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"There You Are!"

Gallery Article by Kelly Johnson (Jones) on Jan 2 2011

Silly Week 2011

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Reaper 25mm vignette

The ancient ruined column beckoned skyward like a skeletal finger thrusting out of the earth, beyond lay broad steps flanked by long collapsed stone walls, the inner courtyard.

Diva cautiously moved forward, an entrapment spell ready to cast, the arcane words of the spell not far from her lips. She had been well warned by those of the local village of the hideous creature within these ruins and the descriptions of the creatures prevations had shocked even her.

She paused at the top of the steps and looked around a the rubble strewn area beyond: nothing, Even the absence of birdsong was deafening now. Shifting her grip on her mace, she looked around once more and stepped back down the steps.

It was faint at first, a skittering sound, the sound of something hard on stone and scree. Diva strained to pin point the sound, beginning to mutter the first words of the spell, the ancient words strengthening her inner resolve and bolstering her inner strength.

The sound was louder this time, from the direction she had come, beyond the steps. Quiet....

Still wary, she turned to walk back the way she had come. There! The skittering was very loud now and very close!

Whirling around, she watched the eight legged horror appear at the top of the steps, hissing in anger. A giant black widow, the biggest she had seen.

There you are!

Diva the Blessed, high priestess and favoured of Pelor, smiled and prepared to do battle...

Our 16 year old daughter Kelly painted this Reaper Miniatures 25mm figure with Vallejo and Citadel paints and used the usual mix of highlighting, dry brushing and washes to bring Diva the Blessed to life.

The Reaper giant spider was another challenge for her. Painting an overall black figure provides a number of challenges, which she overcame by chatting to Mum and I as well as several figure painters within the club. Again, Vallejo and Citadel paints were used, with the distinctive red patch on the abdomen painted freehand. Our version of black widow spiders are called Redbacks down under and this is what she used as inspiration.

The opponent was always to be a spider, but the upward looking nature of Diva required some thought into how to place the miniatures on the base. Kelly was considering a dungeon scene with the spider on a split level until I picked up the resin steps at Melbourne Model Expo this year, so the height aspect had been solved.

Kelly placed the figures on the base adjusting the positions until she was happy, then used florist foam to build the base groundwork around the resin steps. The foam areas and lower part of the base were then overlaid with a mix of plaster of paris, fine sand and burnt umber acrylic craft paint. While the mix was still curing, rubble and 1:35 scale plaster bricks were added to represent the collapsed inner courtyard walls. She carefully avoided any plaster ground mix where Diva was to be placed.

Kelly spent a great deal of time painting the resin steps and rubble, bringing out detail with selective washes. This included filters of green, brown and lighter greys, followed by pin washes of flat earth to add a dusty look.

Vegetation and turf from Woodland Scenics was added to finish the groundwork and heavy card, painted brown, hid the vertical foam sides.

Figures were fastened to the base with two part epoxy with the spider being particularly difficult to secure to the base. Placing one of the legs between wall rubble solved the issue, with more vegetation added to hide the epoxy glue.

A final round of touch ups and "There you are!" was completed.

This was Kelly's first Vignette and her success at WASMEx 2010 this year, plus encouragement from Mum and Dad and from fellow club members has her keen to do another.

Kelly Johnson (Jones)

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Photos and text by Kelly Johnson (Jones)

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