Sunday, 21 April 2013

Making a war game (small) base

A basic skill (forgive the pun), I have dabbled with making bases before but these have been one-offs and I have never had to consider creating a constant format which I could replicate again and again. Why is this important? Because I am building a war game army and I want all the bases to look like they are part of a specific landscape.

As I am looking at bases for war game vehicles I want to keep the dimensions
pretty tight. Here I cut a base which only extends 5mm larger than my
example vehicle.
What sparked my interest in a pre-made product for making mud was an article over at the MiniAFV blog which looked at Tamiya's Soil Effect diorama texture. Getting your mud from a bottle seems to me to be a great way of ensuring the sort of consistency that I am after.

I am using a similar product to that of Tamiya's, it's Vallejo's Brown Earth texture material and it produces a gritty and red-brown earthy base-layer to which you can add further diorama effects.

Yes, it does look like the contents of a nappy! And it seems to be a bit sloppier
than the Tamiya product that you can see in the MiniAFV article.
Working with the Vallejo product is a messy process as it is quite sloppy. I think I would prefer something a little firmer as I had to wait for it to dry a bit before I could start to create the patterns in the 'mud' that I wanted. Still, the colour is good - if you are after a red clay type mud - and will save time.

While still tacky I sprinkled in some small stones (grit) and also impressed some tyre tracked into the mud. Once dry I will do a spot of dry brushing with a highlight tone to create some depth (I could work into the shadow areas first with a thin wash, we shall see).

Dry brushed with Yellow Ochre oil paint. Er, not that you can tell, but
it does make a nice contrast and picks out the detail.
So...Now to the static grass. I have been using Citadels Glade Grass, which I prefer to the ordinary sprinkle grass. I paint an area with PVA glue and then pour the static grass on, then shake off the excess. I leave gaps for the mud to show through and for decoration I glue some more small stones on randomly.

I finished off the base with some brush grass. I could have done this by buying some hobby brush grass but I decided to do do this more cheaply. I bought a natural hair brush from the local pound store, trimmed off small bunches of this and glued it to the base.

And there you go. I think my technique could be improved but the basic principal is sound. The main thing is that this a fairly quick and easily repeatable for a whole army of bases.

Here is a link to the original MiniAFV article which gave me the idea: How to make a simple base with Tamiya Texture Paint (by Erhan)

1 comment: