It is a gift

When we were engaged, I felt it only fair to ease my wife-to-be into the enthusiasm of the one to whom she would be committing the rest of her life. She’s an enthusiastic board game player but finds it hard to get into the ‘war’ side of wargaming, so I needed to emphasise the extra-curricular aspects of this great hobby. A non-violent diorama would be my Christmas gift to her. I had a few weeks’ grace.

The Lord of the Rings being my first love in the tabletop world, I had a few collector’s pieces lying around, such as the resting trio of Frodo, Sam and Gollum, all set to be placed in a diorama.

I quickly and roughly mapped out the scene on an old and cheap coaster (too quickly – since when to rivers turn at right angles?) and then went to town with some very old green stuff – not good enough anymore use for particularly fine detail but perfectly sufficient for rough terrain features, and very durable to boot.

Then I started painting. As is so often the case, I berated myself for not thinking ahead better; these models, particularly Sam and Gollum, are a right pain to paint if you haven’t got full freedom of movement around the miniatures for the paintbrush. Having glued them firmly in place to the coaster, I couldn’t reach any areas which had an overhang such as the alcove between Sam’s leg and his pot.. Fine detail such as the eyes were also next to impossible, so it ended up being a case of painting the large block colours and applying minimal highlights.

This was definitely a ‘thought that counts’ present; it cost me little except time. Still, it went down well enough, and while I’ve still yet to coax Mrs Doodler into tabletop gaming, she’s appreciative enough of the creative side to let me shut myself away at my desk in the evenings.

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