Sunday, September 6, 2015

Collodi 1: Prepping the Base

Finally got the Master of Puppets box set in. Got him assembled, got him primed, got some black wash on him. But before I began painting the Neverborn leader who's inherited the namesake of Pinocchio's author, I wanted to do something with his pose. I love it, but as my painting buddy pointed out, it kind of looks like he's casting a spell.

Maybe that's appropriate for him, but I liked making it more plain that he's a puppeteer. That would obviously involve getting a puppet on his base. So I could just have a Marionette share the base with him, but gluing one on there means you can't separate it out to use in a game.

So I got the idea of just having a little magnetized piece you could pull out and swap in similar sized piece with a doll mounted on. Suddenly using some of the Reaper dolls I'd acquired started to fall in place.  

Game-wise, Collodi has to sit on a 30mm base. So I filled one to the edges with a layer of green stuff and dropped a rare earth magnet against the lip.

Knowing Collodi would have to share a small base with another figure, I made his area of the green stuff thick so he could sit high and back a little. Then I used an Instant Mold made from an Enigma "tavern" wood base.  Carved a little space out where the magnet was using some Reaper minis to juse the width. I did this because I knew I'd never be able to cut off the standard Reaper bases without completely messing up the mini - namely the "kewpie" doll golem and the gingerbread man. Let it harden and then minor filing so the small bits could slide in without scraping. Also drilled two holes where Collodi would sit on the base.

The more I thought about interchanging one puppet the more I relished the thought I could switch out more than one puppet. That means more little bits are needed, to mount the puppet.

The easiest way to create the smaller bits was to get put green stuff on a little plasticard, and slide it into the notch. Vaseline is needed around all sides of the notch so it doesn't stick there. (When the shaping is done, rubbing alcohol will remove the Vaseline). 

From here, you just reapply the mold. Some of the green stuff sticks to the side. A sculpting tool / toothpick helped to separate the small bit out and shape it back.

Let it harden. Filed as needed. Then I Dremeled out a groove on the bottom, cut a little paperclip piece, and superglued it to the bottom. The magnet now has something to grab. (Stupidly forgot I had to do the same with Reaper dolls I didn't cut off the base because the pewter alloy isn't magnetic. I am a very poor scientist.)

Very pleased with how close I got the color matching on the wood. Still only three freakin' colors after priming white: FolkArt Mushroom, a midtone grey (think I used Anita's Grey), and my FolkArt Van Dyke Brown wash. But I discovered the best technique by accident. I applied a heavy Mushroom glaze over the boards, but felt I over-applied it.  So I soaked it the excess with a clean brush but then took off too much.  I was disappointed at first, but once it dried I realized it matched the lighter near white boards perfectly. Going to use this "glaze and remove" process here on out for wood bases.

So I started with the Reaper "hankercheif" ghost from Familiar pack VI (listed as "sock doll" on the onine store). I wanted to make a base that he could sit on. Mirroring my process with Collodi, I applied green stuff up to the lip of the base with a magnet (this time in the middle though). Let that harden, put the small bit, applied more green stuff around it, used Enigma mold, and painted. 

Hadn't discovered the "glaze and remove" technique yet. So the color scheme doesn't match perfectly like on the Collodi base.

Here's the unpainted Collodi with the Reaper hankercheif ghost swapped in. 

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