Thursday, December 1, 2011

Custom bases for display piece

So I am beginning my second commission project, a diorama display of heroes. The heroes are for a D&D Campaign and are all provided, as well as the basic concept. The Heroes are hanging around the courtyard of their keep. To find all the posts (when they are available) I added the Label "Keep Diorama" so you can find them easier.

Today I am going to delve into the base design/creation for the heroes. The ground of the keep area is cobble stone/random small stone. Most of the heroes are standing on bases attached to them. Firstly I cut off their stands leaving the feet exposed. This will make adding them into the display much easier as well as fitting onto their bases. That is all preperation. Right now I will show you exactly how I made the bases.

Custom Base Creation::

STEP 1: Gather Your Materials.
Here we can see the materials used for this project.
 A 25mm base for the miniature to stand on.
A toothpick (only need half of one for each base).
Zap-A-Gap (or any brand of super glue).
Green Stuff (here you see a premixed blob and the original blue and yellow epoxy).
Terrain mold. Here I am using the Random Stone Plastic Veneer sheet, the same that will be the basing for the whole display. It is important to note the the underside can be used because this is where the mold will come from.

Of course if the base was not slotted, you could skip the next 3 steps.

STEP 2: Sizing up the base.
So you have your slotted base and a toothpick. Size up the toothpick against the open slot and cut the toothpick to fit. Once its cut, use the Zap-A-Gap (or other superglue) to stick that pick in place. Allow time for the glue to dry before continuing on to the next step.

STEP 3: Green Stuff.
Take you epoxy (I use yellow and blue putty mix) and make your green stuff blob. Let it sit for a while to harden, this will make the mold making easier.

Once it is firm, spread out the green stuff blob to cover the base. Use water on your finger to make the spreading easier. Make sure the whole base is covered. You dont need a whole lot of green stuff to get it either, a thin layer on that base is what we are looking for.
It is important to let the green stuff dry a bit longer before continuing on, or the mold coppy may become damaged.

STEP 4: Copy the Mold
By now we have used most of our materials. Now we take the base and the Plastic Veneer sheet and make some magic! make sure there is some water on the green stuff, this will make it easier to remove the base without damage to the design.

Flip the Plastic Veneer sheet over! All the indentations are what we are looking for. This is why I choose this sheet. I can treat it as a mold, making plenty of bases, stands, and even the flooring without buying more sheets! Now flip the base over too ( dont forget a bit of water on the green stuff) where you want the stones to appear.

Press the base firmly down to really grab up the design of those stones. A few seconds will do (5-10 Mississippi). If you remembered the water on the base, it will pull up easily. If not you can always smooth the green stuff out flat and try again.

Finished Base!
And there you have a beautiful finished random stone base for your miniature. O.K., its not beautiful yet, but we will paint it later. There will be some excess overlap on the base, but let it dry first (Overnight works best). After it dries then you can trim with a knife blade and add the miniature.

And there you have another tutorial. The first on display base. Maybe I should do more...for now I go back to painting.

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