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Novice Tips: Large base

A problem that comes up often is a minor one, but it truly is make or break as far as completing a display quality model; how to make the base look a bit more organic and incorporating the actual models better. With this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how I bring that dynamic to my display level bases.


Start off with laying down a solid, moldable foundation to build upon.







For this specific base, I wanted to use less of my Citadel technical while still achieving a muddy, earthy effect so I laid down a non-consistent layer of Tamiya modeling putty, then added the bricks after. To make the bricks seem more a part of the base as opposed to just laying on top of it, I put them into the actual putty before it dried, then used super glue to put a few more on top. This made it look a bit more like a hasty fighting position thrown together as quickly as possible.

**Some specific modeling putty can either be too expensive or hard to find for some. Drywall compound is very cost effective and much easier to find.


Next, begin building on that foundation. The models I will be placing on the base have smaller bases on them already, so will lay down a layer of Citadel Technical: Strickland Mud on top of the dried putty foundation. Before this dries, I placed the model into the undried foundation, leaving a “notch” to place the model once the foundation is dried. I also put some tire tracks for the machine gun and another notch for the third model.













Another thing to keep in mind when you’re adding scenery such as sand bags or, in this case, bricks, be sure to build around them with the foundation to make it look almost sunken into the ground. It will make for a more organic appearance.


Next, I added some detail to the bricks. This is where the base was starting to look like an actual base.







Here is where building around the bricks with the foundation began to pay off. The front of the base is now starting to have that sunken, grungy earthy feel to it that’s really quite gratifying.








Once the bricks were painted and dried, I washed the base with Citdel Agrax Earthshade and drybrushed with Vallejo’s German Camo Beige. I made sure to leave extra wash in the extra low points of the base, like the bottom and sides of the tire tracks and around the front of the bricks.







Now it’s truly starting to come together.

Here comes the part that may feel like a step backwards, so don’t get discouraged. I added the first model to the base, but there’s still a bit more basework to be done.







This model is a pewter model with a small base already on it, but it fits right onto the large base because I stamped it into the foundation. But, the base stands out a bit and seems quite out of place. It’s an easy fix. Just like with the bricks, take some more of the foundation and build around the model base.







Lay down a wash and drybrush the new patch and it blends right in with the rest of the base. Now, the model truly looks like its part of the base. His feet are almost sunk into the mud.







Fortunately, the gunner won’t need any foundation built around him, but the loader will be because it has another small base. but it will be another quick fix; lay some more foundation, wash and drybrush.







Here’s where everything has finally come together. From here, all I had to do was add an ammo can.





-Mad Dog, out!