Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Been a long time - Marauder Base

Its been a long time since I opened up here.  Not the best of starts but, hey, life.

So, tonight, I started work on the base for a modified 1/48 scale B-25 Mitchell bomber I'm going to use in 40k as a Marauder bomber for my IG army.

Given the size of the finished model, I knew I was going to need a larger base.  Scrounging about in the kitchen, I found the top to an oleo tub that I figure is going to be just the right size.

Next, I gathered the required materials -

 L-R - Scoop, mixing bowl, cups for measuring the plaster and water, Base, superglue, plastic tube to take the insert, ink, and plaster 

First, superglue the stem to the lid, making sure to apply enough glue to seal the opening between the tube and the lid.

Set aside, allowing the superglue to cure.

While that's curing, I went ahead and measured the components for the Plaster of Paris - my mix is two parts plaster to one part water, and I wanted to give the base a little color besides stark white, so I added some Windsor Newton Peat Brown ink to the mix - thus the syringe of brown to the left.

Next step, mix the components

I then added the brown

Best consistency is that of pancake mix ready for the griddle.  You want some flow, but some stiffness.

Once you get what you are looking for, start applying the plaster to the lid that forms the foundation for the base - I start at the middle and work out.  You want to avoid circular patterns unless you are basing a hovering craft over water.

Once the base is filled, set it aside and let it harden - this can take a minimum of 24 hours.

Next step is going to be cleaning up the edges and preping for painting.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Basing - part II

Been a while since I've been here but here we go -

Next step, get your tweezers/forceps, glue (White/PVC), basing mix, and bases together

Pick up base with chosen weapon of destruction, and dip in white glue -


Ensuring the entire top is covered -

Then dip in the basing mix -

And make sure you cover most of the base -

And repeat until done -

I usually do as many bases at a time as I can stand to sit for - from here we go on to painting in preparation for attaching the mini.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Mix

So, a while back I talked about making your basing mix.

I start with Sand -

Add ballast -

Of varying sizes and colors. 

Mix them together and you get your basic basing mix -

This is what I add other things to - talus, very small rocks, black ballast and so forth to get the texture I'm looking for

From here we go to actual application.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Four - Filler

Sorry for the delay in posting - started a new job last week and it has cut into my time here.  Well, that coupled with the fact that most of my tools and supplies are still not here yet.  I will be posting again soon however - broke down and raided Hobby Lobby last night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day Three - the Basics

So, where do we start?

The most basic piece of terrain that you will encounter in gaming is the figures base.  To start a base, one needs to gather a few materials.

I usually start with fine grain sand - the smaller the grain the better. Then I add several different sizes and colors of ballast in differing ratios depending on what effect I am going for.

Playground sand is good - however the smallest container I've found it in is a 5 lb bag - more sand than you will ever need for basing or other projects, so I pick up a container of craft sand from my local craft store.  Its cheap, fine and comes in 1 lb bottles.

Next I raid the Woodland Scenics shop - and start mixing in ballasts.  From small to large, it all goes in the sand, up to and including one or two pieces of Talus - there are occasional large rocks mixed in everywhere you look.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day Two

Yesterday I asked where to begin.  A good place to begin is with an idea of what you want your terrain to look like, and then start looking for photos to get ideas.

Also, an understanding of why battles are fought where they are fought helps as well. In gaming we tend not to think towards the why just the where - most games I've played over the years have been the equivalent of playground basketball games - sides are picked, troops sorted out to the various players, and to misquote Sherlock Holmes, the game is then afoot.  But at no time (even when playing historicals) has a lot of thought been given to the where and why - terrain is assembled as an afterthought a lot of times - a scattering of trees, a road, a river and a few hills and you are ready to play almost anything - from Ogg and Slogg the Orc(k) brothers slugging it out up to and including 40K (yes I have played games of 40K where we had Space Marines running around on hill and dale - because we lacked buildings).  And before some history major nazi type points out that a whole lot of battles are the equivalent of pickup basketball games I understand that - but the vast majority of major battles and even minor ones are not the result of just blundering about on random terrain until you meet the enemy.

I understand that the game is the thing - but as gamers we should put at least as much effort into the surface we play on as we do into the minis we play with, right?

So, you should have a plan.  My plan oddly enough is a desert themed planet (my orkses are already by and large on or going on desert themed bases).  Based very loosely on where I have spent 5 of the last 7 years since 2004, and what I have seen there, along with portions of the American Southwestern Desert.

Why?  Because its my little world.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day One

I've always felt that the best way to start a discussion on a topic is to have a understanding of the topic itself.  So we're on the same page, I've visited the Marion-Webster website to grab a couple of definitions:

Topography:  the art or practice of graphic delineation in detail usually on maps or charts of natural and man-made features of a place or region especially in a way to show their relative positions and elevations

Terrain:  the physical features of a tract of land

Battlefield:   a place where a battle is fought

So, our whole purpose will to be to recreate, in a small scale, of course, the topography and terrain of the battlefield - or at least my purpose will be to do so :P.

Now, having said that, the terrain you build for your gaming will depend on the game you play.  The terrain for a game played using first century Romans and Persians will be much different than the underhives of Warhammer 40000 - as will the chosen battlefields, in my opinion - although a lot of  40k battlefields I've seen could be used for Romans as well - flat tabletops with a few hills and trees to break things up.

A second consideration should be how big a playing surface you have -  if you are playing small tight games on a small tabletop, you need less terrain pieces than you would for a larger table.  In addition to playing surfaces, you need to consider storing your terrain as well - the more pieces, the larger the size of said pieces, the more storage space they will take - which should be a consideration.

With all that being said, where do we begin?