Display base – step by step.
Greetings brothers of the Imperium and thralls of the ruinous powers alike,
I just finished building a display base for my first Emperor’s Children squad and I thought since this is the Scenery forum, it would be appropriate to show it off here!
I’ll walk you through it’s creation step by step because even if you’re not building a display, it should be able to help on just about any piece of terrain.
Step One (sort of):
The first step really is deciding what kind of bases your guys will be standing on. Here’s what mine looks like. I was digging through my dad’s collection of Hirstarts (www.hirstarts.com) plaster molds and came upon the cobblestone texture – I loved it so much I decided to build all of the bases in my army using it. Since I was building a display for my guys standing on these bases, obviously I had to use a lot of cobblestone. If you don’t feel like learning to pour plaster or don’t have the cash for one of Hirst’s amazing molds, then any basing materials would work.
This leads us to the real step one:
I found the wood at Michael’s (A craft store chain in the US) for $6.99 and made use of my dad’s drill press to create the holes in the wood where the plastic GW basesould fit in. I wanted the plaster cobblestone to be flush with the wood so that required a little drilling… I’m sure any Lumber/Home Depot type of place would be willing to do this for you for a nominal fee if you just bring them a GW base to show how big the holes need to be. If you were just bulding terrain, that step would be skipped entirely, obviously!
Next I just started gluing my cobblestone onto the board using standard Wood Glue. I wanted it go to from left to right but then stop before reaching the right side so I could put some battleworn earth in there to vary it up a bit.
The next picture comprises a few steps in one, so let’s move onto Steps 2, 3 and 4:
After gluing down all the plaster I wanted, the next step was to fill all the gaps between the plaster pieces and raise the areas where no plaster existed, so enter “Minwax Wood Filler” available just about anywhere hardware is sold. It’s like spackle, but it comes in a tube and you just squeeze it out like toothpaste where you want it while using a butter knife to smooth it out. After a few hours it’s hard as a rock and paintable, sandable, and everything else you’d card to do with it.
After the Filler dries a bit, it’s time to texture up the base some more using white glue (I used the same Wood Glue as before) and sprinkling sand where needed.
This isn’t pictured here, but I wanted to add a little something extra for my piece and had the idea of an old Land Raider tread in the mud. Using greenstuff, a Land Raider tread piece and a little cooking spray I had my LR imprint and placed it on the earthy section of the board, sprinked some sand around it and I was ready to let it sit overnight.
The next morning, I handpainted over everything in black. I didn’t bother using my good GW paints for this step. I bought the super-cheap apple barrel paints for big stuff like this. Colors run about 79-99 cents, depending where you go.
For the cobble stone, I just mixed black/white to make a “Codex” grey type color and heavily drybrushed. Next, I added a little more white to make an “inbetween Codex/Fortress” grey, drybrushed a little lighter towards the middle of each piece, and finally added even more white to the color and just hit spots where I thought it would look cool.
For the mud and in between the stones, it was pretty much the same steps but with the earth colors.. Mixed a muddy brown (like dark Graveyard Earth), then went to Graveyard Earth, then started mixing in Bleached Bone, then ultimately I did lightly drybrush Bleached Bone.
After the display was painted, I took some glue and static grass and went wild. Putting patches of it in the mud, between cobblestones, and inbetween the cracks of the stones. The muddy parts that the grass was sprinkled on I drybrushed over with bleached bone to give it a “dead” look.
Now for the final step, I just painted the border of the wood in black and here’s my finished model: