A Firm Foundation Makes A Huge Difference

A Little Robot Guy:

Two years ago I completed a little Japanese ‘Robot Guy’ (picture above). He is about 2.375 inches high. I’m not even sure what he’s called (his official name), or what he belongs to (Anime, Gundam or ?), because the box and instructions are all in Japanese. Anyhow, I had put him up on a shelf for a while, and then moved him into a corner in a display cabinet where he was hidden by other little fellows, and sci-fi monsters. What should I do with him? I’ll explain next with a recent trip I made!


Recyled Building Materials Trip:

Last week I picked up at a local Recycle Building Material Store several square wooden cube racks just under 2 foot square (shown above). I have no idea what they were originally used for, the shop didn’t know either. I plan to make a couple of large display cases for displaying by Japanese Bottle Cap Figures. I will share this later …back to this blog’s purpose.

While strolling through all the neat recycled building supplies, I found several tables cluttered with smaller wood, and hardware items, for a dollar or less. There among the conglomeration of old and new items were several wooden plaques, old and new (shown above). I bought a few of these as they make cheap model bases. I have used some of these before – the trick is being creative with them!

A Firm Foundation for my Little Robot Guy:

Placing The Figure:

I used one of the smaller wood pieces for this figure. It measures 5 inches long x 3 inches wide. I masked the lower frame all around with masking tape, to temporarily protect it while working on the upper flat base. Because the Little Robot Guy had a work/construction equipment look, especially with those big claw hands, I decided to use a stone/rock looking base. I placed the figure by gluing his feet with construction adhesive. I use No-More-Nails adhesive in a caulking gun. I squeeze a bit on a piece of scrap plastic, and apply it to an object using an artist’s Palette Knife.

The Surface Materials:

I keep a selection of Railroad Modeler’s stones in various sizes (available at http://www.woodlandscenics.com). Plus I use real stones that I have collected from craft stores, landscape gardening stores, or from looking down! The largest of the stones shown above were glued with the construction adhesive mentioned. For smaller granular size stone/gravel, I apply White Glue, or Acrylic White Modeling Paste to the surface, and then sprinkle the stone over. I lightly tap the top of the applied stones with my finger, and then tip the surface, so that the unglued stones fall away. If you miss a spot – just repeat.

Color Design:

The larger stone had natural sand yellow/beige colors which went well with the figure and the natural light color of the wood base. I found one size of granular stone, that was also in this color range, so I used it. A very fine stone was a charcoal grey color, so after I applied it and let it dry, I mixed a little Acrylic Bronze Yellow with 40% White, and lightly brushed it over the Charcoal Grey stone and elsewhere to highlight and blend the overall color. Lastly, the masking tape was removed from the lower frame area, when the top surface was dry, and a Clear Matte Acrylic Varnish was applied.


Other Wood Bases I Have Customized:

Above a Spray Painted Base, with Painted Rocks (Formed from Plaster), and applied Woodland Scenics Shrubbery. (the Blue on the figure is Glitter Nail Polish)

Above a Spray Painted Base, with a Base Size Plaster Rock Spray Painted and Hand Painted with Metallic Paints.

Above a Hand Painted Base, with a Textured Thin Acrylic Sheet Back Painted and Fused to Surface.

Above a Hand Painted Base, with a Base Size Plaster Rock Hand Painted with Acrylic and Metallic Nail Polish.

Above a Spray Painted Base, with Tape Masked and Sprayed Metallic Bronze Squares.
As you can see, What these cheap little wood bases become, is governed by your imagination!

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