Another custom figure base

Hi All,

After my recent success building my first custom figure base (see thread: HERE), I have decided to attempt another, more detailed base for another figure. Much as a bonsai must be correctly matched to its pot, I plan to make bases to display all of my figures. Each base will be designed specifically to complement the figure which will stand upon it. For the sake of uniformity, I hope to use the same standard IQO base (or similar) that I used in my first custom base.

I built this base for a Crusader knight figure that I have been working on. The original idea was to build a desert scene with a small section of ruined castle wall.

As with the previous base, the ground work and wall was made using XPS extruded insulation foam. I started by cutting a circle to fit the base. This was carved roughly to add a bit of profile to the ground. A few thin pieces of foam were added on top of the base to simulate flagstones. This was an afterthought and could just as easily have been carved directly from the base. A couple of small stones that I picked up on the side of the road add a little visual interest.

Meanwhile, the wall was made from individual blocks which I carved from foam and glued together before attaching the entire wall to the base. Realistic stone texture was added to the stone blocks and flagstones with a scrunched up ball of tin foil. Once the glue was dry I mortared everything in place with some builders plaster filler. Additional texture was added along the base of the wall and around the stones with a layer of Tamiya diorama texture paint.

Once dry, real sand and some small pebbles were sprinkled over the base, while avoiding the flagstones and the stones.

The stonework and the sand were painted in different shades of tan and desert yellow to ensure sufficient contrast between the two surfaces. Everything then received a number of different washes and some drybrushing to help unify the colours and make the details really stand out.

The final step (which can be seen best in the first photo above) was a dusting of pigments and adding a few tufts of grass.

While I am overall quite happy with the result, you really can’t see very much of the wall or the base once the figure is standing atop it. I am not sure if I’ll stick with this or if I will build another base for this figure. What do you think?

As always, your thoughts / comments / suggestions / praise / criticism / outright derision is welcomed.


Really nice job… thanks for sharing :wink:

1 Like

Great job mate, but all that great work can’t be seen with this figure which is a shame. I think a figure without a cape and shield would be a better call dude. I think a modern day solider could work on this base to .


Thanks krisbe511! I appreciate the kind words, mate.

Thanks Darren! I agree that very little can be seen once the crusader is on there. I have been thinking to redo this base for that figure, and possibly save this one for another project. Now I just need to bash an arid figure. :thinking:

1 Like

Fantastic again, it gives the figure a real museum like quality. Inspired me to get and order some xps foam and have a go myself.


Thanks mate!

XPS is surprising easy to work with. It can be carved, sanded, and painted. Take note not to use superglue or enamel paints as both of these will melt the foam. Stick with hot glue and/or wood glue and use acrylic paints.

1 Like

@turkeyshot , I gotta say that the base looks good and you clearly worked hard on it, but the scale of the base itself and the bricks seem more fitting for a 1:12 scale figure?

Now I won’t insult you by suggesting you turn to the dark side of 1:12…

1 Like

I agree with you that this base is a little too small to achieve the look that I was hoping to. While I am happy with the way it turned out, the blocks are a little small to adequately represent the wall of a 13th century castle. I could do a better job with a larger base, but I only have limited space for displaying my figures. The small round base allows me to still fit 3 figures on each shelf of a Detolf without crowding it, and having them all the same base helps to unify the collection. Besides, trying to accurately represent the environment for each figure on such a small space is a nice challenge.

While it will do for now, I may adapt this base to represent a modern arid environment and bash a new figure to suit it.

I for one have no interest in venturing into the sordid world of 1:12. When we have so much available in 1:6 I just don’t see the point.

1 Like