Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Basing Ideas

I got so frustrated looking for Resin Bases I liked, I started making my own - for my 7TV/Sci Fi Miniatures, I use a simple cross carved into a flat surface, easy to press mold and has loads of uses. Black and White Chess Board for 60's style Sci-Fi, drybrushed in metal for Sci-Fi deck plating, or drybrushed Grey for groovy street paving slabs.

My Pirates are based in the same way, but I sculpted a planking base - made the molds and pressed them out.

I use a mix of Miliput and Greenstuff (yes it works) the GS stops the Miliput being too brittle, and the Miliput stops the GS being too flexible.

I've done some rocky/moon/desert toppers, and have taken pictures of the process just in case people might me interested.

First, cut two discs of 2-3mm plasticard out. I used a pound coin as a template, its slightly smaller than the top of a 25mm round base. I used sand and fresh clean cat litter (before anyone goes eeeuuiii, Cat Litter is fantastic as ballast when terrain making, the crumbly clay based non-clumping is the best, it holds the glue better) - cover the top of your disc with PVA, and put your Cat Litter Rocks where you want them (it actually doesn't matter where, as the cast rocks can be filed/cut to accommodate your miniatures feet) then cover with sand and leave to dry overnight. When dry you must clean up your edges so everything nicely circular, and seal the topper with thinned down PVA - VERY IMPORTANT, it stops bits coming away in the mold.

Soften your Instant Mold/Thermo Plastic (use the soft rubbery stuff, not the rigid stuff for complex shapes like these) - press a blob on the piece to be cast, and leave to harden for a while. When its cool to the touch, turn your originals out. Repeat as many times as you think you need molds.

Mix your putty (or Dental Plaster, mix a little PVA in with it its less brittle then) and fill your molds, don't be tempted to put them putty side down on a flat surface, as this causes bowing in the center of the mold. Just use your fingers to work it into place. It doesn't matter if its rough, you can sand the underside down for a snug fit onto the top of your base when its set. I usually leave them over night.

Turn them out, and sand the bottoms/clean up the sides as necessary - you will end up with variations just from cutting/filing down areas for the miniatures to stand, but a little static grass can go a LONG WAY to making bases such as these look really different!

After a quick drybrush and a wash, done - they take paint well, aren't so absorbent it becomes a pain to paint them (unlike with sand and gravel) and aren't going to flake or chip at a later date.

All my Astronaut/Intelligent Ape/Quarry in Doctor Who needs are catered for now!

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