday, January 19, 2015

P3 Grandmaster Diorama - "Contract Renegotiation" Part 1

So I competed last summer in the Privateer Press P3 Grandmaster Painting Competition and placed first in diorama. (YAY!) This was a pretty big moment for me as, despite my past golden demons etc,. this was my first outing with the P3 and to place on my first time out - especially against such amazing competition - was very exciting. It really motivates me to get back into competitive work and pursuing aspects of the hobby I love the most - notably in making dioramas and vignettes. (my Forgeworld best in show was a diorama, my first golden demon was in battle scene, as was my first silver demon etc, etc. - story telling with models is always a priority for me!)

I had a rough idea in mind for my "contract renegotiation" project centering around my spectacular Press Gang exclusive "Gorman Di Sea Wolf " model (thank you Will Hungerford/Diane and all at Privateer Press!) having a less than civilized "discussion" with some five fingers low life types about his contract/pay. With the rough idea in mind I needed to hunt down some reference/inspiration for specific finishes and details. I started with some of my photos of the Fort on Citadel Hill in Halifax Nova Scotia.

I like the grey tones, the oxidation, the greenish cast to some areas - this I figured I could work with! (goes to show that having a file of reference pics can be some handy!)

I also liked this underground bunker picture that I kept from something that came across my facebook. I thought the door could be a good source of inspiration...
So, armed with a collection of parts, some reference pictures, a rough doodle and a vision in my head it was time to start building!! I actually started with the table my "criminal" types would be using for cover. 

I decided it  should be a metal table so that I could add rusting effects to it as well. I included a drawer with a wooden bottom, a brass handle and a "hold out" gun hidden underneath the table  with its barrel just poking through a tiny hole.

I used a brass strip to make the handle and balsa for the bottom of the drawer with plasticard and tubing and to make the rest of the table with a couple of Grandt Line plastic bolt heads for the feet of the table and a rifle from an Idrian with some brass and putty tie downs.

Once the Table was built I took many of the parts I planned to use as well as a few filler pieces from my bits box to do a rough layout on a sheet of plastic - this way I could better visualize my final size and model relationships.

Now that I was warmed up - the real building process was about to begin.

I will post steps each Monday - if you have any questions about steps/methods along the way do not hesitate to ask!

Stay Tuned!