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
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
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
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
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
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
Kelly Johnson (Jones)