Saturday, August 20

Build Guide: Creating a scene with Custom Bases 35th scale "Cobblestone Corner"

Paul combined his recent build of Takom's M7 "Ersatz" tank destroyer plus suitable figures with a recently released resin base from Custom Bases to see if he can enhance the feel of his scene. See what he thought about the "Cobblestone Corner" in his review...

Review: Cobblestone Corner
From Custom Bases
Cast in one piece of grey resin with an MDF base
Price: $28
Product Link on the Custom Bases Website
While we all would like to build a realistic looking model one day, you can only go so far building just a vehicle by itself. Sure, adding some figures can do a lot to give a sense of scale to the vehicle, but a simple base can be an effective way of really bringing your model to life. Unfortunately, base work sort of stretches the definition of plastic modelling, well for me anyway so a simpler alternative is always an easier option.

Custom Bases is an Australian company which specializes in bases and accessories. There are a few designs available for airfields, cobbled roads, and railways. They have an already very large range that their founder, Glen Burns is updating monthly it seems. I had a look at his website, and selected a base that would uit something I had coming up.

Cobblestone Corner
I was given one of the cobblestone bases with a small section of pavement. The base itself is made from MDF with a resin moulding on top for the surface. The cobblestones have a subtle texture to them and are not all uniform as in real life. The pavement sections are slightly concaved, so it isn’t entirely flat either.
Shortly after being given the base to use, I was offered the Takom Ersatz M7, which turned out to be the perfect kit since I had some figures in the stash that was perfect for this Battle of the Bulge scene.

Being set during the build up to the Battle of the Bulge, I was tempted to add some snow, however living in Australia, I can only say that my experience of snowy environments is very limited, so I ended up trying to make the base as cold and dry as I could. 
The base is easy enough to use, although the MDF will absorb a fair amount of paint if you do not seal it first. I was a bit patchy with the MDF section, but I may go back and fix it up later. I used cheap craft shop acrylics to paint the cobblestones and pavement sections, starting with brown, white, and black paints and mixed the various shades. The hardest part was probably trying to paint the various cobblestones in a random manner.

 Figure painting is really not a strength of mine, and painting the splinter camo in 1/35 was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
Here, pictured in the tank, and on the corner, I was fairly happy with the result.
A combination of elements:
When everything is put together, the figures, the tank and the corner, there really isn’t a great deal of space, and if there is one weakness, I would say that the pavement section could be lengthened as there is a good amount of cobblestone road around the corner, but not really enough space to do anything with, if you know what I mean? We always want more space with our dioramas, and this one I think would suit a smaller vehicle or fewer figures in the scene maybe than I used.
Overall, I would say this is a fairly simple to use addition to your armoured vehicle and allows you to create a fairly sizable vignette with the addition of a few figures.
Paul Lee.

Thanks to Custom Bases for giving this to Paul to use in his scene. You can get this base, along with lots of other of their new products, at the Custom Bases Website...