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falcon20driver

How to build glossy display bases

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Hello everyone :wave:

I've been asked many times how I build my display bases, so I've decided to post this thread as a quick reference. If anyone else has some good base ideas maybe we can turn this into the display base how to in general. I really enjoy adding bases to my builds and its becoming a part of most of my models. Now, on to the good stuff. First an example of one of my usual base builds:

This is the base for a current A-4 build.

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The first step is deciding on a base shape. Really anything will do as long as it fits the model. I grab bases whenever I'm in a big box store such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I always check out the wood aisle and if I see a neat one, I grab it. Then, when I get home I break out the sand paper and progressively smooth the wood. The smoother the wood, the easier each step will be later.

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Next, I break out the paint. I usually try and paint the base in colors of the squadron. You can also use wood stains and they look great too.

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Now make sure the paint is dry, and maybe wet sand it to smooth out the paint. Again, smoother is better. Now I add the logos or what ever I want on or in the base. I tend to find images on line and print them on glossy photo paper. Photo paper is much better than regular paper, because the resin in the next step doesn't make it look "wet" like it does regular paper. In an upcoming L-39 build I'll be laying a coin into the base before applying the resin. A big key is using glue that won't let the resin pull up your photo/logo/etc. I use elmer's extreme glue and found it works well. I apply the glue to the entire back of the logo (don't miss any of the back!) and set some books on the base while it all dries.

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Next, the really fun part! I use Park's Super Glaze resin. I find mine at Home Depot for roughly $25. Its a 2 part resin that is super easy to work with:

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The directions accompanying the resin spell out exactly how to use it. It mixes 50/50 and I use solo cups to mix it in. After mixing it for a few minutes, start pouring it over your base. Pour into the center of your base and let the resin run out in all directions. You want to make sure your base is on a level surface and raised above the surface its sitting on. I set my bases on top of solo cups. This is so that the resin can run off the sides and not pool around your base. As the resin settles over your base you can pour in different areas if you feel its not running in all directions equally. You can't pour on too much, it'll self level!

Now the hardest part, bubbles :chain-gun: Gently blow on the top of the resin, not so much straight down but across the top. This will help remove the small bubbles that can accumulate during mixing. Also have a small needle handy to pop the bigger bubbles that may rise out of the wood. It takes patience but keep an eye on the resin as it dries. If there are any imperfections in the first coat, a second coat will take care of it. Then once its all cured, sand the resin drips off the bottom of the base and all good to go! It really is a quick technique to learn. Practice once or twice and it'll be super easy!

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Great tutorial and nice photography to go along with it.

A few of those bases seem to be about 12" x 12". Can you get more than one base out of one kit of the Poly?

Thanks for doing this. And your models are really top notch.

Bob

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Thanks Bob! You can get more than one base out of a box of resin. How many depends on how big the bases are and how many coats each one gets. I can usually get 2-4 bases out of a box, and I get more efficient as I learn the amount to mix for each size base. Its kind of like mixing paint and thinner, you get a feel for how much you need after a while without knowing exact measurements.

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Your bases look great. Thanks for posting the tutorial. One of my favorite parts of building kits is making the base so I am always interested in seeing how others construct theirs.

Els

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Thanks for posting. I really enjoy your bases. It adds that extra pop to the build. I'll be trying this in the future.

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Thanks for the information Falcon. I will be trying this for future builds. I tend to use picture frames from Michaels or Hobby Lobby for mine.

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Awesome tutorial. I bought a base the other day to give this a try. Where do you get the artwork for the carrier bases?

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Awesome tutorial. I bought a base the other day to give this a try. Where do you get the artwork for the carrier bases?

I ordered a set of carrier decks made by Skunk works models I believe. They were cardboard and had plastic pieces to set under the cardboard. I just glued the cardboard to the base and then trimmed it around the edges. I've seen somewhere online a place to download tarmac sections you can print off. I'll do that for my VISTA F-16.

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Falcon20driver,

Just a super tutorial. Going to have to master your technique for my PBY-5A build. The base will be a major part of the display when finished. Of course I've yet to even get started on this major project.

Joel

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Very nice tutorial. I was at Michaels over the weekend and stumbled across the gloss kit there, and recognized it from reading this last week. Working on a 1/32 F-18C, and just picked the decals for it. I think a blown up image of the squadron logo on a base would look excellent underneath the finished model. I'll have to keep that in mind when I get to that point.

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Honestly this has to be one of the topics I have wanted posted the most. You have a serious knack of being a very good modeler but your bases are absolutely fantastic. I wanted to comment a week ago but was unable. This needs to be posted as a sticky so we all have quick reference to it. Great topic my friend I will be employing this very soon.

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Thanks guys. I was approached by a fellow modeler in my local area about building him a couple display bases along these lines. With my expanded work area in my new house I'm considering offering to build bases as requested. I'm not trying to make this a full time business but helping some fellow modelers and earning a little money for kits doesn't sound too bad. What does the ARC community think? Is it worth pursuing?

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Thanks guys. I was approached by a fellow modeler in my local area about building him a couple display bases along these lines. With my expanded work area in my new house I'm considering offering to build bases as requested. I'm not trying to make this a full time business but helping some fellow modelers and earning a little money for kits doesn't sound too bad. What does the ARC community think? Is it worth pursuing?

Falcon20Driver,

I think it's a great idea. There are many modelers who have no idea or even the basic tools to work with wood. I'd guess that for a fair price you'll be swamped with orders as word of mouth spreads the information.

Joel

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