1⁄35Creating a woodlands scene for The Pursu
This article will focus on creating a base for Michael Roberts’ “Vignette-in-a-box”, The Pursuit sculpted by Mike Stezel and Alan Ball’s Woodland Indian, released about the same time by his own company. From the beginning, I wanted these three figures in the same setting. I can fully imagine the third figure having been left out for reasons of economy and base size.
Planning the scene
The first thing I did was to play around with the kit base (Picture 1) and a display base to determine where the kit base would sit. Once I had decided where it would go, I cut some strips from a Styrofoam block to build up the edges (Picture 2).
Next came several trials of where the figures would be positioned. I had already decided I didn’t want them running down the streambed as in the box art since the second figure gets lost behind the guy jumping the fallen log.
Picture 3 displays one of the early trials, which I rejected because the guy jumping over the log didn’t make sense to me in this position. As work on the base continued more trials were done.
In the end, I decided that the jumping guy would not be hurdling the log, supported on his arm, but jumping the stream and log and should be attached to the edge of the log at his foot and his flattened hand would be replaced with a clenched hand holding a war club.
The basic groundwork
Before gluing anything in place I masked off the exposed parts of the base, because the next steps would be messy (Picture 4). The kit base was then attached using super glue (CA or Cynoacrylite glue) and the Styrofoam with white glue. This was set aside to dry overnight.
The next day, I glued several additional rocks in place, added an Armand Bayardi tree and a resin figure base at the end of the streambed.
I then made a slurry of Celluclay, ballast, white glue, woody turf material and brown acrylic craft paint and blended all these elements together, smoothing the edges with a moistened finger. Picture 5 included a test of the tree stump, which would represent the base of the fallen tree.
When the base was dry, I airbrushed the streambed with burnt umber and the rocks and tree with some shade of Model Master German Gray.. I painted any remaining dry ground with the same acrylic craft paint that had been used in the Celluclay mixture (Picture 6).