Well after a few weeks off it's time to get a wriggle on with my new diorama based on an art piece from the Visions of Heresy book, which I wrote about in my first post in July. Despite many evenings spent tweaking the models to go on top of the Rhino battle tank I was not quite happy with the layout of the diorama itself and felt it needed more space with which to tell the story. The addition of a beveled edge wooden bock from the craft store re-kindled my enthusiasm for the base and the project in general.
With a little cork providing added height I was able to position the various elements of the diorama before gluing, and tried to imagine how it would look with a few rocks and slabs of concrete added. The artwork for this diorama provides very little information on the lower half of the Rhino, but this gave me the opportunity to tell a tale of the current and previous battles over this ground. I pictured the "defenders" having just piled out of their wrecked vehicle only to suffer the humiliation of having their banner raised above the vehicle while they are powerless to stop them. If only they could reach their weapons! The older corpse on the lower left will be painted quite weathered to show the multitude of battles previously fought here, and adds an extra point of interest without upsetting the relative height and balance of the other models.
Another small addition to the "realism" was the use of green stuff to make the rocks look part of the diorama, rather than sitting on top of the cork, a small tip I found while flicking through a favourite book of mine. Normally I would just glue multiple layers of smaller rocks around the larger ones, but the mess created with one base would be nothing compared to trying this on an entire diorama.
So from this point I would be able to apply only one layer of grit around the rocks, saving both time, glue and sand. Superglue works very well here as you can easily control the application using a bottle with a spout, and I mixed up special concoction for this diorama which I may use on other models. The darker rocks are from the new Imperialis Basing Kit, while the two round containers are Galeforce9 products. The yoghurt container has used walnut shell pieces from an intake valve cleaning service I performed on a car two years ago. We normally go through around 50kg a month of this stuff at my work, so contact me if you are looking to cover a whole table in sand...
After letting the glue dry overnight I took an old toothbrush and vigorously scrubbed the whole model to remove any loose sand which might come away during painting. I will no doubt be dry-brushing the base and having sections falling off during painting is very frustrating! This week I will be putting the finishing touches to the models, attempting to create a banner out of green stuff, and hopefully starting on the painting!