The Waving Flag: 15 mm Basing Technique

Thursday 11 September 2008

15 mm Basing Technique

I’ve been asked about the basing style I used for my Mongol and Islamic Persian figures.  I can understand people asking as it took me ages to get a decent colour balance.  The process is as follows:
  1. Prime base if required.
  2. Paint edges of base with Coat d'Arms CDA506.
  3. Stick sand to base with PVA (white glue)
  4. Leave to dry (1 –2 hrs).
  5. Paint sand with diluted CDA506 (70 - 80% paint).
  6. Leave to dry overnight.
  7. Dry brush sand with neat CDA506.
  8. Mix Inscribe Custard / Straw with CDA (1:4).
  9. Dry brush highlights with mixture.
  10. Add more Inscribe Straw if required.
  11. Add small (5 mm diameter at most) spots of PVA (white glue).
  12. Add clumps of static grass and or tufts.
There are a few points worth mentioning:
  1. The purpose of using diluted CDA506 on the unpainted sand is to get a natural base coat using the colour of the sand.  The coverage should be less that perfect.  The diluted paint should be thin enough to wick through the sand by capillary action making it really easy to apply the first coat.
  2. If at step 7 the first coat is not dark enough, usually because the first coat was too heavy, then a wash with very dilute burnt sienna (20% paint maximum) usually helps.
  3. For static grass I use a mixture of  GM 170 & 171 which I keep ready mixed in a small tray / box.  I always force down the static grass with a stiff brush, leave for 2 minutes, shake of the excess and then blow across the base to make the static grass stand up.
  4. I’ve found that this process works really well but it takes 72 hours for the basing to dry completely and during this time the base colour lightens a touch.
Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this. I've just got to raise the courage to do about a hundred bases now!

Vexillia said...

After three years I have added an extra step:

6a. Wash with diluted Brunt Sienna watercolour.
6b. Leave to dry overnight.

I've also switched to using Miniature Paints pale flesh instead of Inscribe Custard / Straw.

These changes give a little more depth to the base colour without involving significant work.

Vexillia said...

Removed or corrected broken links.

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