Monday 11 March 2024

Citadel Undead Diorama Remake - Phase Three


 So I now have the latest phase completed and on schedule. This is the most gruesome part of the diorama where we see that a tomb has been desecrated, in the search of a treasured and possible all important artifact.

 A poor unfortunate from one of the nearby villages, acting as a guide for the adventuring party, had probably fancied his chances of getting in on the glory until his untimely, gruesome demise.

 The corpse is that of a Citadel Dogs of War Fighter casualty, whose head I removed. The half-buried sarcophagus is, like the gravestones for this piece, part of the Arcane Architecture range - the lid from a two part set.

 With virtually all of the foreground complete, the next phase will be the diorama's prime antagonist, which I hope to have ready by the end of the week. 

 Meanwhile, here is a shot of all three phases completed so far.

Sunday 18 February 2024

Citadel Undead Diorama Remake - Phase Two


 So I've managed to wrap up Phase Two of the diorama, which is pretty much the entire front area now. This part features more reanimated skeletons plus another one of the adventuring party, a dwarf slayer.

 As before, the slayer model is Kimril Giantslayer from the classic Dwarf Lords of Legend box set, who cuts an ideal pose for what I'm after. 

 As I've gone for a smaller base, as well as a different shape this time, there was less area to play around with on a circular base so it was a bit of a task to fit everything in. I had to juggle a bit and swap the skeletons around, also making sure nothing was too bunched up or blocked from view. 

 Trying to accommodate models in a slightly reduced area is going to be an ongoing challenge with future phases in this project but I think this one was probably the most awkward. 

Phases One and Two Combined

 I've already made a start on Phase Three which has some slight alterations from before with a small extra feature or two. I'm hoping to have this ready to show in a couple of weeks.


Friday 2 February 2024

Citadel Undead Diorama Remake - Phase One


 Way back in 2016, I spent several months working on what was my largest project to date, a diorama featuring predominantly undead models encountering a small adventuring party. At the time, I was extremely pleased with the result, especially as I'd originally hatched the idea way back in 2001 and had finally taken it from a sketch on a piece of paper to a finished article.

The diorama in its original incarnation 

 In recent times, however, it had been niggling me, it sat in one of my cabinets surround by other models with superior paint jobs. I thought "If it was a smaller, less significant piece, I would have boxed it up by now and given the cabinet space to something more deserving." This played on my mind more and more until late last year I made a brave and potentially foolhardy decision to dismantle it and remake it. 

 I have to admit there was a sense of regret for like a split second as I took a hammer and chisel to each model to painstakingly remove them from the base, thankfully with minimal damage. I decided to repaint the corpse and gallows first, just because it was the easiest part to remove really.

 I felt the first proper phase to take on should be the front central area where the heroic fighter Gladius is prepared to do battle with an armoured zombie warrior, stood over a wounded knight. I had painted Gladius a while back for an adventuring party so decided to give this one an identical colour scheme. Makes sense really. 

 The knight, who is from the old Citadel Rock Dragon set, was painted in a different scheme to before plus the zombie has had a more weathered and rusted look. 

 The base from the original diorama was something that had bothered me greatly in recent times and that played a key role in me deciding to completely redo it. 

  With Phase One complete, the next part will be another foreground area, featuring the Dwarf slayer and several skeletons rising from their graves, which I'm aiming to have finished off sometime next week. 

Saturday 30 December 2023

Dixon Miniatures American Civil War - 4th Virginia Cavalry


 I've not posted much of late but I'm still riding the Dixon Miniatures wave and have recently finished off a substantial amount of Confederates, including making a start on the 4th Virginia Cavalry. Horses are something I struggle to enjoy painting and I know I'm not alone on that one! Highly rewarding when completed but I run the risk of treading water a bit during the process. I have to say, once I got into a rhythm with them, I almost found myself having fun with them! 

 Mostly fighting with the Army of Northern Virginia, the 4th Virginia Cavalry were involved on the majority of the well known battles and campaigns. Completing its organisation in Prince William County, Virginia in September 1861, the 4th were made up of ten companies, all of which were previously independent militia.

 The unit were assigned to J.E.B. Stewart's, F. Lee's, Wickham's and Munford's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It participated in the Battle of Williamsburg, the Seven Days Battles and the Second Bull Run and Maryland campaigns. 

 Later, the unit was involved in the conflicts at Fredericksburg, Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Upperville, Gettysburg, Bristoe, Mine Run, The Wilderness, Todd's Tavern, Spotsylvania, Wilson's Wharf, Haw's Shop, and Bethesda Church. The 4th went on to fight in the Shenandoah Valley with Jubal Early and around Appomattox.

 The flag resides in the American Civil War Museum, formerly the Museum of the Confederacy, in Richmond, VA. 

 I've also completed a Confederate artillery limber and caisson from Water's Alabama battery plus another cannon base.

 I'm currently torn between carrying on with more Dixon ACW miniatures or putting them aside for now and opting for pastures new.

 I'm still feeling a hunger for the Dixon fellas, it just depends which of them exactly I take on next. I've got a few ideas for projects in the coming weeks, I'm just not sure if I'm ready to kick off any of them right now.



Tuesday 7 November 2023

Dixon Miniatures American Civil War - 1st Texas Infantry Regiment


 Over the past several weeks, I've been working on another Confederate infantry regiment. This time it's the 1st Texas, part of the Texas Brigade, which I have already finshed the regiments of the 5th Texas and 3rd Arkansas. 

The 1st Texas Infantry Regiment 

 I do enjoy working on regiments but when I embark on one, I know I'm in for at least six weeks of hard slog. Plus there's a lot of careful figure selection from the wonderful Dixon range to go through first. 

 Assembled in Richmond, VA in August 1861, the 1st Texas consisted of 10 companies with 2 added subsequently. As part of the Texas Brigade, it fought under the Army of Northern Virginia from Seven Pines to Cold Harbor before latterly, the Siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign. 

 The regiment was known for its high casualty rate (82.3%) at the battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg); the highest suffered by any regiment, North or South, on a single day during the entire war.

 At Gettysburg, they achieved much for fighting with lesser numbers than the enemy, successfully taking the major objectives they were assigned to. Under heavy fire from their position at Seminary Ridge, the order to take the heights was finally issued with Lieutenant Colonel Work yelling "Follow the Lone Star Flag to the top of the mountain!" The 1st Texas subsequently played a significant part in causing the Union troops to withdraw from their position on Devil's Den. 

  Mrs. Louis T. Wigfall, wife of the 1st Texas Regiment’s Colonel, gave her wedding dress to be made into a Lone Star Flag for the Regiment.

–The flag of the Texas camp, at Camp Wigfall, near Dumfries, Va., is made of the bridal dress of Mrs. Wigfall. Says the correspondent of the Austin Gazette:

It bears the emblem of the “Lone Star,” and this is of pure white silk, set in blue ground; the fold are purple and white. The hearts of all are riveted to it. It never will be given up. An old war-worn warrior approached it, and as his eyes gazed steadily upon the banner, he said: “That star was made of the bridal dress of the lady of our gallant colonel. She worked it with her fair hands, and gave it to us to carry through the battles of our country. How could we fall to protect. How could we fall to protect it with our lives? No, Sir! I never failed to meet the enemy when that star was our watchword, and now when our whole South is in danger, I feel that my poor life can be given up easily upon that flag as my shroud.” The old fellow with his grey heirs, still stands before my memory. Such is the feeling of every Texan.

 There will be more Dixon ACW to come soon; I'm currently working on an artillery piece plus a few Confederate cavalry. 


Sunday 30 April 2023

Collaboration Project - Citadel/Warhammer/AD&D Adventuring party complete!

 Well I was intending to post each time a party member was finished but I just didn't get around to it. So here is the adventuring party in its entirety. 

In the style of the excellent and wonderfully informative Otherworld AD&D site, I'll describe each member of the party in detail. 

■ The party leader is the female magic user from the AD&D range (high level). She wears a leather headband and is adorned in various jewellery. She is clad in a fur lined cloak and lace trimmed long tunic. She carries a bronze staff and short sword plus an array of scrolls.

■ The fighter model is Gladius from the Heroic Fighters of the Known World set. He wears a large plumed Greek style helm and dressed in a mixture of fur, leather armour and chainmail. He carries a broadsword and an ornate bronze shield plus a large comb to keep his impressive plume looking pristine.

■ The Complete Adventurer fom the classic Citadel limited edition range. So he is carrying.....(here we go)
Lantern, torch, camera (!), satchel, staff, sword, short sword, bucket, bow and arrows, tomes x2, dagger, axe, scrolls, frying pan, wooden spoon, coil of rope, dinner plate, ball and chain, mug, teapot, one or two unidentifiable objects....oh and the proverbial....

Dwarf hero. Another classic from the AD&D character range (high level). He is wearing a horned bronze helm with brass trimming and armed with a rune carved axe, a bronze shield and short sword. He also carries a crossbow and pouch of bolts. He is clad in ornate leather armour trimmed with bronze.

■ Elven ranger. Dressed in a fine cloth tunic with studded sleeves and striped three quarter length pants, he is armed with a broadsword and bow. His quiver of arrows is fitted with an elegant strap featuring an ornate brooch-like clasp.

■ Ogre mercenary. I went for a slightly understated model as I thought one of the more individual looking Jes Goodwin ogres would dominate the group too much so opted for the trooper in the Golfag's ogre mercenaries set from the Regiments of Renown range. Dressed in furs, chainmail and leather, this brutish looking fellow is armed with a large spiked mace, a plain weathered bronze shield and a bone handled cleaver.

 So the project is at and end....or is it? The plan was to also include a warband of villains. For that I have selected (most likely), a chaos sorcerer, an evil fighter, a gnoll, an orc, a goblin and a skeleton. The sorcerer is underway and should have him wrapped up this coming week.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Collaboration Project - Adventuring Party, ADD11 Female Magic User


 I can't believe this is actually the first model I've completed since early December. I've painted most days since then but just couldn't get anything finished. I must have about twenty half painted models cluttering up the desk from during that period. I've never known a time like it to be honest; making a promising start then running put of interest. 

 The other week I suggested to my good buddy Rochie over at Buried Under Lead, a collaboration project to help remedy my frustration. He was more than keen so we got the ball rolling.

 The plan is to paint one figure a week to make up a five model adventuring party. So here is my first effort:

 She is a female magic user from the classic Citadel AD&D range; the high level model from the packs of three miniatures that represented a character at different stages of experience. 

 This is a model I've been interested in acquiring for a while now so this was the ideal opportunity to grab one. It's always nice to have a figure turn up that I've never had in hand before and was impressed with all the little details on this one. 

 Part of the fun in this kind of project is deciding on figure selection. It didn't take me long to work out who was going to feature in this party. I'll reveal each week who's in as I finish them. The next one is underway and should be completed by the end of the week.

 I painted Gladius from the Heroic Fighters of the Known World set a while back (over a year ago actually - time flies!) and although he's not strictly part of this project, I'll probably include him seeing as he was intended for a small adventuring party such as this one anyway.