Sunday, February 8, 2015

Monstrous basing for monstrous monsters.

I think most of you will be able to recall the giant tree bark base that I made for the Octupus man a few weeks ago.  In a way, that one was just a prelude to more gigantic bases.  These bases are about the size of a CD or DVD.

One of them was for the Great Elk, and the other was for this Mierce Miniatures giant... something.

His 'footprint', such as it was, meant that it would be a big challenge.  Even more so, as he hung way out over the edge of the base!

This meant that my first task would be to elevate him enough so that he would not smash into regular infantry minis in close combat.  The pieces of bark also had to be wide enough to fit those massive clawed feet.

I had to reposition things quite often... thinking that I had everything just right, only to see that one of the feet was hanging in the air!

While the other huge figure did not have any such issues, my desire to create a vignette, or duel, on the base meant that I had to plan things out very carefully.  As you can see, I also wanted to utilize some wreckage from Wild West Exodus that's normally used as stand alone terrain!

The pieces that I chose to use for the Mierce monster were made as flat on the bottom as I could make them, but to make sure there would be a more solid connection to the base, I would add some Vallejo black lava paste with the super glue.

The super glue would provide a very strong hold by itself, but filling those gaps with the lava paste meant that each piece would be set in mortar, like bricks in a wall.

I could also fill in the surrounding areas of the rock pieces to provide some variation in the appearance of the terrain.

Here's the Great Elk.  Heavy, massive, solid resin.  He's rearing up on those hind legs, which makes for a very dramatic pose... and hence the duel idea.  However, positioning all these things (even on a base this huge!) would not be easy.

He would have to 'hang' over a precipice of tree bark.  This would require the addition of many pieces of bark, and even several metal pins of 'rebar' to hold it all together.

Once again, the lava paste was used like mortar to strengthen the layers of bark.  As I said, strength would be at a premium here!  This is still a gaming base, after all.

In order to keep the base more in line with what I have been doing, some tree branches would also have to be a part of the design.

I found myself having to add more and more pieces of bark to make everything sit right.

In addition to the regular style of branches, I wanted to experiment with more wispy, tangled branches.  These would be far more difficult to handle, but they really lend that sense of scale.  I also wanted to use some as exposed tree roots and vines.

Here' s the primary attempt to position the dueling partner for the Elk.  He looked like one of my lawmen, but could also be a civilian if need be.  I positioned him a number of times.  In the end, I had to have him angled slightly upwards.

He is just temporarily pinned to the base, so that I can remove him and paint him.

You can also see some of the vine type material that I used.  I didn't know how it might react to being painted, so this could be a big 'teaching moment' if it didn't!  

Stay tuned for the next episode to find out!


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, that's why I mentioned it in one of the earlier images, as I was showing how hard it was to position! Very odd indeed!

    2. is easier to just cut them and repositioned or sculpt him a new set of paws

  2. I've never heard of this Black Lava? What exactly is it? Some sort of filler/bonder? Is it used standalone or mixed with other stuff? Bases are looking fantastic as always.

    1. I have done a few other basing posts using this. It is another Vallejo paste medium, along the lines of the Oxide Paste that I use very frequently. Peruse the basing techniques area and you will see lots of posts on these!

    2. I am continuously finding new uses for these incredible mediums! Basing goodness abounds. :-)

  3. Love these basing posts James. Are you going to have any of your finished products at adepticon? I'd love to see some of these works finished in person!

    1. Thanks! You will be seeing all the Memoir and Wild West Exodus stuff at Adepticon... the Mierce minis and other items will be heading off to their new homes :-)