Monday, August 24, 2015

Display Base for the Kodiak.

Alright folks, I have decided to enter the Khador Kodiak into the painting competition at Warmachine Weekend. In looking at past entries from this and other competitions it's clear to me that I need a display base. As I have never actually made a display base I did what we all do in times of need and headed to The Google. I found a few fantastic articles on Massive Voodoo and other sites and a few painters have offered me some great advice.

So with a bit of research in hand and a whole lot of "hold me beer while I try something" I decided it was time to get it done.

I started with the plinth. I picked up a good size piece of wood at Hobby Lobby for about $4, after which my wife suggested that I probably would have been able to get the same piece from a hardware store for free..... I then sanded it down and rounded off the edges. While at the Hobby Lobby I grabbed a package of air dry sculpting clay for the ground on the base. I am using clay for a few reasons. First it allows me to create slopes and uneven terrain, Second it gives me something to ancore the "trees" and "rocks". Last but by no means least its a heck of a lot cheaper than using Green Stuff.

For the trees and rocks I sent my kids outside to look for sticks and bark. In 28mm scale twigs look a lot like a tree. I've let them dry in the basement for a few weeks to get any moister out.

On to assembly. I started with getting my fingers a bit wet to work with the clay. Once it was in place and I was happy with the slopes and stuff. I basically stuck the trees into place. Then added the bark that will simulate rocks. Now its time to let the clay dry for a few days and then it will be time for the paint, bushes, snow etc.

As a last thought. The more I look at the base, the more I am thinking of removing the front piece of bark and going with maybe some run off water from melting snow.


  1. Hey man! Been a while. Love what you're doing with the base here. Can't wait to see it done. Lots of potential. Do you do any sort of weathering techniques on your figures? I remember some dry brushing. But do you do any washes or pigments like from Mig or AK? Those could be handy for your base.

    I'm in wash and pigment phase of a Stryker and Aussie LAV. Just started build-up on a Macross fighter for a friend. That will be fun to paint and weather. Wish I had more time. Ugh.

    Can't wait to see your completed base here. Keep on rockin'!


  2. Glad your back man! Yes I do weather my models. Just depends on the look I am going for. With most of the recent stuff I've been going for a bit of a cleaner look so most of the "weathering" has been in the form of oil washes. If you look back at some of my earlier posts (like the Knight Titan and Galleon) you'll see a lot of weathering powders. I use a few different brands, Secret Weapons Miniatures is my favorite for Rust and earth tones. Vallejo is my favorite for Blacks like Iron Oxide etc.

    Not sure if you have played with them much in the past, just remember that varnish will tone down the color of your pigments quite a bit.

  3. Cool, thanks for the tips! Yeah I've heard of Vallejo's powders. I have the ones from Mig and AK and they are great. I have some of their washes too and have some macro dirt washes from Flory, a company out of the UK. You just brush all over the model and let dry. You can then take a damp Qtip and "erase" the spots you want to lighten up. Novel approach. I'm working with a friend from the local club on a more tactical approach to weathering on armor models. It's caused a lot of crying, but it's fantastic results. LOL

    Oh one thing I was going to mention to you. When your wife commented to you about spending $4 on your plinth block (cracked me up) - if you have any new home construction in your area, drop by and ask any of the work crews if they have any spare two-by or four-by scrap they can part you'd like for a project. They'll usually say help yourself. They'll just throw it away. :)


  4. That sounds a lot like what you can do with an oil wash. Another great thing that I would recommend doing is before applying a wash, gloss varnish your mini. It will give you a slick surface and help guide your washes into the recesses where they belong. It's also a very important step if you are going to do an oil wash as the mineral spirits uses to thin the oils will destroy the acrylic paints if not varnished first.

  5. Oh yeah, I seal everything up with Future acrylic floor varnish after paint. Everyone swears by it. Great stuff and super cheap for a huge bottle. :) Hope to get some work done this weekend but the weather has cooled down and we actually got a little rain up here. Will help with the fires out here. Might grab the packs and hit the trails this weekend.

  6. I've never tried using Future but that is mostly my bias from back in the black boots army days when I had used it to cheat on making my boots super shiny and it gave them a blue hue.

    Tough choice between painting and getting outside while we still can. Sadly I am working every day this weekend on the ambulance so I might get a bit of modeling in but not nearly enough.