This is a quasi follow-up to the Grenadiers, yet it isn’t really about them… but it is.
I cannot get enough of mentioning how much I prefer single-bases for my miniature; it’s just way easier to see the details of a singled out mini as opposed to one in a collum. This has of course its own charme, which is especially true for mass blocks of Infantry like pike blocks of rather same-ishly miniatures and the same goes for classical uniformed Napoleonics. Yet I like to have it both ways. Therefore I came up with the completely and utterly original idea of a multibase-baseplate, which incorpartes the finished and single-based models that are usually seen on mass-bases. I call it the „mini-diorama-multi-base-make-single-mini-shine-even-though-they-look-like-a-multibase“. Great title, I know.
To humble myself a little bit: The idea is of course nowhere new, as it is pretty much the same as movement tray for light infantry.
I started by using a 45×40 base from Renedra, added the mini with provisional 20×20 bases within and „sculpted“ the Citadel Stirland mud around. I then let it dry, removed the bases and repeated ad inifinitum. Somewhere 2-3 days in it finally had the height that would fit a fully based Grenadier on a 1-2mm thick square-base. I then continued with shading and afterwards adding new layers of different texture paints to create different earth-layers. After that I layered and drybrushed two distinct areas on the base, with one diagonal „passing“ through it and the rest. You guessed it, I was trying to emulate a path. While always adding to the layers and drybrushing to make it look like something akin to a landscape, I also looked for indentations which I filled with grass glue. After the glue had dried I shaded the mostly clear surface with Serpahim Sepia and Coelia Greenshade (the second shade was actually too much, don’t do it if you want a somewhat clear look), and there you go, I had cheaply made ponds all over it.
At this point the idea of a path crossing through a rural area had solidified. By adding thin lines of grass to the edges the look became somewhat passable and basically all that was left was – scenery…
I martyred my brain and searched through my bits-boxes. Somewhere, I knew, I should have those 1:87 chests, sand bags and barrels – I didn’t find them. What I came across was an empty sprue and a piece of casting-leftovers from the Warlord armoured Pikemen. They immediately called out to me, and I got the idea to turn them into a mile border/ mile stone and a piece of wood/metal. I helped the rugged look of the mile stone, which is clearly one (and not a tomb stone!) with liquid green stuff, which I found for the very first time useful for anything else than its very unsatisfyingly use as a filler for bubbles and cracks. I also poured a bit over „wood“ but I don’t think you’d be able to tell, it was supposed to create the base for moss. Speaking of moss, this was exactly what the liquid green stuff made me think of and so I went for it on all the „scenic pieces“.
Lastly I thought I would want to have way cross. But as someone who hates arts and crafts, I had to resort to bits again. I came across my many leftovers of the Warhammer Empire 7th edition (or 8?) flagellants, who had some pieces cobbled together of wood and parchment. Let’s make this quick then: I took two of those pieces and butchered them to glue them together again to make the cross and its roof. Filling it with liquid green stuff yet again it was finished and looked already the right way of shoddy. I also did another piece, which might be really hard to find, a cannonball, stuck in the earth, which I made from a random polystyrene-ball floating on my table. For the fear that the pieces would break off, if I just used super-glue, I opted for („solid“) green stuff, which I coated in astrogranite for the stone, making something looking like a fundament (I really liked the effect) and Stirland Mud texture paint for the wooden cross. Speaking of the cross and the stone, it came as a surprise to me, that using Coelia Greenshade would make for a marvelous moss/mold-effect over a liquid green-stuff surface.
The last thing I actually added were the tufts. Let me tell you, the purple flowers are aweful, they tend to fall out, which now makes it really necessary to get a varnish spray instead of the brush-on I use.
So what was my main-take on the base? Configurability! By leaving up those spots I can now always change up the look of the diorama. Given I have to somewhat make compatible bases, I can put on a variety of models and create dozens of new scenes with them.
edit: Something to take away is to add a little bit less foliage next time, while it looks not too much individually (on each mini and the multibase) it looks a bit confusing together I thinkgg, I have removed one tuft.
Well, that was my take on a budget, easy to built-diorama, thank you