Sunday, 4 August 2013

Making bases with plasticard

This is a tutorial by MortiS the Lost from the Lost and the Damned forum (go visit them, they have a lot of interesting topics!):

Here's one of several different techniques I use when basing my miniatures; textured plasticard.
I first came across this technique many, many years ago in the colour section of the Mordheim rulebook and I'm surprised more people haven’t adopted it -I seem to be the only person doing bases this way, but I often get asked about this style of base (many people seem to think they are pre-made resin pieces) so here's how I do it.

Textured Plasticard is great stuff - a huge variety of different textures are available designed to look like stone, metal, bricks, tiles, wood and all kinds of other materials which means you can find textured plasticard to use on the bases of pretty much any genre of miniatures.
Since most of my miniatures are used in a dungeon setting most of the time I normally use a 'random stone' texture, which as it happens is the one I'm going to use in this demonstration.

You will need the following tools and materials:

Sharp Scissors
Flat-Sided Modeling Clippers
A sharp Scalpel or Hobby-Knife (not pictured)
Plastic Glue
Plastic Bases
At least 1 sheet of Textured Plasticard

+Step 1: Gluing+

Take a base, trim it off it's sprue if it's attached to one and if it isn't don't

Cover the top with a thin layer of plastic glue, but not too much and not too close to the edges

Turn over you plasticard sheet so that the texture is facing downward and glue the base to the non-textured side - press down firmly, if you put too much glue on in the last step you'll find out about it now as the glue will seep out from the edges

Repeat the process until you've done as many bases and you want to do at the time (meaningless sentences are fun!) and then leave them to dry/set - go and have a cup of tea or something.
Remember to leave at least 2mm of space between the bases, this will make later steps a lot easier

+Step 2: separating+

Once the glue has dried, take your scissors and cut around all your bases. Some of the more or less observant among you will notice I've use slotted and non-slotted bases, I'll come back to that later.

Using a Scalpel (or Hobby Knife) score the plasticard between the bases and then gently 'fold' the plasticard along the score you've made until it snaps

Keep doing this until you've separated all the bases

Step 3: Trimming

Now use your modelling clippers to trim the plasticard right back to the edge of the base and clean it up using a knife if needs be - why do it this way rather than cutting out the shape of the base from the plasticard and then gluing it? Well this way the plasticard will always fit the base perfectly and there's no need to measure anything or do any awkward cutting

And there you have it a good bunch of bases with a nice textured surface

+Slotter Tabs+

If it happens you're basing up a metal miniature with a slotter-tab you'll find it quite easy to cut a slot through the textured plasticard and once the base is painted the slotter tab will be hardly noticeable. The same goes for larger miniatures with pegs for attaching them to their bases, just drill out the holes though the plasticard

By combining this technique with others you can create all kinds of different effects for you bases

Needless to say you can use this technique with bases of all shapes and sizes

Try using fine sand or only covering part of the base with plasticard. If there turns out to be a large empty space I sometimes add a skull, discarded weapon, loose stone or other small detail piece to the base to aesthetically balance it, but never anything too distracting from the miniature.

You can also use thicker varieties of textured plastic on your bases, but you might find you'll need a saw instead of scissors

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