Saturday, January 16, 2016

Basing 220 Miniatures

While I haven't been posting, I have been painting. I have painted quite a lot. So much in fact, that I needed 220 bases for my 1/72 scale miniatures. Given that I needed so many, I decided to come up with a process that focused less on painting and more on layering. Starting with a brown army painter base coat, I mixed sand, slate, ground up dried bushes (the stuff that woodland scenics uses for trees), green static grass, dried static grass, gw basing material, and a brown colored ballast. I piled the glue on high and dumped the mixture on. Once the glue started seeping through the mixture, I dumped a load of static grass over the top with the hopes that it would sink into the interstitial places between the rocks and wood bits. The final step before adding bushes and detail, will be another diluted layer of scenic cement to lock in the details. Then comes weathering power mixed with alcohol. apparently this is where the post starts reading like todo list....

Will this work? Do you think the bases will come out looking ok? What steps would you take? Would you add some bright green plant life and grass over this dead and dying mix?

At some point, I'll point shots of the two armies facing off.


  1. Damn, but that is impressive. That'll look good when it is finished.

  2. missed a spot....

    Yeah, man, that's a smart approach. I do a similar thing, where I have a regular mix of sand, gravel, and flock, and I just base miniatures with the mix. I don't bother painting the base at all, other than the edge and whatever slop ends up on the surface.

    The effect is more natural-looking IMO. However, I think this approach merits some thought in terms of ensuring it doesn't overwhelm the miniature. I strive for neutral colors in the mix, and I avoid or remove any scatter that might yank the viewer's eye away from the miniature.

    1. You made a really good point about how busy the bases are. At the moment the miniatures are a little overshadowed. I think/hope the weathering powder will act like a filter since it will get over everything.

      I still think there should be some green plants/flowers on the bases since these are for normandy. It feels little dead at the moment.

      Ultimately these miniatures won't win awards, or even stand up to intense scrutiny, but from around a foot away they look really good. At least they look good to me. The vehicles should be all painted to gold standard though. I tortured myself by not letting myself paint any tanks until all of the troops were done. With enough troops completed we should be able to play any kind of game, by just swapping out the support elements as needed.

    2. John I also found a good oil wash over the model and base can also tie the two together and de-saturate the model and base which may work for historicals? I have been using an oil wash and pigments to great effect dulling down the brighter colours of my 30k models. Look forward to your next update!

    3. That is great advice. I use oils all the time, but had not thought to use them on the base. Normally I use them for pin washes, filters, and surface effects on the miniature proper.

  3. What would i do? I would commission this guy i know who recently did 220 bases for his army to do mine as well :P

  4. You deserve success for "intersitital". Bravo !