Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Song of Life and Death

This was my entry for Italian Golden Demon 2011. Unfortunately, it won nothing. Of course, the reasons were quite objective - the level of works exhibited there was just amazing and didn't go to any comparison with my work. But this is my first global project, I've gained a lot of expirience  of terrain building from it.
Of course
I see a lot of mistakes now: statics, no conversions, controversial idea,  the execution of diorama is rough and has a big amount of defects (I know its all :)).
But I'll repeat - this is my first experience of a global project. It was first time I tried to use a lot of objects (snow, waterfalls and etc.) so its were made "as it happened." This diorama took a lot of time and took a piece of my soul, so finally I've decided to publish a little story of its birth. Maybe someone will find something useful for himself.


An idea of common framework for all my Phoenix Lords was came after I've painted Karandras. The common base should be separated on sections for each of Lords, with different landscape and combinable elements at the same time. First  I thought about ​​hexagonal base where the Lords were going out from a center  object. But friends have advised me to spread parts of diorama on different levels to avoid mixing landscapes.

A new plan came out when I re-reviewed  the Eldar Codex. I'd like to show you some pictures from it which inspired me for this work:
An Eldar world's atmosphere
This is a kind of platform for every Lord which will decorate in accordance with his style.
Here you can see a support for the platforms.
I wanted to build a tower in the center of composition as it shown on the first illustration. But I didn't find a way to do it.

Now let's start a practical part.
I cut 6 platforms from a PVC sheet and then estimated their location relative to each other. Later the platform's size was adjusted because there was not much place and the platforms shouldn't be close each other.
This is a common layout scheme :
Then I cut pillars from a thick PVC sheet to let each platform has at least two points of support. They were polished to create a style of phantom bone before attaching to the main base. 

After that I made an earth from chopped cork and sand with different grain size.
Further, it was necessary to paint the base, because it would be difficult to do it after the platform 
I even didn't try to do those platforms removable because of two reasons. The first is that it would reduce the structural strength, it's better to glue them firmly. And the second one is that I wanted  to connect platforms  with each others by different elements of the landscape so they will interrelated, and it will be impossible to disengage them
An orange light glows from the lava on the bottom platform. I left it in this state because the main base will finish in conjunction with other platforms.
Now, it's turn of each Lord's personal base.

1. Fuegan.
I alwais imagined him standing on lava rocks, and a little bit of lava is  flowing down on the main base.
So I've made a rock from a corc, lava bubbles from a green stuff and then filled it with epoxy.

The lava platform was painted after fixing in on the main base because it was necessary to make this lava flowing down. This is the platform after painting:
I've pasted a small magnet in every Lord's base and put a circle of magnetic paper in the noles for miniatures on each platform. It is nessesary for additional stability of the Lords.

Here is the painted miniature: Fuegan
And the first Lord  took his place on the base: 
2. Maugan Ra.
It was simple to choose a landscape for him - this miniature is asking for a cemetery. And again I used a PVC, sand and various bits to create second platform.
My friends advised me to pay some attention to the  platform's bottom, so I covered it with sand too. Then I painted it, installed on the main base, added grass clumps and roots and a little bit  "web." And, of course, I didn't forget the lava light from below

 Maugan Ra is on his place:

3. Karandras.
The main problem of this character was that he has been painted already and had a decorated base. I had to attach him on the base very carefully. And I had to do the same ruined Temple in the jungle on his platform. I tried to recreate similiar toothed elements. Then I added some vegetation maden from greenstaff.

Later it was painted and set on the main base. Then I did some hanging vines using threads and pieces of cloth, soaked in PVA. After that they was plastered by a flock.
So the base for 
Karandras are ready:

4. Jain Zar.
She's got the "water" base. This is also the ruins of an ancient temple with women weeping faces (by scibor)

After painting and installation this fragment at the main base I started playing with the water.  I used a watereffect (Noch) to create waterfalls placing it on a transparent cover for notebooks. It was hard to take off some waterfalls from the cover, so they were cut along with a cover. Then all waterfalls were stuck to the platform's sides. Now, a surface was covered with three or four layers of epoxy. Some parts of it ran down on the waterfalls additionally fixing it. After drying the "water" was covered by green washes and glossy varnish. That is the place for Jain Zar:

5. Bagarroth.
There was pretty simple to choose a landscape for this Lord. He is a flyer - so  a mountain peak with snow will be a good idea. That is exactly what has been done. The only thing - the painted miniature has turned out into a some kind of egyptian style so  it might look good  on an the interesting sand base. But, as time was running out, I've decided to leave the easier choice with a snowy cliff.
There was not any special features in its production, just a lot of cork and some stones. It was painted, planted with bushes, sprinkled with a soda. At least I was satisfied with the result. At the end I added some "icicles" from water-effect on the edges.

 And with Baharroth:
This is the whole base in this stage:
6. Asurmen.
He is a center of the composition - my Commander in white gloves. Of course, he must be on a pedestal in the Asurian Temple.
I cut stairs from a PVC and
extruded Eldar runes along the temple's perimeter. Then I added some  stones from beads and greenstuff.

Then it was painted in the support's style. Here I've decided to connect the right, deadly and cold part of the diorama with the left, breathing life by mixing the landscapes on this platform: flock and snow. In addition a symbol of yin-yang on his chest was so suitable for this idea.  So, the last one was installed:

It remains to touch up a base's frame and put a name of this song. Song of Life and Death.


  1. This is an amazing piece. A true inspiration. I say so what that it didn't win a prize, and so what it isn't 100% accurate? The whole point is to produce beautiful pieces of work which push boundaries. This piece does that. Take heart, you have done an amazing job!

  2. I fall in love with your composition!

  3. Incredible... a great composition and concept. I can't see the errors you refer to, I'd love to have this on my mantlepiece!

  4. Honestly one of the best pieces I've ever seen. This should have won Gold at GD no doubt! All of your work is incredible but this is truly inspiring! Thank you for sharing