GMM SHOWCASE: Building The Boat – Full to the Gunwales


Get ready for the most amazing Warhammer ship diorama you’ve ever seen – courtesy of GMM!

Hello BoLS readers!

Recently on my Instagram page I have been running a series on past large displays for Adepticon – big monsters of miniature I have been doing over the years.  They decorate my house well, but it feels good to dust them off and get them out there in the world again.  Plus it is a good opportunity to go over points I never shared, and revisit the past.  When making something so big under time pressure, it leaves a lasting imprint on a person. Can still hear the Alestorm and taste the Kraken rum late into a cold March night, plugging away on this beast.  I want to share that with you, the love and experience of building something at the edge of one’s abilities. So sit back and enjoy – crack open the Kraken and pour a little out for my man Coleridge.


In this part one, going to show a few overview photos to set the tone and get a good feel for the scope of the display.  Sitting at 7.5 feet from wheel to mast and over three feet wide, the display is based on an antique trunk.  The trunk itself is a family heirloom.  Passed down from the 1920s.  Made sure to get permission!


The stand was built for transport and stability.  The whole thing had to fit in the back of an SUV back then, so it is hinged and collapses. Deployed it locks into place, and the larger backside keeps it from tipping with weight of the lid.


Inside the antique box, sits a second faux box on rails.  This is around 1.5 feet deep to allow for depth in the water.  The second box is not secured and allows for storage underneath.


Almost 3 gallons of clear resin was used to make the water.  That was a real ordeal for another article!


Five hundred 10″ strips of plastic were all hand cut into three pieces each and edged with a razor blade to give a wood effect and later painted by hand.


And with that, stay tuned for next time where I will go nine fathoms deep into the WIP images and show in detail how it was made!

For more images and information on my services:




Thanks, and until next time!

  • This diorama from Rum and Bones is much better and you can actually play on it.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Better is subjective, and further the picture in article above is much older and done for a personal army for adepticon, not a commission peace for a game company. Both are great for their own merits.

      • Thanks for clearing that up, so for personal armies you don’t have to make it as good as commission pieces for a game company, understood.

        On a side note the tag line that its the most amazing ship diorama you have ever seen is the reason I posted such. Because well its not the most amazing ship diorama I have ever seen. And while art is subjective skill is not. Does the Marienburger builder have skill, absolutely just not as much as the guys who did the other ships.

        • The guy that built the Rum and Bones Ship built the Marienburger… his name is Brandon Palmer. He’s also the author of this article.

          • Stealthbadger

            If this is true then that’s genius.

          • Vertoxis

            its true, just looked at the things posted

            Same guy

            poster of original comment should of looked

          • Pale_Rider86

            haha, REKT

          • Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Your interpretation of skill is also subjective. The man above made his to be his display board and had more time constraints and only one man. The other was a team with a higher budget. Also again, is much older. The fact you can play a game or not on it is irrelevant.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          No that is not what I said, and i said both are great for their own points. It is the same guy who did both, it’s just he had more time, and more experience when he made the second and a higher budget as it was a commission versus his own budget for a display board. I think the display board is fantastic as it is. Also the fact that you can play a game on one or not is irrelevant for they had different objectives to be met for him. You also would not have the second project if he didn’t learn from the first.

          • Thanks for the kind words

          • Severius_Tolluck

            No problem, just seemed a bit harsh and odd comment since it was the same artist to make both! Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes I made that too. I also understand why some people would like one more than the other. I personally like Rum and Bones more some reasons and Marienburger more for others. I appreciate you posting it, glad you like it 🙂

      • I honestly thought you made it with a few dudes, in 2013 you weren’t going by GMM studios well at least you didn’t say that you were when I met you at adepticon, it could have been 2014. I thought you were part of a team of guys who made the diorama for rum and bones. When I was at gencon this last year I saw that rum an bones one and asked some guys there and they said GMM studios, and also mentioned you. But they made it sound like a group of guys. Anyways glad it was just you because you did an amazing job especially by yourself.
        And as I said before I still prefer this one over the older one, but neither are the best ship diorama I have ever seen. Honestly I have seen some of your other work and I think its better than both of these. But this is the age of only positive opinions and everyone gets trophies. But at least you know you have some internet people ready at their keyboards to defend your old work from those who like your knew work.

        • No I have been GMM since 2006 and always been one guy. The name comes from way back then thinking I wanted a group of people, but in the long run that doesnt work. Kept the name out of sentimentality.

          And no worries on the second half of your comment. I fully understand. 🙂

  • Lewis Anderson

    shame first comment is dicky…

    • Pale_Rider86

      Yeah, that’s the people we share the hobby with, though. Gotta put others down to feel good about themselves.

      This is one of the most interesting pieces I’ve seen in forever, hours of hard work and pure vision; “Meh look at this other one I prefer more”.

      • Maybe bols shouldn’t have made the boast its the best ship diorama ever. Good for the guy who made this one he did a great job, its simply not the best though. Even the one I posted isn’t the best. I could pull up 100 better looking ship dioramas that surpass that one as well.
        Maybe you should take some of your own advice and stop whining about something that has nothing specifically to do with you.

    • grendal1989

      yeah, it would have been easy to say, “Hey man that was legit hard work. It reminds me of this one.” and it would not have been real dickish.

    • Vertoxis

      best part is, he didnt research it and…..

      the diorama he posted, was done by the same guy who did the ship in the article (and wrote the article)


      So essentially hes saying that his older work was better than this work …. because he had no idea it was the same guy

      • Actually I did know it was from the same guy, and was at adepticon and saw it in person when he brought it in 2013 or 2014, one of the last years I attended. It was pretty solid. I just preferred his recent professional work over that one. And no his older work isn’t better. His older work is exactly what it is older.

  • Jordan Braun

    what game is this for? Cause fantasy died

  • Warrior_of_Sound

    Great work, I wish I had the time/space to work on dioramas

  • euansmith

    I resemble that comment!

  • euansmith

    Its not just that the army is well painted and the ship model is cool and full of interesting detail; even the fecking stand is fantastic! The only improvement I can think of would for some of the “water” to be splashing over the lip of the chest. The barrel slamming in to one of the tentacles is great.

    Do portions of the deck lift out as movement trays? If so, extra points, yarrrr!

    • Thank you!

      Yes it is that deep. I did this with no experience back then and thought it would be more impactful so I made it really deep. Photography kills alot of it with the glare. In person it shows though. You might note on teh Rum and Bones display the water is only a few inches deep and the same effect. Hobby and learn!

      Yes portions pop out. Will cover that later 🙂

      I really wanted more dynamic water but the issue was 1. The second box needed to be removable and that doesnt work together. And 2. the water used for resin doesnt allow for that, and the actual wave product isnt as transparent as I would like. What you see was the compromise or best overall.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • grendal1989

    I love the display, and the army. Also I really like your Landship. Never got to see one on the table.

    • Thanks. Its a lovely model and a shame they stopped producing it.

  • Azrell

    Fantastic work as always.

  • mreindl

    Oh FFS, don’t you guys EVER use spell check? It’s ‘gunwale’, dammit, GUNWALE!