The Last Stand of the Crimson Fists – the creation logbook by Volomir


Here’s what I promised! This is the diary of how I undertook the creation of the diorama “The Last Stand of the Crimson Fists“. It was written in 2009/10, so the pictures are not as good as the ones we can take nowadays with just our smartphones. It is still a great article showing the ups and downs of tackling a gigantic miniature project, more than 400 work hours long. Enjoy!


October 23, 2009

Today is October 23. I begin to write this tutorial which is going to be almost a daily log of how I conducted this project that will take me the next 7 months of my life. We are just beginning and I am very motivated to see how this work is developed. This is the first time I begin something so ambitious, and also the first time I decide to prepare something so thoroughly and with so much time left. No one will be able to say that it could have been better because I ran out of time in the end!

My friend Elias Alonso and I have become serious about what we want for next contests, and thus, we have created a small Excel spreadsheet in which we will control the time we have to face the next competition compared to our expectations of painting. It seems silly, but it is something that has led us to realize how unrealistic are our expectations usually. With this method of control we know if we have made accurate estimations of what we are able to prepare for a contest. It is also a way to control the hours we devote to paint, try to avoid laziness and serves as an inducement to get to work. At least, it is really helping me now because I’m very motivated for this new project!

So here I present you all, my first diorama: “The Last Stand of the Crimson Fists”

The idea comes from a fantastic image, and classical, in which we have a group of Space Marines Chapter of the Crimson Fists Chapter resisting attacks against the orks. The image seems impressive and I have always loved it. I had long intended to use the captain of the raised fist as an idea for an individual figure, but I think it will have much more strength in a diorama with the rest of his teammates. What I like about the image is the combination of colours, the blue armor in contrast with the orange of the explosion. That is something that I will not be able to get in a diorama because I can’t put the background explosion, but I’ll think about how to integrate the orange wherever. Initially, the idea is to reflect the pictureas closely as possible, even the shots from the bolters. My first idea is to integrate the orange in those shots, remove the explosions, and somehow compensate the lack of the orange fireball in the upper right corner with the banner on the left, so the captain is fully framed. For now, we know there are at least about 15 Marines, mostly everyone on the floor dying, and initially I will try to create also a backpart of the stage, so we have some sort of “cone” composition. So we have alreadya few marines, I estimate that about 20 in this first count. Remains to be seen.

The first task is to get the figures. We see that most are not common poses, so there will be a lot of conversion. My friend Piti offered to lend me space marine parts as he has millions of them in his house, an entire company indeed! The first thing I note is that Crimson Fists have a lot of symbols being repeated (mainly fists and arrows in their shoulderpads), so the first thing that I will be modeling is these symbols in a pair of shoulder pads. Then I will build a mould and make a few casts to avoid having to repeat the modeling. I choose to model these symbols instead of just painting some freehands precisely because that will allow me to cast some copies, and it will save me a lot of work in the future.

I leave some images of what the armour of these Space Marines looks like to get a general idea of how to convert and paint.

October 27, 2009

It’s been almost a week since I decided to start this project and now I’m cutting hours to the clock. I have worked about 12 hours (in the Excel spreadsheet I assumed that I could devote 1 hour per day approx). In all this time I have just collected pieces of from my friend Piti and I modelled the symbols of the shoulderpads. One is the symbol of the fist and the other is an arrow pointing up (which is the typical symbol of tactical Space Marines).

In these twelve hours I have also managed to make a mould of these pads to start making copies. I will use the fist that I’ve modelled to cast copies for use in other parts, such as backpacks and torsos, and then I will also get a mould of these custom parts. When I finish all the molds I’ll begin to mount the space marines one by one.

November 2, 2009

I count 18 hours of work by now. I’ve finished the two moulds from which I will make parts for the entire project. At first I tried using putty (Milliput) for castings, but it seems slow and problematic. If pieces are larger than simply a head, for example, bubbles appear with high probability. The resin is a better choice, but is very cumbersome to work. I will try to make copies in one or the other, depending on what I prefer each time. So now, let creation begin!

November 16, 2009

Recently we have been told that the spanish Golden Demon will take place on July 4. The idea was to take the diorama to this contest, and we thought it would take place on May as it did last year, so this gives us another month’s time to finish it! By today I have already charged 35 hours of work. In this time I started to make copies with the moulds I made. I began to assemble some Space Marines, particularly those emerging in the front part of the artwork. I noticed that the amount of conversion to be done is very high, because there are many Space Marines and they have varied poses. Those on the left side of the image, for example, grab the gun left-handed unlike other Marines, and there are no commercial pieces for this pose, so the cutting and pasting will be very frequent during the creation of the diorama. I’m thinking that all Space Marines are going to have transformations of some sort. In fact, I am trying hard to achieve the feeling of shooting and fighting , so I do not settle for any marine and any pose. Practically no set of legs serves me, I have to cut pieces in almost all cases, putting wires to connect the different parts of the legs, and then moving the joints to find the desired pose. Finally I seal the joints with putty and finish off the details. In a single Space Marine it is a simple job and it can take you a while, but when there are as many as in this case, it can get rough. My initial estimate of 200 hours might fall short!

December 7, 2009

These last 15 days I’ve been quite busy and I haven’t got time to work on the diorama. Workcount is now up to 42 hours, and since my last entry in the diary I haven’t even added 10 hours to the workcount, this means I have to put some real effort to regain past working rates. Right now I have nearly 5 marines finished, 3 of them are totally done, the other 2 just need some sculpture detail work. I look back and see that clearly my work rate is very low, in all this time I have just converted 5 marines which means that the time I spend converting, I do it at with a very low performance. However, in these days I bought the base for the whole diorama, which is also quite an advance.

December 14, 2009

I have reached 50 hours of work, quite a magical number. This means that I have covered a quarter of the estimated time for the realization of this diorama. So far everything is going well, I have 6 Marines finished and another one half done and this unfinished Marine is one of those 3 marines which I said were more important because they excel over the others in the scene. I can tell you now that the converting process is not being very hard. Transforming Marines is something that I’m very used to, its a light and entertaining task, and the only problem I find is that because there are so many Marine there is much work to be done, so it is taking me a long time. Besides, I’m being very careful with the fact that the Marines have to look like in the illustration, so I lose a lot of time to compare the poses again and again. With 6 Marines I have been able to see more or less how the diorama will look when it is completely finished, and the truth is I’m pretty happy, I think it can turn out to be a very nice piece or work. I think the biggest difficulty I’m going to find will come when painting the scene, and quite possibly there will be a lot of work to be done when creating the ground with all the bodies of dead Marines. It will be difficult to fit all the broken pieces and Marines in this composition. And there is also a banner to be done! The good thing is that I’m very motivated and that’s important to not falter on the road. The excel sheet I made to count work hours is helping me a lot, keeps me motivated and makes me keep track of the hours I spend, so I can stick to my timing plan. According to this sheet, right now I’m 15 hours under schedule, but this is problem I will be gradually recovering from. I leave a photo so you can see how the Marines look like at this moment.

December 22, 2009

Christmas is coming and now I will have more spare time to use in my diorama. Right now I have completed 54 hours of work, which means that this past week I have slowed down again. The Marine of the sword on the shoulder is now finished and I started the Marine of the raised power fist, the most important of them all. So far, I have begun the torso and the fist. I will put some pictures of the torso and the fist in progress, so that you can see them more in detail and see how I manage the transformations. For the torso, I casted one copy with milliput putty (a copy of the plain torso with a skull) and then removed the skull to leave it completely plain. After, I casted a copy of a fist symbol from the shoulder pads and backpacks, and embedded it in the torso. To do this, I make a hole in the torso until the symbol fits in and then fix it all with putty. The remaining details are modelled with milliput putty, in this case, the laurel crown surrounding the symbol of the fist.

January 4, 2010

Happy New Year! Christmas holidays are almost over (well, actually for me they are really over, I’m working again) and I have made good use of them. Last weekend I worked a lot, that’s how I fought against New Year’s Eve hangover. Right now I count 72 hours spent. Since the last journal entry, all work has been spent in the Space Marine of the raised fist, which is taking much more work than I thought at first. It is all because of the Power Fist, I had to redo it entirely because the fingers did not convince me, and in fact the fist is not yet complete. At the end it will be virtually a scratch-built part because I have to model the entire structure of the arm to have a suitable position of the elbow. The torso has a relief wich has quite a bit of difficulty, and even the face has a bit of conversion work too. That means that in general, I have 6 Marines completed and the one with the raised fist is halfway. The work to do after I finish it is the Marine with the banner, and from there all stuffed and wounded Marines which can fit on the base. My intention is to complete the modelling stage when 100 hours of work are reached. I think that in another 100 hours I’ll be able to do the painting, and by doing so, I’ll comply with my estimations.

Fist fingers in process

I had to remove the arm from the fist and then redo it.

The arm with the plasma pistol has also reposition work done, and the weapon wasn’t the one which originally came with that arm, its cut and paste work from another one.

Original leg positioning, will probably have to be changed when placing the figure in the base.

Early concept for the standard bearer

January 18, 2010

The last weekend we gathered to paint at Piti’s house, and I managed to cut some hours to the schedule. I count now 88 of work in the diorama, but I really have made relatively little progress since my last entry in the diary. The marine captain, the on with the raised fist, is still unfinished. This is because it has been very difficult to catch the natural strength of the pose in the picture. It seems that I finally succeeded and now I only have to finish the details of his armour, which is basically finish off the combat arm and add a few tubes over the figure. Also, I have almost completed the standard bearer, the problem is that I am not sure where it will be placed in the scene, so that it makes sense on the rest of the diorama. Hence I keep spending long hours and achieving little progress. I keep placing and misplacing the figures on the platform with blu tack to experimenting on the composition. Right now I will finish these two Marines that are yet to be done and then put another Marine, one that has just been shot, which can be seen in the right part of the picture (but only in the full version of the illustration). This marine should make clear the fact that they are under fire and that indeed, the task of maintaining the position is complicated. Following my plan, I should have these three Marines finished before I carry on with the terrain, which should be the next step because I cannot put the bodies of fallen Marines until I set the entire base definitely. Based on perfomance rate by now, I will spend more than 100 hours of modeling so it is very possible that I will need to increase the estimation of hours. That means I will have to increase production rates to get to the contest on time with all the figures planned!

January 26 , 2010

I have reached 100 hours! And of course what I feared is true, I have not finished modeling. I still have a lot to do. So much in fact that I think it’s still early to estimate how long it will take to finish. The captain of the power fist is over, but I had to change the pose again, his legs did not convince me so I had to change their position. The standard bearer is finished, waiting to see if I change the hand which holds the banner. I have one made already, but I do not know if it would be better to hava it just exchanged for another one. I also made advancements with the Marine who has just been shot, and it also seems that it will take me some time to finish it because I am modeling the hands and there are no stock marine hands which convince me for this pose. The most important thing is that I’ve begun to make the base. I was pretty stuck because modeling without having clear how the Marines would stick together as a scene meant that I was modeling blindly. Before I lost much time putting together the Marines with blu tack, placing and removing parts without having anything fixed. Now that I have a main base and the Marines in their close to final positions I see everything much clearly. I covered the edges of the base with masking tape so I won’t be ruining it, and I’ve been putting Das Pronto (paper putty for modeling) while placing the Marines in their final positions. I could even place the dead marine in the foreground, and now I can fill everything with Marine parts and pieces of scenery. The scene is finally taking shape. However, there’s still a lot of modeling to do as I am not sure if I should put more complete marines and how many. The estimation of 200 hours is going to be short, I’ll be probably reaching 250, but I can’t foresee what will happen.

On the other hand, I talked to my friend Elías about my concern on the painting of the boltgun shot flashes. I’ve even had a little talk with Julio Cabos (who at that time was with Elías) and told me how to address this issue. What has become clear is that since I have so many figures to paint in the same way, the best is to test on an isolated Space Marine until I get the desired effect and then apply it to the diorama without fear of creating a mess. That means more work and more time estimation…

February 8, 2010

Busy days lately! I haven’t put a lot of effort into the diorama, not even 4 hours since my last entry, which means 104 hours of total work and quite a remarkable delay to solve. I’m a bit stuck, there are two big gaps in the final composition which need filling with some space marines, and I’m not really sure of how I’ll do it. Also, I’m having problems with the dead marines of the ground because they look unreal. I will have to sand the back parts of the dead bodies so they can integrate in the ground, and then fill them in with some rubble. I hate it when it comes to building bases! And I still haven’t bought some metal sheet to build the flag. Let’s hope that I can get over this “stuck” phase!!

February 17, 2010

The project advances slowly, 110 hours only meaning I’m really underworking these days (lots of things in my mind lately). Anyway, I try to keep up by spending any spare moment I have in the diorama. I think I’m working my way over the psychological barrier which is the building of the base. Right now I’m integrating the bodies of the space marines in the ground by gluing some plaster ruins I have at home, trying to keep everything coherent with the poses I thought of at first. The initial “final poses” I had, and the initial base ground I built is going to be elevated a bit, so that I can fit the dead bodies with the rest of the scene. This process is very slow, because I’m very careful that everything is in order and the composition strength is maintained. The bad part of the story is that by being this slow, I think I will be reaching 150 hours of modelling, which means I will have to reduce the amount of figures which I’ll be able to present in this year’s GD. I have to increase my working rate!

February 22, 2010

I managed to spend some time on the scene this weekend. 120 hours of total work by now. The modelling phase is coming slowly to its end, however I think that it could reach up to 150 hours in the end, if not even more! I have taken photos of the base and the marines which speak for themselves about the progress by now.

I’ve been thinking about the painting part also. I’ve talked to my friends and masters Elias Alonso and Alfonso Giraldes and finally realised that the best option will be to forget about the orange lighting. It could get really complicated and messy and I could ruin all the work easily. Anyway, the scene is complicated and detailed enough to paint it carefully and making it stand out without having to add additional lighting effects. In Alfonso’s opinion, the best option is to try to achieve a shiny blue with lots of contrast and light points, paying a lot of attention to details, and outlining all the volumes very carefully. This means that I will be painting shiny space marine armours, which have never seen battle, or very little, with little scratches and with as little wear as I am able. If I choose this option, I will have to look for very saturated colours, deep shadows and shiny lights, taking into consideration the importante of clean blending and transitions. And of course, details are key. Rubble flying into pieces, shattered ground, little explosions and shots, blood spatters, armour piercings… oh this is going to be fun!

March 1, 2010

126 hours of work done, once again my work rate is getting low! This week I started thinking about the space marines which will fill the gaps in the scene. The first of them which is now in process, has just been shot in the chest, and will be looking at his wound while losing all his strength before falling dead to the ground. I will have to think a little more about the others, I don’t know about their poses, nor even how many of them will I be putting. Thinking is by far the slowest process of all!

Meanwhile, I have continued with the work on the base, adding ruins and stuff. I have rebuilt the hand which grabs the flag, so that I could pose the banner in the way I wanted. Also I have nearly finished the second space marine dead on the ground, but I think I will have to sculpt one of his hands (unless I find some hand which suits him).

March 2, 2010

Strange as it may be, I’m writing just a day after my last post. This is because yesterday afternoon there was a major breakthrough in the development of the project. Well, two major breakthroughs actually.

First of all, the space marine which I started early, the one being just shot in the chest, I managed to do some repositions in its pieces, and I think it rocks! It really gives the impression of being just shot and that he is going to fall to the ground. He is going to be situated on the left side of the scene, compensating the weight of the figure which is just on the other side of the diorama. By taking a close look at the main view, the composition is quite awesome in my opinion, and with a few changes I can make it outstand, so I will be elevating the position of the space marine situated behind the one I just introduced.

The other breakthrough is regarding the painting part, which is my major concern right now. Everyone thinks that the colours of the illustration are somehow poor for a good painting job. I also think that. That is why I have to think carefully about what colours I will be using, and then I remembered this miniature:

Isn’t it wonderful? How about a nice chrome effect on the blue of the space marines armour? Too ambitious? I never said this was going to be an easy task!

March 23, 2010

Quite a while without updates here! The modelling phase is nearly finished by now. The masterplan spreadsheet reads 148 hours, and the only remaining things to do are the arms and feet of one of the background dead space marines and the final basing of the standard bearer. Rounding up to polish details and finish stuff finally, I guess the final modelling time will be 150 hours. My initial estimation was 100 hours so I guess I really messed up there. Hopefully, I will be able to paint the entire scene in 100 hours, let’s see what I can do. Here are some photos:

The modeling process is full of irony. In the last journal entry I talked happily about a new Space Marine who had just been shot in the chest… Well, I have finally decided to remove the Marine from the scene. Its pose does not make much sense with the rest of marines shooting and was very uncomfortable with the Marine who was going to be located right next to it, crouching and firing. It was not logical that he would be standing up while his partner was shooting and protected. But hey, no big deal. I lost time with this marine which has no longer use to me, but everything is on its place right now.

The painting stage is going to start soon. These days I’ve been having serious doubts about the colour scheme and in fact about the whole Crimson Fists idea. The blue is a very hard colour to make the scene shine, so I’ve been having temptations of turning them into my beloved Imperial Fists (you know, I call them “lemon space marines”). Even some colleagues tried to convince me to do so (Ben Komets for example). However, after some serious thinking, and long counselling conversations with my friend Elias Alonso, I’ve come to my senses. The best thing to do is to stick to the plan. Blue is a difficult colour indeed, and the chromed approach I thought of before is also not the best option for this kind of project. I will have to excel with the painting this time, and create a great blue colour scheme. Elias is going to help me with the process, I have my own ideas but he offered to contribute by painting one test space marine, to see how the scheme will work. Let’s see how this turns out.

March 30, 2010

Holy week has just begun. Time to undergo major development on the scene, there’s a lot of work yet to do and only 3 months to go! Today I had dinner with my friend Elias. We had some time to discuss about the project. He saw the current state of the diorama and pointed out some weak points which need fixing. These weak points are basically two big gaps in the composition, at either side of the standard bearer. Take a look at the photos:

I guess I have to fix this before stepping into the painting stage! I will be introducing two more figures to balance the composition. One in each of the gaps. Once again, the painting is going to be delayed! At least I have quite some time tomorrow before I go on holiday, I’ll try to make some good use of it.

April 6, 2010

I’m back from my holidays! I did make good use of the spare time I had this past week. We are on 170 hours of work, which exceeds the 150 hours of modelling I expected. But anyway, I finished the modelling stage completely by now. There are just few details to take care before I start the painting, but this are the final photos of the composition:

There have been some changes on the gaps that needed filling. There’s a new space marine on top of the dead space marine at the back of the scene, holding a hand grenade. This space marine was on the other side of the scene before. On that place, I have introduced two new figures, a dying one, made from pieces of the space marine being shot in the chest (the one I decided to leave aside some time ago), and another one with the usual shooting pose but without helmet. Great chance to introduce one head from the fantastic space wolves sprues I bought recently. There has been some reorganization on this side of the scene too, as you can see.

I had also time to start my proof of concept about the blue colour. I got a space marine and painted it in the blue which I will be using on the actual diorama. Here are the results:

It’s only a test for the colours. This means that the marine is not even close to being finished, but it doesn’t matter. I just wanted to see how the colours worked together. And it seems real fine to me. it has been a great experience which will be useful when painting the space marines of the scene. I will learn from mistakes to perform a more efficient painting.

The painting is done using a method reccommended by my friend Elias. The base colour is applied with airbrush but not homogeneously. We try to leave the priming colour visible on the light areas of the figure so that it creates some sort of natural lighting effect, smooth, efficient and fast. This is based on the fact that blending light colours is much more difficult than painting shadows. Because of this, its better to start on light and then go down progressively to the deepest shadows.

This is the colour recipe:

* Priming with Space Wolves Grey (Citadel)
* Base colour with Regal Blue (Citadel)
* First shadows with Regal Blue (Citadel) and Red Gore (Citadel)
* Second shadows with Blue Ink (Andrea)
* Third shadows with Black Ink (Andrea)
* Glazes of Red Ink (Andrea) over shadow parts

All that is left is working the light parts with normal brush, outlining edges and placing extreme light points over the armour.

April 13, 2010

This past week I’ve been rethinking again. Should I do the bolter shot flashes? The final decision had to made, so I modelled one trial shot muzzle to see how it turned out, and then shared the idea with my friends. The final decision is firm: no bolter flashes! It is very difficult to achieve a convincing flashlight muzzle, the painting can be very very messy and it could distract the attention from the whole idea of the scene. For an individual figure it can be a great idea, but for a scene like this, unless the whole theme is about source lighting effects, it is not justified. So, once again back to the original plan. I have lost some precious time again by thinking and rethinking. Anyway, I hope to lose no more time from now on.

172 hours of total work says the spreadsheet. I have started the painting stage at last! Yesterday i began priming all the figures in Space Wolves Grey. Quite a work I have to say, there is a lot to prime! A lot of imperfections were revealed in this process, due to air bubbles in resin and insufficient blending of green stuff on some surfaces. I have to correct these and then prime the figures again.

Also, I have decided to do another change in the scene. I will switch the heads of the Fist commander and the last shooting space marine, the one with the new Space Wolves head. I think it will give a lot of strength to the scene because the commander will have a much more fierce expression in his face. I can’t understand why I haven’t seen this before!

April 30, 2010

Nearly 200 hours of work done, we are facing the final stage of the project! I have to plan very carefully the final 100 hours of painting, as the contest day approaches slowly, just 2 months to go and everyone is starting to talk about their plans… mine has been running for over 6 months now!

By this time I have completed a first approach to the blue armour of the space marines. Here are some photos:

The process has been more or less the same as practised in the proof of concept one, but you can see the difference in lighting, a much more saturated blue in this one.

* Priming with Space Wolves Grey (Citadel)
* Base colour with Regal Blue (Citadel) using the transparency to leave the light areas showing the background layer of Space Wolves Grey
* First shadows with Regal Blue (Citadel) and Red Gore (Citadel)
* Second shadows with Blue Ink (Andrea)
* Third shadows with Black Ink and Blue Ink (Andrea)
* Touches of Red Ink (Andrea) over shadow parts

I think it turned out to be a beautiful colour, though might be not too purple for Crimson Fists. I will probable make it darker in some Space Marines, and I will be very careful with the light points, as I want to keep the effect of saturated blue. I will probably repaint the Space Marine commander of the Power Fist because it is too dark to be the central piece, and some other Space Marine on the right side because I shadowed too much.

May 3, 2010

“Nobody said it was easy…”. That’s what Coldplay sang, and they really had their reason to do it. Another morale downturn (personal reasons) which will make even more difficult the finishing of the scene, and only 2 months to go! I spent this past weekend painting the first of the Space Marines, and this is the result (awful photos I must say):

I’m not at all satisfied with this one. Alright, I like the colour, but the painting is not as good as it should be. There’s still time to fix it, but we’re running slowly out of time. Anyway, my friend Elias Alonso has offered to help me. He will be painting one of the Space Marines, as he is working as a full time painter now and has a lot of practise. This marine should serve as inspiration for the rest, and will show me the path to follow from now on (it will be like a beacon of light in new dark times to come ahead).

May 7, 2010

My great and priceless friend Elias Alonso has done his proof of concept for my Space Marines. This is his unfinished version (good photos made in Andrea Miniatures HQ):

It’s a great idea, colours much less saturated (I will maybe be enhancing the colours with some glazes of Andrea’s Inks) but it creates a very curious effect which shows a different colour depending on the position you are looking at!! I think I will try Elias’ vision for the rest of the scene, which means that I will have to start the whole painting again. At least I have one already painted, this one! Time is running out…

May 11, 2010

I’m diving deep into the painting process. Less than two months to the contest day, and my schedule counts 239 hours of work. I’ve been painting the whole weekend and realised that it will take me about 10 hours to paint each space marine (more or less, some will take more than others) which means, my total time estimation which long ago was 300 hours, will have to be increased. Last week it was 350, but now I’m on 370. The final countdown leads me to increase my work rate once again, I need 3 hours a day, about 20 hours a week, to complete the scene on time. Very ambitious indeed, but after all the hard work, I can’t step off the train just now!

I have finished one space marine, and there’s another one in process, while my friend Elías painted the first as a concept, and kindly offered to help me with another one. This means I have 3 marines completed and 1 in process, which leaves me 11 marines and a half yet to go, plus the painting of the base and the flag. Will I be able to make it?

May 26, 2010

Relentless advance! I’m spending nearly three hours a day, as I proposed myself. The painting continues, and it seems that in the end I will be short on time, so I cannot even afford to take some photos of the process. However, its not much of a problem, because all Marines are painted in the same way, there’s not a lot of mystery in it. . I’m on six marines painted (but unfinished), and another 9 to begin. All of them plus the base, the standard, and hopefully I’ll be able to save some time (at least a week) for the finishing touches that surely will be needed at the end. All ot his to be done in the days remaining, merely six weeks, increasing my work rate to maximum (3 hours per day might not even be enough). And of course, I have already rejected the idea of entering anything else in the competition apart from the diorama. It is going to take all my effort. Indeed, the current total work estimation is 400 hours (now it officially doubles what I thought in the beginning). And I’m on 280 hours right now. Come on, there is still time!

June 10, 2010

The end is near, there is less than a month for the big event but there is still much work to do ahead. Frantic painting days await to complete the six Marines who have yet to be painted, together with the base, the banner, the heads without helmet, the scratches and the retouching of all the colours. I have no pictures of the current state of the painting because I have no time to take them, but for now I think the blue is going to turn out very nice. The only problem is that each figure, because of being painted individually, has a different colour. I’ll have to retouch all the blues in the end so that all Marines approach a common colour, probably a more purple blue than the one you saw in the photos above.

I’ve also been experimenting on the banner. I need that orange effect of the explosion (in the original illustration) to highlight all the blues. To do this I will introduce orange in the base and the flag. So far, I have worked out some computer designs for the flag. I made many, I post you some of the pictures below:

Finally I decided to stick to this one:

This makes 340 hours of work (I have not counted all the work spent in the computer designs of the banner). The final work count will presumably be around 430 hours. This means that I have left about 90 hours of work, for less than a month!

June 28, 2010

Pity, with the little time I had to paint, I’ve not had time to take any photo of the painting process. Indeed, this is the last week just before the contest, and I have been working 420 hours since I started the project. I still have much to paint: finish the flag, paint the base and finish all the Space Marines together with their scratches and colour adjustments accordingly. I estimate about 40 hours of painting yet to be done, and in just six days! Again, my estimations were wrong. But anyway, there is not much time left to raise the estimate again! I guess this time is the final figure. I asked for two days off work to finish in time all that remains to be done. I think it will turn out a very beautiful scene and I hope that eventually all the hard work will pay off.

July 4, 2010

And the day came. The diorama has been a success, everyone liked it very much. The Golden Demon jury gave it silver, which seems unfair after so much work, but there was huge competition so I’m glad. Therefore, here’s where the diary ends. I leave you with the link to the final photos of the diorama.

Final Pictures of The Last Stand of the Crimson Fists

Miniature painter, sculptor and huge enthusiast, established 2005. Very passionate about community, events and conventions, has won plenty awards in contests worldwide. Miniature art devotee, engineer, contest judge and teacher, focused on spreading the word of what we do in the miniature world!


  1. YES!!!! This is better than I could have hoped for. So much good information from concept to execution. Thank you for providing this. You are an artist!


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