Basing - my bane (part 2)

A few blogs ago I started to blog about my experiences with basing. It has taken me a while to get back to the subject - which probably shows my lack of confidence or distaste for basing in general! Perhaps I’m hoping I’m going to be able to get over this fear of mine by blogging. My thanks to Barry F for his suggestions on basing and to those who replied to the post on facebook (Simon M, Tamsin P, Iain R D and Allyssa F). So where were we?

Textured undercoat applied.

Ah yes, my White Prussians from the 29th Regiment (painted by Dave Davies). As you may recall I was painting up several units of Prussians for our big Ligny game on the 21st June 2015. I’d finished texturing the base with Polycell Textured celings and put some white undercoat paint on the edges to blend them in. Now I need to add a little colour to the base. The principle behind using a white base is so it’ll absorb the colour wash of paint I put on it. That way it’ll create natural highlights without me having to do delicate brushwork between the miniatures’ legs… 

First base wash.

I used a mixture of Burnt Umber with a touch of Pale Umber (3 to 1 mix), giving a colour close to a Flat Earth (old GW Graveyard Earth or Vallejo Flat Earth). Of course you can just use a ‘Flat Earth’ colour, while this will be a little more expensive, it saves mixing paints. As you can see my first wash was too light (too much water), hard to tell until it dries. Ideally my ‘basing chore’ would be done with one coat. You can imagine my panic, here am I trying to write a blog showing people how to base and I can’t get it right. Did I mention that basing was my bane? But all is not lost, I had some Woodland Scenics Earth Undercoat to hand. A watered down coat of that should do the trick… I sometimes use a brown ink as an alternative.

Second Undercoat

Now that’s looking better - besides I’d rather do an honest ‘warts and all’ blog about my trials and tribulations with basing and share them than ‘fudge’ the results. Now for the flock! Taking a leaf out of Stephen Tunmore’s Building Better Terrain in WSS 74, I’ve decided to use a good mix of flock and apply the layers in stages. In Stephen’s article, he advocates a mix of types of scatter flock and static grasses. 

PVA added

To stick down the grass, I used PVA glue mixed with water in a 50/50 consistency. I’ve used a mixture of static grass and flock, starting with a darker summer grass. Once this has dried I added patches of Spring grass. After that had dried, patches of grass turf and finally burnt grass turf. I’m pretty happy with the final results.

The final basing

While at first there may not seem much, there is a fine blend of different grasses giving a more natural looking effect. I can always add extras, like some tufts with flowers, some reeds or similar to make it look more real. Sure adding the additional layers may add a little time but I think the effect is worth the extra effort.   

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