This past weekend I completed the basic groundwork for my Saxon Warlord Vignette. Now that the balsa core had been completed I was able to begin creating the rock and dirt of the hillside using A+B Epoxy Putty. The next three pictures show my progress in the first batch of putty. I worked the putty into the rough shape using a large dental spatula and then worked the surface texture in using a broken piece of balsa wood. This has always given a very random texture that works well for me in the initial stages. The toothpicks are inserted in the holes previously created for the pinned figures.
The following photo shows the base once the putty was completed. The groundwork has not been glued to the wooden base. I like to leave it loose to minimize contact with the finished wood. Once the putty had cured I sanded the transition between the plastic shell and the edges of the putty to create a smooth surface. The next steps will be to refine the details with a Dremel tool and small grinding bits. After that is done I will add fine dirt on the flat surfaces, grass in a few spots, some plant life and prepare to paint the base. I have also noted a few areas on the wall that need some more weathering and attention. The woodwork will be stained using oils on the raw wood and the groundwork will be painted with the usual techniques (oils and oil washes).
Prior to going any further however I wanted to once again test fit the figures to check their stance and again review their staging. It was at this point that I realized I wasn't happy with the placement of the figure on the right of the photo. I re-drilled the holes, ground out a bit of area so that he would stand where I wanted and will re-putty the old holes. It always pays to check and recheck your work. Nothing is worse than realizing there is a problem after the thing has been painted.