I stop at a gas station most every morning I work to get two sodas for the day.  I am NOT a coffee drinker.  I keep a case of Orange Juice at work for my morning drink and then drink one or both sodas over the day.  All of you health nuts can shut up about my habits.  It’s my habits that made me think about this.

Anyway, yesterday I had to drop off my fiancĂ©e instead of the other-way-around, so I bought an Orange Juice for the drive.  After opening it, I noticed that the bottle cap was kind of cool looking:

Not my picture.  This is from a blogger who uses
the top as a “house” for 10mm minis. [link]

You can see the arches above but here’s a closer photo of the top before using it:

The arches in it are very cool and I plan to make a nice display plinth from this cap.  I am certain I could use the same cap as a platform in a diorama, convert it into an “elf house” for 10mm minis or one of many other uses. For today I will make a base.

But first, are there other odd drinks and/or products we can recycle?  Naturally.  I’ve never done it but I hear a lot of people talking about lids of various jars and cans being converted in to display bases for their minis.  Pretty straight forward.  But those don’t have any real pre-existing detail to add to the piece.

I’ve done this for Bird Houses I’ve made for people in the past but never really applied it to minis or dioramas but the most decorative or architectural styled bottles, caps or other products are in the women’s sections of stores much more than the drinks section.  Perfume bottle design is insane, caps included.  But in a fantasy setting, those same pieces could easily be re-purposed for fancy buildings, floating gems, ancient tombs, and more.  You just have to keep your eyes peeled.

The downside of Recycling these things … use them immediately in a project or send them off to the recycling plant.  I caught myself hoarding this stuff a bit.  It was disconcerting to realize.  But take a picture and add it to a photo library of ideas.  Share it with others.  Something I will probably start doing more as I keep an eye out for these things.

Here’s some examples of interesting caps after a quick “spot check” of my home.

  1. Scope Cap:  I like this one because it’s kind of a tulip shape and could make for a nice display base for something cutesy or elven in nature.  You attach it to a separate base and sculpt stairs around the base.
  2. Medicine Cap: This is from a generic bottle of Acetaminophen.  The cylinders around the outside could easily be rockets for a Sci-Fi or Steampunk type miniature.  The concave section could be filled with putty and stamped or it could be like a pool of water in a fountain.
  3. Hexagon Tin Lid: This is from a long tube like tin I found at the Salvation Army.  It’s quite an interesting option to display your mini.  You can use it like shown.  Perhaps a water effect base.  Or you can flip it over and use it as a normal display stand.
  4. Cork:  Just a large cork stopper from a bottle I got at BJs filled with chopped garlic.  It would make a great plinth for a miniature.  It being cork though makes the base fairly light weight so it might be worth while adding weight to the bottom.
  5. OJ Cap:  See Project Below.  This is a Tropicana Orange Juice Cap.
  6. Makeup Cap:  This cap is too small to use as a base for a mini but it is well suited to be a prop on a base.  The cap is prepainted to look like stained or marked stone already.

Keep your eyes open when you roam the mini-mart or grocery store next.  There may be some cool ideas staring you straight in the face.

Here’s where some of the above came from:

The Triple Performing bottle is kind of cool.  The Garlic bottle will be joining my collection on my “Shelf of Ballast.
The rest will be recycled.

Tropicana Cap Example

I put together a little tutorial for filling in the cap and “capping” it off with a stamped floor.  I think I will put one of my Bones dragons on it with its tail wrapped around the cap.

First you fill the cap with some pebbles and glue.  I used some Orange fish tank pebbles.  It’s an orange, OJ cap after all.  Pour the pebbles in about half-way up and cover the pebbles with glue and let settle.  Pop bubbles as they come up.

Then I used a “used” metal slug on top of some glued sand to get a better surface for the epoxy to get level.  The sand also penetrated any remaining gaps in the rocks below it.

Then once the whole thing had a day to setup I added my Magic Sculpt epoxy to the top, smoothed it out, and  let it set for a bit to firm back up before applying a tiled floor texture stamp.

Now that it’s air cured, I can prime it white and wash it with Black Ink to see the details of the sides and the texture stamp.

 When next you see this base, it will be under a dragon.  Not sure which.

Look about and find something interesting of your own to show me.  Post the finds in the comments.

#RecycledBasing, #TextureStamp, #AlternativeBases

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