Decorating Handmade Figure Bases

When I sculpture I often like to decorate the bases of the sculpt to represent a fraction of an environment the figure is a part of.

For fantasy and wildlife sculpts alike, I often use home made “flock” or commercial static grass, but vegetation can be handmade many ways.

For flock I use saw dust and color it with a mix of watered down acrylic paint and white glue. The fluid is mixed with a mini blender and the sawdust is then poured into the mix and stirred. A few minutes in the microwave speeds up the drying process. Alternatively, I heat the mix carefully with a hair dryer while stirring.

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flock is one of those decorative mediums I learned about during my game days with miniatures. Sprinkled over glue on a figure’s base creates the illusion of grassy area.

But vegetation takes on many forms and larger decorative pieces are necessary for variety.

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Hedges are a personal favorite, I make mine with craft wire and rope filaments, spray craft glue on the armature, then insert the whole thing in a container of flock. these pieces can be left long or they can be cut into smaller shrub like pieces to adorn figure bases.

Another technique I use involves finely cut foam or sponge pieces, which are then covered in glue and covered in flock. These pieces are used to resemble bushes, but they can also be incorporated into armatures for making small trees.

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Finally, there is tall grass and reeds. For aquatic reeds I use an old paint brush and cut off the bristles.

Bristles are then glued in clumps to a plastic piece with white glue and dried. The clumps can then be pulled off intact and glued or placed in bases with resin water effect. The same technique is used for rope filament, which is less stiff than the bristles of a brush but it makes good tall grass. I often make batches of these decorative media and store it for future use.

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