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JoeGKushner

Large Bases?

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I imagine there might be a difference if you are going to use said base & figure for gaming or just display. If you will use it for gaming, there might be parameters and restrictions on size (I'm not sure, as I don't game). But, if you are just going to display the mini, you can get as creative and elaborate as you want. For larger minis, you can get larger plastic bases that are made for larger creatures (such as dragons, etc.), or a base made for a larger scale mini. Then, you can start creating your base from there. Don't be afraid to exceed the size of the initial plastic/metal base you are using either.

 

I'm not sure if there are any specific tutorials on larger basing, but I know there is a plethora of basing tutorials out there. I know I didn't really give you and 'answer', but hopefully that helps a bit.

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We're going to need some more information beyond 'basing large figures' to give you specific help. There's a difference between basing a troll for gaming and basing a boxed dragon for display. Both are large but will have different techniques.

 

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I've got several older Dragon Lords models from the old Grenadier line.

 

I want them to be on 'huge' bases per the old D&D rules which should be 3 by 3.

 

I'm not looking for anything too fancy mind you, just stuff for gaming and points of contact.

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Step 1: got to the home depot and buy a seet of hard board, step 2: add dragon to base and texture to desired effect and step 3: paint and your done.

That what people use for their uber huge Forge World models.

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Just like you would a smaller base...only a little bit more.

 

One nice thing about larger figures is that you can use other stuff in the bases to put their size in perspective. A giant stepping on a body or towering over a dead tree works nice. You can also use more detailed items that others are afraid to use to avoid overpowering their paint jobs (complete scenes like a garden with a small fence and some pumpkins).

 

Anywho - for the base itself you have lots of options. Masonite will work fine - however most people will never use a sheet of masonite for base work (or even a quarter sheet). I usually use 1/8" plastic of some form. Depending on what I have on hand PVC, styrene or acrylic sheet are all very cheap and easy to work with. You can often get scraps of acrylic from glass cutters for free in the sizes you are looking for (some big boxes like Home Depot and Lowes also have the scraps). They take paint and glues just fine and you can shape the edges to give it a nice decorative bevel without too much hassle. Since scratches aren't an issue you can often work with that as well.

 

Plastics will tend to be more resilient than wood bases (actual wood, masonite, plywood, MDF...). You don't have to worry about warping, or the other related issues with the woods like checking, swelling, delamination or anything else. There is also no grain to fight with and it tends to be stronger at the thicknesses used for bases.

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Now that JK mentions it: I've got some plasticard (polystyrene card) stock that I use. It comes in a variety of thickness & can be cut with a scribe. I usually cut the rough shape with tin snips, then scribe the exact shape I'm looking for. Finally, I sand all the edges down. I also drill tons of tiny holes in it and scribe/score the surface to add texture for the adhesives/textures, etc. to grip onto.

 

Since you can use a scribe to *cut* the material, you can get creative with your base shape. It's probably worth mentioning that I scribe about half way through the material, then snap the excess off. That also saves time. I have found that using an exacto on the material can lead to errant cuts where you don't want them and it's higher risk to body parts... I hope I'm making sense at this hour of the day...

 

Rgds,

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I also drill tons of tiny holes in it and scribe/score the surface to add texture for the adhesives/textures, etc. to grip onto.

 

A faster - dare I say better option...

 

Once you have your base cut to size, use masking tape to outline where you want your decorative materials and where you want the normal base (I usually dress the edges with a quarter round profile that I paint solid black - so I don't like to get basing material on the edges). Take a plastic cement like Tanex or Amroid and paint that over the area to get basing material. After that has set for a few seconds the area will be soft and very tacky. Sprinkle a bit of fine sand on the area you coated with the cement. Press it in with something that won't stick to the cement (I usually use a bit of aluminum foil). Let it dry and once it is dry shake off any extra that doesn't stick.

 

Because the cement melts the plastic you can embed the sand in the base material quite easily. Once it dries the plastic holds a good portion of the sand quite tightly. Even in areas where the sand falls off - you have a nice rough texture to receive you basing materials and adhesives like PVA or tacky glue.

 

Once you get the hang of things the whole process takes less than a minute to do.

 

One other thing to note... When scribing, you do not have to scribe very deep at all. The process is basically creating a fracture line where the tension from bending will focus. You can snap quarter inch styrene quite cleanly with only a very light scribe mark. With more brittle materials like acrylic you will want to scribe a bit deeper - but use light strokes to avoid the wandering cuts.

 

To clean up the edges you can use sand paper, power tools (router being my tool of choice) or cabinet scrapers. The scrapers are honestly a handy tool to have when working with plastics as they don't have a blade that can gouge the plastic and you can work a number of profiles on them. You can get scrapers which are designed specifically for use with plastics or you can make your own from a hack saw blade. To get a faster shaping edge draw a burr on it (google cabinet scraper for the specifics). With home made scrapers you can use a file or other tool in order to create almost any profile that you might want to use (again a quick google of scratch stock or cabinet scrapers will show the specifics).

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I went to Hobby Lobby the other day looking for large wooden circles to use as bases for the large dragons (Kaly I'm looking at you). I couldn't find any wooden circles in the 6" to 8" size. On my way out, I saw these cake seperators. They come in a variety of sizes (I picked up 3x 6" and 1x 8"). They are very sturdy. You have to remove the the holders with plastic snips ( I chose to use an older pair because the plastic is strong). They also had really neat Roman type collumns to support the cake, but I couldn't convince the Mrs. that they were a "need".

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I think I'm going to have to base one of the Bones Dragons. The figure is cast to stand on two feet but the feet are not connected by a base and thus stability is pretty low. I have some 25mm and 30mm bases but I'll need something pretty large to fit both feet onto.

Does anyone have suggestions on what bases to use and who makes good larger options? I haven't seen much over 50mm. Thanks for any help you can provide.

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