Friday, August 8, 2014

Massive Voodoo Basing Class

So the workshop of basing your showcase pieces and making masterpieces the Voodoo way...

As you can see in the photo above, all the talented artists gathered to learn from Massive Voodoo's basing guru, Roman "Jarhead" Lappat... Jarhead standing for the amount of jars of materials he keeps that hold little figure heads or other bits in them..

You can also see how shocked Peter is of the graffiti on the wall to everyone's right...

This was also another heavy weekend of theory and learning for me, especially after the major knowledge overload I received from going to Banshee's workshop the weekend before. But then again, basing was a topic I have taken as a class before, heck it was even earlier this year! So now it was time to see how well it compares to the previous one... one thing is for sure.. the weather for this class was a lot warmer!

But let's go back to the classroom of this workshop.. the room that looked like it had seen better days.. one that has probably housed many a military personal in its time, and is showing its age. A perfect start to a weekend of basing up Post Apocalyptic setting, where nature has reclaimed what was rightfully theirs.

In typical fashion this class kicks off with a bunch of theory.  Roman starts off with all the theory, and my Google translator Peter was on hand to help translate as Roman explained everything in German ( which is acceptable considering that I was the only foreigner, again, to the class ). And like Google, Peter was about 85% accurate in what he was translating ( I don't remember you saying about paint in the doss, seriously! ).

But he was still a good sport throughout the weekend and helped me out with the basics of the theory while the teacher gave the larger explanations. Such as talking about things like the golden ratio or composition of the model versus its environment.

You can see my first sketchs of what I was planning for my base. Yes, there is a lot of math there. And yes, this made it easier and more fun for me to plan out my base, which is really strange but whatever it worked for me!

You can see that Roman really took his time to go around to each of the students and really work with them on their sketches and ideas. But he had a really BIG surprise for us to really drive the point home concerning placement and line of sight and other such things about composition... life sized base building and model placement..

At this point he was trying to get people to understand how the pieces on the left being so tall compared to the things on the right draws the eye towards it like reading a book. Of course there were many discussions about the mirror image of this and such, but that is maybe for another post ;)

Teacher Roman looking on and wondering why more people are not getting involved in the base building...

More people getting involved.. and poor Vlado being put to begin his duties as a full time ironer or clothes!

We were not sure if he understood what ironing is.. at least not with that pose!

MOAR craziness here...

But near the end, everyone just wanted to have some beer, and reflect back on what Roman was teaching everyone.. and be ready to put our sketches into reality on day 2!

Day 2 saw a switch in locations as we moved from the Jungle to Roman's old university! With a room set aside for us, it looked very professional and deluxe for working on our creations here!

We were split into 3 groups; Group A was about creating Brick walls, Group B was about creating signs, and Group C was about cutting our sockets and prepping smaller detail pieces.. Basically we were just hording pieces at this point to go towards what we wanted for our bases.. smart to get prepared, and there were some that moved faster than others in the different groups. Some had patience to keep to their groups, others forged forward on their own. Meh.. to each their own, but it was better to follow the direction of the class I believe.. also gave a chance to rest in between groups cause the hard parts of putting it all together was yet to come!

As you can see the bases progressed quite quickly here.. much faster than some of us would realize that they could be build up.. and for some of us.. our bases got away from us and grew to pretty large sizes as well! Not a bad thing so long as the golden rule was kept in place... mostly... :D

Of course with mine being something like 26cm tall.. there was major concerns that I would have issues when it came to painting it up... oh how little faith some have of my fast painting techniques! :)

A quick prime and we are off to the racetracks.. though this of course would be started on Day 3 after another quick night finishing off the bases... below are some shots of the pre-primed pieces that everyone had worked on..

Some really stellar pieces made from the group here.. and all very different from each other even if we all had the same input as to what was needed on the bases for this class.

But once the pieces were primed, those who already had taken a Jarhead beginner class could begin with their Wet on Wet styling... the others got a quick tutorial on how to do it, or a refresher as needed.

For me it was full steam ahead!!!!

I had planned to take more WIP photos of it as I moved through the piece.. but honestly it was going so quickly it was really hard to stop!

Roman at this point of the class showed us how to begin to add in the moss and ground level of the greenery for the bases. As part of the class was how nature had reclaimed the manmade works, we needed to have a lot of nature on the bases. His technique is on the MV blog under the Doss/Moss tutorials, but he went into a bit more details an dhow to make it work here.

Some couldn't believe their eyes on how well it worked... but rubbing them wouldn't make the truth any less real ;)

Others were just so dumbfounded that they turned into Monkeys and reverted back to a hunched over walking position...

For me it was just the process of beginning to brighten up the piece a lot and see what could be done with it. The greenery was really beginning to make the piece come alive here!

And from here we began to add even more greenery to really add life to the pieces.. though at this point my base was compete for the class. Biggest thing at this point was getting to understand the layering of greenery for such a piece, and how it can work if set up properly. Something that I look forward to doing more in the future.

Also the golden ratio.. and using the math for a piece. Expect to see more comments and uses of that in the future.

But how was it the class in the end? How were the pieces and do we think we achieved what we wanted to achieve? Well.. check out the pieces made below!!!

I think that if each piece had been made to the same socket height, this would be one heck of a city scene! Something to think about for future classes or even for some personal projects of my own! Mmmmmm more ideas and products to jump onto!

But you can see that although we all had a model ( which was picked at random btw! ) no one really worked on theirs as the focus was on the base. So I hope to see many of these pieces getting updated and finished in time.. and seeing how the models are integrated into the bases further soon! Until then.. well.. I was able to put some more effort into mine.. but that will be for another post.. :D Peter Jackson style.. extending a topic well past the point that it should be.. :D

Hope you liked this.. and even if it is not really for gaming bases ( or at least looks that way.. but it could be ) hopefully everyone was able to take something away from it. And enjoy the weekend! I suspect much painting in my near future.. or at least I hope as much!!!!


  1. What a sensational post Mr. Lee, thank you so much, truly inspirational stuff.

    1. It is all on MV for their class and structure. But it is amazing to see how far one can go in 2 days for building a base. Quite helpful and really great to do such things. Hope it inspires others to build up epic sized bases!

  2. I really enjoy these posts Mr Lee. They not only share the value of such classes, but reveal to some of us (like myself), that the classes exist in the first place!

    Articles like these transcend games as the hobby of creation is what the true end product is!

    1. Thanks for those comments Gregg.. really.. that means a lot to me as it reinforces that I should keep them up ( the reviews ). Am really happy to hear what you think of it.. and that hopefully you can join such a class in the future as well. Will begin to put out some advance warnings of classes then to give more warning of them. But also check my facebook page for more random updates and such :) Cheers mate

    2. Of course! Your posts are very valuable, and I must say have inspired me to sign up for some classes. I'm in the states and will be attending NOVA, and signed up for an airbrush class, and a weathering class :).

      It's nice to know there is a community of people that just love interacting with models and painting such detail on a small scale, regardless of what platform or game it's for.

  3. Wow! Inspiring stuff. I'm working on like 5 bases of various styles myself right now.

    Dear airbrush,
    I love you more than ever.
    Warmest regards,

    1. Haha.. Zab.. I painted this so far without airbrush.. all Wet-on-Wet so far.. but airbrush work was used afterwards :D
      Looking forward to what your bases look like soon enough though. Post up photos when your done!

    2. That's even more impressive! I use the AB to get some colour unity from my bases initially and sketch out my darks and lights in a very exaggerated way, then finish up with the brush and glazes later. I'm playing with a new way of wet on wet using James Wappel's technique - it's terrifying and liberating o_O Libiffying?

  4. Well that has given me some food for thought. I might try a base now for Curts Analogue painting challenge. Maybe.

    1. I would love to see a base from you Clint. I think it would be great and perhaps even usable for gaming depending on how it is made ;)

  5. Happy to see that you brought back the übersized base back to UK in one piece and a very nice review. I was not sure about finishing mine, but I had an idea and so I'm (after some sports in the morning) blocked saturday for finishing the base and adding an other model to it, it will work... I think. The one I drew I was not very happy with. Hope to get it done for the SMC.

    1. Missed it... pictures, pictures, pictures:


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