Thursday, March 27, 2014

On Basing and Patience

One of the things I want to achieve with my 'counts as' Mechanicus force is to successfully create and replicate a series of bases that will help visually tie the force together. In pursuit of this goal I created what I considered at the time as a 'master' set of bases. Don't they look great?

No, they don't.

I was in such a rush as I created these bases... what does haste make? Waste, exactly. While these bases look fine on the game table, they are unfit for use as masters as they stood... which didn't stop me from rushing ahead and making three moulds.

Looking great! Ready to watch me waste money?

When I pulled the cured moulds from the mould boxes, problems were immediately evident. The plasticard layers on the bases were slightly uneven on the edges. There was also a very small gap between the layers. This problem is only one that was presented to me. These defects resulted in the silicone tearing in some places and odd flash in others. The lines of rivets were off center and the spacing wasn't ideal; some were sitting too low to be picked up. I took a fresh #11 blade to the moulds to clear out some of the flash, and clean up edges. I don't recommend this to anyone, at this point I had decided that these moulds were a bust. You can easily over cut the soft silicone and damage an otherwise intact piece.

I did get some bases from the whole mess. Every single one of them will need defects repaired. On the whole this was learning experience (again). I want to take some of the best casts from this run and rework them into a set of viable masters and pour again. I have the silicone I need, now I just need to rework these bases. I can also cut up the bad moulds and use them as filler for the new moulds.

The thing about this mess that pisses me off the most is the fact that I had to use Green Stuff and Liquid Green Stuff in the process of 'finishing' the masters. If I had taken the time to apply LGS to the edges of each base and then file it smooth, half of the problems I experienced would have been avoided. Instead I rushed, and now will have to spend even more time in pursuit of a truly finished product.




  1. That's a shame, but I'm always impressed by people doing their own mold. I'm a bit afraid to try it myself, as resin is not cheap. Do you have any advise for a beginner?

    1. Yeah, take your time. Seriously though, if you're in the US, I'd recommend getting a coupon from one of the big hobby stores like Hobby Lobby, then get the Alumalite starter kit. Google searches will turn up a host of tutorials of varying degrees of depth. I've even got one for bases:

  2. Thanks for sharing that. I have been asked to make molds of some of my bases and it is nice to hear what others are going through with their attempts. I can totally picture in my head all of the little issues you had with the plasticard and edges. Did you use a plastic-weld type cement or super glue to attach the plasticard layers?

    Again thanks so much for sharing your hobby knowledge with us.

    1. I use Testors cement, the black quadrangle one with a red label. I get it at Hobby Lobby. I use superglue to attach the rivets and other metal bits.

      I'm always happy to spread hobby knowledge to the community.