Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Technique: Grated Bases

...up against it this week, which is at least a reason if not exactly an excuse for the late post today.

So this isn’t a recipe (what scandal), but rather a kind of technique “tutorial,” of sorts, for an idea with which I’ve had some small success in the reasonably recent past.

When called upon to do so, I can drink coffee like it was my job. Honestly. I’m talking Olympic quality effort. With this in mind, my lovely wife purchased a quirky machine that makes espresso and all that good stuff on an “as needed” basis. That’s progress. 

Each individual serving of coffee comes conveniently pre-packaged in one of these adorable little plastic pods. And so, after a rigorous week of work and whatnot (precisely as this one’s been for example), I invariably find several handfulls of these little pods sitting about the place, waiting for something better to do before the caffeine drains back out of those frozen hours.

A pair of clippers. A saw perhaps. I’ve discovered that grinds dry quickly when spilled across the kitchen countertop, and that each pod offers both a classy exterior bottom and an interesting interior top that happen to fit Terminator bases perfectly.

For this example, I scratched the bottom of the pod and the top of the base with very rough sandpaper to help get some friction between the surfaces, and then dabbed a bit of plastic glue to get the two together. Plastic is wonderful.

Although with proper sanding, this step isn’t exactly necessary, for this effort I also decided to rough up some green stuff not only to lock these grates in place permanently, but also to soften the visual transition between base and grate.

An extra detail from the bits box here and/or there, and presto. Here’s one I made earlier.

This Terminator Recclussiarch is currently serving duty amongst Roberto Vo5’s dreaded Deathwing, but he was recently on hand to give my poor Arrugginiti a right and proper kicking. The ingrate (get it? …apologies).

For smaller, standard infantry bases, I’ve also managed a more aggressive cutting-sanding-shaping attempt, but found the effort-to-reward ratio a bit too demanding.

I've always thought about trying to mold these and to make a proper resin set, but that still sounds quite complicated and ambitious to me. For those of you that have some modest experience in casting, does this look like something that could work? I'd love to know. 

See you Friday for my haphazard, and imperfectly realized, Yellow recipe.


oniakki said...

From what I can tell from the pictures, those should cast pretty well. There would be a little work filling in any open space below any of the bitz box details that are just placed on top. (Even with silicone you want to try minimizing undercuts.)

Brian said...

Cheers, Oniakki. I've considered casting but, to be candid, it intimidates me. I'm also afraid it will become one more productive distraction in a long list of distractions to this hobby. I presume, however, if I do try it that silicone is the way to go?

Papa JJ said...

Once again you coffee drinkers come out ahead, only now you're both alert and making awesome bases. Thank you for the fantastic tip, perhaps I can track down locally a few jittery espresso aficionados with pods to spare.

oniakki said...

There is definitely a good chance it'll become one of those productive distractions. Silicone is probably the best way to go if you're going to try, wax and plaster molds are extremely sensitive to undercuts (aka, any at all breaks the mold trying to get the original out <.< ). You could use Greenstuff if you wanted, but that would be pretty expensive, and I'm not sure how long it would hold up to resin casting.

Most craft shops carry silicone (at least here in Colorado). I usually find it in the clay modeling section. The store clerks can usually help you find it if you ask for mold making materials or casting resins. They usually have the liquid silicone in a stand alone kit, and in a starter kit that also comes with some resin to cast from your mold and most of the other things you'll need (like little cups, stirring sticks, and a how-to booklet).

Brian said...

@ Pappa JJ. Let me know if you're having trouble finding a local with demonstrably blood-shot eyes. I'll send you a batch of the used pods.

@ Oniakki. Cheers. Thanks for the tips. I hesitate only on account of my other responsibilities at the moment, but you've given me some good incentive to revisit this in the reasonably near future.

Unknown said...

Excellent stuff mate, I love to see people finding uses for all the random junk that we have lying around.

The painting on the Chaplain is really nice too, lovely work.

DrGabe said...

Love it! Great way to recycle your pods. Out of curiosity, what brand of pods do you use?

Brian said...

@ Munky. Thank you kindly. It's amazing what one can find for this hobby of ours just hanging about the household.

@ DrGabe. Lavazza. Sweet. Delicious. Lavazza.

Joe Gekko said...

What a grate idea. :-|

Brian said...

@ Joe. Cheers mate.