Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Basing - Need a tutorial

A lot of minis have been finished lately. As the painting has finished and the varnish has dried the time to base the miniatures has slowly been approaching. Basing has never been my favourite step in the process of finishing a miniature, although a neccessary one. Unfortuneatly, I find it difficult.

Basing with watered down PVA glue and just green basing grass is pretty simple. But, it is getting the base to look good that cases all the difficulty. As you can see in the picture, the bases are alright for just the casual everyday playing piece miniature, but it isn't very inspiring. I cant even seem to get a highlight to look good on an all grass base. I am even getting afraid of trying to make a scenic base.

When making the Survey Expedition Arctos team I tried making bases covered in snow. The snow was created by basing it with normal green grass, which was painted all white . They are not perfect, but will do. With these bases I use gloss varnish on top of the white painted grass followed by matt varnish. This, however, made the painted grass look yellow, so I had to paint it white again all over the varnish. Do I varnish the base? or do I ruin the basing material? How do I apply static grass if I want to? Ahhh...all these questions on basing...

Have tried to find some good tutorials on basing but have found non. The painting miniatures books I have (both Citadel and Dallimores) only touch upon the subject. Dallimores book offered the best advice, saying that if your not pleased with how the base looks after the first dip of green grass, then paint some more watered down PVA and dip it twice. This might seem like a really basic tip, but sometimes the most obvious is the hardest thing to think of or do.

I'd like a step-by-step tutorial supplemented with a scenic base tutorial covering diffrent types of bases. This could be specified by climates and vegetation, but also covering combinations of basing materials. Preferably the tutorials should include pictures and tips. I feel that this is a neglected part of the hobby, or I am just lousy at finding the right tutorial.


  1. Have a look here at my modelling blog - particularly 11 November for snow - for various base effects. I tend to coat my bases in sand and have two grades - fine sand stolen from my daughter's sandpit, and coarse sand used for concrete making (and bought from the local hardware shop. The coarse sand I usually paint a base colour, and then drybrush with brown or grey to create a stony ground effect.

  2. Thank you for the advice. I am going to give it a try in a few days. Your ScanFed troops are very nicely done. I like the blueish-grey colour. The bases are excellent!