Sunday, September 6, 2015

Michael's Grass Matt Basing Tutorial

I never noticed the wonderful variety of colors on these until very recently. Plus, I never really needed them until this Voodoo Zombie game I'm making moves closer and closer to reality. Arguably, these may very well be good to go without modification, but I wanted to make permanent patches of the stuff and disguise the grid bottoms for eye level photography.

Lovely grid for creating identical clumps.

I have so many junk CD's around I thought I'd use those as the bases, these will need to be halved first to fit ...

... then quartered (Yes, GW sprue cutters on display and they work superbly on this very soft plastic).

Lots of overhanging ribbing so time to trim away some excess plants. I'm going to just do the Long Grass style to make sure I feel comfortable doing these. I'll put these aside for now.
That's more like it, even yet I will need to trim some of the corner tips of these existing grids.

One thing to note - these grids are not all full - it turns out I had a half dozen missing plants that had fallen away. Before you buy any, make sure all the spikes have a plant on them.  Luckily the excesses gave me plenty of extras with still some left over.
Last check - that's a fit. Now to GENTLY pluck off the plants. You can see it's a bell shaped concave wheel thing that has a center spike. In my haste I did pull the whole thing, spike and all, off the grid rendering it useless. Again, lucky I had extras.

Each plant here has it's own base and spike that I can make smaller arrangements with.

Extra sprues for making stones. Keep track of the little spikes that remain - these will be useful in providing a solid frame for remaining plants in the event you break some off or want to make smaller bases.
You can see at left, I jerry-rigged a spike and corner piece to replace the corner I had broken.

Plain ol' Elmers white. These dried overnight and I used binder clips to make sure all the edges were pressed on to the CD; you will find they don't lay flat.

These Golden mediums are invaluable. I had a lot of this Extra Course, and I'm fine with chunky gravel here. I'm not going to worry about the interiors - the plants themselves are DENSE so as long as the edges are done it should be fine. I let this dry overnight.
Skipped a step here but I sprayed all of it black with Krylon black spray - don't use fancy hobby primers here. Another night of drying.

Three layers - a shadow and two successive highlights - again, the interiors I don't care a whit for - they'll be well covered.

I should have done an "in progress" shot. But working with the hot glue gun was harrowing. You have to move fast and decisively. You also have to select the plants with the widest spread for the interiors so they don't splay all over the edges, You will also need to make sure the "bell" of each plant doesn't invert in the gluing - I made that error on a couple and the leaves went wild and looked awful. Already glued down it was difficult to pop the bell back into shape.

These looked much worse I think as miniature terrain goes so I'm pretty sure it was worth the time. I have nice heavy and sturdy pieces to show for it. Now to to the other plant styles and smaller sizes ...
Thanks for looking- Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged!