I’ve been asked quite a few times recently how I base my figures, so I guess it is time to write up a quick tutorial. Digging through my figure box, I found I had enough to make up a full blown ADLG Mongol army…all I needed to do was rebase some of the Light Horse I have as Medium Cavalry.
I use MDF bases, usually purchased from East Riding Miniatures…I’ve used them for years, and have always had decent service. The figures are from Essex Miniatures.
First things first, and it is simple as to stick the figures to the bases – I always use Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel these days.
Next job is to put the polyfilla on the bases, plus some sand and a bit of gravel for texture. For Pollyfilla I use Polycell Multipurpose Ready Mix, which works as well as any…and better than some (Tetrion was terrible, absorbing too much liquid). I always water it down slightly….only slightly though, so it runs smoothly.
For the sand, I use gerbil bathing sand which I buy from Pets at Home for a couple of quid!
And for gravel, it is whatever railway ballast I have lying around….
Next, put the Pollyfilla on the bases – I use a cocktail stick, poundland does nicely for these!
When this is done, a sprinkling of the fine sand helps to texture the base…this is another reason to water the pollyfilla down…it doesn’t dry too quickly that way.
Next, I push a few bits of gravel into selected areas of the base.
So that’s the first stage completed – now we just need to leave them to dry for a few hours. They need to be dry for the next stage, or there will be issues with the finish.
Next is the main undercoat – I always use Woodland Scenics Earth Undercoat…
Just pour a little into the cap, and cover the bases – once dry, this seals the sand and gravel in as well. You can speed drying up with a hair drier, but usually, I prefer to leave it over night for a better finish.
Next up, there are three levels of drybrushing. The colours I use are all Vallejo:
- Vallejo Game Colour Heavy Goldbrown (from the Extra Opaque range)
- Vallejo Game Colour Elf Skintone
- Vallejo Game Colour Bone White
I’ve shown the results after each stage below:
And this is the fished result…
Finally, it is time to add the static grass – I use Woodland Scenics Scenic Glue for this – it is expensive, and you can use cheap PVA, but I prefer this as it dries totally matt, where some of the cheaper ones don’t. I water it down about 50:50. The static grass I use is quite bright, and is the summer grass short strand blend from Baccus 6mm. I like the bright look to it…it isn’t totally natural, but it works for me!
Brush on the glue, leaving gaps (it looks better that way), particularly around the bits of gravel.
Dip it into the static grass, be thorough, and leave for a couple of mins before taking it out…the grass takes better that way.
…and that’s it, just a spray of matt varnish – I use Vallejo Matt Spray, though it is hard to get these days….I like it as it is very matt in it’s finish, and there is less risk of “powder” than I’ve had with other sprays. You still need to shake it well, and don’t use it in icy conditions…!!! The varnish helps to seal everything, and keep the static grass from flaking off.
So here is the finished army…there are some of my “older” style basing here, where I didn’t use the gravel…..I much prefer the new style!