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Sturdiness of Cork?

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Quick (hopefully) question on using cork as a basing material.  I'm currently working on making a few rock bases using cork for my rock.  The question I have is that on one of the bases, I noticed that I had a particularly large amount of overhang with the cork (i.e. the cork cuts in quite bit as it goes from high to low, leaving a nice gap between the top of the cork to the base).  So that said, how sturdy is the cork?  Will it still support the mini?  One side of the mini will be plenty supported and the mini itself is plastic, so shouldn't be too heavy, but of course I am hoping to avoid having the base fall apart in the near future.

 

On a related note, is there anything you can do to reinforce the cork?  (and yes, unfortunately I have already superglued it to the base).  There's room to get some green stuff in there, but that will also likely break the "look" of the rock if you know what mean.

 

Anyway, any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Pic would help. :rolleyes: Are we talking cork sheet? How thick is the cork? What mini? Is it a heavier metal mini or light bones or resin mini?  May just be a matter of supergluing another piece on top of what you have. I've used thinned modge podge to act as reinforcement. It kind of just soaks in and when it's dry does a good job of solidifying the cork. Are you planning on pinning the mini to the cork or just gluing it? I recommend pinning. Just shove whatever your using as a pin into the cork, put a drop of superglue, then the modge podge slurry. Then I just put a dab ofsuperglue on the pin and shove the mini down on to it. I'm not real delicate. Lol. Make sure you've put a hole long enough for the pin in the bottom of the mini first. That might be obvious to you but I just thought I'd mention it. ::D:

Edited by tiniest rhombus
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Are you using chunks of cork bark or sheets of the stuff used for bulletin boards and the like?

 

Chunks of cork bark are generally pretty tough. The sheets, not so much.

 

Your best bet to strengthen them is probably to saturate them with glue: you can use thinned wood glue, superglue (which works well, but is pretty expensive for this purpose), or PVA (Elmer's or ModPodge).

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Aye, knew I should have taken a pic.  :)  Posted from work since it was bugging me.  Will try to take a pic tonight if I get the chance.  I am using a 12 inch by 12 inch sheet with chunks broken off, about a half inch thick.  The mini in question is all plastic and pretty lightweight, but it is a 40 mm base (for warmachine).  I think its somewhat comparable to the bones cave troll, though maybe just a bit heavier as it's "fuller". 

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I use that stuff quite a bit. The thinned white glue or modge podge trick should work just fine for it. Just saturate the cork with it, let it dry and you should be good to go. 

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I have found that working with cork always goes better when I use white or PVA type glue instead of super glue. It just seems to adhere to the cork better. I based quite a few minis on cork and none have come apart yet and these are packed in a mini case and used for gaming on a regular basis. Without exception, I always pin the mini all the way through the cork making sure the bottom of the pin is secured well in the hard bottom of the base. The mini is thus secured to the base on stilts and the cork doesn't have to support anything, it just has to look cool. 

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Hey all, thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it!

 

For reference, here is a pic of the base/cork in question:

 

base.thumb.jpg.7cb8d7417ad3d6cfa00803ca443d2f17.jpg

 

I did coat it in PVA glue mixed with water (had heard that was a good idea anyway, though obviously used super glue to attach it to the base.  Unfortunately I had already started painting it so its a little harder to see the gap in question there in the front, but I do think I should be able to make it work.  I can make that portion of the cork be the front of the base where it will need to support a lot less weight.

 

As for pinning . . . sigh . . . I hate pinning.  :P  Mostly, I hate it because I think I am too gentle with my pin vice for fear of breaking the models.  That said, thanks for the tip, better to know it now than after I had already attached the model!  

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I used layers of different thicknesses of cork sheet back in 2014 to do the base here: 

 

A write-up for the North TX Figure Club is here:

>>Instead of the base piece, I'm using sheet cork to depict rock strata at the edge of a gully or cliff and gluing it down over a notched 1.5" wood block. Both the cork and block are available from Hobby Lobby. The cork is two different thicknesses and carefully ripped away from the main sheet with slightly different widths and depths. I used Titebond carpenter's glue to glue the pieces together. The pieces were clamped between two popsicle sticks to even the pressure. Once the glue was dry, I drilled a hole into the figure heel, cork and wood block for a paperclip pin. The uppermost piece was then covered with a layer of Aves Apoxie sculpt putty to depict the ground. The surface was stippled with a stiff oil painting brush to give it a sandy looking texture. A few bits of (fresh!) kitty litter were pressed into the soft putty and allowed to cure in place. Instant rocks. A paperclip was pushed into the cork hole from below to mark its position then pulled out while the putty cured.

More putty was added to those strata layers that might be exposed to sand/dirt falling off the layer above.  A few kitty litter rocks were added there as well. Finally, a rolled putty rock slug - a short fat snake - was added under an overhanging section of strata.<<

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Ok, best way to do this is to leave the tab on the minis feet if you can.

Especially so if it's a metal model, as the sturdiness of the cork will be tested with a big metal warjack or something.

 

Glue the cork to the base.

Mark where the tab of the model will fit into the top of the cork.

Remove that portion of cork with a hobby knife.

Superglue the models tab into the hole you cut.

Fill with putty or sand once dry to hide the seams and glue.

 

In the case of a big model, make the hole for the tab a bit bigger, if it has a tab.

If not, put a pin in the foot, and cut a hole in the cork bigger than the pin.

Fill your pin/tab hole with putty.

Slather the pin/tab with superglue, and insert it into the putty whilst soft.

Let it cure. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't slide to the side, or fall off until cured a bit.

 

Both of these solutions have worked well enough for me that I can paint any model while based, and send them on cross-country/continent trips through the mail without damage.

Cork is plenty sturdy for plastic models. The metal ones need a bit of re-inforcement, but the above methods should keep your cork bases nigh-indestructible.

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47 minutes ago, Ghool said:

Ok, best way to do this is to leave the tab on the minis feet if you can.

Especially so if it's a metal model, as the sturdiness of the cork will be tested with a big metal warjack or something.

 

Glue the cork to the base.

Mark where the tab of the model will fit into the top of the cork.

Remove that portion of cork with a hobby knife.

Superglue the models tab into the hole you cut.

Fill with putty or sand once dry to hide the seams and glue.

 

In the case of a big model, make the hole for the tab a bit bigger, if it has a tab.

If not, put a pin in the foot, and cut a hole in the cork bigger than the pin.

Fill your pin/tab hole with putty.

Slather the pin/tab with superglue, and insert it into the putty whilst soft.

Let it cure. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't slide to the side, or fall off until cured a bit.

 

Both of these solutions have worked well enough for me that I can paint any model while based, and send them on cross-country/continent trips through the mail without damage.

Cork is plenty sturdy for plastic models. The metal ones need a bit of re-inforcement, but the above methods should keep your cork bases nigh-indestructible.

 

Excellent information!  The planned model doesn't have a tab (troll warbeast from the 2 Player Hordes Starter) but pinning should work just fine (I just hate pinning is all :p).  The info about leaving the tab on though is definitely appreciated as I do have plenty of other models that have tabs and I do really like the look of cork for rocks/mountains/etc.  Shoutout to @Ghool and @EngineerJeff for their tutorials!  

 

Glad to know too that this particular one should survive as well.  Not a huge deal if I had to scrap the base as I have extra bases, but still just nice to not have to waste it.  :)  Now for the fun of painting stone -- which actually is fun since stone comes in so many different colors, patterns, textures, etc. that its almost impossible to completely screw it up!

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