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  • Scenic Display Bases

    Scenic Squad Bases

    Nothing sucks worse for a mini than to spend its life locked up in a dark claustrophobic carrying case. So why not make their lives a bit more enjoyable and give them a scenic base with some terrain on it? Here's a basic example of making a display base with all the steps detailed.

    1. Start with a simple wood base. A place like Michael's Craft Stores is a good place to look for bases.

    2. Put the minis roughly where you'd like them on the base. The back row in this case is raised up a little bit, making all the minis readily visible.

    3. We'll use some Sculpey modelling clay to sculpt the terrain. You can start by just roughly placing lumps of Sculpey where you'd like the hills and rocks to be.

    4. Using your fingers, blend the lumps of Sculpey together into one piece of terrain. Then use a small sculpting tool of your choosing (I used an old cut up plastic grocery store discount card, cut into a sort-of hook shape). A slight hook is handy for making sharper corners and edges on the rocks.

    5. Put the minis in place again, making sure there are still little circles cut out of sufficient size. These circles let the mini sit down in the base, blending with the surrounding terrain, and holding them fixed in place.

    6. You'll need to bake the Sculpey to harden it. IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE!! You'll be baking the Sculpey while it's still on its wood base. Wood burns! You don't want to start a fire, so go a little low on the oven temperature and keep an eye on the base as you cook it.. I cooked this base for 40 minutes at 200 degrees.

    7. After things cool down, you can brush some white glue on the base anywhere you want a rough, gravelly appearance. I coated everything except the boulder outcrops with sand. You might want to do this in small sections, painting an area with glue and sticking the sand on, then moving on to another section. Sculpey seems to dry the glue quickly, and it might be hard to cover the whole thing in glue before adding sand. To cover some of the marks in the cracks between boulders, carefully paint some glue into the cracks on the rocky outcrops, and cover with a little sand. This'll hide any little sculpting marks and make the rocks look a little more natural.

    8. Give the base a coat of stain. Use whatever brand/color you like. For this example, I used some Minwax Wood Finish (color Red Mahogany 225) which gives a nice dark finish that looks good on the pine base. Follow the directions on the stain can when applying it. Let the stain dry sufficiently, and then add a coat of varnish (in this case I used polyurethane semi-gloss). Let this dry as well, and remember to clean your brush!

    9. I sprayed the terrain with Citadel black primer. Before spraying, use some masking take to carefully mask off the wood base. This will keep you from getting primer on any of the exposed wood.

    10. After the primer dries, take a dark base color (In this case some Vallejo Game Color Dark Fleshtone) and REALLY water it down. We'll use this as a wash to coat all the sane. You should end up with a pretty dark brown finish on the sand after it dries. I also gave the rocky outcrops a base coat of Vallejo Game Color Sombre Gray.

    11. To finish the sand, drybrush with a lighter brown color (in this case, Citadel Snakebite Leather). Then finish the sand with a very light drybrush of SnakeBite Leather mixed with some Bleached Bone. Then drybrush the boulders with a lighter gray (Vallejo Game Color Wolf Gray). Finish by drybrushing a little SnakeBite Leather and Bleached Bone on the sand in the cracks of the rock outcrops.

    12. Pick a few areas to paint some white glue, and apply static grass. For a nicer effect, very lightly drybrush the static grass (after the glue has set completely) with some Bleached Bone or other suitable color.

    13. To make a slightly weathered look on the base, I sanded the edges down lightly with 320 grit sandpaper, exposing some bare wood on the bases raised edges.

    14. The only thing remaining is to give the wood another coat or two of semi-gloss polyurethane to give it some shine and a nice protective finish.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Solstickan's Avatar
      Solstickan -
      I really liked this guide, not only for scenic displaybases, but for terrain aswell, good terrainguide overall. Really great, thanks!
    1. caireparavel's Avatar
      caireparavel -
      Thank you been looking for a way to improve my wooden bases
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