Generic Styrofoam Bases

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Thread: Generic Styrofoam Bases

  1. #1
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    Generic Styrofoam Bases

    I have made several of these generic styrofoam bases and many have asked me how I made them. So here are some WIP images as I was making this one.










    First step was cutting three pieces of 1” thick styrofoam. I sometimes start with an irregular piece of thick styrofoam. A hotwire cutter help a lot to make smooth irregular cuts in the styrofoam.




    One piece is the base and the other two make the various heights of the terrain.



    I then texture the styrofoam with a couple of small rocks.






    I then paint the sides of the base with carpenter’s glue(Elmers glue). On a rectangular base like this one, I prop up the mase on its side and paint with glue each side and wait for it to dry.





    I then paint the top of the base with glue, add some small pebbles to the base. I press the pebbles making a hole in the base, then add some more glue in the hole and then press the pebble in the glued hole.


    I then sprinkle some sand or dirt for texture. In this case I used model reilroad ballast in fine and medium grades. The color is not imortant as everything will be painted.



    Press some small rocks, thes will be painted over but can then be “brought back” by painting over with the solvent(denatured alcohol).



    Once the glue is dry, I vacuum the excess and then paint in earth colors. My earth color is (all colors are Tamiya acrylics) Flat Earth with some Khaki and Buff added. I then go over some areas with a very dark brown. I also spray the edges with this color which will make a nice transition to the Flat Black sides.





    I chopped up with a pair of siccors some dried grass from the garden. Dabbed glue with a wide brush on the base and sprinkled on the chopped grass. I would dab a small area and add the grass until covering all the base area.



    When dry I then painted over with the airbrush with green color mix (Flat Green with some Buff) and highlighted with Khaki, also with the airbrush.




    I then painted the sides Flat Black.




    I then added more vegetation to give more texture to the ground cover.
    After the glue was dry I oversparayed with some Khaki and then Buff to blend all the foilage.
    It is the first time that I have done this “blend” after adding the Silfor and other vegetation and it made a big difference. Of course this blending and the colors will depend of what season and area you want to model. But avoid using plastic vegetation unpainted as it simply looks like plastic!







    The WIP images were taken with flash as I went along so they are not the best quality, but hopefully make it easier to follow the various steps.

    Here are some fo my generic bases. Since the base is made of styrofoam, I can always use a coat hanger wire to temporarily stabilize the figure on the base.


    Here one with a wide smooth side and summer vegetation.



    A simple small smooth side base:



    A winter base, I have yet to use this one.



    Can also do Urban settings, in this case with some rubble.



    Can also do bases without the side. An advantage of these rounded bases, with or without base is that you can rotate them and get a slightly different base to set up your figure.



    Here a different angle




    A fall base, have not used this one either.



    One of my first ones. Even cheap plastic vegetation is ok if you paint it.




    Combining a DML fence piece with a smooth side base.


    Irregular smooth side base. This style changes drastically from each of the 4 viewing points.



    A very simple sandy beack base, used this one for a 54th MA figure recently…could also feel at home at Tarawa!




    With these various bases I can give the figures more of a “miniature” look of a based figure and at the same time not have all figures with bases which take too much space.
    After the images are taken the figure can go to its Cots “Y stand” and the base be re-used many more times with other figures.

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  3. #2
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    Man that's some great work. I am going to be doing this for sure. Thanks!

  4. #3
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    Great how-to. Much appreciated man.

    Can the esteem staff archive this please? Thanks.

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  6. #4
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    Fantastic tips, man! Very educational!

  7. #5
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    Oh these are awsome! Great techniques, I'll definately be making some of these.
    We are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams.

  8. #6
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    those are extremely well done....

    excellent work!

  9. #7
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    Excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing the state secrets

  10. #8
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    Them base's look so good, well done. On your winter base what have you used for the snow? And when you mix Green with some Buff (how much and which Green). Hope you don't mind these questions.

    Cheers, Marshy

  11. #9
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    Very cool! Thanks for posting this! Great ideas in here.

  12. #10
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    On the base with patches of old snow, I first paint some white glue on the area, then paint with adirty white mix, add some blue to the white(a drop or two). Once dry I add another coat of white glue, which dries clear and gives some depth to the ice/snow. If it looks too white, or clean I add a bit of dirty wash( brown and black thinned with denatured alcohol which is what I use for everything as solvent.

    The green, I used only Tamiya Acrylics and I mix Flat Green with some Buff as a base color, but I don't apply a heavy coat as I just spary over the areas with the dried grass. Lets call it 3 parts Flat Green to 1 part Buff, I eyeball it. I then go over with Khaki and a Khaki/Buff mix. In a way it is the same principle as dry brushing, but with the air gun. I go over the same area with lighter coats using a lighter color.

    Khaki is a very useful color. My regular dusty wash is Flat Earth, Buff and Khaki in a 3:1:1 ratio , more or less.

    In this last base I blended at the end which I had never done. Both effects are good. if the added vegetation is greener it looks fine as if you observe in nature, weeds and grasses are usually greener than the base color.

    Always try to add variety to the ground cover unless your battlefield is a golf course!

    All this is an ongoping process, of experimenting with new products.
    An area still lacking in our hobby is vegetation/foilage.

    E

  13. #11
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    E, how did you paint the sides black? airbrush or paintbrush? Overspray is obviously not present, is why I ask.

  14. #12
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    hello,
    a very good and informative "how to". Thanks. question.....why have you got screws in the base?

    rip toshiba - 11/3/2014
    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation

  15. #13
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  16. #14
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    WTS and WTB thread
    Trade Reference SOD OFF! I have 7 pages of Positive TRADE REFS! QUIT thinking everyone is out to con you!

  17. #15
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    Ok, cheers for the reply egonzinc. I think a base is going to be my next task.

  18. #16
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    sick bro absoultly sick,cheers for the tutorial ,defo needs to be archived!!!!
    Improvise,Adapt,Overcome

  19. #17
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    Awesome! I might try this later on down the road.. very nice!
    "Believe in more than you can see, for it is faith that brings miracles to light."

  20. #18
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    The sides are painted with the airbrush. I used to try and paint it with a regular brush, but I nEVER would get a niuce flat finish. With the airbrush the finish is perfectly flat and not as irregular as seen in these images. The object is to have a base compliment the figure and not distract from it.

    The secret is the dark brown in the edges. That provides a near black transition. lso when painting the sides, angle the bae so you are painting from below the base. That way any overspary will go to open space not the top of the base. I usually wait until the last step or near last step to paint the sides, just in case I get some glue or material in the sides. I usually apply more glue coats tot he sides, to make it smoother, but time was of the essence in this case so I only went with one coat. I like the results, again the idea of the black is to be as invisible as possible.

    E

  21. #19
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    Fantastic, great work and some real good hints and tips for making these. Thanks for sharing.

    R&R
    Till the long roll summons us to Battle.....Always Mystify, Mislead and Surprise your enemy...Our Website =
    http://www.canadauk51.webs.com/

  22. #20
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    The screws from below are to help hold the pieces together. The white glue in a large area takes a while to dry and the srews(sometimes I use nails also) allow me to continue work on the base and not have to wait several days for everything to dry.
    The glue on the top, dries quickly, but inside the various panels takes a very long time.

    This is what works for me, and I use techniques that I feel confortable with. The great thing about hobbies is that each person will work what feels confortable to him.

    Bases make the figures look better, give them the "miniature" look of smaller scaled figures.
    The concept of generic bases makes a lot of sense, due to difficulty of storing/displaying each figure in its own base.
    E

  23. #21
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    Not only are your figures well done but so are your bases. Your concept for generic bases is a great idea, multi-era as well as multi-figure.

  24. #22
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    superb! very natural...thanks for sharing how to do this....

  25. #23
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    cool, I gotta try this one day, thx for sharing.

  26. #24
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    What a great post! I really enjoyed this how to post. Great photos also.

  27. #25
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    BIG THANKS! Some great how to here!
    got privilege?

  28. #26
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    Re: Generic Styrofoam Bases

    Your work is amazing man thanks for the advise!

  29. #27
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    Re: Generic Styrofoam Bases

    Again I continue to learn. Here after a while I'll try my hand at it and post it up. Right now, my first "wethering" project is a pair of boots. Didnt want to spend alot until I get it down.

    Thanks for the info

  30. #28
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    Re: Generic Styrofoam Bases

    Great advice and I thank you for providing us with instructions so that we may be able to try these techniques on our own.

  31. #29
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    Re: Generic Styrofoam Bases

    That is awesome and very helpful. You make it look easy, awesome skill for sure. This is very helpful though and I hope to be able to put it to use.

  32. #30
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    Re: Generic Styrofoam Bases

    I was looking for inspiration for a dio and was running a search when this thread came up. Nice read for you guys who are stuck in a rut like me

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