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Basing WWII figures

Pegasus Bridge



How I base my World War II figures.

Many thanks to Barrie Lovell, a regular contributor to the Grande Armee Yahoo Group, one of whose postings inspired me to try out this method. Previously we textured our bases using textured paint (all my troops for AK47 were based this way), but this method is quicker and, at least in my opinion, provides better looking results.

  1) The painted figures are glued onto a cardboard or MDF base.  
  2) The whole base is painted with the chosen earth colour.  
  3) The base is covered with slightly thinned PVA wood adhesive and dipped in the sand.  
  4) The base is given another coat of the chosen earth colour, thinned so that the paint flows through the sand granules.  
  5) The base is drybrushed white.  
  6) Patches of static grass are applied, again using PVA wood adhesive.  
  7) As I final touch I glue bushes on to the base. Different colours of bush can be used to differentiate between different formations - platoons, companies, whatever.  
  To do this base I mixed two different colours of paint at stage 4 above, painting different bits of the base with different browns and mixing the colours at tyhe edges. I find the effect quite pleasing.

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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