The Waving Flag: Painter's Miscellany #3

Monday 25 November 2019

Painter's Miscellany #3

Adding Sand To Bases
The short version is simple: sprinkle don't dunk and use two thin layers.

To hide figures bases I use the tried and tested method of sand and PVA glue.  I used to just shake the glue coated base in my pot of sand.  However I stopped doing this after a disastrous run of using too much glue: the bases came out with far too much sand on them.

The cause of this was a slightly thinner brand of PVA.  The excess glue wicked through the sand in the pot by capillary action creating a far thicker layer than I'd planned.  Worse still, when dry the surface was much smoother and didn't dry brush well at all.

I needed a method that provided more control.

My current method for 15 mm figures is to put glue on the base, and the base of the figure, and then sprinkle the sand on whilst holding the base almost vertical.  Any excess sand tends to fall off before capillary action can do its worst.

As this method tends to give a thinner layer of sand, I leave it to dry and then add another coat of glue to the base, but this time not the figure base, and sprinkle a second layer on.  This ensures the figure base is well hidden.

Plus if I want to add a few larger pieces of ballast, or small stones, I do this before I sprinkle one of the layers on. Which layer depends on how prominent I want the feature to be.

This simple change provides much more control and doesn't take that much longer.  Try it for yourself.

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