Friday, October 5, 2012

Giant Bat Swarms from Halloween Confetti

Over the years I have received a number of compliments on my giant bat swarm bases that I made from bat shaped Halloween confetti. I thought I would recreate the project on my blog in the form of a tutorial so others could copy this idea.   While I originally created them for use with 25mm armies, I now employ them with my 10mm forces.  The great thing about giant bats is that the scale is really flexible.
Here is a shot of my original giant bat swarm bases (seen on the bottom left).

And here is a shot of my new version, shown with a 25mm figure

So here's how I made the new giant bat swarm:

Bat shaped confetti from JoAnns.  All their Halloween decorations are already on sale.
I took a trip to JoAnn's Craft & Fabric store, and found this pack of bat confetti, while not the exact style I used in my originals, I thought the shape and size would be good for my purposes.
Step 1, gluing bats to their wire flight stands
The first thing I did was to cut six 3 inch sections of thin wire, and separated out six of the individual pieces of bat confetti.  At the end of each piece of wire I made a small "V" shaped bend, and then bent the "V" perpendicular to the rest of the piece of wire. I then superglued a bat atop each of the little "V" bends.  On some of the bats I bent the wings up or down a little to help give a look of them being in flight.
Adding glue to form the bat's 'body'
After the super glue dried, and the bats were firmly affixed to their stand, I ran a small blob of thick Tacky glue down the length of the body to help give it dimension and make it look less like a perfectly flat surface.
Gluing the bundled wires onto a steel fender washer.  Shown with a 25mm figure for scale.
After the Tacky glue 'bodies' dried, my next step was to twist all the wires together at the loose end, staggering the lengths a little,  to form a little bundled section abut an inch long.  I then made a right angle bend in this bundled portion and formed the bent part into a small semi circle to make a base to glue onto a washer.
After a flat black primer coat.
I then primed the whole thing flat black.  After the primer dried I drybrushed the bats with gray, and added two little red dot eyes on each.
After the painting was done I then flocked the base and finally gave the whole thing a protective spray with Testor's Dullcote.
A shot of the finished Giant Bat Swarm. Shown with a 25mm figure
I'm pleased with how this base turned out.  I think in the future I might add a couple more bats to each base to make a slightly more dense swarm.

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