I’ve got a new tip for today, but first, in case you missed it, I Tweeted out a tip yesterday too…
That tip called for you to put putty on a base, and then use some sort of mold resist on a tank track to stamp it into the putty. This makes awesome tank tracks in bases, especially in snow and dirt. You can do it in mud too, but just remember when a tire goes through mud, a lot of the mud comes back in. Which brings me to my trick of the day.
Trick of the Day
Substrate. The key to realistic bases is to mix up different sizes of substrate. Unless you’re at the beach, dirt tends to be different sizes. A lot of people accomplish this by using a small container, adding different sizes of ballast, and shaking it up. It works pretty well. Personally, I prefer to glue down big pieces where I want them, let it dry, then put glue specifically where I want the medium substrate. I put down the medium substrate, wait for it to dry, and then repeat with the smaller substrate where I feel it belongs, or where the base may be a little bit sparse.
As you can see in these WIP’s, or even more clearly in the Meklab’s Imperial Bastions…
…using different sized substrates can create some very realistic terrain and bases. You can enlarge all of these photos by clicking on them.
White glue works surprisingly well when doing this. A trick I learned from Rickey Morang over at Hamster Cage Studios is that you can lightly spray the finished product with water and leave it out in the sun, and it gets VERY hard. I think this is a great idea, because who doesn’t want their terrain and bases to be a little more rugged? I hate it when stuff I spend hours on falls apart or gets dropped.
You can add water effects to these creations to make mud. Personally, I like to mix my substrate and white glue in a plastic salsa bowl I found on clearance at Target. It looks like it could be from an old mortar and pestle set. I mix up the stuff in the bowl, and then slop it onto the terrain and spread it with a tiny plastic palette knife (or a tiny kitchen spatula if you prefer).
Using these tricks, and others will help you make the best bases and terrain possible. Who knows, they may even help you win a contest!