I don't know if I can really call this a workbench update as I haven't done much in the way of miniatures in the last two months. Work has been the main focus of the last couple of months as I have been working on a bunch of awesome projects from a variety of RPG publishers. But it looks like I am about to emerge from crunch time this weekend and I'm hoping to put in some time painting and modeling.
The one thing I have had time to mess with over the last couple of months is trying my hand at sculpting some customized basing. Now granted, I could use some of the pre-made bases out there....Secret Weapon and Coolminiornot both have some fantastic stuff, but it's never quite what I'm looking for. I can't help it...I'm a little picky. Plus, I come from that bygone era (it's called the 90's kids) where miniature enthusiasts had to make all that stuff for themselves and I take pride in that DIY spirit. On top of that, James Wapel has had some fantastic "how to's" on his blog that have been a big inspiration.
Pictured to the left is the product of that inspiration. The sculpting is a bit simple and kinda rough in places...but it's a start.
Most of the pieces in the photo have already been baked with the exception of the small round insert on the lower left hand corner. That is part of the current batch of sculpting experiments. I've got it sized to be an insert on lipped 30mm bases...or Dark Age bases (you are welcome Dave Poole). Right now I am going for a simple square flagstone base that can also pass for concrete slabs with seams in them so I can use them for both Fantasy and Near Future/Urban Warfare/Zombie type basing.
The biggest problem I have found with the lipped bases is the size. The little area the insert sits in is about .875 inch. I've found some metal washers online that might work as a "template", but I really don't want to order 300 washers for something I may need only 5 for. Why do I need a template? That's easy, so I can get the edges perfectly rounded. I have on philosophy when it comes to sculpting or converting...if you are going to do it, it needs to look super professional. A half assed conversion can make the best paintjob in the world look like total crap...same for a half assed base. I'm planning on trying out some of the techiniques James Wapel demonstrated on his blog...such as rolling out large sheets of sculpey which you can break up into interesting shapes as well as carving complex patterns into them.
You will also notice some "chunks" on the upper right hand corner. Those are supposed to be bricks...they need some trimming to clean up the edges...but they are bricks. I'm going to use those for some Urban Ruin bases for my Urban War/Metropolis models that I've had sitting around for the last 4 years. They are in random sizes as I am going for rubble rather than neatly piled bricks. I've also made some flat chunks that will work great for broken pieces of concrete.
That's all for tonight. I am up waaaaaaayyyyy past my bedtime.