Custom figure base

Hi All,

While my primary interest in this hobby has always been collecting and customising 1/6 scale weapons, I have recently made my first foray into kitbashing complete figures. I will share some pics of these when I am happy with the way that they are looking, but for now want to share the first dio base that I have made to complement the figure which will stand on it.

I started with a standard base from IQO figures. I chose these because they are little larger than most and have a nice profile. The groundwork was made from XPS extruded insulation foam from the local hardware store. This was carved into a circular shape to fit the base before carving out the different heights for the roadway and sidewalk. All measurements were drawn onto the foam with a ballpoint pen, which was enough to gouge the lines between the cobblestones and the joints in the concrete. I added a bit more interest by compressing a few of the cobblestones to vary their height and make it look much more natural. Realistic texture was added with a ball of crumpled up tin foil. I was skeptical of this at first, but it is surprising just how well this works.

The base after priming. The added texture and height variation really shows up in this pic.

Preshading added to all of the cracks and recesses to help add definition, and the first coat of colour added to the concrete sidewalk and kerbstones.

All basic colours added to the base. Each cobblestone was individually painted by hand with varying shades of brown to add to the realism.

Once the paint was dry, I coated everything with a black wash to unify the colours and bring out additional detail where the wash pooled in all of the recesses.

Though it can’t be clearly seen in the following photo, the entire base was given a light drybrush to further make the details pop. All of the cracks were then “grouted” in with a mixture of fine building sand and coloured pigments. It is hard to see here, but the earlier work on the tonal variation of each cobblestone really showed up well at this stage, with all of the dirt scattered across the base further enhancing the realism at this stage.

The finished product with its intended figure. Unfortunately, the process that I used to seal all of the sand onto the base made a lot of the pigments run and mix together, lessening the colour variation that I had maintained up until this point. There is still some there, though just not as much as in the previous step. A lesson learned for next time - I will need to ensure that whatever method that I use does not mix the colours together so much.

Apologies for the poor quality of these photos, but as always, your thoughts/comments/suggestions are always welcomed.


Great looking stand mate, can’t wait to see a figure standing on it.

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This is absolutely awesome! :dizzy_face: I wish I had the patience for something like that.

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Lovely work, and appreciate the WIP pictures and explanation.

For fixing pigments I’ve found two methods I’m reasonably happy with. Spray a fine mist of heavily watered down white glue / wood glue / PVA glue, or a light coat of matte varnish through the airbrush at low PSI. I usually lightly reapply some pigments afterwards to bring some colour variation back.

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Great looking base and many thanks for taking the time to put down a very detailed tutorial

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Cheers Darren! Although I am still waiting for a few more parts to arrive to complete the figure. However, that last pic should give you a hint of who will call this base home.

Thanks for the kind words oso2013! Haha, anyone who has spent hours trying to thread mini molle pouches or handle a fragile headset without it disintegrating has all of the patience needed to make something like this. The slowest part of this was waiting for the glue to dry.

Cheers Luke and thanks for the tips. I used scenic glue (heavily watered down PVA) to seal the sand and pigments into place, although it seems that the surface tension was enough for it to pick up the pigments and make them run in ways that I wasn’t intending. I am working on another base now and will probably just give it a hit of spray varnish when I am done with it in order to avoid the same problem.

My pleasure Nick! A lot of the skills that I have picked up over the years I have learned from forums like this one from other members sharing what they did.

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