1. Copying kits is a crime that hurts original artists & producers. Help support your favorite artists by buying their original works. PlanetFigure will not tolerate any activities related to recasting, and will report recasters to authorities. Thank you for your support!
  2. Submissions for October Figure of the Month (FOTM) are now open. Visit the FOTM forum to enter a model or see entries and vote! FOTM October

The Kingdom is lost. by Mike Blank.

Discussion in 'Post Your Own Articles & SBS' started by Uruk-Hai, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Sweden
    "The kingdom is Lost" diorama article. (Im posting this on behalf of Mike Blank.)


    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    [IMG]
    For many years I have had a huge interest in the crusades, both in the Holy land and the Baltic. The military orders such as the Templars, Hospitalliers and the Teutonic continue to give me inspiration for creating figures, Vignettes and dioramas. (no suprises there I guess!).

    One very important and fatal battle that I had not created a scene from was the battke of Hattin, fought in 1187. Here on the horns of Hattin the entire kingdom of Jerusalem was smashed by the Saracens led by Saladin.
    [IMG]

    I had always wanted to create a scene showing the desperate last stand of the Templars at the end of this battle, tired, desperate and without any hope... . In other words a tight, dramatic and monochrome scene!
    Just the way I like ´em!

    As with all the Vignettes and dioramas I create I Always start with a mental planning. What do I want to tell with this scene? The emotions? The carachters? The story?
    [IMG]

    This phase is without a doubt the most important, and also the most time consuming part of a new Project.
    The sculpting and painting is the easy part!

    To have a well planned, composed scene that tells a story is the bottomline for building Vignettes and dioramas, otherwise it will only be a scene with several figures that do not interact and simply happens to be on the same base...

    I am the first to admit that everything that I know about creating these scenes I have borrowed, copied and stolen from other peoples ideas! Remember; the more people you copy from, the more orginial you will be!
    [IMG]

    All scenes should have one "lead actor" that is the focus of the scene, the rest should be like supporting actors. In this diorama I choose to have a Templar Knight without his helmet and ringmail. His bared head would help to focus to Viewer, and his blondish hair would also help to focus this figure. His bodylanguage and facial expression tells the story of a desperate Knight making a last stand, full of despair and with no hope...

    All the figures where sculpted with Magic Sculp putty, the ringmail was done with a mix of MS and Duro.

    Some of you guys might know I still like to to paint White dressed figures, and here it was like Chistmas to me!

    Seven dudes all in White with White Shields! (well, six actually, as I wanted to have some variation. so the dead figure in the foreground was painted in a dark faded grey colour, as I wanted him to a sergeant rather than brother kinght )
    [IMG]

    My aim was to have a warmer shade of White as to show the condition of the climate, and also to have a more cloth like feel. The base colour for the tunics where a warm mid grey mix, the higlights where several mixes of White, flesh ochre, etc. For shading I used dark blue, brownish red and burnt umber. I weathered the figures as I a paint with, dirt, grime, blodd etc to achieve an worn look, rather than something that has been painted after, like and aftertought.
    [IMG]

    It should be noted that although we have six figures dressed in White, there is no pure White colour anywhere.
    For my final highlght when painting White I use a linen shade shade with a touch of pure White and a touch of flesh. This will add Life and value to the White. (pure White when used will give a chalky and lifeless colour).
    [IMG]

    For the Shields, which were painted, I wanted a cooler shade of White, so I added slightly more blue to the basemix.
    And also the shading and highlighting where done with cooler shades, which gives a nice contrast to the warmer tunics made from fabric.
    [IMG]

    All the paitning was done using Scale 75, Vallejo, Andrea and Reaper Paints.

    And talking about painting, I am now planning and working on a new book about how I paint these Days!
    The book will be published by Scale 75, and will feature all new work by yours truly!
    (no old sins painted in Humbrols!)
    [IMG]
    [IMG]

    I was very happy and honoured to win the Best of Show at the Euro Miniature Expo with this scene.

    All the best and happy sculpting, painting and planning of those new Vignettes and dioramas!

    Mike
    marco55, DaddyO, Edorta and 26 others like this.
  2. Nige Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks for posting this. Mike Blanks stuff is always an inspiration. His talks are excellent too if anyone gets the chance.
    Mike - The Kiwi and Uruk-Hai like this.
  3. Nap Forum Moderator

    Country:
    England
    Hi Janne

    Thanks for posting this article from Mike , very interesting to read and see the ways it's done on a figure sculpting and good to see Mikes honest words .

    Hope Mike will be there next year at Euro Miniature Expo ....I certainly will be

    Nap
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  4. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Sweden
    Thanks! Hope to be there too, but again, time and money.

    Its perhaps valid to point out that its actually a 54mm scene, easy to forget with such pictures.

    Cheers
    Janne Nilsson
  5. 1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Beautiful work by Mike, I enjoyed seeing this work and Mikes write up regarding it, thanks for posting Janne.

    Steve
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  6. custer760 Active Member

    Excellent work by Mike have always admired his Art....was about time he recieved best of Show....Bravo Mike....love it.
    Regards
    Pete
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  7. megroot A Fixture

    Country:
    Netherlands
    Thanks Janne for posting this.

    Marc
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  8. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Cheers Janne, this is appreciated
    Steev
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  9. OldTaff PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    Thank you, Janne, a great insight into Mike's work. I like the throwaway plug about an upcoming book.......that will be very interesting:happy:

    Ah, well, back to the "toy room" to try and emulate the Masters. Some hope! :LOL:

    Alan
    Scotty and Uruk-Hai like this.
  10. oldtrousers Active Member

    Thank you for posting , Janne! Mikes's subjects and work are always very interesting to me.

    Scott
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  11. rossbach PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Netherlands
    Inspiring. I always liked Mike's sober down to earth painting style. Ever since I saw his Pegaso's 'Frederic II of Swabia' at Tennsoldaten in Stockholm. Rörstrandgatan if I remember correct.:D
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  12. Blind Pew A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks Janne, this is super stuff mate
    Uruk-Hai likes this.
  13. Trevorkats Active Member

    Does any one know if these are available 54mm metal, so much gets done on this forum fabulous figures would be great to see them available
  14. Tommi A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Nope this was made as a one off piece

    Tommi
  15. Trevorkats Active Member

    very odd people who sculpt so well not market items
  16. Tommi A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Mike has many pieces that are commercial releases as well as his one off pieces

    Tommi
  17. DaddyO A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    A great and inspirational set of photo's and descriptions - many thanks.

    Congratulations again for Best of Show. A real pleasure to meet you this year and really enjoyed the talk/demo about sculpting dynamic figures :)

    Looking forward to next year already
    Cheers
    Paul
  18. Trevorkats Active Member

    they are fabulous, would be great to see items such as this released for all, there are many of us if not more that collect 54mm, suprised that 75mm seems to be the norm for companies for kits , not the ready made figures like first legion, king country etc

    54mm would be great to see more in this size
  19. marco55 Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Brilliant work!
    Mark

Share This Page

planetFigure Links

Reviews & Open Box
Buy. Sell & trade
Articles
Link Directory
Events
Advertising

Popular Sections

Figure & Minis News
vBench - Works in Progress
Painting Talk
Sculpting Talk
Digital Sculpting Talk
The Lounge
Report Piracy

Who we are

planetFigure is a community built around miniature painters, sculptors and collectors, We are here to exchange support, Information & Resources.

© planetFigure 2003 - 2019.