25mm - 28mm - 30mm Miniature Figures
Casting into clay (aka. one-off, destructive molding).
Here's how to make a quick, one-shot mold. You will only get one, and can't guarantee it will be air-bubble free. However, undercuts won't be a problem, and you will know within minutes whether it's what you wanted... at just pennies a pop. First get yourself some "Clean-Clay". It's not water-based so it won't react with any chemicals, and it's not really oil-based and won't leave any residue on your hands. I buy it in a four-stick pack, it can be used over and over again. Use some fresh stuff for the best detail... but I even keep my dirty clay to use it as filler, support or to plug a leak.
Form some into a patty, and for this one, I pressed a 60mm base into it for an impression. This will define my outer edge.
I use my favorite rock for the first deep crag. When filled, this will be a nice outcrop. I make another crag across. I like to make the details asymmetrical so my figure can be in the center with either the details in front or behind him.
Working with some shallow texture all the way around the edge...
Sometimes I like to press a fallen adversary into the clay. There's nothing better than having a dead foe at your feet. A bug or 'nid leg is always good... but a Space Marine is better. Here I pressed just the shoulder deep into the clay. I can paint it as if it's been buried in the ground from an earlier battle, or as if his head has been freshly popped off! Kind of like a reward for a viewer who take a little extra time to admire my work close up.
When you think you've got what you want, mix a little more resin than you think you'll need. Start at one edge, and let it flow across the mold. Allowing it to cross by itself will help any air bubbles get out of the way.
I suppose now would be a good time to remind you to have given it a good misting of mold release spray. I use a product called Ease Release 2300.
Then sit back and watch the magic! Liquid turning into plastic. Because I will need to clean this up, I'm going to let it cure completely... over an hour. This way when I scrub it, it wont bend or gouge. Another technique I'll go into on another page, is de-molding your project early so you can manipulate it.
When set, I peel the clay away from the casting... don't try to pull the casting out of the clay. Peeling it back will leave a cleaner item. If I hadden't sprayed it with mold release, the clay would be impacted on the entire piece. This came out fairly clean by my standards.
And here you have a custom one-of-a-kind base. Time spent so far: 7min. of actual work and an hour of waiting. If you prepared several, you could pour them all at once.
I use hand soap and hot water to clean it up. Not only the clay, but primarily for the mold release. An old toothbrush will get most of it off, but a good vegetable brush finishes the job.
(Umm... I hope I really don't have to mention using an old toothbrush that you've cleaned in
alcohol and had in your hobby bin for a while... and not your spouse's or younger brother's.
And not the vegetable brush from the kitchen... but one you picked up at the dollar store.)
And here you have you base! Just trim and sand around the edge and it's ready for paint.
Here's my favorite rock. His name is Bob. Say hello Bob. Bob is a really cool rock. Every side and edge is different. He has points, flat spots, corners, a curved side, good angles and great texture!
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