I try to write about something miniature-related each week, whether it is about a Work In Progress (WIP) or Showing Off a miniature, diorama, or other finished piece.  Now I am going to try upping my game and write a post for Wednesdays.  I’ll try not to cheat and post one of the above items.

This Wednesday, September 4th, 2013:

Living in the Finger Lakes region of New York affords a lot of outdoor activities and scenery and while we’re not quite there yet, Autumn Leaves fast approach.  That means it’s time for themed bases or dioramas.

Side Note:

Large leaf casting + fairy type miniature = quick change of scale to represent a pixie or other fey type up close.

There are many, many ways to theme your bases with leaves … obviously you can’t use a real leaf without the scale changing (see side note).

What kind of leaf are you showing?

  • Leaf litter
  • Individual leaves
  • Leaf piles

Each of those can be achieved through different means.

Leaf Litter

For example, Leaf Litter can simply be painted on like the Grenadier Owlbear I painted below:

Ballast can be used to display leaf litter if you mix some autumn colors and spread it around.  Adrift over on Reaper created a cool diorama for a Halloween contest using ballast and pumpkins.  Here’s his entry:

Using a rubber stamp or other texturing tool to create a leaf littered forest floor with putty is cool.  I’ve seen some neat rubber/resin stamps that can produce some very detailed impressions in putty.

  • Happy Sepuku, who had a kickstarter for their rubber stamps recently, is adding a swamp texture with leaves you can pick out to add details. 
  • Wargames Bakery, who is holding a kickstarter now (9/4/13) for resin stamps, will have two forest floor stamps when they finish.
  • A Rock.  Yup, I said a rock.  Track down a porous rock amongst your garden, the stones about a lake, or other location.  Basically any igneous or porous rock like Pumice will do.  Lightly press it into some green stuff and you’ll get flat circles and oblong ovals.  Then taking a pin or knife point, mark the leaf veins.  If that’s too much detail just shade the surfaces … light/dark halves.  Advantage: lots of random shapes. Disadvantage: doesn’t work as well on flat surfaces.

Individual Leaves

This all depends on what you want to accomplish.

  • Create a cluster of fallen leaves
  • Create a pile of leaves
  • Create individual large leaves or fronds
  • Create a raised leaf relief

In the Pumpkin Patch / Scarecrow diorama are some scattered leaves below the hangman tree on the right.  I’m pretty sure he used Birch Seed Leaves (Covered in Reaper Miniautres: The Craft article).  The Birch Seed has individual layers that look kind of like maple leaves.  You can buy them online pre-made from such places as Secret Weapon.

Another option for individual leaves are laser carved paper leaves where they get actual shapes of leaves.  Made by PlusModel, they are available in limited stock via: ModelsForSale.com and on eBay.

Along the same lines as stated above for using putty and stamping that putty, you can pull individually created leaves from the stamped pieces like the Swamp stamp from Happy Sepuku:

This is a positive version of their swamp stamp.

You can easily make them yourself from polyclay or epoxy putty like green stuff.  Sculpt them out, bake or air cure, and apply to your base, your shield, chest plate, cape, cloak, or any other methods.

Leaf Piles

This is a tricky one.  Do you make a mound of clay or green stuff and stamp that?  Do you make a series of individual leaves and manually pile them?  Somewhere in the middle is my usual stomping ground.  I was thinking about this earlier.  What if?

  1. You stamped sheets of leaf litter (any method) and let those cure.  
  2. Then trim each sheet to the size of your Leaf Pile and get progressively smaller.
  3. Layer the sheets gluing only the middle.
  4. Then create some individual leaves (birch seed, paper, clay).
  5. Place them over the pile to abjure the layer edges.

This is simply a thought at the moment and down the road it may become an example.  Keep an eye out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *