Basically about basing

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Basically about basing

Postby Primarch on Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:56 pm

What do you use to base your models? I'm looking for new ways to base figures, particularly those with built in stands that I need to cover up and blend in to the plastic slotta base.

For ages I was using simple PVA glue and sand, which was fairly cheap and easy to get hold of at my local DIY place. Last month I tried out Vallejo's Pumice Gel for the first time. It's a gel that contains small beads of resin. As it dries, it contracts, forming a good bond with the surface of the base. It takes a little longer to apply than the PVA/Sand method, as it's easy to end up with flat areas where no resin is deposited if you're not careful. Unlike the PVA/Sand method, it can be clagged on in a little more depth which allows for more variety in the ground surface. It also doesn't flake off when painted, a constant problem I had when using sand.

But what do you use? Any recommendations?
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby The Other Dave on Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:31 pm

The thing with sand is you really need a sealant coat of something (usually PVA glue) to hold it down.

What I usually do (when I'm not being lazy with clear acrylic), after the mini is painted, is glue down a layer of sand, then "glue" that down with the same 100-yen store water-based varnish I use for "dipping" - this gives a good neutral earthy/rocky tone like this:
Image
that I put flock and static grass over:
Image
Simple, and you don't need to paint over the basing material at all (if you don't mind brown earth as a base, anyway).

That said, everyone says really good things about the GW basing technicals.
Miniatures painted in 2017:
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby Primarch on Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:50 pm

I hadn't thought of using 'the dip,' but I do seal the sand with paint. I find that the action of sealing the sand knocks some of it loose in the process, leaving my painting desk covered in half painted grains of sand.

The technicals are the paints that have the cracking effect or the ones with powder mixed in to give texture? I have tried the textured paints, they're good for weathering, but a little pricey for basing in large quantities.
Prims Painty Points > +924.5
Finished Minis in 2014: 510.....Finished Minis in 2015: 300
Finished Minis in 2016 (as of Nov 30): 369 + 2 Tables of Terrain
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby The Other Dave on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:30 am

Primarch wrote:I hadn't thought of using 'the dip,' but I do seal the sand with paint. I find that the action of sealing the sand knocks some of it loose in the process, leaving my painting desk covered in half painted grains of sand.

Well, I mean, your table is eventually going to be coated with wayward static grass anyway - may as well just go with the full base decoration effect! :D

Serious answer, though, the varnish being a lot more liquid than paint means I don't end up knocking any sand off generally - it's usually enough to just touch the loaded brush to the sand and capillary action does the rest. Also it's durable as heck once dry even with just a thin covering like that.

Primarch wrote:The technicals are the paints that have the cracking effect or the ones with powder mixed in to give texture? I have tried the textured paints, they're good for weathering, but a little pricey for basing in large quantities.

Especially since you apparently have to really slather the stuff on, particularly the crackle types. But it looks good!
Miniatures painted in 2017:
Fleet: 2 cruisers
15mm: 1 tank, 2 buildings
28mm: 183 infantry, 4 vehicles, 5 buildings
Currently focusing on: 40K, Malifaux
I started a blog! https://chubugamer.wordpress.com/
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby YellowStreak on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:59 am

I've used the GW agrellan earth-style crackling paint for my TNT figures. It works well, but I did put a layer of sealant ('ard coat) over the top afterwards otherwise sometimes the cracked sections can come off. You do need to practice how much to goop on to get varying sizes of crackle effect.
Also, depending on the effect you want, you may need to paint the base underneath first (I used black paint so the 'cracks' would appear more visible from a distance - my first test on a brown base was underwhelming).

I've also used the astrogranite grey GW base on my walking dead and zombicide figures. I put on a layer, clumping the bits at random, and then a black wash and usually a light grey light drybrush to highlight the lumpy bits. I've found this very fast and easy and a nice effect for more 'urban' bases (decorated with glossy blood splatter in the case of most of my zombies!)

For most figures though, I've based them like Prim: PVA > sand or similar > paint > flock.

I hadn't thought of using the 'dipping' sealant for bases straight over sand - that would make them quite robust!
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby Konrad on Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:57 am

I often mix the sand right into a blop of black gesso if I'm doing scorched rubble 40K, or a blop of rusty/orange if its GoMO, then paint it on. Wait for it to dry and go back with my wash/dry brush. If it is a more natural base, I'll leave the sand for last. Go back and paint some patches of PVA here and there sand them up, let the dry. Shake them off and leave them unpainted.
After doing those Vikings, I really ought to get some of these little static grass "tufts". I did the Viking bases with regular old Woodland Scenics grass. Lots of time and mess with the cutting and trimming and mixing colors and what not. The traditional model railroad flock I used does not look natural anymore. So the end effect is like a golf course with little brooms with their handles cut off stuck here and there. Mostly happy, but there are better materials out there now.
Never tried these "Technical Paints", but I bet Liquitex makes crackle/texture/etc acrylic mediums for a fraction of GW prices.
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Re: Basically about basing

Postby me_in_japan on Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:23 am

I cast my own. Takes time to start with, but having made the time investment, it speeds things up later on. F'r example, right now I'm looking at basing 40 cultists and 30 poxwalkers and thinking "should have em done in a day or so"*. To be fair, this works best for minis with no tabs. While tabbed minis are useable, chopping the tab off is a pita, and can lead to buckled ankles if you do it wrong.

*The bases, that is. The actual minis, otoh, weeeehheeeheeell, we're talking 2018. 2019, maybe? :?
2016 totals
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