Sunday, 9 January 2011

A basic basing tutorial

I seemed to have spend a few hours lately basing up figures from my forthcoming chaos army, whilst I was there I took a few pictures with my phone.

Basing should not be disregarded, good consistent basing ties figures together in a collection even if they are not painted by the same person. Decent basing will always improve a figure whilst a nicely painted figure will always be spoiled by poor basing.

So what do you need, firstly I use a tub of sand which is mixed of various stuff like bird cage sand, railway ballast as well as rough builders sand (after drying it in the oven).


Next up is glue, I had a big tub of PVA which I used for sealing some plasterwork in my old house, still plenty left.


I buy cheap palettes from stationery or art shops, usually just a pound or two, just give them a clean in hot water now and again to get the old paint off. I also use the cheap nylon brushes often sold for children, they are quite hard wearing but no use what so ever for decent painting.

Add some PVA to the palette then add water to make a milk like consistency.


I find doing the basing before the painting on 20 and 28mm figures easier as I am a little messy. I can easily touch up the undercoat after basing is done. Here is a chaos marauder, he will get a shield once he is finished.


Now paint the watered down glue on to the base trying not to get any on the model.


Dip the model in to the tub of sand.


You now need to wait for the glue to dry, best to leave for an hour or so. I buy a variety of paints for terrain and basing from any DIY shop with a paint mixer, pick a selection of colours from the paint charts, I use 3 colours, a dark brown and 2 lighter browns. The exact shades will vary, the colours I use are no longer in the Dulux range but they tell me they can mix them from the info on the labels.

Dulux Colour          Citadel Equivalent
Earth Glaze           Scorched Brown
Tawny Crest 1        Desert Yellow
Tawny Crest 2        Bleached Bone
Ebony Mists           Adeptus Battlegrey (for urban bases)

I again water down the paint and use a cheap brush. Capillary action should help suck the paint from the brush on to the base. I would leave these now overnight for the paint to dry. The basing mixture always looks better painted.


When dry I get my middle tone and using a flat brush, roughly drybrush on to the base. After doing a bunch of these I swap to the lighter tone and again dry brush the base. In the photo below the left figure has the middle tone whilst the right has both.


To tidy up the bases I then paint the edges with Scorched Brown. I would generally varnish a model at this point and add vegetation to the bases once dry as the varnish can flatten the materials.

Vegetation can be added to bases using a number of materials;
  • Sawdust flock dyed various colours
  • Static grass
  • Finely chopped foam
  • Silfor Clumps
These materials are easily available from manufacturers such as Noch, Woodland Scenics, Javis. Silfor clumps can be found at Mutineer Miniatures or Antenocitis Workshop. A range of suitable flock and modelling materials can also be found at Games Workshop.

Flocks and static grass can be stuck on bases with a little watered down PVA. Silfor comes stuck on to a plastic carrier, select a suitably sized piece and pull it off, you can pull apart large pieces,  Silfor will need superglue to glue down to bases.


Urban Bases are done in a similar fashion using a dark grey as a base and then drybrushing a lighter grey on top. I found some railway ballast which was in a brick colour, a quick dab of watered PVA and a sprinkle of a ballast. Paint the edges with black to tidy up and finish off.


For more desert like bases I only use the two lighter shades and don't add any flock or Silfor.

Well, that's how I do it, relatively simple and I think it doesn't look too bad. You can also add other bits and pieces to the bases like spare parts from kits, bigger stones, slate pieces etc.

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