On The Desk - Basing with James Wappel Part 1

Once again I seem to be shuffling my hobby time between multiple projects without actually finishing anything. Currently I have 3 in progress which I'd like to get at least two of them done before Christmas. I'm going to take a break from the pirate and go back to one that I haven't actually shared anything on here yet. I'll likely to maybe one or two articles talking about the miniature but first I'm going to walk through the base.

James Wappel. An American painter with an incredibly active blog (Wappellious) has long been a personal favourite of mine. One of his signature pieces are the wonderful marble sculpey bases he creates (below is a few so mine can be put to shame next week!) They really show off his background in 2D painting. He has a number of excellent guides on this technique over the years but I'll link more of those next week when we get to the actual painting.

I recently picked up a bunch of cheap 40mm square wooden blocks off ebay to use as plinths so I painted one of those black and grabbed some cork tile to start making the rock. I used several layers, glued together with some cheap superglue I have, then started crumbling bits off with some needle nosed pliers, fingers, knives etc to create the rock effect.

I then used some of those tear off parts to add some smaller ground bits.

Sculpey! Past readers will have seen me use this before but to add some more information it's an oven bake polymer clay which can be shaped as you like then hardened in a conventional oven. I rolled out a flat sheet about 6mm thick, I could have gone a little thinner. Then left it to back for about 15 mins (your putty will have instructions so follow them!) Once it had dried I broke off a chunk big enough to fit on my cork top and  similar to the cork I weathered the edges using pliers and other tools to get a natural crumbled edge. I also used a sculpting tool to carve some cracks into it, you can also skip this step and just paint them on if you like.

The cork, as beautifully weathered as it is, still very much looks like cork. I followed James Wappel's method of small stones, rough sand then find sand to add more texture. All this applied on a layer of thin PVA glue. I continued this onto the plinth itself as well.

Primed black and then grey from above ready for painting next week!

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