Basing Basics: Part 1 (with Happy Seppuku Terrain Stamps)

A short time ago we received a batch of terrain stamps from Happy Seppuku Model works and loved how easy the stamps were to use and the fact you can use them over and over.

Since then I have spent a bit of time trying the stamps out with a few different type of putties, two part epoxies and modelling clays to see what I liked best. However in this article I plan on going over how with the terrain stamps and a little bit of creativity you can quickly create some unique looking basis with very little effort.

In Part one of this short series I plan to show you some step by step guides on how to make a more detailed wood plank base, a steel plated floor with various mechanical bits, and a rocky local covered with snow. All the bases I am working on for this tutorial are 50mm.

For supplies to build these bases I used:

  • Two part grey epoxy putty mixed in equal amounts
  • Thick and thin Cork board sheets
  • Metal chain
  • Metal tubing
  • Metal rod
  • Plastistruct I-beams

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The tools and other necessities that were used are:

  • A Hobby Knife
  • Two pieces of metal tubing
  • Various shaping tools
  • Water
  • cuticle cream (or other lip chap like substance)

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Why the water and lip chap your probably wonder? Well I dip my fingers in the water while mixing the two part putty together. this helps prevent it from wanting to stick to my skin. As for the lip chap it can be used in conjunction with metal tools to keep them from sticking to the putty or on your finger to smooth out any finger prints from applying the putty to the base. I’d like to thank Brian Dugas one of Privateer Press’s Staff sculptors for the tip on the lip chap.

Wooden Decking

Lets start off with making a more detailed wooden plank base. Using some techniques I learned at the lock and load seminar with Sean Harrison and I will start off using the Wood Plank 1 stamp.

Step 1: Mix up some putty and spread it out in a thin layer onto the base. I find its best to add a little ball to the centre of the base and work outwards until it is spread in a thin somewhat even layer across the base. Then use some lip chap to smooth away all your fingerprints.

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Step 2: Firmly press your putty and base onto the wood plank stamp. This will leave behind a nice plain wood plank texture.

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Step 3: Take a small peice of metal tubing with a very thin edge and press one end into a plank. This will be used to make a “knot” in the wood.

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Pro tip: On a 50mm base you can do as many as three knots, on a 40mm base max out at two, and on a small base no more than one.

Step 4: Now using the putty shaping tool that looks much like a hobby knife but is not as sharp you will make tiny little gentle cuts starting at the knots and moving away.

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Step 5: Using the same tool I then use a similar method at the ends of the planks. this time I make my cuts a little deeper and wiggle the knife ever so slightly to widen the splits that you see.

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Step 6: going back to the knots I make 8 cuts across them as if we were cutting up a pizza. this helps bring some texture to the knot that is in the middle of the plank.

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Step 7: Now you will make gentle cuts along the length of the board. You will notice I stagger the cuts lengths and where they start and stop, this helps give the wood a more natural feel of an actual grain.

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Pro Tip: You don’t need to really curve the lines for the grain, or curve them around the knot. Simple straight strokes will serve you best the human eye will do the rest.

Complete: And now you have a completed wooden plank deck that can be used for a wide variety of miniatures from a bar maid to a ship captain.

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Industrial Floor

For the Industrial floor we will be using the Steel Plate 2 stamp, a piece of chain, a plastic I-beam, as well as some metal tubing & rod. One thing I really like about the Steel Plate 2 stamp is the variety in the plating, by moving the base around you can get a nice variety of texture on different bases. Now onto the basing!

Step 1: Mix up some putty and spread it out in a thin layer onto the base. I find its best to add a little ball to the centre of the base and work outwards until it is spread in a thin somewhat even layer across the base. Then use some lip chap to smooth away all your fingerprints.

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Step 2: Firmly press your putty and base onto the Steel Plate stamp. This will leave behind a wonderful texture of steel plate decking.

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Step 3: Machinery! for this I used some small pieces of metal tubing of various sizes as well as a thicker piece of metal rod. pressing them firmly into the putty so that they look like a discarded piece of machinery or perhaps an apparatus that is built into the ground.

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Step 4: Now I added a piece of plasticard I-beam sticking out of the ground at an angle, as well as a piece of chain coming off of the metal rod.

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The angle I-beam could represent a section of a metal support system, and the broken length of chain could have once had something teathered to them. Btoh add a bit of character to the base without being overwhelming.

Complete: with just a little bit of effort you now have the floor of what could be anything from an abandoned repair shop to a post apocalyptic warehouse.

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Snowy Rocks

For this snowy base we used the Mudflat / Snow stamp. We also used various bits of cork board material as well as a few round clay shaping tools.

Step 1: Create a rocky rise using various sizes of cork board material, as you break it up you will get a lovely texture you can paint to look like stone later.

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Step 2: Apply your putty in the locations you want your snow to have collected. Then use some lip chap to smooth away all your fingerprints. Let the putty sit for a few minutes as long as 10-15 so that it becomes a bit more rigid.

Pro Tip: Make sure to leave some stone showing where you can in the future place some frozen grass tufts or bits of lichen.

Step 3: Using the stamp apply it to the various surfaces you have for your snow. do this gently so that you don’t flatten out your snow drifts to much. then in the areas you cant reach and tight corners use your round end or soft curved shaping tools to make indentations and ripples in the putty similar to the stamp. Don’t use any shaper that has a hard edge or you will end up leaving unnatural marks in the snow.

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Complete: Now you have a snow covered rocky base that could be used for your friendly blighted monsters from the chilly north or perhaps some cold space warriors in power armour.

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-Geist

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One Comment;

  1. Went Awer said:

    Wow, those look awesome. I think I may get the Half Basket Weave or wait for the Desert Pavement one to come out for my skorne.

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