A traditional origami base, which is performed in the beginning of many models (such as the crane and flapping bird). An essential for anyone interested in origami.

1. Start with a perfect square of paper, colored side up. Position it so it looks like a diamond shape (corners pointing up, down, left and right) Try to get origami paper for your first few times, to make it easier on yourself. If you don't have any perfectly square paper, folding a corner of paper to the other edge of the paper will make a square (computer paper works well for this too).

2. Diaper fold and unfold: Bring the bottom corner up to the top corner. Crease well, and unfold.

3. Rotate your paper 90 degrees, so that the crease made in step 2 is vertical. Diaper fold and unfold once again, making a crease perpendicular to the step 2 crease.

4. Turn your paper over to the white side (I don't care if both sides are white, but your first try, if you confuse easily, mark one side with a big C so you can keep them straight). Now, with the paper laid out so it looks like a square (as opposed to a diamond), book fold and unfold: Bring the bottom edge up to the top edge, crease well, and unfold.

5. Rotate your paper 90 degrees so the crease made in step 4 is vertical. Book fold, bringing the top edge down to the bottom edge. Crease well, and do not unfold.

6. Now, grasp the upper two corners of the resulting rectangle between your thumb and forefinger, making sure not to grip past the creases that should appear to form a triangle (make sure the crease is up and the open end of the paper is down). Now...

7. Push in gently. The middle of each edge should begin to separate. If you continue to push, you'll find that, viewed from above, the paper now looks like a +.

8. Now, divide the four "legs" of the + into two groups of two, pressing together. If you've followed the steps correctly, you should now have a diamond shaped square, with the colored side of your paper facing out.

Notes on the Preliminary Base:

As simple as this may seem, it can be tricky to get a good preliminary base, and as its name indicates, if you don't get this right, the entire model is going to be off (and then six months later the anatomically correct peacock won't stand up on its own!) Also, this base is in fact the base for another, more specialized base, the bird base, and is the exact opposite of the waterbomb base.

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