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basing 101


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#1
i am osirus

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BASEWORK 101 by Osirus

THEORY

As miniature painters we are trying to paint a picture, tell someone a story
We can paint the best miniature in the world but by leaving it on a standard unpainted base the image is pretty much blown, firstly you will
be showing the 'over paint' where paint has dripped/spilled onto the base during painting but in my honest opinion you cant beat a well finished base it frames the miniature so to speak, adds a scene to a miniature, with the medium we are dealing with the scale is so small that we have to 'clutter' bases for to make them look realistic, for example on a real battle field there may be large pieces of land with only a few rocks or craters on them ....but with miniatures we need to exaggerate that ten fold and add a crater to every base ....just to tie the minis together

I find that doing research can also help to set a scene for a mini, looking at pictures of world wars or battlefields, two years ago I was lucky enough to go to several former battlefields in France and Belgium and I was astonished at the amount of left over battle scarring that I could 'use' as inspiration - so give it ago ....take a look into
some history books ...you'll be surprised what you can find!

BASIC TECHNIQUE

Firstly you will need a few basic materials to start with, my preferences are;

PVA Glue (Elmer’s Glue in the USA)
Fine sand*
Bird sand*
Railway Ballast*
GW Sand w/ Rocks*
Cork Boulders
Bitz

For the average gamer all you really need is PVA glue and one of the above mentioned sands (marked with a *).

Firstly Cover the base with PVA glue, personally I use it undiluted but some prefer to water the sand down, then whilst the glue is still wet place the model onto the sand and cover it with sand (using a spoon or something similar)
Then shake and tap the base to remove the loose sand, some people like to paint watered down PVA glue onto the sand to keep it there firmly, personally I don’t take this extra measure as I have been using plain PVA for years without any problems.

I have been reliably informed that elmers glue is not as strong as PVA so you WILL need to add a coat of watered down elmers glue over the sand before painting to keep it there

Now leave it for a few hours (5+)

Now paint the base, paint it one colour then leave to dry then Dry brush it several times with different colours,

Following I will put the colours needed to achieve the desired effect, the first colour is the base (first) colour, then the following colours are dry brush shades, dry brush them progressively lighter suggest you water down the first colour as it allows it to spread through the sand much easier.

Muddy earth: Bestial Brown - Snakebite Leather - Bubonic brown (or bleached bone)

Desert: Vomit brown - Bleached bone - Skull White (optional)

Desert 2: Bestial brown - Snakebite leather - Bronzed Flesh - Bleached Bone - Skull White

City/urban: Black - Shadow Grey - Fortress grey or Ghostly Grey

City/Urban 2: Black - Codex Grey - Fortress Grey - White (optional)

Grass: Snot Green - Goblin Green - Sunburst Yellow

You can also try different colours to come up with new shades of base that are more suited to the colour scheme of your army i.e. shade of purple for a green marine chapter based on an alien world,
But personally I like to stick to natural looking shades that could be found on present day earth.

To achieve the effect of Snow you can replace sand with baking powder, or you can even buy some imitation snow from certain companies online
(I believe woodland scenic sell some) I’ll post links when I find them.

For grass I dislike the effect of drybrushed sand so I use lots of static grass on a muddy earth base.

I have seen some amazing work using black pumice gel (I believe this is what its called) from art stores mixed with scorched brown to achieve an amazingly realistic mud on bases (see 'Bleedingedges' Emperors Wrath marines )



ADVANCED TECHNIQUES

Now I will attempt to detail some of the more advance basing techniques,
these can be used to give a base an extra level of detail,

Rubble: Cut up sprue, discarded pieces of models(such as guns, helmets, bolter magazines) all of these if attached to the base before the sand and slightly covered with sand(just the edges) give the effect of a battlefield that had been fought over hundreds of time or you can attach the rubble after the and to give the impression of a freshly dropped gun for example

Foliage: Static grass can be attached to a base to simulate tufts of grass (either put a little bit of super glue or PVA glue onto the base and then push a clump of grass onto the glue, then tip the model upside down and tap the base whilst blowing it gently - this makes the grass stand up and looks real great if done correctly, when all this is completely dry you can dry brush it with bleached bone to make it look charred and dying)

Lichen can be used to represent miniature bushes or alien plants – use it sparingly though

Green tea can be stuck on for the effect of fallen leaves, sort of like all the gunk on floors of forests (decomposed leaves)



Plastic Plants from aquariums or pet shops if used well an look great if used in moderation, you can paint them in shades of green if you like or leave them as they are.

I’ve seen brass etched plants from model stores used effectively or you can make your own plants from wire and paper cut into suitable shapes.

SHELL CASINGS

Plastic Rod (.05mm) can be cut up into little lengths and painted bronze then paint the tips black to look like discarded shell casings
you can also use very thin brass tubing to the same extent but you don’t need to paint these (see bobby wongs amazing bloodquest work for examples)

SLABS/COBBLES/TILES/MOSAICS

Before putting sand on the base push Greenstuff onto the base and flatten it then smooth it with a moist finger or suitable tool, then using a wet knife cut horizontal then vertical lines into the GS to desired widths to create slabs do the same but smaller to make tiles, do the same but much smaller to create the base for a mosaic or do tee same as tiles but curve the edges to make cobbles. For mosaics you can also cut the tiles to shape, to give the effect of a more artisan-esque mosaic

For Slabs Paint Black then Shadow grey leaving black in the recess's then blend up to space wolves grey on the edges

For Tiles do the same as slabs but start from space wolves grey/shadow grey mix then blend them up to white this makes them much lighter and tile-like, you can also do this with shades of brown to give a more Aztec-like look

For cobbles paint a shade of brown then dry brush in lighter shades of brown up to bleached bone

For mosaics I suggest you draw this out first on paper to plan your design
then paint each tile individually to make the pattern you desire

HILLS/IRREGULAR LAND FORMATIONS

On bases a new technique that I have started using is to build up layers of GS like stepped hills then cover with sand. …This gives the idea of uneven land with lots of little mounds and potholes

TANK TRACKS

On the base of a recent rhino I made for a client I pressed GS onto the base then wet a disused rhino track and pressed it into the GS in a realistic fashion, I then built up the edges of the tracks with GS to look like displaced dirt the covered the thing in sand being careful not to get to much over the track imprints

LAND MINES

You can get shields from warhammer regiments boxed sets (I believe the orc shields are good for this but check it first as imp not entirely sure)
Glue them to bases partially covered. …Maybe cut in half and protruding from the base to recreate land mines ….you can also ass pieces of plastic rod to represent buttons or sculpt on control panels with GS

TRIM COLOUR

The idea around base trim colour is to try and make the base blend in with the gaming table, a green trim will enable an urban base to blend in with a grassy table as well as an urban/cityfight table, like wise a white one can make it blend with a snowy landscape.
Base Trim can also help to blend together elements of the base such as an urban base with a lot of static grass can look strange if put with a shadow grey trim. …But with a camo green for example it binds it all together.


USEFUL LINKS/STORES

Woodland Scenics


Custom Dioramics



I think this sums up basing, I hope it helps some people

If you need any more help or wish to comment, please feel free to contact me by
Email and MSN IM: i_am_osirus@hotmail.com
B&C PM: i am osirus



Regards

Osirus


THANKS TO

Chronophague for his excellent info on custom dioramics

Drinker Of Blood for the info on elmers glue

Volsung for the painting tip

Tarindur or reminding me about Barpharanges

Barpharanges for his idea on using green tea

#2
docbp87

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whoa cool. Thanx Osirus! :lol:
Mankind is unkind, man
God luck, and good speed!

#3
RayGun924

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I second docbp87, thanks for the informative guide.

~Ray

#4
Chronophague

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Good manual, some good tips in there. Have you guys used custom dioramics before? They have some exellent stuff for making very cool bases. They have 1/35 scale bricks and stuff. Check it out. http://www.vls-vp.co...omdioramics.htm
Some useful parts as an example. statue
Grave stones
If you have some extra dough, I highly recommend it. Some things are quite cheap, like the rubble and bricks etc, the houses start to be a bit expensive..
Cheers
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I am the axis in the wheel of reincarnation
The endless singularity

#5
Alpharius

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Thanks, that's really helpful.
I can see this going in to the archive :lol:
Estuans interius ira vehementi in amaritudine loquor mee menti:
factus de materia, cinis elementi similis sum folio, de quo ludunt venti.

#6
PLASTICHEAD

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It's soooooo cool that people like you osirus, puts time, effort and sweat into projects like this, to the benefit of others. Thanks to guys like yourself, this hobby (not to forget to mention this forum) is one of the best things in life, thank God for Warhammer!


ahem

Sorry, I'm just trying to say Great Job You are Osirus!


And godspeed

#7
drinker of blood

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Great job with this article.

Only thing i have to say is to those of us from the US, if you use Elmer's Glue then you should take the effort to put a coat of glue over the sand to hold it on to the base as i know that i have had many problems with this.

Other then that great job again.

#8
Volsung

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i find that if you paint the sand with black paint, the sand sticks onto the brush, and comes off

to counter this, water down the black paint alot, and this seconds for keeping the sand on the base when the paint dries

i think the best way of doing this is to actually use black ink first, as it naturally runs into the recesses, with is the only places that will stay black in the end anyway

just my addition to "the guide" :lol:
--Volsung Stormlord

#9
TyLaw

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Very nice article! thanks allot, i'll take it on board

#10
Outlaw_Torn

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nice techniques, i have a really simple method that works well too, figure i may as well share.

cover the base with sand, wash of black ink when dry. dry brush with bubonic brown when dry, then dry brush with bleached bone, then apply any bitz/static/flock that you wish...it looks ace, u can see it on my models at our site.

#11
Tarindur

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Someone here wrote quite recently about using green tea for basing and I went to the local tea-shop and bought a bag (for about 2$) and It works GREAT!

#12
i am osirus

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that was barpharanges ....looks real sweet the green tea basing ....

as i said i am still building on this little article,but i've been up in london on business today and have only just got back and now im off to bed as it has been one hell of a long day,

if nobody minds i'll add the tips posted by others so far and put an acknowlegement in the bottom section,

if anyone doesnt want there tip posted just say and i wont put it in .....

Regards
Osirus

#13
i am osirus

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another update

this time detailing a few more scenic base techiniques such as hill and tank tracks

and inputted all the tips collected from users

Regards
Osirus

#14
Chaplain Lazarus

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yeah, it's relay cool from you to keep the article updated. if you come upon more such good ideas please share them with us.

to make the long jaddajadda short and to keep this thread from gliding into oblivion

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#15
Chaplain Desmodus

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Yup, this is indeed a great effort, thanks i am osirus. :)
This goes into the Archive right away.

#16
BrotherMoses

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City/urban: Black - Shadow Grey - Fortress grey or Ghostly Grey

City/Urban 2: Black - Codex Grey - Fortress Grey - White (optional)


Anyone got any pictures of what this basing technique lookes like as a finished product? I like the idea because its simple, fast, and it sounds like something I could go back in and add 'clutter' pieces to later as I desire. Does anyone have a picture of what this roughly comes out looking like?
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