The Peninsular War


Russia 1812

La Garde
French Allies

1809 (coming soon)

Basing for Grande Armee

How we do it
How other people do it





Basing for Grande Armee

How we do it

We have decided to use 2 inch squares for our bases (to maximise the size of battles we can fight) and to use 6mm troops based as multiple units in a way we believe makes our stands look as much like a Brigade as possible.

Many thanks to Barrie Lovell, a regular contributor to the Grande Armee Yahoo Group. It was one of his postings that inspired us to try out this method. Previously we textured our bases using textured paint, but this method is quicker and, at least in my opinion, provides a better looking result..


1) The miniatures, in this case Russian Line Infantry from Irregular Miniatures,.are painted with bases in our chosen earth colour. We use Dulux "Expresso Delight" emulsion, available in 250ml sampler pots from B&Q and other DIY stores.


  2) The troops are glued onto a 2"square cardboard base using a hot glue gun.
  3) The whole base is painted in our earth colour.
  4) When dry the base is coated with a slightly thinned PVA wood glue and dipped in "modelling sand" from Games Workshop. This gives it some texture.
  5) After an hour or so to allow the glue to dry properly the whole base is painted with our base emulsion thinnned down with water.
  6) When dry the base is drybrushed first light brown or cream, then white.
  7) Wood glue is applied in patches all over the stand which is then dipped in a tub of static grass.
  8) As a final touch we sometimes glue bushes on to the base. Here I have used course turf, from Woodland Scenics.
  9) The troops are now ready for the wargames table, or in this case ready for photography.

Materials Used:

Bases: I have used picture framing card (available from art shops) for years, cutting it to size with a guillotine. Recently I have started using the 2mm precut MDF bases available from East Riding Miniatures. These are less likely to warp than cardboard bases and at 12 for a pound they don't break the bank.

Glues: I glue my figures on to bases using a hot glue gun. For applying the sand and static grass I use Evo-Stik Wood Adhesive, a PVA wood glue. I believe that this is similar to what is called "Elmers Glue" in the USA.

Sand: Sand is used to provide the base with texture. I use "modelling sand" from Games Workshop. It's relatively expensive for sand but, with a range of differect particle sizes, gives a good effect.

Paint: Brown paint to represent earth. I use Dulux "emulsion, available in 250ml sampler pots from B&Q and other DIY stores. This is much, much, cheaper than using modelling paints. Colours I use regularly are Tawny Crest 1 (right above) and Expresso Delight 1 (left above).

Static Grass Flock: This material, commonly used by model railway enthusiasts to model grass It is available in many different colours and colour mixtures - I'm looking at a selection of eight different types as I write this. Personally I prefer to use colour mixtures as I think they look better than single colours. Suppliers include Woodland Scenics (who unfortunately don't do mixtures) and my personal favourite Javis whose "Hairy Grass" is available in three different mixed colours (I buy mine online from Weaver Models or from my local model railway shop). Games Workshop sells a product that looks identical to the Javis Hairy Grass "Spring Mix" though it's over twice the price.

Bushes and scrub: I usually model bushes or scrub on a base using Coarse Turf, or Underbrush from the Woodlands Scenics' Landscaping System. These products are available in several different colours. The Woodland Scenics range is distributed in the UK through Bachmann and a list of stockists (mainly model railway shops) can be found here.



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