Insider 3-5-2012

The first diorama I built was forever ago in elementary school. I vaguely remember being given a strange little plastic monster and being instructed to write a story about its background and origins and then construct a habitat for it. It was one of the more enjoyable school projects, and I’m sure the habitat and creature are part of a landfill somewhere in Northern California.

Dioramas take on an entirely different meaning when it comes to tabletop gaming. In a lot of cases, there’s an existing story, and the modeler is using miniatures to tell it. It’s definitely one of my favorite categories in the Formula P3 painting competition every year at Gen Con.

The introduction of 120 mm bases in WARMACHINE and HORDES was a huge change to our games. Battle engines in 2011 and now Colossals in 2012? Big, gigantic machines of destruction? Yes, please! Those huge bases also sparked several conversations around the office about conversions and dioramas. How many Whelps could you fit on a single 120 mm base? What kind of story could you tell in that amount of space?

These bases represent an idea for a diorama—a warcaster, warjack, and wreckage from a battle. The 30 mm and 50 mm will be inset on the 120 mm base, and I’d like to make them removable so they’re playable models.

Side by side, it’s super easy to see the disparity in base sizes. I would have liked to have gotten a 40-mm-based model involved just for grins, but it would have gotten in the way of the story I’m trying to tell.

This photo makes it a little easier to see what I’ve got planned. The warcaster will be standing in front of the wreckage, the warjack off to the side. The tough part will be making sure everything fits properly and that my sculpting skills will be up to the task. Thankfully, I’ve got some very good reference material.

Unfortunately, I’m not able to divulge which warcaster, warjack, or scene I’m using for the diorama because it’s for a painting exchange, and I’d really like it to be a surprise for the recipient. But I will be able to post pics of the finished models in the not-too-distant future.

Until then, come up with plans of your own for the 120 mm bases. I mean, aside from their intended use.