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Venun

Basing question - materials to use

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Hi guys :) I've been painting for about 1,5 years atm, but basing is something I haven't properly done so far yet.

I've usually smeared some texture paint on the base, covered it in a drybrush and called it done.

 

I'm experimenting with new options atm, recently done a Magma base according to a youtube vid, which turned out good.

However, I'm seeing many vids and many bases here with add on material. I'm guessing it's cork?

Something to create the rocks you see them standing on, or the carpet under their feet, or the pitfall trap they're leaning on, any of this.

 

What material is this? What material do you guys use to create your bases, and where do you get it from?

If I search for hobby cork I just get this incredibly thin stuff used to make wallets and such out of.. not what I'm after :)

 

Thanks ahead for your advices!

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What a topic to dive into! There are soooooo many answers to your questions. Here are my basing go-tos:

 

Pumice:

Liquitex calls it "ceramic stucco." Vallejo calls it "pumice paste." GW calls it "texture," or something. I'm pretty sure Golden makes it, too. Bottom line, it's ground-up pumice stone (or similar) suspended in an acrylic gel. You can mix paint into it, you can sculpt it to a certain degree, it sticks to whatever you want it to stick to. This is what I use for dirt, moss, sand and anything else that should have a fine texture on the base. I use this on 90 percent of my bases in one way or another.

 

Basing Stamps: 

A lot of companies have made these now, with Basius and GreenStuffWorld being the two that I'm best aware of (RIP Happy Seppuku ::(: ). Mix up some putty, press it into the stamp, et voila! You have a base ready to paint (once it cures). Super convenient, nice for armies. For single figures, I usually supplement the stamp with other things.

 

Cork:

You nailed it, thinking a lot of the rocks you see on people's bases are cork. I have a bunch of sheets of various thicknesses, from about 1mm up to about 1cm, plus a pile of champagne and wine corks. The cork works in a variety of ways. If I just want some rock outcroppings I may break up a wine cork. If I want some kind of natural stone pedestal for a mini to stand on, I'll use several layers of cork sheet cut to shape and stacked up to the height I want. Either way, I then take a pair of tweezers or needlenose pliers and pluck random bits of the cork out to create a somewhat "random" natural rock appearance. Once the cork is assembled (and usually painted, when I use such bases), it's easy to push metal pins through the cork to attach a figure.

 

A WARNING ABOUT CORK: some cork sheets are made by compressing cork bits together with glue. These often have a high concentration of cork dust. CYA super glue puts of a lot of heat as it cures, which transfers into cork dust and makes the cork very hot. It also gives off nasty fumes. After a particularly nasty, tear-inducing, throat-tightening session of base building, I now use wood glue whenever working with cork. (In theory, this is only an issue when dealing with manufactured cork sheets, as natural cork is not as fine as the cork dust, but why take chances?)

 

Tree bark:

Some types of bark also make convincing shale or slate outcroppings, so this is useful for basing. I've also built structures with the stuff for wargame scatter terrain.

 

Aquarium gravel:

I bought a single bag of plain gravel 15 years ago and still haven't used all of it, despite putting "boulders" on things of bases since. I often just slather pumice onto a base, figure out where the figure will stand, then drop one or two but of gravel down in places the figure won't be.

 

Various grass things:

Static grass, field grass, grass tufts. They're all similar in application: paint the base you want the grass on, put down some watered-down PVA glue, then place (or, for static grass, scatter) the grass-stuff into the glue.

 

Birch seeds:

Special mention here for the tiny leaf-shaped seed pods of the Birch tree. If you want scattered leaves, these are great for the purpose.

 

This is far from an exhaustive list, but it should get you started. Keep asking questions if you have them!

 

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I had seen the cork and superglue warning before, I'm aiming to use PVA glue to stick it. Thanks for that heads up :)

 

Pinning is something I haven't done before, so I guess if my surface isn't flat enough to glue a mini to (?), then I'll see to attach something on the top that is flat enough.

Pinning, especially on feet of 28mm mini's, kind of scares me xD

 

I'll try to get some friendly drinkers to hand me their winecorks, and just ordered 2 A4 sheets of 0,95mm height cork from China, let's see if this can work to start it off with :)

Can't find those stamps you mention, but I'm guessing I just haven't checked GSW to the limits yet, that site is packed with fun stuff.

 

Thanks for the information, i"ll surely read through it a few more times and might have some questions sticking out later that I'll drop back here in the comments :)

 

EDIT: Chris, thanks for that link. Grass and such I've applied before succesfully, but your guide is a good one! 

Edited by Venun
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And another warning about cork! ::D:  Rolled sheets are a pain to flatten. Get some sheets instead, or many heavy books. Easier to stack multiple thin sheets than cut thinner thick sheets. Does spraying the cork with water then flattening them with heavy books work??

 

I paint en masse, so it's fast and cheap for me.

For sand, it's playground sand, unless I want asphalt, then it's fine craft sand. Cheap white glue and craft paints.

Monsters get dead static grass. Heroes get spring green. Cheap white glue and paperclip to apply. A tip of glue works.

Woodland Scenics has various kits. I've only used the Rock making kit, for the talus stones and plaster for terrain rocks. White glue, then a drop of brown or black wash.

Citadel has a Skulls kit, something like a few hundred skulls for $20+. Haven't used it, but it's a good price if you're skull-crazy.

 

Unlike miniatures, it's hard to screw up basing. If a rock is a few mm off, nobody's gonna notice. If a pupil is a few mm off... <_<

 

 

Edited by ced1106
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57 minutes ago, Venun said:

Pinning, especially on feet of 28mm mini's, kind of scares me

 

If you're removing a cast-on base, you really want to pin the feet to the new base. It's really pretty easy. A small drill bit in a pin vise and a piece of a paperclip will do the job. Choose the drill bit to be just a hair larger in diameter than the paperclip wire and drill up through the feet.

 

If you're going to leave the cast base on the figure, then not so much. In that case, I generally build up the base surface to cover at least the edges of the cast base and often the entire base. To build up the base, spackle, dry wall compound, filler (different names for very similar things) can work, as can texture paste (the stuff sold to artists is usually much cheaper per volume than the stuff sold to modelers), and various sorts of epoxy putty. My preference is for epoxy putty -- for bases I usually use either Magic Sculp or Apoxie Sculpt -- which has a reasonable working time and sets very hard indeed.

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Just now, Doug Sundseth said:

If you're removing a cast-on base, you really want to pin the feet to the new base.

 

In some cases, the material that remains on the bottom of the foot/boot can also be used as the "pin", depending on what you are constructing the base out of.  Create a divot in the base to glue into.

 

If I'm using any kind of putty, I will press the mini down into the putty before it cures to create a registration mark to glue into.  I've had pretty good success with this approach.

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2 hours ago, Venun said:

Hi guys :) I've been painting for about 1,5 years atm, but basing is something I haven't properly done so far yet.

I've usually smeared some texture paint on the base, covered it in a drybrush and called it done.

 

I'm experimenting with new options atm, recently done a Magma base according to a youtube vid, which turned out good.

However, I'm seeing many vids and many bases here with add on material. I'm guessing it's cork?

Something to create the rocks you see them standing on, or the carpet under their feet, or the pitfall trap they're leaning on, any of this.

 

What material is this? What material do you guys use to create your bases, and where do you get it from?

If I search for hobby cork I just get this incredibly thin stuff used to make wallets and such out of.. not what I'm after :)

 

Thanks ahead for your advices!

 

 

One can use many things to make bases.

 

  • Thin cork sheets, stack pieces till satisfied, glue with PVA, add flock/paint/sand etc,.
  • Use green stuff/milliput/clay and apply a motif with a basing stamp or a roller pin
  • Apply PVA ( Houtlijm) and  apply any sort of flock. I even use tea sometimes.
  • Ready made resin bases.
  • Use special effect pastes, like AK Interactive or Vallejo terrain effects, Mud, Lava, Desert etc.

If you look at my Lost World Thread, the last few pages I'm building a base for my Komodo Dragon, starting with cork, then Vallejo Desert Sand Paste and more..

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1 minute ago, Clearman said:

 

In some cases, the material that remains on the bottom of the foot/boot can also be used as the "pin", depending on what you are constructing the base out of.  Create a divot in the base to glue into.

 

Indeed. I do that when it's convenient.

 

1 minute ago, Clearman said:

If I'm using any kind of putty, I will press the mini down into the putty before it cures to create a registration mark to glue into.  I've had pretty good success with this approach.

 

Not only do you get a registration mark and key, but the figure looks better when it's not floating above or barely touching the ground. I normally finish mass-sculpting the base, then press the figure into place, remove, and clean up any weirdness.

 

When the basing material sets, I now finish almost the whole base, then attach the figure and paint the figure while it's on the base. Since I use magnets in my bases, I can attach them to painting handles really easily.

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For cork, I like using this kind of thicker coarse cork tiles, available at most craft stores.  It looks more like rocks to me.

 

 

cork-squares-wall-mounted-bulletin-board.jpg

fullsizeoutput_42b0.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_42b1.jpeg

Edited by Chris Palmer
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45 minutes ago, IgwanaRob said:

 

Wow, that's sad. ::(:

Yes, unfortunately life events forced Happy Seppuku to close shop:( There are still some stamps available on the bay and some retailers, but inventory is drying up quick:( 

21 minutes ago, Chris Palmer said:

For cork, I like using this kind of thicker coarse cork tiles, available at most craft stores.  It looks more like rocks to me.

 

 

cork-squares-wall-mounted-bulletin-board.jpg

fullsizeoutput_42b0.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_42b1.jpeg

Thanks Chris, that gives me inspiration for my Nativity set::D:

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6 minutes ago, Ratmaster2000 said:

Yes, unfortunately life events forced Happy Seppuku to close shop:( There are still some stamps available on the bay and some retailers, but inventory is drying up quick:( 

 

Definitely sad for modelers. I bought into their first kickstarter for (IIRC) 11 stamps, bought more through the years, and bought a half dozen or so during their going-out-of-business sale. Nice quality at a very fair price. (Maybe too fair.)

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2 hours ago, Clearman said:

In some cases, the material that remains on the bottom of the foot/boot can also be used as the "pin", depending on what you are constructing the base out of.  Create a divot in the base to glue into. 

 

@TaleSpinner introduced me to this in a post sometime this year (that I can't find for the life of me) where on a mini with a slotta-tab that you want to remove, you cut-off the tab but leave enough to act as pins. I wish I could find that post, he had some nice pics to illustrate it.

 

In addition to what everyone else has mentioned, I sometimes use a bit of laminate floor tile for my bases when I want to give the look of a smooth polished surface (like a palace floor). I bought several tiles years ago, so I don't remember exactly what they are called, but if you go look in the flooring and tile section of Lowes/Home Depot you should find some. Came in squares of about 1 ft x 1 ft, and were roughly the thickness of a standard base. You could break them apart pretty easily (they were slightly flexible and snapped apart with my hands or pliers), no real special tools needed. Could even carve designs or sand it if you didn't want smooth texture (wear a dust mask or respirator).

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