Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tutorial: Easy Custom Bases

     Whenever I start a new army, my first thoughts focus on how bind my force together with a common theme. I think most people do it with their painting, but I also like to do it with basing. Basing can bring together a force that is painted differently, and it can tell a story of the on-going battle.

     Here's the display board for my Chaos Space Marines, along with a bunch of bases I made. In this example, I made each base individually for each spot on the board. This way was fairly easy, but took a bit of time to make sure each base fit exactly into place. My CSM force is also relatively small, so custom bases for everyone wasn't that big of a deal.

     Alternatively, when you're dealing with a horde army (like my Orcs & Goblins) you want to make up a bunch of custom bases, and do it as efficiently as possible. Below the fold, I'll go through the simple method I use to crank out bases.

Materials you'll need:
Blank bases
2 Part Expoxy (In this case, I'm using ProCreate. Green stuff works fine too)
Instant Mold (optional)

1) For this example I'll be making a single base. The whole process is easily scaleable, and by making large molds, you can easily make hundreds of bases. First off, you need a piece of terrain or base you want to duplicate. By pressing Instant Mold or Green Stuff onto the terrain piece or base, you're creating a simple mold.

     Instant Mold is easy to use, but if you want to have the mold around for a long time, you can always use something like Greenstuff to make a long lasting mold. In this example, I'm making just one base, but if you press the Instant mold into something like my CSM display board, then you have the potential to make many more.

2) Once the mold has hardened, simply place a ball of epoxy on the base, wet the top of the ball with a little bit of water (this keeps the epoxy from sticking to the mold), and then press it into the mold. Once you've firmly pressed the epoxy into the mold, gently pull the base out.

3) Trim off the epoxy from the edges of the base, and give it time to cure. Done!

     Using this technique, you can create molds from large terrain pieces, and produce a bunch of bases. In my single base example, I'm limited to a relatively small area that I can press into. With a larger area, you can move the base you're pressing to create slightly different looks. No two has to be the same. In the painted example above, the mold I used was about the size of a CD, but by utilizing different areas of the mold, I was able to create a number of bases that looked thematically the same, but looked slightly different.

Let me know what you think



  1. great tutorial chris! very helpful

  2. I like this, going to have to give it a try myself.

  3. I use the same process when I need Tyranid ammo sacs (from the bioweapons). Whenever I have an excess of greenstuff that I'm not using, I find something that I want to make a copy of. Bases were the first things I started to do, but I've been utilizing press molds more and more.