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Baldur8762

Basing woes

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Hello All,

 

Part of my goals for this summer is to improve on my basing techniques. As of right now, my skills consist of using green flock, making a mess, and having it look poorly.  I was looking at some other works, and I saw that a lot of people seems to use some sort of gravel to start their base, then paint and add things from there. Does anyone have a suggestion as to what kind of gravel to use? Or, better yet, suggestions on how to improve my basing? I know someone once put up a link to a website about basing materials, but I cannot find it.  So if you have a good website for that too please pass it along!

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Gravel would probably be too  big to use for basing unless you want a rock on the base.

 

To add texture to my bases I use a combination of sand and grit that's for pet birds.

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Scenic Express is my go-to place for basing materials. Prepare to meet your doom there, should you open that door.

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Technique will depend on what you're looking to do. Are you basing gaming figures, basing a competition mini that won't ever be pushed around a table, or building a diorama?

 

Once you decide that, the advice will depend on what sort of base you're looking for. Do you want wood floors, cobblestones, a path in a forest, deep grass, desert, something uniquely sculpted, ...?

 

I can make suggestions for any of those (I have opinions aplenty), but making suggestions for all of them is kind of a big subject. :poke:

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

Scenic Express is my go-to place for basing materials. Prepare to meet your doom there, should you open that door.

Thank you, that is the exact website I was thinking of, but couldn't remember the name of it! Any recommendations form this site?

 

17 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

Technique will depend on what you're looking to do. Are you basing gaming figures, basing a competition mini that won't ever be pushed around a table, or building a diorama?

 

Once you decide that, the advice will depend on what sort of base you're looking for. Do you want wood floors, cobblestones, a path in a forest, deep grass, desert, something uniquely sculpted, ...?

 

I can make suggestions for any of those (I have opinions aplenty), but making suggestions for all of them is kind of a big subject. :poke:

 

Right now, probably just tabletop war gaming. Specifically, War Machine/ Hordes. In the future it will be for display purposes, but since I am still new, and I am generally the only one who sees the display ones, I am ok with plain bases for now. 

Edited by Baldur8762

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The "traditional" method is to use sand.  There's plenty of texture, so it looks rough.  Problem is, it can look too rough.  A grain of sand is, scale-wise, about the size of the finger of your first knuckle.

 

I have fine pumice I can use, which is smaller and ends up looking better.  I also have Vallejo's red oxide paste (as well as the lava paste).  The red oxide has smaller grains, so it looks better.

 

My next mini wil lhave baking soda cemented in place with superglue.  The grains of baking soda will look even smaller.  The reaction with the cyanoacrylate glue solidifies the mass so you don't have to worry about it dissolving in your paint.

 

Flock or static grass is added after painting.  I actually add those items after sealing.

 

 

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So far I've only used the products in my Army Painter basing kit. Contains snow, flock, tiny gravel, bigger type gravel and barbed wire. Good starting point. I am looking to expand into other ideas. 

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1 hour ago, Baldur8762 said:

Thank you, that is the exact website I was thinking of, but couldn't remember the name of it! Any recommendations form this site?

 

 

Right now, probably just tabletop war gaming. Specifically, War Machine/ Hordes. In the future it will be for display purposes, but since I am still new, and I am generally the only one who sees the display ones, I am ok with plain bases for now. 

Eco Paks are awesome, and one of the bags is enough to last you forever........I got 5 different ones.

 

As an example, I used some of it on my Mind Eater piece, " Where My Mind Wanders":

 

 

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For typical field bases, I usually stick the figures down and build up the ground surface to disguise the bases of the individual figures. Sand and adhesive, artists' texture gel, baking soda and super glue, or two-part epoxy putty all work. FWIW, I tend to use epoxy putty, because it has a reasonably long working time and you can texture it in interesting ways.

 

My preferred technique:

  • Lay down a fairly thin layer of putty evenly over the base.
  • Press the figures in and resculpt the surface to hide their edges.
  • Press in a few small pieces of shale or sandstone (a rock and a hammer will give you plenty to work with). The idea here is that rocks seldom sit on dirt, instead they sit in the dirt. You don't want to put these in evenly; there should be different numbers and densities on different bases.
  • When the putty has set, paint the "dirt" (exposed putty). I don't use a single color, rather use wet blobs of a variety of earthy tones and then smear them around. You don't want to make the color even, but you don't want hard edges, either.
  • "Plant" a few weeds (I like to use coarse terrain clumps for this) with glue. Weeds tend to grow well at the edges of rocks (water supply), so I'll often start there and add a few elsewhere as well. The "weeds" will disguise any line that might have developed when the putty set. You can also use static grass at this stage, but if you do, you really want to use a static grass applicator, as otherwise it will look like somebody threw down some straw on the ground.
  • Lay down some thinned white glue on the painted putty. You can either cover the entire surface (if you want relatively even grass) or put the glue down in patches for a more uneven look. I prefer the latter, just because untended or fought-over fields tend to be uneven most places.
  • Then, while the glue is still wet, dunk the base in grass flock of a color that seems good. I tend to avoid very bright greens, but I live in a semi-arid area, so that looks natural to me. (It can be instructive to take a color you think is good out into the wilds and put it next to what you're trying to model.)
  • Wait a couple of minutes for the glue to set enough and take the stand out of the flock, tip it upside down, and tap it from the bottom to remove any piles of loose flock. Then blow off anything that didn't fall off and isn't stuck down.

You're done.

 

Note that this is just my technique, there are many others. Take a look around at minis whose bases you like and see what their aesthetic is.

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Particularly for WMH, I think you first need to decide what kind of base you want.  Do you want cracked earth? Desert sand? Mountain? Forest?, etc.  Typically you'll want your faction all based the same so they look cohesive.  Additionally, if you are also going to be playing, keep in mind that all measurements are base to base, so you want to avoid overhang if at all possible. 

 

For me, I've been doing cracked earth for my Protectorate, using green stuff and some army painter wasteland tuffs.  Pretty easy to do and relatively cheap.

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I think if you can show us what you have or explain what you would like, you'll get much more solid recommendations as there are sooo many options out there. 

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I love basing but I tend to get a little too creative.  there are a bunch of natural materials you can use that cost nothing other than time collecting and time spent in the freezer to kill of any residents.  Since you're from a cold climate, you may not know that we have horribly nasty things that like to live in organic material here in the south.  Just make sure anything you pick up off the ground gets a good 48 hrs in the freezer.  Things like pine bark, birch catkin seeds and dividers, stones, shells, cat litter, tea leaves, sea glass, etc.  Any of these things can make fun bases.  You can buy sheets of cork board which when broken makes for a very realistic cliff edge.  There are many 2 part epoxy putties you can use to fill in space and sculpt little details. I'm a big fan of sculpey which is a synthetic clay you can bake in the oven to make any number of things.  I also save all my sprues, especially the bones plastic ones- you can use them to carve crystals to decorate your bases.  I buy beads from hobby stores- the textured one can look like vases.  Old watch parts are fun for steampunk type bases- you can buy them online.  You can also buy small quartz crystal points in bulk very cheaply. pretty much anything can be used to base it is simply a question of what you want to depict.

 

If you have specific things you want to accomplish, let me know.  I'd love to help!  Basing is sometimes more fun than painting!

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Hi there!  I made this thing about a million years ago, but it's still got a few pretty good ideas in the first 4 pages or so!

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The Massive Voodoo website is a good resource as it has step by step tutorials on how to make different bases and techniques.

 

Your local game store may have basing materials or stores that have model railroad supplies.

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