Angels & Demons Diorama

I’m catching up on a few of my hobby related posts I’ve had kicking around in draft for months, so if you see a flood of miniatures rush by, don’t be alarmed!

Back in March it was the 19th birthday of GW: Aberdeen. As part of the celebrations they held a diorama contest. There were only 2 criteria – it must be a duel, and it must fit on a round, 60mm (Dreadnought) base.

Somehow, as soon as I knew the criteria I was struck by inspiration and instantly knew my theme – an “Angel” vs a Daemon, in the ruins of a church. I could picture it clearly; the angel diving through the  smashed window to confront the daemon lurking within. It was a simple idea that told a story. If I pulled it off I had a good chance.

Picking my protagonists was easy. The Angel would be a Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard, and the Daemon represented by a Bloodletter of Khorne. For the setting I’d use a corner from an Imperial Basilica Administratum kit.

Building the base was easy. I added slate chips of various sizes, from the 40K Basing Kit, to simulate the rubble of the ruined church, and broke off part of the window frame to make it large enough for the Angel to fit through. Sprayed black, drybrushed various shades of grey, and given a couple of washes, and the stonework was done. The edging was picked out first in Tin Bitz, highlighted with Burnished Gold, washed, and then a very watered-down Hawk Turquise was painted into the recesses for weathering.

The Angel was assembled “stock”, with no real modifications needed. He was painted in a non-metallic metal (NMM) scheme. I didn’t follow my old method of NMM gold, and instead followed the Sanguinor guide in in the ‘Eavy Metal Painting Guide book. Personally I think it came out a little dark, but overall the effect worked well enough. White areas were painted dark grey for a base coat, highlighted with Skull White, washed with thinned Space Wolf Grey, then re-highlighted with Skull White.

The Daemon did not go so well. I now hate the Bloodletters kit with the heat of a thousand suns. I could not get the pose I wanted, and the limbs are really thin and spindly – so getting a good join when repositioning was nearly impossible. Not only that, I really could not get the right tone of red. I wanted the Daemon to be a deep red, contrasting with the golden Angel, but everything I tried came out really murky  or too bright. I can’t remember how I eventually got it right by working my way up through every shade of red I could get my hands on, coupled with several washes of various colours, to provide shading.

When I assembled the diorama I discovered the Daemon’s pose didn’t quite work. His outstretched had took him too close to the Angel, throwing off the proportions and balance in the scene. I very (very!) carefully cut and repositioned him slightly, and added a helmet from the basing kit into his hand… as if he’d just dispatched one of the church’s defenders. A few touch-ups with paint and he was as good as I was going to get him.

As for the competition? I came second in the Adult’s category, losing out to a very impressive scene depicting a Pre-Heresy Imperial Fist Assault Marine Vs a World Eater.

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