Friday, 19 September 2008

Basing technique for my 'Crusaders'.

First I stick the figures onto the base (in this case 4mm plywood - cheap, available locally, and cuttable with a Stanley knife) using household contact adhesive (Bostik or UHU). I then liberally 'paint' the base with PVA and place cat litter and cork before dunking the whole base in a box of fine sand (children's sand pit sand) and ground oyster shell (available at pet shops).

When dry, I paint the base with burnt umber ink (as shown) watered down 1 part ink to 5 or 6 parts water. Ink is about £4 a bottle but the dilution (essential) makes it go a long way (400+ figs?). Again when dry, I dry brush with Humbrol enamel (number 63) then lighter again (with number 103). For Europe I would use antelope brown ink and Humbrol 62 then 63 drybrush.

Now comes the 'flocking'. Syria is not a desert. It is an area, during the dry campaigning season at least, of arid rough pasture. Anyone who has travelled anywhere around the islands of the Med' (I think of Crete) in the summer time will have seen parched grass and bushes everywhere. I use three shades of woodland Scenics stuff for this. I think it gives the right 'impression' for late spring / early summer. It is all stuck on with PVA dabbed in the right places, one flock at a time, tapped down then the excess shaked / tapped off, with a drying time between. A pair of heavy pincers is useful for getting it in the trickier spots.

Finally I add two or three low 'bushes'. These are also by Woodland Scenics but I can't remember what they are sold as - 'Clumps' or possibly 'Undergrowth' in 'Dark' or 'Forest' green?


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Excellent! Where do you get the 4mm ply from?? I'm endlessly impressed with people who manage to find the really thin MDF and ply - I've never seen it anywhere!


Hi Steve,

I get mine from a fantastic hardware shop in Ilkley West Yorkshire (where I live) called Morten's. It's an old fashioned shop; you know the kind of thing,

Me: "Can I have a spring please?"
Shop: "Compression or expansion? What gauge, diameter; infact why not have a look in this compartmentalised drawer with hundreds of springs in it?"
Me: "I'll take this one."
Shop: "£0.27 please."
Me: "I also need one 6" nail."
Shop: "No problem."

Infact in the case of plywood, they sell it in varying thicknesses (4mm thinnest) and in 2x 2' squares up to 8' x 4'.

It is one of my favourite shops. I think it has a mail order on line shop too.


Andrew said...

Ahhh, beautiful bases! I have to say I have no tolerance for the "glue on the mini, paint it all green approach" May I be so bold as to invite you to see my technique for basing individual minis? I also have a step-by-step blog entry.


You can see Andrew's guide here.


Vinnie said...

Love your site. fantastic figures and terrain.


oldschool said...

Great stuff James. Many thanks.

A J Matthews said...

Impressive results! Thanks for sharing

Snickering Corpses said...

Very intriguing stuff. One question, though I'm not sure it matters which in the end. The dipping in a box of sand and ground oyster shells. Do you dip first in one, and then the other, or did you mix the two in a single box?



Pre mixed sand and shell. 3 parts sand to 2 parts shell.