Friday, April 10, 2015

Real Flagstone Slotta Bases

Bad news - my front walkway, made of flagstone, is disintegrating.  Each spring, the results of the prior winter show more damage, with broken bits scattered across my lawn.

Good news - I've got a huge, renewable supply of basing materials!

I've used broken flagstone bits on lots of mini bases, to excellent results (see here), if I may humbly say.  However, as my collection has trended towards older minis, the challenge of basing slotta tabs has prevented me from using the endless supply of detritus - until now!
It's not yard waste, its free basing material!
If these were resin copies of stone, they'd be $3.00 for the set.  The real thing is free, heavier and easier to paint.  What a world we live in.
Sorting out a few potential pieces.
These guys seem to fit close enough.
Using a cheapo pair of pliers to break off the edges for a rough fit.
I used wood glue instead of the normal white glue, as I thinks its a lot stronger.  
Scuffed the slotta base a bit (to help the glue stick) then slathered on the glue.
Not too bad, still room for the slotta tab, while covering most of the base.
Left the base under a weight for the night to dry.  Not sure I really needed the 10 pound weight, but it makes for a good picture.  Anything for show business.
Next day, it dried as shown. I picked at the stones a bit to make sure they didn't come loose, but they held tight.
You can see, though, that the flagstone hangs off the base a bit.  So . . . 
 . . . back to the pliers.  I didn't use the pliers to "snap off" bits of flagstone, as much as used them to crush the flagstone away. 
While the flagstone was now trimmed to the base edges, it was still missing some spots.  So, I crazy-glued down a few small pieces.   
I also scooped up some sand from the broken flagstone and sprinkled it one the wet glue, to seal up any cracks.  
Fit in the slotta tab with crazy glue and . . .
. . . sprinkled on some more crumbled bits and sand to cover up the slotta tab. Almost seems a shame I'm going to paint the base, as the greenish hue is quite fetching.
End result, a nice, natural basing effect.  Also, the real stone adds some heft to the minis.  This dwarf is metal, so not too important, but you can really feel the difference with plastic minis.  
Here it is, all painted up.   The flagstone takes paint really well, so I found no need to spray with primer.  I used Delta Ceramacoat paints, black as basecoat, then dry brushed with hippo grey, rain grey, some other grey, then white mixed into the last round.  Finished with a few pools of very watered down blue paint, and then again in green paint, basically like a controlled wash, to add some color and variety.  
Not to be cheeky, but I'll catch you on the backside.
I think this technique makes a really nice base, much better than the ones I made with spackel.

If there were no slotta hole, I could make ten of these in an hour.  With the slotta hole, it probably took an hour just for this one.  So, I'd not recommend this for armies, but I do recommend it for that special miniature that needs something extra to stand out.

Anyone else have an earth-friendly basing technique that you could share?