Original upload date: September 26 2013 – October 16 2013
I needed to build the conversion from the ground up, so I started with the base. I started by scouring my native hardware/craft stores for cracking paint to match my desert bases. The idea with this stuff if that as it dries it pulls against the previous paint layers, leaving cool cracks in the surface.
After painting a base colour (for the medium to “pull” against) I spread this stuff on thick. The thicker the layer the deeper the cracks.
After a couple of days drying it looked like this:
It’s a cool effect, but not the one I was going for. The cracks are all along the outside pointing to the middle and they are cracking into uniform square shapes. This doesn’t match my army at all! I do like the effect, and I’ll keep it in mind if I ever do ice bases.
So back to the drawing board… After a lot of pondering I realise that the natural desert effect is caused by wet clay cracking in the desert sun. So I can try to emulate the effect with my own wet clay. I grab some clay and water and begin to whisk it together into a gluggy soup. It didn’t work very well, I’m not very good at whipping cream, let alone clay! So I did what any sane, rational person would do… and put it in the blender. (Make sure you wash your kitchen appliance thoroughly if you do not wish to end up with a bad case of spousal remorse).
So I poured the clay soup into my base and set it in the sun. It was a lovely 31°C (88°F) Spring day in Sydney so I hoped to get the cracking effect I was after.
Bummer. Another cool looking effect, but not the one I was after. I decided to try again and begin ripping the clay off the base. It came off in lovely thin chunks and this gave me an idea. I began to glue the chunks back on the base in a random pattern.
I needed a brass rod to pin the floating disk to the base. It needed to be study as I did not want any pressure from above to bend the wire. Not to worry though, it took the hubby’s entire body weight to bend it to the angle shown. Thanks hubby.
The bend gives it a greater surface area for the glue, increasing the hold. To make it extra secure I added pins around the brass rod so that it can’t wiggle from side to side and finally some greenstuff to lock it in tight. I was SO happy to see that the platform piece came separate as I was worried I would have to do some severe sawing. I covered up the sockets on the underside of the platform.
I was having trouble sculpting a rock for the base. I tried clay and greenstuff but I couldn’t get it working right. Cork and bark are great suggestions but I didn’t have any on hand, I did however find something else buried deep in my scenery box.
Rocks! I mean, what better to use as a rock? Right? I used to use shale in scenery projects because it is available where I live, it can be broken into the right size with your bare fingers and it paints up nice. I stopped using the shale a few years ago because it’s quite heavy, but that could actually be a boon for my current project. I glued some shale around the brass rod and filled up the gaps with putty and clay. I also added some bones and other details to the base. I quite like how it turned out!
I stuck the platform in position. I also cut a circle of thick plasticard to use as my portal. I had a little internal debate on how large to make the portal. On the one hand, a large portal would look more impressive, but it would be nice to fit it in my army box. I also don’t want it to be too top heavy, because all of the weight will be resting on a tiny point. I’ll have to start conservative and enlarge it if needed.
Thanks for reading, likes/shares/comments are appreciated!