Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back to Base-ics

The blog is back!  And what better way to celebrate that fact than with a terrible pun? None that's what!

Anyway for my first post in a couple of months, I am going to talk about the very foundation of miniature gaming, that's right bases! I have been getting ready to work on some individual character minis for my RPG games and I wanted to do something different than the normal sand and grass bases that are so common on a lot of armies. Since these are individual characters I don't mind spending a bit more time on each base, so I thought I would try my hand at doing some "green stuff" work on the bases.

For those that don't know, Kneadatite, aka green stuff is a two part epoxy putty that is widely used in the gaming and hobby industry for sculpting miniatures. Follow the link for more info.

The particular bases that I am using are the 1 inch square beveled bases from Reaper. Here is a picture of one unmodified base. I like these bases because, unlike most other square bases, they have a raised rim around the outer edge.

Unmodified Base
1 Inch Square Beveled Base from Reaper Miniatures
I started writing about what I did and realized I should spend a minute talking about the tools I used. I have a set of sculpting tools from Privateer Press (shown below). Other companies, like Army Painter, Games Workshop and Gale Force 9 all make similar sets that will do the job just fine.

P3 Sculpting Tools by Privateer Press
So here are a few pics of what I have done so far. The first is of two wooden plank bases that I sculpted, one oriented diagonally and one straight across. For all of these bases I started by just mixing up some green stuff and putting flat layer down inside the raised edge of the base. After smoothing out the surface it is pretty easy to use one of the "spatula" shaped ends to mark in the edges of the wooden planks. On these I made four planks across the base, so they are approximately 1/4 inch wide. After the board edges are marked then I just used the pointy tool, to make some nail holes and lightly trace in the wood grain.

Diagonal wood plank and straight wood plank bases.

Here is another picture. I did two more wood plank bases and a paving stone base. The paving stone stone base was also pretty easy. I just didn't smooth out the surface quite as much and then made the seams between the stones a bit wider and rounded the edges of the stones.

Diagonal wood plank, straight wood plank and paving stone bases.
Okay with a little bit of confidence I was ready to try something a bit trickier. The first of these next bases is another wood plank, but with narrower planks. This one has six planks across instead of four and I think looks a bit nicer and more detailed without really being any harder.  The next base is for a monk/martial artist figure that I want to paint soon. I figured a nice yin-yang symbol from the center of the dojo floor would make a nice base. It is a bit off center but it still turned out better than I expected it to. I will go ahead and use this one - once the figure is placed on top the off center-ness will be less obvious.  I have some other monk figures though, so I might give this design another try.

More Bases
Narrow wood plank base and decorative yin-yang base.
Well there are the bases that I have been working on recently. There are some other designs that I want to try like flagstones and eventually some natural rocks and logs. Also I have already put a few figures on these bases and painted them up, so I should have some posts on that soon as well.

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