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Ugh, basing.


CashWiley
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Ok. We all know I hate modern basing.

 

But, I need to start doing something. I've seen a few things that I don't think look that bad, but I dislike static grass (weird angles), gravel (unnatural) and flocking (or as I call them, sea urchins (google it, kids)).

 

I remember someone used some kind of grass that came in mats you could cut?

 

I dunno, I don't like much of it and I'm all crotchety now. But buying sculpted bases for every mini I paint is a bit much. So.

 

What would you guys put in a box of materials for me, with a bias toward the best quality results (ie: not army basing, but display and up)? Play make believe spending trip!

 

Thanks in advance, this is painful.

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You could just use paint like pingo's bases (the lovely painted ones)

I've also presculpted some bases, made molds of them and then made them with dental plaster (or rather my sister did - she doesn't trust me with the dental plaster - remember folks, in the back of the dentists laboratory are molds for basing.... all those lovely vibrating tables)

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Sand.

 

You can build it up with glue and create your irregular land base.

 

Mix in some ballast at points for irregular looks. Then paint it.

 

You can get mud, moss, sand, stone, and more out of it.

 

Check out the "drow" and any of my pieces for examples.

 

 

Stone.

 

As you might have seen, I am a huge fan of shale and similar stone to base my mini on.

 

Check out Mialee for an example using shale and green stuff to create "rock" base.

Edited by Thrym
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A static grass applicator to put the static grass into better alignment.

 

Epoxy putty (I like Magic Sculpt, but any of them will work) to give you a more interesting base shape (note that you can sculpt this over the cast base, so you don't have to trim bases and pin figures if you don't want to).

 

A rudimentary set of clay sculpting tools to sculpt the epoxy putty.

 

A hammer to smash rocks into useful sizes and shapes. Different types of rock will give you different results.

 

A bag of pine bark ground cover (wash it before you use it) to make larger, stratified rocks.

 

That's most of what I use (well, in addition to paint and glue of course).

 

I might add base texturing stamps like those in the just-closed Happy Seppuku kickstarter project. I find them useful for figures that I want to be based on cobblestone or wood planks especially.

 

I use small bits of clump foliage for weeds, often growing out from under the rocks I set in the base, and often use fine flocking for short grass over painted ground textures. (Much of the ground shows through the grass, rocks, and weeds.)

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I cannot explain how much I like Liquitex' fine stucco "pumice paste". I use it on every base I make. It is much like Thrym's sand, but comes already mixed with an adhesive, so you can slop it on straight out of the jar. The jars are relatively inexpensive (I think I paid ten bucks ish for my current jar...I'll edit this post with actual volume and price when I get home from work) and last a looong time. The paste is thick enough that you can shape it, so if you want churned mud you can get it, and thin enough to spread flat, so if you want a thin cover of moss you can do that. You can also mix paint into it for a deeper coloring. It also acts as a mild adhesive, so you can drop a piece of aquarium gravel into it for some "interest" texturing.

 

Vallejo makes a pumice paste as well, but it is more coarse than the Liquitex stuff I use now.

 

I also would suggest a bag of white aquarium gravel.I think the most I've used is five stones on a 30mm base, usually just one or two, but it works well for large stones (not boulders).

 

And, check out some of Stern Kestrelmann's stuff here on the boards. He did a tut a few years ago about how he treats his static grass; might change your mind. Even if it doesn't, I don't know that static grass is necessary; a lot of my figs just have Brown pumice paste drybrushed green and it looks like short grass.

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Eugh, I hate basing too. I hate fiddling with tiny rocks and glue and ... hairs. Ugh.

 

Sanael's suggestion of Liquitex pumice paste is a good one, but mostly I just paint them. I may at some point want something more three-dimensional, but so far paint has worked just fine to make stones, grass, wooden flooring and decking, tile, cobblestones, and sand. I may glue some props to the bases of my Scooby Gang minis, I don't know.

 

I showed a few painted bases here: http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/49565-i-hate-to-base-so-i-painted-them-instead/

 

(And I am working on a tutorial for how to paint that grass)

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Try Scenic Express for just about everything foliage, tree, bush, flower related. Raid the spice cabinet for Oregano and Parsley. You can use spices like Cinnamon, Paprika and Ground Mustard to break up areas that are grassy. A bag of birdseed has loads of variety for adding texture to your base and you don't need to paint it. Make your own tiny mushrooms on the heads of straight pins (very, very tiny). You can use the bead on a beaded pin, cover it in green stuff and sculpt tiny little pumpkins.

 

Edit for more info.

 

Also you can buy cheap sea shells and break them up. If you're doing Steampunk, take apart an old watch and use some of the gears to put onto a base. A good place to look for little bits is at a Hobby store that sells things for making jewelry. There are lots of tiny little glass bits, beads, charms, etc that could be incorporated into a base.

Edited by AnneO'Leary
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I second the pumice paste suggestion. I use the Golden version, and mine is more coarse, but it makes a nice textured ground that can be painted to look like grass, gravel, dirt, sand, cave interiors, and many other things. Add some rocks, or pre-made static grass clumps, and you're set.

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Woodland Scenics has some great stuff, and if all you want is basic grass, they make vinyl mats with grass stuff glued on that you can easily cut to fit a base. Or there is Happy Seppuku who manufacture base molds, and they just had a kickstarter to fund a few new molds, all of which are pretty cool.

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Since I'm one of the ones that harasses you the most about basing allow me:

 

Army painter tufts. I moved away from static grass quite a while ago as it looks horrible unless you use these expensive static electricity applicators that model train people use. The tufts look great and a lot of show quality painters use them. Unless you're doing bloodbowl there's no reason for your base to be completely (or mostly covered) in trimmed grass.

 

xp-jungle-tufts.png

 

Dirt. Real dirt. It's stupid to buy sand and dirt looks better anyway as you'll get all the irregularities by default that people try to mix sand to get. Sand is only good for sand as there's a better material for any of the common uses for it when it comes to basing.

 

Rocks and cat litter is what I use for stones. Bark can also look really good for larger shale rocks.

 

 

That's my essentials. I sculpt or purchase anything else I need.

 

Other stuff I find useful:

 

Secret Weapon bricks

 

ISK1116.jpg

 

And their leaves

 

ISK1115.jpg

 

I also just collect random stuff for basing as they come along such as spare weapons and armor from figures, twigs and such that I can use for logs and tree stumps, the occasional resin piece like lamp posts and such I see on sale when shopping online stores.

 

I also highly recommend reading blogs like Massive Voodoo, Chest of Colors and others as if you want to start basing for high level display or competitions you need to see what some of the best are doing and using.

Edited by MonkeySloth
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