Well it’s 11:09pm on New Years Eve and I’m typing out a blog haha, I know how to party! I have a nicely aged Scotch beside with some Bob Marley playing in the background. My eldest daughter is at a party down the road. The middle daughter is miles away with friends, the youngest daughter and the wide are in bed hehe.
As much as it might seem sad I’m actually really happy and content. I’ve done plenty of partying in my life and I’m sure I have a lot more ahead of me but I’m actually having a really nice night. I finished a very special diorama/project today and have just finished editing all the photos so I’m excited to share it with all my favourite blogger buddies. If theres spelling mistakes I apologise, it’s just the scotch and the few beer s before that haha.
Ok lets get a crack on…
Hmmm… So where to start. Back in 2017 our friend Mark A Morin did an awesome blog post (my favourite of his) on a Science Fiction Sphere Tank which he, basically, built from a golf ball. Absolutely genius. He called it the Mark One Sphere Tank and I fell in love with it. As Mark is such a cool dude and a very generous one to boot he sent me one of these amazing spherical tanks and, believe me folks, it’s even more awesome in real life. Its a heavy bastard though and proved to be quite tricky to hold while I painted it haha. Luckily I’m no limp wristed softie so I pushed on haha. It had sat on my shelf for all these years as I didn’t really know what to do with it. I loved it but wasn’t sure how to use it in my crazy miniature worlds. THEN my great mate Roger from Rantings Under The Wargames Table sent me a pile of lovely lead minis, some of which he sculpted himself. Suddenly I had a lightbulb moment…
Why now build and paint a diorama that combines the Sphere tank from Mark in the US with minis from Roger in the UK and add my own little conversions in there too. I hope you’re still following me here haha.
I just think it’s cool that two brilliant hobbyists sent me, of all people, miniatures so I needed to do something as cool as shit with them haha.
Here was the basic plan/list of what I wanted to include on the dioarama:
- It had to be a Science-Fiction, Pulpy, Retro Diorama due to the aesthetic of the miniatures.
- The Mark 1 Sphere Tank from Mark
- Two Alien/Martian type miniatures from Roger
- MY own converted miniatures. I ended up using WW2 Russian troops from Warlord Games with some added heads and/or little bits and bobs to make them look more retro sci-fi.
- I wanted to paint everything Black, white and grey to give it that retro, vintage 1950s movie or comic book vibe.
- I wanted to add spot colours and decided the coolest thing to try and do would be LASERS! What kind of Sci-Fi Retro Diorama would this be without LASERSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!?????
- Lastly, because of my love for War of the Worlds (1978 LP – Narrated by Richard Burton) AND Salvador Dali I wanted to add a priest. See the refence material below. Check out the priest in the War of the Worlds artwork in the bottom right of the first picture. Then see the priest in the bottom left of Dalis painting.
Anyway I wanted a priest too hehe.
The actual setting of the diorama is a simple one. It’s a very nondescript ruined bit of land somewhere. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s earth or some other distant planet. The tank is just coming over a small hillock with a Martian on either side of it, one with a some sort of laser bazooka and the other is like a spotter with binoculars. They are attacking a small squad of semi-humans who were patrolling around the ruins.
The hillock is made from insulation foam. I also added some ruined walls made from cork board (love that stuff) and then some bits like barbed wire, timber uprights and an old steel drum. Oh, I also had half a resin car (not sure what I used the other half for haha) and used that as a sort of a metal barricade.
The Sphere tank was simple but a lot of fun to paint. Originally I was going to paint it army green but after deciding to go with a black and white theme I went with shiny silver, plus that suited the whole vibe more anyway in my opinion. Mark, if you’re reading this, which I hope you are, I really love the tank man and thanks again!
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE… ITS 11:59am…
HAPPY NEW YEAR GANG!!!! HERES TO 2021 BEING THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!! MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL.
EVERY DAY WILL BE THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR
Ok I’ll stop shouting at you all now hehe.
I really like painting minis to look black and white. It’s both simple but challenging. I had fun painting all the minis in that style but, I’ve got to say, the metal Martian minis from Roger were really fun to paint. They’re great sculpts. My favourite is the one with the bazooka. 1. Well he has a bloody laser bazooka and 2. You can see his face clearly with is soooooo… I dunno 1950’s Retro Sc-Fi Martian haha. Brilliant. Thanks again Roger. I look forward to painting all the other minis you sent too.
Ok so the lasers!!! I am actually really, really, REALLY pleased with how they turned out. The idea was simple but the execution was fiddly and sticky. What I did was use one thin piece of craft wire (the kind you’d find for fake flowers) for one of the lasers and painted it bright green. I glued one end to the end of a pistol. Then I tore up a bit of cushion stuffing and glued that around the muzzle of the pistol to try and create like a blast or flare/flash look. It doesn’t look amazing but I think it’s not too shabby either. I did the same for the Sphere Tank Canon but used five or six pieces of wire and painted it bright red instead. I did the same thing for the blast flash but in red.
Alright gang, I’ve blabbed on enough, lets look at some pix and see what you think. Oh, a quick note on the photos. I did edit them but only tinkered with the saturation, to give the lasers more glare and I also took out some of the warmth from the pictures too. Other than that the rest is just my black and white painting with bright green and red lasers hehe. Enjoy…
Ok that was a shit load of photos but I’m just proud of it.
One more. This one has had no editing and shows the full diorama.
That was a big post hehe.
I’m off to enjoy some more Scotch now.
Once again, Happy New Year to you all.