Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sorondil Part 4

I haven't done much painting in the past week, though I did manage to completely reorganize my hobby area... so I guess that's something!  I also got Sorondil's right arm attached and took care of the rest of his skin.  

Although I didn't get much paint on the figure, I did put in some time creating the base.  You'll also notice his little buddy in the pictures.  As I said earlier, I found a box of 1/35 scale (same as the main figure) velociraptors from Tamiya, so I put one together as his hunting companion.  I will probably add a leash or something once the figures are both attached to the base.  Okay, so on to the main point... creating the base.  I wanted to do some sort of primordial forest/jungle so I needed to create a tree.  I've seen some tutorials using wire armatures for trees, so I thought I'd give it a try.  The basic idea is to take a bunch of wires of more or less equal lengths and then twist them together to form the main trunk.  You can then pull off sections and form the branches and roots. I could have used more wires and pulled them apart more at the top to create a bigger network of branches, but I wasn't going for the full tree, just a section so the scene would not become too large.

The ground itself is made of cork (thicker cork made from a pack of Ikea trivets) torn to create an irregular shape.  A few more pieces were placed on top to give the base a little more height variation.  I then wrapped the wire roots around the cork and pressed the ends into it in places to anchor it onto the base.

The next image covers several steps.  Since it would be messy, I used some painters tape to make off the wood plinth.  Then I took some scultpamold modeling compound and coated the wires to give the tree some thickness.  I applied some to the surface of the base as well.  Using sculpting tools I shaped it around the tree until I had something I liked.  It was a bit lumpy, but that was fine for my purposes.  Once that was dry I took some sand paper to smooth out the roughest parts.  Then, using some white glue, I applied some sand and rocks to the ground to give it some more texture.  I applied some on the sides and bottom of the cork to change up its look.  After that I took some milliput and did finer adjustments to the tree's shape and covered the wire for the dangling roots.  The last step was to paint the tree using a crackle medium.  This was done to give it more texture.  I'd bought this a while ago, but this is my first time using it on a project.  It's interesting stuff to work with, the thicker the coat, the larger the pieces it creates.  A thin coat will create very fine pieces, though too thin and nothing happens.  The tree has a mix of large, small, and then completely smooth portions... though I think that works.  It will definitely take some practice if you want to have a lot of control over the size of the pieces the crackle medium creates.

There is still more to add to the base.  I've got some etched brass jungle foliage, moss, more hanging stuff, etc.  But I think I will prime it and get the colors for this main part done first.  For the foliage, I'll be using the tropical assortment pack from Hasslefree Miniatures.  They've got a bunch of other ones which now I'm wishing I had ordered.  If I order them now, I'm not sure they will arrive in time... but it may be worth a shot.


Quick Update: Here's the primed version....


  1. Dave, it's looking good so far. Will you paint the crackle sections as tree bark?

    1. Thanks! I sort of treated the crackle sections as bark, though I did not spend a great deal of time painting each one individually. I just painted the tree as a whole and left the cracks between the crackle sections dark to keep the texture.

      Although I haven't posted the final photos, this post shows you more or less how the tree looks in the end.