Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Less is more!

Having spent what time I could during the week prepping various scenic elements for my Tomb king base I turned to painting and assembling them at the weekend.

Saturday went like a dream and saw the addition of a major new element to the base that provides some much needed height (notice that I'm not giving too much away here). Its something that I picked up while on holiday in Cyprus this Summer from a place called, appropriately enough, The Tombs of the Kings.

This was a fascinating location packed with tombs where the stone was being eaten away by salt from the nearby sea. I can easily see it being a source of inspiration for a future project.

I finally glued the King onto the base together with the pile of skulls he is resting his foot upon. I always find this stage pretty nerve racking as it just takes one miss step with the superglue and you are in for a world of pain! I made a point of having several glue free practice runs and viewing them from all angles before committing. I then used the garden soil/superglue combination that I'd textured the mummy pit with to cover up the joins. I am really very pleased with how the mini now looks on the base.

Sunday's tasks were a matter of bringing together the finishing touches. I've always planned to incorporate the undead vulture from the Tomb Guard standard into the piece so I set about painting it up. Although the painting went well something felt wrong. However I ignored my doubts and pushed on.

Another new element for the base has come about as a result of some feedback I've received. The initial idea was that the papyrus scroll was quite literally bleeding. In my mind's eye the whole ghastly scene played out thus:

The Tomb King raises his arm brandishing an ancient and bloodstained scroll beneath the desert sun. Unholy words of power escape from the long dead jaws of the ancient tyrant to corrupt the very air. The blood stains change first becoming fresher then glistening as they ooze and seep. When the cursed blood drips down upon the ground beneath the dead rise up.

As you can probably tell I'm not adverse to a little melodrama!

It's a pretty little scene but it's very difficult to convey the supernatural origin of the blood in a static mini! Sure enough the first piece of feedback I had on the bleeding scroll questioned exactly that. On the whole I have to agree but rather than removing the blood as sugested I've decided to provide a source for it within the diorama. The first idea I had was simple and unobtrusive showing a source for the blood with no more than a single drip. Then I had another idea and pursued it with enthusiasm. The result of this burst of 'inspiration' can be seen glistening in the picture below.

Surfice it to say that sanity (and good taste) eventually prevailed and I will not be using this particular element but have instead returned to my rather more elegant first idea. Neither will I be using the vulture as once in position it just didn't work as a part of the whole. These two element were simply wrong for the piece feeling both visually and tonally crude and although this means Sunday's efforts were largely wasted I can't help but feel I've dodged a bullet. That's no mean feat considering that I was the one shooting the metaphorical gun!


  1. You are such a tease. Interesting update though.

    The heart is fantastic! I think it would work well in something, if not this diorama than possibly another one down the road.

  2. i like the vulture too. as above Im sure you could use them both in something else.

  3. Your blog is one of the most inspiring out there ;) Great job! Great ideas!

  4. Can I just ask what colours you used on the heart and was the shiny effect just from using gloss varnish?

  5. Hi Christian
    The heart was painted with blood red. It was washed with a blood red/black mix to shade and highlighted with a blood red/white mix up to almost pure white highlights. You need this strong contrast so it shows through the shiny blood.
    The shiny blood is a translucent mix of red gore, tamiya smoke and GW water effects (all thinned with a little water). I built up a few coats over the heart allowing it to blend with the pool of blood in the dish.