I am a modeller with a passion for the larger scales. While the other guys concentrate on gaming stuff I have occupied myself with more traditional forms of modelling. My main interests are all things German from the WW2 era, but I often find myself drifting into areas of sci-fi, fantasy and anything that catches my eye. My preferred scale is 1/35.
Building and painting dioramas and vignettes combine pretty much every aspect of modelling. A vignette is a good and a little bit faster way to practice your scenery making skills and also figure positioning, painting etc.
The idea to this particular vignette came around 2010 when I wanted to try out some new techniques and I needed something to try them on. First I planned a general idea for the vignette, that was to be a scene from the Kharkov front early -43 with soldiers from the legendary LAH Division, one of which was to be Kurt “Panzer” Meyer. I began the project by making a wooden base upon which I carved a rough shape of the scenery. Next I covered the scenic part of the base with Magic Sculpt -putty and sculpted the actual forms and shapes. I also made the wheel marks at this stage. Finally I crafted a wooden fence and a tree on the background and attached some modelling grass to bring life to the scenery.
After gluing the figures together (with minor tweaking here and there, of course) it was time to take up the brush and start painting. First I airbrushed the figures with white primer. After that stage everything you see on the vignette is hand painted with a brush. I used acrylic paints exclusively on this piece. When painting figures I like to vary my process, as some methods are better suited to certain figures. That can depend on various factors, such as the colors used, the shape and position of the figure etc. On this piece I decided to work from the shadows up towards the more light parts. I always paint the figures separately and only attach them to the base at the very last steps of the process. For the base I used acrylic paints, too. I airbrushed the tree with wintery tones and painted the fence red with heavy chipping done by brush. On the ground I airbrushed heavily with earthen tones, and then added various washes to make the forms and shapes to come out more. I made the snow using microballoons that were mixed with white glue and spread thinly on the ground by brush. Finally the figures were attached to the base paying careful attention to their positions. It is imperative that the figures look natural in their environment. One thing to remember is that you should never only glue figures to a base but instead pin them properly with metal wire.
Making this vignette taught me some new tricks about making scenery. It was the first time I built a fence from scratch and I actually like the way it turned out. When making scenery all you really need are a few sticks and some imagination.