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sarahkaymccully

What could I use for sand on a base?

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Hey guys, I want to find a fairly cheap product to use as sand on bases. I've heard of using parsley for grass, cinnamon for dirt, what do you think would work for sand? I was thinking sugar maybe? I just want opinions. Have any of you tried using that? I have some aquarium sand but it's too large for what I want. Just the size and shape are what I need. I can paint it once it dries onto the base. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.

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I'm not sure how sugar or salt will react with glue. I use real sand and it gives very good results, perhaps you will not even need to paint it.

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Cinnamon for soil, I might try that. I've used dried out used coffee grounds for soil before but that takes a decent amount of PVA {white glue) to hold the material place.

 

Sugar? Wouldn't that melt as soon as moisture hit it? Like say from paint. And it probably would not take too much dampness to let bacteria to start growing on it. I've used spices for basing and given minis bone clubs from chicken wings, but I'd probably not use sugar on a mini.

 

If you want to try a spice, would curry powder be too yellow for what you want?

 

How about baking soda with PVA and a little light tan paint mixed in?

 

While even fine sand grains might be more far large than real sand would be on a mini's base, many folks I know would just use sand and say "close enough". There are many varieties of sand at Hardware, craft and hobby stores.

 

The Landscaping department should have play-sand and the cement isle may have another type of sand or two. You'll get 20 to 40 pounds for what you'd pay for a pound of sand at a craft store.You'd probably get one or two ounces for the same money at a hobby shop. The craft store will have a rainbow of sand colours. The hobby shop might have more varieties of basing material than a pharmacy has drugs, but the price per ounce may rival illegal narcotics.

 

Now the next suggestion might be slightly more... messy... you'll want to have ventilation and a dust mask, but sifting the larger aggregate out of Quick Setting Concrete leaves a nice off white sandy material that MIGHT work for what you want.

Edited by Frankthedm

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Note that painting quikrete with a water based paint would not end well.

 

Try play sand, it's cheap and useful to have around the house anyway (I bed my wood stove with it).

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I get a bag of craft sand (the type that comes in different colors, that some people pour into jars to make patterns) at Michaels for like $3.

This is what I use. It's actually a smaller grain than regular sand. Works great.

 

Remember, though, there's nothing wrong with using real sand. The difference in scale is really very forgivable.

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Reminds me I when I head over to the OR coast in June, gotta remember to grab a container of beach sand ^_^

 

Yah sugar would just dissolve with water or glue + you gotta contend with the stickiness it may cause afterwards.

 

RM

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For all my bases, for sand or dirt, I use corn meal. Glue it where you want it, then paint it in the "sand" color of your choice. Put a mix of Elmer's glue and water. Where you want the sand to appear on the base, then dunk the base inro the corn meal for a while. Pull it out, let it dry,and then paint it. I usually paint everything black first then my base color afterwards.

Edited by 72moonglum

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I didn't even think about the sugar melting. Good point and thank you for all your advice. I will go see what michaels has to offer. I live in a pretty small town so I don't have many options but you guys gave me some good ideas. Thank you!

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I get a bag of craft sand (the type that comes in different colors, that some people pour into jars to make patterns) at Michaels for like $3.

This is what I use. It's actually a smaller grain than regular sand. Works great.

 

Remember, though, there's nothing wrong with using real sand. The difference in scale is really very forgivable.

 

Funny you should mention scale; I've got a large container of sand I picked up at the beach last summer and was worried about the scale of the grains. I was going to try grinding it down with my mortar and pestle to see if I could make it any finer. I'll probably try that in the next day or two and post the results.

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I had a few years ago collected some sand while walking the dog and I actually still pick through the same bag looking for larger pieces to use as rocks and stones on my bases.

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I use ... sand. The hardware store should have big bags of play sand for about $2. My husband has some of that craft sand, which is nice too.

 

You can use parsley for leaves but it will fade and turn brown within a year or two.

 

Used tea bags make great dirt. Just dry 'em and crumble 'em.

 

You can also mail order basing/flock kits. Check ebay. Sometimes there are some good deals.

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I do have some of that craft store---pour it in jars for decoration---stuff. Hobby Lobby had some on clearance one afternoon and I bought 3-4 colors.

 

The least expensive sand I have is roadkill sand. We get short, but violent, Thunderstorms 'round these parts. 'Gully-washers' is the technical term. After one of those happened a lot of sand/silt got washed over the curbs, into the road, near my house. After driving past the point where the gutters were choked with it for many weeks, one afternoon I grabbed a 32oz. plastic cup, stopped, scooped a huge cupful out of the gutter (doing my civic duty to help save the storm drains from getting silted up <_< ) and secured myself a lifetime supply of basing material.

 

Cost $0.00 :upside:

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Grab some sand and a kitchen strainer,one of the fine plastic mesh ones. Strain the sand. You'll end up with quite fine sand. Sand is so cheap, and easy to get, i see no reason to apply foodstuffs to a base.

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Yeah, I have to admit that though I'm always in awe at the inventive spirit of those that raid the pantry for basing materials, I've never particularly wanted my miniatures to be quite as fragrant as I imagine many of these turn out. Cinnamon? Curry powder? Great colours, to be sure, but we do have paints that come in these colours too! My kitchen smells like an indian restaurant most of the time, and that's enough for me without bringing it to my hobby desk or the gaming table.

 

This is, of course, to say nothing of the issues one might have with pests or rot, using foodstuffs on miniatures.

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