First - introduce yourself to our audience
Brian Duarte “The Scale King” Almeida
How did you get introduced to Mythic Legions
Joe “Lord Veteris” Veteri
You have been customizing figures and dioramas for years. Talk a bit about that.
It started with my obsession for trains. Dad got me my first train set when I was just 4. Looking back now I see how he was living vicariously through me when he kept it from me to make sure I didn’t break it. Watching TV shows like Mr. Rogers and such with miniature little worlds blew my mind. I was always very creative taking cardboard boxes and making them into little dioramas and play sets for my action figures. Beetlejuice was the movie that set it all in motion for me in a serious manner. The diorama in the attic in that movie made me feel a way I can only feel now every time I complete another diorama. I then started doing HO scale train layouts, which evolved into slot car track layouts. I’ve built models in almost every single scale known to man, some operational and others just aesthetic. I enjoy the challenge when making a small world come to life.
How did the Mythic Legions diorama project come about?
Some could say perfect timing, I'd like to call it Divine intervention. Let’s just say things happen for a reason. It just so happens that Jeremy made a compliment on my post of a bridge I had just completed. It was right around the time that I had just finished painting some parts for him for LegionsShop.. Since I was delivering them to him, I decided to bring the bridge so he could see in person. I feel pictures rarely do any art justice. He mentioned that he had just spoke to the team about having dio work made for some upcoming shows, and here I come walking into the perfect storm with no clue. Jeremy said he might be reaching out, and he did. The rest is history.
Tell us a bit about this build and the process you used for this stunning piece.
The easiest way to break down my thought process is to give everyone an analogy I think we can relate to. That would be Jarvis from Iron Man. His A.I. system (My Brain) See when you have ADHD like I do your brain works a bit differently. I build things in my head over and over again hundreds, sometimes thousands of times in my head until I’ve worked out all the kinks. At this point I provide the customer with a simple sketch to convey the idea. Once approved I follow the steps my brain has already plotted for me. Most times it runs smoothly. Other times there’s a glitch or an issue needing addressing. That may alter the final course or just add another learning lesson for future use. During the entire build process, there is shaping, carving, smoothing, sanding, basing, painting, and anything else appropriate for the task. No specific order, just lots and lots of steps depending on the complexity. (Editors note: you can see a ton of pictures, detailing the process of this build, and many of the materials used, in this images that accompany this article).
You were at Power-Con and you got to see the reaction to the diorama in person. What was that like?
I absolutely was. I could not miss it for the world. My favorite part of dio building is seeing the reactions in real time to the work I’ve created. It feels like I’ve raised a child into adulthood and everyone is telling me how awesome my kid turned out. It all comes full circle for me. It’s those moments where I experience true happiness, and appreciation. Truly humbling experience every time. Never gets old.
What else are you working on currently?
I am currently working on my personal dios for my Mortal Kombat figures collection. MK was always my sweet spot when it came to games and toys. I basically grew up with it. Now that there are some nice figures available I thought it was time to make my favorite arenas. Possibly some custom 1/6 scale figures and some stop motion action.
Any chance we will see future collaborations between you and the studio?
I would welcome it with open arms. Dealing with other artists and visionaries is a breath of fresh air. With Cosmic coming out early next year and can definitely see something flying through this galaxy or another in the distant future.
In closing, where can fans follow you and see more of your work?
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, & tik tok - @Duarte_Studios
Published on 09.27.22