Posts Tagged base
From the Warp is sponsoring a best base contest. Getting motivated was a bit of a problem until I needed a proof of concept test for a pot topper.
What’s a pot topper? It is a 6 inch disk of static grass used with silk flower arrangements that can also be cannibalized for miniature ground cover. Look for pot toppers at Michaels Arts and Crafts – mine cost $1.99. Opening the topper took a sharp scissors and a bit of patience. The static grass sheet is stiff and full of texture. When cut apart, the clumps are between 4 & 6 mm tall. At this point, I’m not certain if they are any improvement over loose static grass, but I see great potential for the grass on larger projects such as terrain. In any case, the clumps are a much cheaper alternative to Silfor.
The rest of the base is made from more conventional materials: a bit of bark for the stone & field grass for the tall plant spikes. Painting is a simple combination of dry brush and wash. The whole project took about 2 nights of puttering around time in front of the TV.
Spectre Hobbies was good enough to provide a Master Class Scenery & Basing Kit for review here at Chicago Terrain Factory. The package includes 4 seasons of turf & static grass, long strand field grass, snow cover, assorted cork, wood chips, white glue, water effect, sand, Texture Paste – White, Mineral Texture Gel and a few supporting items such as bases and stir sticks. The kit retails for $21.99 and is a quick and affordable way to stock up a modeling collection.
My favorite components of the basing kit are the two jars of paste. The Texture Paste is a creamy white material which applies sort of like shaving cream. Mineral Texture Gel contains sand and does a fine job of adding grit to the base of a model. Use either to cover slota base holes or to provide dry brush ready texture. The Mineral Gel dries solid, but retains an elastic property – I found this the hard way when trying to cut holes for field grass. Once my jars run dry, I’ll be looking to restock from Spectre.
Weighing in at .2 oz, the bags of turf and static grass are more than enough for an army sized basing project. When finishing my Pirate project, I based 19 figures using both turf & flock and barely put a dent in the amount supplied. The color range is similar to ground covers sold by Woodland Scenics, adding the stronger colors sold by Noch would be a nice upgrade to this kit.
I’m not sold 100% on cork as a rock substitute – it always seems to look a bit “corky”, but look at the example base to decide for yourself. Rather than supplying three types of cork, the kit might better supply single sheets with instructions to rip into rocks. I used one of the flat sheets on the base above and quickly began to generate my own cork rocks.
The one part water effect provides a high gloss finish to an already textured surface (see Texture Paste above). I’d rather have seen a 2 part kit included that is able to create a 3D water effect.
The field grass packages are much too small – creating 4 plugs for the pirate bases used up half of supplied grass.
The wood chips for use as slate are much too big. Of the two pieces, the smallest covers a 30mm base and the largest is better used on a CD sized base.
Full Disclosure: Spectre and CTF have an on going business relationship. This review is not compensated and not part of that relationship.