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Metal Gear Bases...


Ayin
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So I would appreciate a little advice before getting started on my project. I have finally found the base I want to use. I'm going a bit steampunky - it's an old back of a pocketwatch, a few gears still attached, and pretty tarnished. It will need some work to turn it into a base, and I want to attach a few more scenery pieces to it, but I'm trying to figure out if I should seal and repaint the whole thing ( I am considering using greenstuff to add plates to the floor) or seal it and just let it be its wonderfully tarnished self.

 

My sticking point is that I like the way the metal looks now, and I could probably work around the holes in it by adding "pipes" and a few other things, but I am concerned my mini and anything else I may sculpt and paint to add to the base would look way too "off" compared to real metal, and thus distract from the piece as a whole. Any suggestions?

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If it's really intended as a base (rather than more of a frame/display device), then conventional wisdom would say to paint it so that you keep everything looking in scale and like the mini.

 

There are people who paint metals starting with the metal of the mini. They smooth and polish it up, then use inks or paints to place shadows, then seal it to preserve the polishing. So the shininess of the metal is the real thing, and the painting in of the shadows keeps things in scale and in line with the presentation of the rest of the mini. You might be able to do something similar by just polishing a few high points on your base (which you might not even need to do much of if wear's done if for you) and painting in the shadows you need.

 

I thought I had seen an article that was more detailed than this, but this is the one I've found. CMON tutorial

 

If the parts you want to add would also need to look metallic, I think you'd have to just repaint everything for it to really match, though you could experiment with painting some unattached pieces in a different metallic colour or something and seeing if you like how it looks next to the real metal piece.

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I totally agree with Wren.

It is also my understanding that when you are creating a base for a mini that you always want to repaint it.

I was thinking that you could take a picture of how it look now (before paint) and then prime it and paint it to match the way it comes out in the picture also. =)

Hope that helps

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Thanks for the suggestions, guys! The article was pretty interesting. Thanks for posting it Wren (and I haven't forgotten about your cat!)

 

I'm thinking I will go ahead and paint it (and I was planning on photographing it so I have reference ::): ) I'm hoping to do a WIP thread with it, and hopefully I can get started this week.

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Sounds like you've already decided to paint it, but just adding a vote for painting the metal. Even polished metal IMHO doesn't look right in the scale either, unless you at least hit it with some Dullcoat to give it a brushed sheen. If the miniature were full size, the metal wouldn't look that bright. (Well, unless you're talking the Excalibur style of chromed knights! ;^) I painted this metal badge holder on my entry to mirror the period feel of the '40s diorama.

 

There is one other option for brass, though, since you mentioned the watch back was oxidized. You could try to add brass tubing, etc. for the holes and then oxidize them as well. I'd still hit it with a wash of some appropriate ink, to even out the oxidized tones. Just another possibility. I recently ran across this great steampunk article on aging brass. It winds up a little matte, which is appropriate for the scale (at least until he hit it with a lacquer coating.)

 

Later,

Laszlo

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Wow. Thanks, Laszlo. I think I have a new member on my favorite sites list!

And no, I don't want things to look super-shiny. I want the mini (Rosie!) to be standing in a section of machinery. She is there to keep things running smoothly. after all!

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