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Stuck at Home; Keeping myself sane

Stuck at Home; Keeping myself sane

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Flora Basing Tutorial

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Using real mosses and plants on your bases is a great way to add interest to your miniatures.

Before you start you’ll need to prepare your plant material to make sure they last.

Tools and Materials needed for preparation:

Plants

Glycerin

Absorbent paper (ie kitchen roll)

Water

Small container

This technique can be used on any type of plant but the results can vary. Generally the more ‘woody’ the plant is, the better. Normally once you cut a plant it will begin to dry out, losing its water which in turn destroys the structure. This process solves the problem by replacing the lost water with glycerin which acts like an embalming fluid and retains the plants structure.

I recommend you do this in advance of when you need the plants. I do batches every now and then and keep them in my bits box – some have been stored for well over a year and are still as good as new. Some plants won’t take well to the process, and you’ll see within 48 hours if it’s failed.

Step 1

Collect some plants! I like to use mosses as they scale well and you can just pull them from the rock but try anything, small herbs like thyme can be good. For this tutorial I just popped in the garden and grabbed some moss – it took me about 1 minute and I was able to find a good variety.

Step 2

For this stage you need some Glycerin. It is available over the counter from most chemists, as it’s often used as a children’s medicine, and also found in some supermarkets. It isn’t harmful and you don’t need a bio-hazard suit to handle it. It’s also pretty cheap, the bottle pictured was about £1.20 and lasts for ages. You will also need a small container and some water.

You need to mix 1 part Glycerin to 10 parts water in the container. Give it a good stir so it’s properly mixed. Next take your plants and dip them into the mixture, make sure they are well covered then remove and place on some kitchen roll or newspaper. This will soak up the excess.

Some plants you may want to turn over after an hour to soak both sides. Then simply leave to dry (overnight if possible).  After 24 – 48 hours any plants that didn’t succeed the process will have wilted so you should discard them; the rest you are free to use.

Step 3

Now that your plants are prepared you can use them on the bases of your miniatures.

You can take this a step further though, and use certain mosses to create miniature flowers.

Tools and Materials needed for preparation:

PVA glue

Cocktail stick

Moss with fronds

Coloured flock

Some mosses have fronds that like miniature reeds, and these are great for making simple flowers. Glue the moss to your base using PVA or super glue.

Step 4

Using a cocktail stick, carefully apply PVA glue to a single frond – you don’t need a lot of glue, so don’t overload it.

Step 5

Dip the glue covered ‘flower’ into the coloured flock to create flower blossoms.

Using different coloured flocks will add a bit of variety and a splash of colour to any base.

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