Imps vs. Nids diorama WIP part 3 - Base
I had first used a block of blue styrofoam as a mockup for the base. As I closed into making the final base I kept the top of the styofoam but replaced the bottom with plywood. I then started by building the walls of the trench with aluminum sheets from food paste tubes and plastic rods. Before adding the sand ground I also added some slate to stick out of the ground to add some detail and make the hill top for the marine to stand on.
Something I’d always wanted to do was a way to make a realistic sand base with footsteps on it. When I did bases in the past I never felt the models really connected with them. This was fine with army models but as I got to start working on the base for the diorama and I wanted to make it as realistic as possible I knew I had to work out a methos for this.
I had of course seen several attempts throughout the years and my favourite bases had always been muddy bases. These almost always used some kind of mixture of filler and sand and though I wanted a dry earth base this was a good starting point. After some experimenting I got the best result from spreading a layer of filler on the base, sprinkling a really fine sand over it, gently pressing it into the filler, shaking off the excess sand, and then finally carefully detailing it. Mostly I used a cadian foot and going to town making footsteps so that it looked like people had been walking around back and forth. I also made the impression of every model where they would stand or lie down to integrate them properly with the ground. When the filler had dried I carefully removed any models and sealed the sand with thinned out black paint. This had to be done in patches as the filler only allowed for 10 minuted of detailing before turning to hard.
Finally I sculpted the sandbags with GS. In places I sculpted them to have collapsed into the trench where the gaunt jumped the guard and kicked out where the marine charged into the nids.
Everything was later basecoated together with the models and then airbrushed. Note that this is far from the finished base. It will be covered with grass tufts, burning grass, corpses, lasgun clips, blood, etc.
"Lasgun clips? But they aren’t available seperately?" you may wonder. Check out the next part for more 3D goodness.