Thursday, May 14, 2020

Not so basic

Remember when I didn't like dioramas? Yeah, those days are long gone. The quality of model horse dioramas has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. No longer a distraction, the best are now art in and of themselves. In today's "extra" guest post, Mindy Berg lets us look over her shoulder as she creates a base for a Kaladin resin. Thank you, Mindy!

Making a Base for Kaladin

by Mindy Berg

My friend and client, wanted a base for her Kaladin I am painting. No specifications, just a neat base in my style to show off her new horse. Well then! Excellent.
I start with an oval piece of wood and use leftover epoxy to make some rocks. I then sanded the rough edges of the board and primed it.
This is the ugly stage. I know what I'm doing, though, so it doesn't bother me. I paint with acrylic washes, working from dark to light on the rocks and surrounding areas.
At this point, I stop to check the position of the horse on the base. This is super important, so I can plan on how I want to move forward. If I had a naked Kaladin, I would have used him, but I didn't so I have to be careful.
The next step is getting the footing done. Once I have this in place, I'll take my dremel and drill holes for the tall grass and flowers. I did do this before I painted, however, the holes were too small, and I wanted a couple more. No big deal.
Now it's time to  pull out the landscape materials! A little note about this. I have lots of landscaping stuff. I mean, ridiculous amounts. Over extra insane amounts and have been collecting stuff for years. Having anything and everything I could possibly want to use on hand gives me lots of options. The beautiful thing about nature is that it is random, and creating even a simple thing like footing is more than one type of sand. I want this to be as realistic as I can possibly make it.
Once I have the big plants mapped out, I start on one end and begin gluing things in place. This takes a long time. Since this is a traditional base, I am able to use some of my larger clay pieces. I didn't make these, I imported them and they are handmade. I love being able to use them,  and am working with many miniature scales here, which can and do work together. I did fabricate the larger grasses.
I move around the base and plant the plants and grasses. This takes a lot of time, but I don't hurry. I have different types of glue for different things, as well as so many variations of grasses. As I said, over extra, but having the right supplies makes all the difference.
Hey, those rocks look pretty good now!
Once the base is fully planted, I go back and do a little detail work on the rocks and sand off any landscape boogers on the border. I also do a shake test and glue down anything that moves.
I paint the edging and finish the base by backing it with fine velvet.
All done!
More details. Can you spot the little friend?
It's hard to capture the feel of the base, so you get many pictures.
Yet another pic.
From above! 
Now to finish that horse!

1 comment:

  1. I've always admired the diorama talent in the hobby just as much as the sculptures & finishwork of our artists. I'm equally blown away by some of the detailed elements made for dioramas. Mind's work is second to none!! Thank you Mindy for sharing your process & thank you Jennifer for sharing it here. <3