Ready to Go Hunting!

This old bird is as sweet as they come…

… but she’ll never reveal her secret mushroom honey hole!

I think I’m done (though I’ve already said that well over a dozen times today). She was a lot of fun to paint, but I wrestled with this mini over and over, trying to improve the face. I think I’ve done about as well as I can.

Read on to check out some other very slow moving action shots of granny!

Continue reading “Ready to Go Hunting!”

Mushroom Hunter

I’ve been slow to really get underway on the figure to complete my mushroom wonderland, but I’ve finally got enough painting done to show you a few WIP shots. The scene will feature a sweet old lady hunting for tasty mushrumps.

I’ve been more interested in peaceful, everyday, human scenes in my miniature painting for a while, which can be challenging to pursue, since the vast majority of figures are either fighting or looking as if they’re about to.

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Miniature Mushroom Tutorial

Spend any time around ToadChapel and you know I’m plum crazy about the fungus. I like the way mushrooms look and I like learning about them, so I photograph them, I draw them, and I use them extensively in my miniature projects. I’ve developed techniques for creating a variety of mushroom shapes suitable for 28mm, 54mm, or larger scale mini scenes, and I’m happy to share my approach with you. Depending upon how you paint these, you could produce many actual mushroom species and an unlimited number of fictional fungi.

These mushrooms are sturdy and small enough to use on gaming bases, especially if you place them intelligently, but they’re delicate enough to add a lot of dazzling detail to display pieces. Read on to learn how to work some minuscule mushrooms into your next modeling project.

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Mushroom Forest

I think I’ve finished up the setting for my next mini creation. It’s a forest scene packed with all sorts of mushrooms. There’s a figure still to come, but I wanted this piece to stand without one.

There were plenty of challenges. Leaves that can’t effectively be bent, rolled, or twisted. Various media fighting each other. Frustratingly slow drying times!

There’s plenty I’d like to improve or change, but I’m very happy overall. The turkeytails and lichens are the best I’ve done. The effect of the leaves in the water looks cool. And the logs are real good to my eye. So yeah, a nice little piece of modeling, I think.

Read on for a tour of the various mushrooms and other woodsy stuff!

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Forest Diorama First Look

I pointed out in a few recent posts that I often draw the same natural objects. I should have mentioned that I model them, too! Here is a sneak peek at a project I’ve been engaged in for a little while. I intend for it to serve several purposes.

Forest Floor
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Trouble at the Taberna

Two weeks were enough to finish this fun and creativity-inspiring project. I’m a Latin teacher and have studied antiquity for more than half my life, but this is (almost) my first foray into the Roman world as a modeler. It was also my first complex diorama, but it certainly won’t be my last. I’m going to bring this scene into class to share with my students, and I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

So much going on!

Read on for a peek at all the details and my thoughts on creating this piece.

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Last One to Arrive

Ok, I’ve added a ninth and final figure to my Roman tavern/street diorama. There is pretty much no more space to add another mini, at least not in a way that would supplement the scene rather than detract from it.

This fellow is peering around the main character’s shoulder, lending emphasis to that figure’s gaze & shout. I’m not sure if he’s a patron of the bar, the landlord, or what, but I knew he belonged back in there. He’s a well fed guy, so I gave him a nice palla to wear to further emphasize his affluence.

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It Was a Two Man Job!

I’m almost finished with my little Roman tavern diorama. It’s been fun, if challenging at times. I’ve had a hard time streamlining the process to the bare minimum I’ll accept from myself, but I’m trying to produce a high (enough) quality piece with techniques and time investment I could reasonably expect from my teenage Latin students.

Stop! Thief!

This is the diorama mostly completed. There are two 28mm figures, hopefully telling a simple and amusing story.

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Tiny Tavern

Here are the beginnings of a little tavern or popina somewhere in the Roman Empire.

A small diorama model of an ancient Roman tavern. The scene is in 28mm scale.

The tile inside the shop, the plaster wall facing the street, and the sidewalk and cobblestone roadway are carved & textured out of styrofoam. The roof is layered corrugated paper. There’s a little wood & plastic card for structure. Everything is held in place with wood glue and super glue. The building surface is 4″x4″. Everything is to 28mm scale.

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Another Base without a Face

I’ve found time here and there to complete another little vignette. This one features a dead tree, which I haven’t done in a while.  As usual, this one is a kind of lesson to be applied in basing minis, as well as a little imaginative refuge in its own right.

A detaile base featuring a forest scene without a miniature.

The base is 1.5″ square. I like the challenge of telling a story or creating a scene dense in interesting details on a very small scale. Continue reading “Another Base without a Face”