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.