I decided to stop being silly and start posting my progress to the forums.. 🙂
This is mostly the post from the reaper forums you can find here, but with a few other comments/notes/ramblings.
For this diorama, I’m using all reaper miniatures, 02648: Schumacher, 03631: Quoralei, and 77511: Xiloxoch with some pretty heavy modifications.
This is going to be a long post. Strap in and get ready!
The concept for my diorama starts with me deciding what a swamp mermaid (or ‘Meremaid) looked like. I got on pinterest and started looking around for evil mermaids, etc. I know that, historically, mermaids/sirens lured men to their death, but generally speaking people think more Ariel anymore. I didn’t want that. I wanted something that looked pretty on top, was deadly under the water. When I was searching for miniatures, I would find one or the other, so I knew I would have to do some converting. I also knew I wanted a kneeling man, preferably with an outreaching arm. After some searching on my own, and asking around on the forums, I ended up deciding on these component pieces.
The man was going to be the easiest conversion, so let’s start with him.
I pretty much just cut off his sword, modeled a thumb (cause I accidentally snipped it!), and bent his arm.
I’m going to go back in and reduce that thumb a little, but it was arguing and I was tired. 🙂 It will be painted like a glove since it has some separation from the sleeve now. I would love it if I could either unbend his fingers or sculpt new ones on, but that did not look right when I tried it. I may end up doing a complete hand transplant, but we’ll see. He’s going to be kneeling in the mud/swamp reaching down to my ‘meremaid. I want him to be right on the edge of falling in. Sort of a LOTR in the dead marshes feel.
Next up, my ‘Meremaid.
The reason I’ve been doing all this practice resin is that I want her to be submerged from the waist down. I’m not interested in doing a whole lot of converting and painting and then having my resin screw up and wanting to die. 🙂
So, started with 2 component parts:
This is after both had some cropping done. I removed the head of the naga, and the dangly bits from Quoralei’s arms. They were just getting in the way, and not what I imagined for her.
Then a little more surgery:
That was a scary cut to commit to. Even though I can order more and nothing is set in stone, it was worrisome. I haven’t ever done a conversion of quite this scale, and certainly not for people to judge at a competition.
Test fitting her into her new legs:
See how her neck is bent funny? I think she had some difficulty somewhere along the way. I straightened out her head and one of her arms a bit, and I think it made a big difference. I had started the naga mini last year sometime as a quick paintjob that I then hated. That’s why she’s got some paint on her. I also decided I wanted to redo the ‘fins’ on her back, so she has some weird growths for a bit. 🙂 I will reduce these ‘dumps like a truck’ soon.
Greenstuff begins! I am by no means a master sculptor (see the above thumb), but I feel like I did this justice, especially considering it will be somewhat submerged.
I knew I wanted some sort of dorsal fins on her, I just had to make them myself. I used pieces of the existing model and cut them up and thinned them out a bit to give the effect I was looking for. A little smoothing, a little priming, and she looks good as new! I may go back and damage these a little more, or I may just paint them that way, I’m not certain yet. I am not a planner type when it comes to minis… I kind of like to let them become who they are meant to be. 🙂
I decided to do a little zenithal priming on her so I could see the details and see if anything stuck out as ‘wrong’.
I also decided that I wanted her to have a little bit of a fin on the end of her tail, so I cut that out of some bonesium I had laying around. I like the asymmetrical, angular look of it. I was thinking of some of the more ‘evil’ looking gar I have seen in my life, and they have some wicked looking tails. I am thinking of adding one or two swimming around, but thought that might smack too strongly of Ursula. We’ll see if I get around to it, and how much real estate I have in the base.
When I looked at her now, I wanted her to have a few more details, so I added some skulls to the base and gave her a crown. It’s super fancy because it’s made from toothpicks. lol The skulls are from a bag I bought from secret weapon like 2 years ago. There’s a LOT of them. I will probably add more bones/detritus when I get closer to actually basing.
I also threw on a coat of black green, because I want her to look more crocodilian than fishy… We’ll see how she turns out. I need to do a little more research on them since I believe they have the same sort of belly scales that snakes have.
I also decided I wanted to add a bunch of foliage and swamp-y stuff, so I used my leftover green stuff to play around. Again, NOT a pro at this. Definitely have a steep learning curve ahead of me!
I made a cute little lizard for her base, just because. I intended to use the snail shells in her crown, but they were just too big. I didn’t think starfish and normal ‘mermaid’ stuff would work in her hair since she’s not in the ‘sea’. I may do some moss or net-type things eventually. For now, I’m happy with her conversion and hope to move forward with my resin experiments into actually pouring them onto practice bases instead of just into molds. I’m also planning on using some of the 835 pieces of foliage I bought to make this a very swampy scene.
I hope this was enjoyable! I’m going to have a lot more of this in the coming months, so sorry if you hate it. 😀
Let me know what you think!!! I’d love any C&C since I’m hoping to enter this at Reapercon.