Friday, December 30, 2011

Keep Diorama: the Base

Continuing the series for the week on my last commission project of the year, we will now take a look at the creation of the base display. Now as it may seem each of these parts was worked on one at a time, in actuality they were all worked on at the same time.

There should also be a note here that explains that I have become obsessed with adding lighting to big projects. Well only on that Cryx Command HQ Trench I did, but I became hooked after that! So I wanted to add lighting to this display as well.

STEP 1: gathering your materials

So not all in 1 picture but here is what we have.
1 sheet of the Plastic Veneer - cobbled/random stone. This is the same sheet we used to make our custom bases. 1 piece of foamboard. This board was already marked and cut out for everything to fit in it. The foamboard measured 8"x11" and actually matched the size for the Veneer sheet, luck or coincidence?
We also use a wooden plaque picked up from a local arts store (this one measures 9"x12", but the top is perfect size for our 8"x11"). And last but not least is a lighting kit (more on that later)

If you get your sheet, just set your base onto the sheet, trace around the edge with a pencil where you want to place bases (a good layout goes along way), and then cut out the shape using a sharp knife. Save these circles tho, we will use them later.

STEP 2: Setting the Lights
Here is our lighting kit already in place on the wooden plaque. This kit is awesome as it comes with the battery holder, the button switch and 2 lights. First I sized up where I want it to be, the taped into place. Solder the red and black wires (red with red, black with black). The battery pack was hot glued into place so it stays where I want it. You may notice the picture above have holes already cut where everything is going.

 On. Off. On. Off. It WORKS!!

 STEP 3: Placing
So now that the lights are in place (and they work) we begin laying the flooring.  First we use the Hot Glue gun and glue together the Plastic Veneer sheet to the foamboard. Next we get a bit tricky. Using a sharp knife cut the holes out of the Plastic Veneer using the holes in the foamboard as a guide.
Finally we Hot glue again the foamborard to the Wooden Plaque.
     Remember those circles we cut out of the foamboard? Take those and cut in half so you have 2 circles half as thick. Hot glue those to the wooden plaque where there are openings.

STEP 4: Painting
BEFORE you being to spray prime the base you want to do a few steps.
FIRST, tape off the lights, switch, and battery area with basic tape. SECOND, seal off the edges of the display base with regular white glue. This also includes the insides of the circles for the bases. After you got those covered (and the glue dries) then you are free to prime the base  (I used black).
 All primed and ready to go.

Using the BASIC brand of paints that I used in the fountain tutorial, I start with a layer of black/grey (50/50). The lights are still covered with tape, we dont want them covered up just yet.
 The whole of stone is covered in the black/grey blend.
 Add more grey to random areas using a drybrush effect.
 Adding more grey with drybrush. Then add white to random areas.
Now we take a brown color and edge where we are going to place foliage like grass.

And there you have the basic display base mounted on its frame, a wooden plaque. Its all starting to come together, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see that.

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