All my bases are custom laser cut as orders come in. Assuming my laser doesn’t take a shit on me (knock on wood, there are tons of ways for it to become a giant expensive paperweight) I can usually cut and ship orders within a few days. This on demand process makes it easier to adjust to specific requests and offer any combination of colour and designs.
There are two main types of acrylic, extruded and cast. I used cast acrylic. It may not have the glassly, flame polished edges, but takes to laser etching way nicer.
Cast acrylic also comes in multiple colours, a large selection of which I try to keep in stock.
In addition to the clear colours, there’s also translucent material. Translucent acrylic is closer opaque, but still lets light through.
I also like to get my hand on specialty and veneer sheets when I think it’ll be a good fit for someone. This includes mirror, fluorescent, and veneer wood/patterns.
I do purchase from multiple vendors so colours can change slightly between manufacturers.
All of the materials come with masking already applied. This is primarily to protect the acrylic from scratches, dirt, and scorching (the laser literally burns away acrylic, and that vaporized material likes to catch on fire). What I found though is that the masking also holds up really well to paint. This means it’s super easy to paint any etched pieces.
To paint an etched base start by masking the edges and any holes to prevent overspray. After that, just do what you usually would for any ol’ kit. I’ve had good luck with spray cans and air brushes. Hand brushing should be good too, though you may need a few coats.
One thing to note is that the etching will leave a slight pattern behind. The laser moves left-to-right as it works and the net result is a bit of a rough surface, almost like a teeny tiny washboard. Because of this I don’t recommend metallic paints as the metallic surface accentuates the lines.
If you do go heavy with your spray, cleanup is easy. The acrylic is stronger than my fingernails, so I just go back and carefully scratch along the edges with my nails to clean them up lol
One thing to note, with some bases like the Ver Ka, I will run a deeper etch. This is to get a finer detail on small text which the ver Ka bases have a lot of. Because the cut is a bit deeper, when painting, you also want to make sure to get the sides for the best look.