The Micro Mania Kits by Geometric Design
The Micro Mania kits are a series of inexpensive resin kits put out by Geometric Designs and, for the most part, represent the so-called classic movies of the 30's & 40's with some exceptions. Based on my online scale calculator, these kits are 1/22 scale which puts the average figure at a whopping 3 ½ inches in height. Each kit comes with a fairly dull, featureless base which is essentially a disk of resin roughly ½ inch thick. The upside of this is that you can detail the base in any number of ways to enhance the scene which is what I did. Note that some of the kits on Geometric's webpage that are displayed are shown with their customized bases, so should you order be sure to indicate whether you went the custom base or not. The kit price will DOUBLE if you do.
The kits, as I said, are very inexpensive, costing roughly $15.00 plus shipping. I should also mention that some kits have customized bases you can purchase for about the same amount which would bring your total cost to roughly $32.00 plus shipping. Click here to visit Geometric's webpage to purchase any of them: http://phoenixcomics.net/t/micro-mania
There are twelve 'full figure' kits with a mini-King Kong bust thrown in for good measure. I purchased seven of the kits which were of my personal favorites and I also received a 'freebie' which actually inspired my original purchase of the other seven. As it turns out, all the kits I bought were sculpted by either Joe Simon or T. Holter Bruckner and I will go into detail about the build up and my views on the quality of each.
First, a brief discussion about the bases. As I said previously, the normal Micro Mania base is a featureless disk of resin about ½ inch thick. I would have liked a name plate of some kind for the specific kit but that wasn't to be. I ended up making my own name plates using printer label paper and selecting the proper font size so it would fit along the edge of the disk. See the "Helpful Hints & Tips' page (Tip #16) to see how to set this up.
Now, the base themselves can be very easily altered to look like professional bases without spending huge bucks. On some, I just scribed some parallel lines to represents floor planking. I added a few end scores for the floor board 'ends' and then made some holes with a sharp probe to simulate nails holes. On other bases, I randomly scribed lines to simulate stone block floor and painted the appropriate color.
Now, another nice source of textured materials is an outfit called N Scale Architect. They make vinyl sheets of various bricks, siding, sheet metals and other surfaces. They generally supply the model railroading world so some of their applications may be too small for our needs but they do offer O scale which is roughly 1/48 scale. I recommend purchasing an O scale sample pack for $19.95 which will provide you 5 x 5 inch of EVERYTHING they make. The upside is that the sheets are big enough for little projects like the ones I am about to describe. Here is their link: http://thenarch.com/catalog/building-sheets?page=3