Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Rise of the Dioramas

With the reveal of the new Triumph of St. Katherine model for the Sisters of Battle it's looking like 'ol Katakros was just the start of the diorama train. These models are amazing center pieces for your armies and great display pieces for people who are just interested in the painting side of things. So what do I think about the inclusion of dioramas in our armies overall?

When I first saw the Katakros model I was blown away. It's quite frankly amazing. I love how it echoes the statue of David and how it tells a story all on one base. There's so much going on visually and it really lets you flex your painting muscle. If I had known that this was only the start of this trend I would've been even more excited. Looking back on it now I don't know how I didn't think GW would continue it with other armies.

Now that we've seen the Triumph of St. Katherine for the Sisters of Battle we can pretty much assume that there will be more of these in the future. The Triumph model takes what Katakros started and pushes it even further. There's so much going on here and it tells such a cool story. Ignoring the Sisters themselves for a moment, the base they're on is amazing. It really gives them a sense of space. I love that they're descending the stairs and it's just cut right out of the larger scene. Some people may not like this as much as Katakros' base since his allows you to tie it into your overall army's basing scheme a bit more, but I just love the story element. The Sister in the front with the sword and shield might be my favorite model from the whole range.

It looks like a piece of Warhammer artwork come to life. The same goes for Katakros. This allows the sculptors to really bring the essence of Warhammer from the pages onto the battlefield. They both also evoke a lot of classical art vibes, Katakros with the statue of David like I said before, and the Triumph with a lot of renaissance paintings. I can't wait to see where we go next with this. Imagine an Avatar of Khaine surrounded by his Exarch court for the Eldar, or maybe Fulgrim with his courtiers lounging around him. The possibilities really are endless. I don't think every army needs a diorama piece like this, but scattered around they'll add a lot to the range. I do understand the argument that it looks a bit odd on the battlefield amongst the rest of your army, but I think the positives of it way out weigh the negatives.

Having painted Katakros I do have a few suggestions for how to best approach working on these diorama type pieces though. First off, subassemblies! These are a must if you want to be able to paint everything. If you glue it all together first then you're bound to run into areas that will either be hard to reach or outright impossible. The Triumph looks especially busy and tightly packed. For Katakros I painted each model seperately, lightly glued to spare bases I had. I then broke all of these down into even further subassemblies. Anyone that had a cape was painted with the cape off. I would paint the inside of the cape and the back of the model, then glue the two parts together, fill any gaps, then paint the outside of the cape. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will be hard to paint that area without accidentally getting paint on other areas if you don't.

These subassemblies also allowed me to make the project more manageable. A model this big and busy can be a bit intimidating to paint, but if you break it down into each of its parts it becomes easier to tackle. Instead of painting a big diorama I was painting several separate character models. I would do them one at a time so I could get a sense of accomplishment and avoid the risk of suffering burn out. I treated the base like its own character model too. Then after I completed each model I got to glue it in place and really feel like I was building towards something. You of course want to keep the piece as a whole in mind when you're painting so it all looks cohesive in the end.

What do you think about the inclusion of these new diorama pieces? What dioramas would you like to see in the future?

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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