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Night Goblin Shaman (1) – making a magic base

My Vitriol ‘Safety Zones & Crumple Zones’ 

I want to make this a kind of flip-side to the mountaineer piece – which was intended to have a cold atmosphere, with muted colours. I like the magic bases that MassiveVoodoo and Sproket’sSmallWorld (amongst others) have created in the past – so thought I would try something similar.

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Materials used

Cork:

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I made flagstones by using a modelling knife to cut up a small sheet of super-sculpey. If you haven’t used this before, it’s a type of clay which needs to be baked; rather than air-dried. These were made a long time ago, so were already to hand; but you could use Milliput, or any similar material – including plasticard – instead:

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To make the magic effects – I kind of experimented a bit here, using a broken plastic flying stand, heated over a tealight candle and stretched out, to make some larger stalagmites (best to ensure health and safety with this stage, as melting plastic has some obvious risks):

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Then cut into shape:

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These can be very brittle, however; and it’s difficult to trim them into small pieces without breaking them. So, to make smaller stalagmites, I used the same method as for making icicles.

Attach small shards of transparent plastic to a spare piece of sprue, using water effect:

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Coat with several layers of water effect:

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Once dry, cut from the sprue:

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I also used various balls of different sizes – ones made from greenstuff, the others were microbeads:

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Wood-putty, PVA glue, water effect:

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Wood-putty isn’t strictly necessary, as you can used textured paint instead – or even PVA and sand to texture the rocks; I just like buggering about, really.

I made a mock-up of the base, but it didn’t really look right – even for a miniature, the goblin is a small model, and was easily overshadowed by the base:

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So it was adjusted slightly – I used a coping saw to remove the corners, and created a sort of dais for the goblin:

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Coat the cork with wood-putty, using an old paintbrush:

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Begin to attach the flag-stones, and the stalagmites – use PVA glue for the flagstones. You can use PVA to attach beads/balls, as well; but I find water effect is easier. If you use the white kind, it’s easy to see where you’ve placed it, and you will know when it has dried.

It’s best to glue the stalagmites into place first, then assemble the flagstones around them, rather than vice versa; because that way you can raise the tips of the stones, to make them look like they’ve been pushed up by the stalagmites. It doesn’t matter too much, though:

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This stage finished:

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Now the tricky part.

I drilled small holes into the greenstuff balls, as they are a bit heavier than microbeads – they were then slotted onto the tips of the stalagmites. The microbeads were simply attached by dotting water effect on the tip of each stalagmite, and then placing the beads on top:

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To be honest, this stage is very fiddly – there’s probably a much easier way of attaching the beads than using a pair of tweezers to put them in place, one at a time; but that was what I did here, at least:

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You can see how the different types of ball create different effects:

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Ready to paint:

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Well, just about. I haven’t quite figured out a colour scheme yet. I might also add some spiders to this – but we’ll have to see.

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