Saturday, 3 March 2012

Basing technique

A recent comment asked about the basing technique I use for my large bases, as I agree it is difficult to paint between the figures once they are gued down.

My method is to paint the mdf bases brown before starting. The figure bases are also painted brown (although I sometimes forget!).

Once the figures are fully painted, a layer of PVA is squeezed onto the mdf base and the figures placed in position (using superglue for the occasional one who won't stand up straight. As the PVA dries it blends the level of the figure base into the mdf base.

This is all left to dry thoroughy so the figures are well fixed to the mdf base

Next step is to mix up a dry mix of the following: sand coloured flock, earth coloured flock, fine grit, model rairoad ballast, fine sand and polyfilla powder. I sometimes throw in a dash of static grass or green flock too but not too much.

The mdf base with the figures on then gets a thin wash of PVA & Water eith a dash of detergent. This milky liquid flows between the figure bases - or can be encouraged to do so with a paintbrush and some tilting of the base. The dry mix is then liberally sprinkled over the whole base and left to dry.

The PVA/water soaks into the dry mix, fixing it firmly to the base and once dry the whole thing is turned upside down to allow excess basing mix to fall off and then given a good blow to remove the dust from the figures (a soft brush can also be used with care).

A watery PVA mix is then dabbed onto the base in patches and static grass sprinked on - the amout will vary depending on the desired "look".

After a quick pist of varnish to fix the grass and protect the figures, the base can join the ranks for the next battle.

I find this dry mix approack is much faster and easier than mucking about with wet basing mixes, especially for larger bases of figures, and if you get the original recipe right it looks just as good.



Step Wright said...

Cheers Steve. I will give it a try

Peter Studd said...

Tried this after it was reported in WSS. It produces a very professional and quickish finish- thanks Steve.

My wife thinks that these are the best bases i have ever produced in 50 years of wargaming.

Peter Studd

Steve said...

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you had success!

Brian said...

What is the purpose of the polyfilla powder in the dry mix? It is white, does it dissolve and blend in?

Steve said...

Hi Brian. Partly it helps to hold everything in place and partly it gives an effect similar to airbrushing the base with pale paint.