20 June 2010

Its Winter and its wet.

Today I decided to continue on with what is probably the least appreciated task that most war gamers ever have to do. Namely decorating the bases of their troops.

Its really amazing the number of times we see a good collection of figures, with absolutely museum quality painting on bare undecorated bases, or whats worse, in my opinion, on painted bases only.

I guess with my background in Model Railroading its comes naturally that there is a compulsion to "Finish" off a model to set it up in the best possible way, like on a stage if you like. Now my figure painting is far from perfect... even very good, but I paint the way I like and take the same attitude to the way that I decorate (Flock) their bases. So I thought that I would show the method that I employ to decorate my troops.

All materials that I use are commercially available from the scatter materials sold as "Citadel" from Games Workshop. I also use some of the Woodland Scenics scatter and Talus (Loose rocks). Woodland Scenics is a producer of Model railroading scenery products and are available from all Hobby shops.

I tie them all together with Selleys "Aquadhere" which is a PVA wood glue that dries clear, is non-toxic and cleans up in water. I can't stress that the drying clear is a major plus for this type of glue. There are other glues but test them first, make sure that they dry clear. The other advantage of Aquadhere is that it is paintable and retains the paint cover when dry. The glue also can be diluted if required and retains its strength when used in this manner.
All bases used for the troops are 3 mm Craftwood. All figures are fixed to the bases with Aquadhere and then painted with an acrylic green cheap paint which helps hide those little gaps that can occur and would otherwise ruin a good base job.

The first thing we need to do is to apply a Liberal amount of glue on the base and spread it around and over the bases of the figures. By applying more glue than you need, you can help hide the mound that is inevitable when the figure is glued to the base.

I use an old brush to spread the glue and are very careful not to paint more than the figures feet. This is an important stage and shouldn't be rushed as it forms the layer on which the scatter is applied and ties it all down to the base. I keep the brush in water between bases and though a lot slower I only do one base at a time.

This is the time to apply large objects such as rocks twigs or bushes as they usually need a fair amount of glue to lock them into position.

We now apply the first scatter. Which in this case is stones and some fine sand. I have scattered it in a seemingly random fashion but not covered the whole base.

I now apply small bushes to the base. Here I have used Woodland Scenic Coarse Turf (T63). Once more it is important to secure larger scatter to the full strength glue.

I now scatter using my fingers the remaining grasses and the such to achieve the desired effect. I then apply the light puff test to help dispel any loose material from the base. Better now than when gaming. When complete I set aside the base to dry naturally. It usually takes about 2 hours to be dry to the point of allowing them to be moved with little chance of disturbing the finished base. However I prefer to let them rest over night.

Another example of a finished base. It should be remembered that these photo's depict a still wet base and that over time the white that can be seen will turn to clear as it dries.

Here are the four bases that make up the regiment.
Care should always be taken to have as much as possible a fairly similar look over the bases of the same unit. However different units can vary to give your army variety.

Anyway four bases down and another thirty to go. That is how I do my bases. I hope it enthuses you to get your unfinished bases completed, especially on these wet Winter days

Neil W

No comments:

Post a Comment