Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Withdrawal: Diorama entry for Chicago Golden Demons

Right after Baltimore Games Day I started thinking about a diorama I could do for the Chicago Golden Demons. I mean literally right after! By the time the second beer was hitting the back of my throat I had the kernel of an idea, and by the end of the third the idea was really fleshed out.

In dioramas you typically see troops advancing, fighting off menacing hordes of traitors or aliens, and occasionally you'll see some commander (or tanker) poring over his charts. For a couple of great recent dioramas done by a member of the DakkaDakka community (Gundam-Mecha) you can look here and here. These are certainly part of the inspiration for working on a diorama like this.

Anyway, my earlier point was that only very rarely do you see the wounded being pulled off the frontlines.

Enter, "The Withdrawal of the Cadian 144th".

Obviously I will need a vehicle to evacuate my wounded Imperial Guardsmen. I'm currently working on a half-track version of the Troop Transport Truck. The suspension is based on the Semovente tank. The riveting is a bit different for this beast. In the "heavy duty" areas I'm using 1mm ball bearings glued into small holes drilled in the plating.

I will also need a location to park the half-track and get the guys loaded up. The base is 1/4" MDF, overlaid with varying thicknesses of Apoxie Sculpt from AVES Studio. This two-part putty is easy (if a bit messy) to work with, gives a smooth finish, and dries rock hard!

Pressed into the surface and standing proud above the drainage ditches is a cracked and crazy road made from the concrete rubble made by Gale Force 9. There's quite a bit more work to be done to the base.

And then come the Imperial Guardsmen of the Cadian 144th. These first two will be loading a stretcher onto the half-track.

The next two are an Autocannon team (you'll see what I mean soon), plus the Departmento Munitorium half-track gunner taking a break.

The walking wounded.

An argument over who is being evacuated. The Departmento NEVER makes mistakes!

And finally, a vox operator calling the rest of his platoon in, a standard bearer to act as a rally point, and no, that guy isn't dancing! He'll be seated in the back of the half-track, resting his bandaged leg.

All of the troops will be painted to their finished "pristine" state. And then weathered like they've just been through some rough stuff.

I hope you like it so far!



  1. Looks like it's gonna be amazing. If my deductions are correct, judging from the poses the autocannon team are gonna be either carrying it between them or loading it into the half track.

    Particularly like the arguing officers and the driver taking the oppotunity to have a quick cuppa. It's little details like that that bring a diorama to life.

    Can't wait to see this finished and assembled

  2. Crap dave, you scare me.

    I am entering the golden Demon at Chicago games day too...

    Now I no I do not stand a chance because you will be there... :(

    Oh yeah, everything looks great. The bickering officers are a great touch.

  3. The walking wounded are F'ing Brillant
    it reminds me of old WW2 footage which is what I suspect you are shooting for.
    Maybe a medic tring to stablize a troop already on the truck

  4. Looks so neat Dave. Are those...wine corks...that you work with for the individual Guardsmen? That's a neat idea.

  5. Hi guys

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    @Khorneguy - yep, they are carrying the autocannon, actually they'll be lowering it into the tripod, where the track gunner chat's to them.

    @dictator - never worry about the competition you'll face at a GD. Do your best, have fun doing it, and make the most of the day chatting with like-minded people. You'll be fine.

    @BigWill - thanks mate, the walking wounded are the two that actually kicked it off for me.

    @dirtntrees - Yes, wine corks they are. I usually drink a bottle a week with dinner, so they can add up pretty fast ; )


  6. Dave, the paintjob on the wounded walkers is wonderfully detailed, that came out really good. The diorama is going to look splendid! It's a cool way to give the modeling some depth. Great stuff, we are lucky to have you around!
    Mike at Santa Cruz Warhammer

  7. Wow Dave, just Wow.
    Adam K from Newcastle here mate, stumbled across your blog very recently - very impressed. Your passion for the brave guardsmen has apparantly never dwindled - I still remember the mass of troops and tanks you had at Newtown, I'm scared to think of what you have now :)

    Looking forward to seeing how this works out.
    Drop me a line sometime, be good to catch up.


  8. Excellent ! I can't wait to see more ! Keep posting as you go on please, and good luck with the daemon )

    Greg (from France) <- want more corks ? ;)

  9. That's looking really good. I wish I could be at GD Chicago to see it in person.

  10. Glad to see that the "Everyone shouts in 40k" rule is true not only on the battlefield, but to the officers arguing over casualties, too. ;)

    This looks spectacular. Keep it up!

  11. What wheels are those? They look like they might be handy to have a stockpile of.

    Also, how far along in painting are the bandaged walking wounded (army and blindy)? With the white armor, they just seem a bit clean to have just been to hell and gone. Maybe a bit of soft pencil lead edging on the armor plates would be a good start in making them look a bit ragged.

  12. The 144th Cadian is my regiment. GW is using that number a lot now. You, the codex and somewhere else all are using it.

    Just thought i should say that.
    Like the diorama anyway. Very good idea.

  13. The real kicker would be if the Medic/Corpsman were the one on the stretcher

  14. Hi guys

    Once again, thanks for your comments. To answer some specifics:

    @ Adam K - good to hear from you! I've painted about 1000 IG since those days so... ; ) Drop me a line.

    @ Greg - thanks for the offer of the corks, I'll take them if the full bottles are still attached ; )

    @ Fiend - the wheels are from a project I'm working with Thomas on. Yep, the guys are only about 75% done. Lots of chipping and weathering to go. I'll have to mess around with the lead pencil idea.

    @ Leoten - Well things aren't set in stone yet, I can "reassign" my guys to the Cadian 195th.

    @ Alan - I thought about that but figured it might be too "Saving Private Ryan". The corpsman is the one at the foot end of the stretcher, he has a Skull symbol on his shoulder pad, but will also get the helix on his pouch. I'm thinking of making the grumpy looking guy with the bandaged leg the sergeant.


  15. That color scheme is brilliant. What's the formula?

  16. DT this is going to be amazing, your attention to detail is fantastic!! I really love the colour scheme you've used for the IG too. I cannot wait to see the completed project!!

  17. @ Leoten - I figure there have been lots of Cadian 144th regiments throughout history, with the regiment continually being refounded when it's destroyed. It's entirely possible, given the vagaries of war (and the warp!) and the inefficient bureaucracy of the Imperium that you could have two Cadian 144th Regiments serving at the same time!

  18. Hi guys

    @Digitarii & Oz Marshal - thanks guys. The scheme is essentially:

    • Charadon Granite
    • highlight by mixing in increasing amounts of Bleached Bone
    • four layers of highlighting I think.

    • Dheneb Stone
    • Gryphonne Sepia wash
    • highlight with Dheneb Stone
    • highlight with DS/Skull White mix

    Boots and webbing:
    • Scorched Brown
    • highlight of Scorched/Bestial mix
    • highlight with more Bestial added
    • highlight of straight Bestial.

    Nice and easy!

    @ Molotov - good point, I hadn't thought of it that way. I love the idea of two 144th serving on different sides of the galaxy!


  19. WOW, love your work Dave! the character you give your models is amazing.

    Keep up the fine work fella!


  20. Wow thanks for the colour recipe dave! i was just about to ask :)

    Im assuming the truck uses the same colour scheme?

    how did you paint the damage to the truck and the armour? do you think you could maybe do a tutorial if you have time because i'm pretty bad at doing damage well and havnt found a lot of articles on it.

  21. Quick question, I am doing some modeling of my own and was wondering were you got the hands from, that you used for the auto cannon loaders. I am not opposed to using green stuff but find if there is a simplier way of creating hands I will use that first. Thanks.