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prophetic_joe

Help me with basing and static grass

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Hey they Reaper folks. Been gone for awhile and am trying to get back into painting. One thing I have always struggled with is making decent looking bases. Specifically static grass. What sizes do I need? Colors? Any tips to make it look nice but as quickly and easily as possible? Help me!?

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What effect are you looking for? For field grasses, you probably want something fairly long, maybe 6mm, assuming you're basing 30mm figures. That said, varied length patches tend to look more realistic than all one length.

 

What climate are you intending to evoke? For a dry area like that around here, you would want yellows, beiges, and browns, with maybe a bit of yellowish green. For someplace soggy like much of Western Europe, you would want a variety of greens.

 

Think about where water might collect and put the greener (darker) stuff there preferentially. Note that rocks will shed the water that falls on them mostly close to their bases.

 

Do you have a static grass applicator? Without that, static grass tends to look like a field that has been trampled by a rock concert crowd. If you don't, you can make your own (there are YouTube videos that show how), but please be careful if you choose that method. You can get some of the same effect with other ways of generating static electricity, but they don't work as well.

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No particular climate. I just want simple, easily reproducible, and good looking. Something like standard forest floor or field. I have done one recently with Tufts but I just don't think I did amazing. Maybe I need two different lengths of grass or colors. I mean I'm a complete newb.

0918181755~2.jpg

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I would check out the Terrain Tutor on youtube, and Eons of Battle (DM Scotty also excellent source).

 

RE: The above, the only thing I see that I'd do differently is adding some flock to the base as well (apologies if it's there and I'm  just not seeing it!) Something that complements the scheme you want. Flock is the really small stuff you stick on, that looks like 'grass' without being like tufts, individual plant/stems. You can get Econ bags of the stuff from Scenic Express and basically never run out unless you're doing a whole RPG town/board or something. 

 

Take a look at pictures that look like what you're wanting to do. You use tufts and flock that mimic that - and flock, on larger bases, can be "highlighted" like you do a mini. To give some variation. It's not necessary, but it is fun! Another thing you can do with flock, esp different colours, is stick your tufts in a lil bit of super glue, or PVA (aka - regular white glue) and dip the tips in your  flock - instant flowers!

 

You can also get yourself some static grass and make your own tufts, varying the lengths. Of course there are plenty premade tufts too, that come in packs. Lots of sources for those. 

 

Anyway, give some of that a go maybe and let us know how it goes for you!!

Edited by Guildenstern
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Myself, I use the tip of a paperclip to apply a spot of superglue, then static grass. Bad guys get dead static grass, good guys get live green. Shove the static grass on the glue with a tweezer, turn the miniature over, and tap. Add a rock or debris. If you're talking tufts, Army Painter has premade tufts that you just stick on. You trade off cost for convenience. The tufts are denser than what you showed in the picture.

 

Myself, I cluster interesting spots of things on the base, but leave room to see the initial coating of sand. (Not sure if static grass or tuft used in these...)

 

v52DwkWl.jpg

 

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More ideas: https://imgur.com/a/lcTbsYD

 

Don't sweat bases. Nowadays, I'm seeing too many display-level bases, when advanced tabletop painters just need something that looks good on the tabletop. I would suggest you make various bases without the miniature, and shoot for a terrain base where aren't worrying too much about what bit of stuff is where. I made these by pretty much dropping the pebble and stick wherever it looked good. Maybe some decade I'll put an actual miniature on it.

 

Tutorial: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1284111/painting-tutorial-corpse-fields-and-swamp-bases-se

 

pic2330285.jpg

Edited by ced1106
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2 hours ago, prophetic_joe said:

No particular climate. I just want simple, easily reproducible, and good looking. Something like standard forest floor or field. I have done one recently with Tufts but I just don't think I did amazing. Maybe I need two different lengths of grass or colors. I mean I'm a complete newb.

0918181755~2.jpg

 

For that style, I'd probably just use tufts rather than starting with static grass. Note that you can make your own tufts if you have static grass and an applicator, but in general I'd say that bags of static grass don't necessarily work well for small tasks like this.

 

For a place where static grass works great, check out Luke Towan's stuff on YouTube, for example:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IoM69N27AQ

 

The biggest thing I'd suggest when you're trying to evoke nature is that nothing in nature is one color. Dirt is many colors, grass is many colors, rock is many colors, wood is many colors ... and not just between items. Take a close look at a stone or a lawn and think about how many colors you're really seeing. Then remember that when you're doing bases or terrain.

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I mostly use Woodland Scenics flocks and clump foliage, because it's easy to find, pretty good, and not too expensive. But you'll want to at least know about Silflor Mininatur, which has some very nice stuff indeed.

 

There are many other companies out there, of course.

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I agree with Doug,

start with some Woodland Scenics, the ground up foam flock material,

and see what you think,

then add some tufts to that, if it adds texture/character etc.

 

I mix several colors of flock, and add in some rock/cat litter as well, to get a nice feel,

depending on the size of the figs and base

(I paint 6mm to 30mm figs, with many to a base for gaming)

 

I've tried static grass from a few companies, never with great success 

and now mainly use flocking and tufts

 

grab some old figs and experiment!   :)

 

having a warband, army, etc on similar bases really adds to the flavor of miniature battles to me! 

 

(not sure how to resize the pics, sorry if they're too big)

BayouWars 2009 Med German 006.jpg

10729063_10202012490713414_1461719191_n.jpg

IMG_0391.JPG

Edited by NOLA Chris
pics added
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1 hour ago, NOLA Chris said:

(not sure how to resize the pics, sorry if they're too big)

Double clicking the image if you're on desktop (or double tapping on the image if on mobile) will pull up what's effectively a small window thingy that lets you change such things.

 

Nice thing though is the forum automatically scales posted pictures to smaller than the original, so a picture isn't stupidly large on mobile, or comically small on dekstop... And you then click the image to get a bigger version of it.

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IMG_3008.thumb.jpg.778b9b7de5c655ac7b05bcc80babb4c6.jpg

 

I agree with the rest as well; my usual position is that if I am using the figures in a game, I want the bases to blend with the table (usually) and not be the center of attention.  I usually use sand and white glue to bury the integral bases.  My sand is already a decent shade of brown, so I usually add a tuft or two after it's dry, and then add glue to part of the base to hold some flock.  My flock needs a little shaking up; I do use multiple sizes of flock ("Fine and "coarse"), but these guys have mostly had the "fine" stick to them.  Sometimes I'll throw in a rock.

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What Rob Dean shows is pretty much what I do too. A lot of my minis get only flock or sand, a bunch get a bit of both and a few get some rocks, tufts (only bought these for the first time last winter) or other plants. I did a few all at once with the bigger stuff between their legs. The wife asked why are all of them straddling something? Umm, because they were on 20mm bases and it was the only empty space to glue anything on. Here's an example.

 

IMG_5006.thumb.JPG.fe56485b6c8b1bd3c790ea604a923642.JPG

 

With bigger bases you can get more creative but tons of my rank and file guys get the bare minimum. Used to hate basing but I've learned to relax and just slap a few things on and it totally improves the mini overall.

On 10/4/2018 at 7:33 PM, Doug Sundseth said:

The biggest thing I'd suggest when you're trying to evoke nature is that nothing in nature is one color. Dirt is many colors, grass is many colors, rock is many colors, wood is many colors ... and not just between items. Take a close look at a stone or a lawn and think about how many colors you're really seeing. Then remember that when you're doing bases or terrain.

This is so true. Once I stopped fussing about exact shades and started adding little bits of different colours I liked what I was doing more. This is one of my favourites I've done and it was quick and easy. Stone giant in rough terrain.

IMG_5047.thumb.JPG.d203a69f43e6c8c34b2cacf5523310da.JPG

Rocks and sand found in my yard, a little bit of flock and some clump foliage for bushes.

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The Woodland Scenics  Seceenry Manual is pretty good. It deals mostly with Rail Road modeling, but the principals are the same for miniatures. It shows how to use the various basing materials to get the effects you are looking for. It should be available anywhere that carries railroad modeling supplies. It  is also available on the Large River site.

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Oops -- Shoulda mentioned I used Gale Force 9's static grasses, one that's "alive" for heroes, and one that's "dead" for monsters! ^_^

However, Army Painter has static grass for six bucks on Amazon. It looks like "alive" grass.

Miniature Market has better prices than Amazon for both "alive" and "dead" static grass, but looks to be out of stock. :mellow:

 

 

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I mix all brands and also use stuff from nature.

Did you know that you can use dried tea and herbs for bases?

I made a mix from tea nad herbs for my undead and it works well.

 

I also use all kinds of stuff people use to make those little flower arrangements with and sometimes for bigger pieces like my Junge Backdrop Board ( see Pic) I even use plastic aquarium plants.

Heroes/monsters can get some extra fancy resin or sculpted pieces.

 

If you want to invest in a theme, there are basing stamp pads and rollerpins with motives.

I use the rollerpins and I have one spider basing stamp.

 

Here are some examples from me:

 

Tea/herbs with a little green railroad sands added

 

565892449_StygianGuardianfront_zpsfgban549.thumb.jpg.65669f2d79a5ad327965748a68ffc38f.jpg

 

Rollerpin motives

 

DSCN6732.thumb.JPG.becaa1af4495143ced72ff7412a950f5.JPG

 

 

Plastic Aquarium Plants and Garden Centre Craft stuff enhanced with plastic and resin pieces.

The Motives on the door are done with a roller pin.

DSCN7211.thumb.JPG.e9b25f6d2b7aeffae35deedd5d4fd9bc.JPG

 

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