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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Base work

I don’t like building bases for my minis – I love it! I can tinker with bases until the sun comes up if I have the opportunity. My love for base-building comes from the fact that slotted-bases still exist! Some time back I had a large number of minis that needed basing, the only problem was that I only had an equally large number of empty bases of the slotted type. So I started the grievous work of covering up all the holes. From that experience I started to get a thing for the craft of base-building.
So what’s the key to building a good base?
I would say that the number one thing to think about is the overall theme of your army. If you are building an urban-type army, then you go for the urban-rubble type bases. Or if you want a more standard battlefield feel to it – then that’s your theme. I tend to mix “standard” battlefield themed bases with a bit more rubble-themed ones. I don’t like to have too many flat bases in my armies. And when I say flat, I mean bases where you just add glue and sand. It gives the base texture but it also makes the mini look like it’s standing on a completely flat surface. And in my opinion a war-torn battlefield is seldom completely flat!
So what do I put on a battlefield base?

It could be pieces of destroyed weapons, spent ammo cartridges, pieces of wire, mesh, stones, masonry. Well just use your imagination – but don’t overdo it! If you put a broken lasgun or bolter on every one of your bases it will soon give the army the look that it’s fighting in a blown-up armory. Just mix it up! Whatever type of base you choose to make – think like this: what things do you expect find on the ground of a battlefield? 
On the three bases on the previous picture I’ve used some pieces of plastic sprue to simulate some urban rubble and some skulls from the Citadel 40K basing set. A can recommend the basing set – to use as complement to your more personal stuff. I also use Citadel basing sand mixed with a bit of small basing slate. The spent cartridges that litter the bases are made from a thin roll of modeling putty, cut into appropriate sized pieces, glued to the base with superglue. The grass I use are the Citadel Scorched grass - I think it has the best look for a battlefield or an urban styled base.

But when it comes to covering up slotted bases and making some nice work out of it, I designed some nice urban styled bases.
  Here we have six 20mm bases and a 40mm base that I styled out with some GF9 “Grey stuff”. The trick is to make the lines uneven, so it looks like masonry. Then add some scratches and lines for details. 
Another trick is to add the “Grey stuff”, not over the entire base, but in patches, the green highlighted areas are the areas where I used the “Grey stuff”. 

The rest of the base is covered with a layer of PVA glue and then dipped in Citadel sand. If you do like this the base will get a more even coverage than if you cover the whole base with “Grey stuff”.

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