Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Commando Figures - Basing

The whole purpose of doing this blog was supposed to be so I could document techniques and processes so I could come back later and remind myself how I did 'something'. Annoyingly, I didn't do this for my figure basing process so I am having to remind myself - again - how I did it the first time!

Above: One of my current (1/56) figures next to one of the (1/72) Germans that
I completed last year. I like the way I did the base, but I forgot to document just
how I did it!
After some examination of figures I had previously done I think I have a rough idea of the 'recipe'...

[Bear in mind that I don't create the base in isolation, I work on it as I paint the figure itself. It's not done in one go, but over a period of time finishing after the painting of the figure is completed.]

1. Base: The foundation of the 28mm base is a 25mm diameter disc, though - as I mentioned in a previous post - I like to base my Bolt Action figures on metal discs (in this case, 25mm steel repair washers).

2. Ground Effect: Next I build up the 'ground' with a rough application of quick drying PollyFilla. This I either mix with some dark brown paint or with Vallejo's 'Black Lava' compound so that the PolyFilla plaster is no longer white.

3. Base Colour: Once dry, I slap on some Vallejo Black Brown as my earth base layer.

4. Wash: Then I apply a black wash to pick out the nooks and crannies.

5. Rocks and stones: I'm not too fond of the fake 'flowers' that seem to be in fashion as base ornamentation at the moment. I prefer to keep things simple, just some 'moss' (or grass) and some random 'rocks'. I super glue some tiny pebbles I find in the back yard onto the bases. [Note: I may do this stage while laying down the Pollyfilla/Lava material so that the stones stick in the 'ground' instead of being glued on top of it.]

6. First High-Lights: I then start my highlight dry-brushing, with - first - a medium brown (Burnt Umber mixed with Khaki) and then I dry-brush a very light highlight on top of Khaki.

7. Grass: I don't bother with fancy static grass, just plain old flock from my local railway model shop (the cheapest mid-green colour).  I like a bit of 'earth' showing through...

8. Finishing Highlighting: As it is the grassy base is still a little flat and bland, so I then go in and do some extra highlighting and colouring just to pick it up a little. I did some gentle dry-brushing with Vallejo's Stone Grey and then added some spots of Citadel's Agrax Earthshade wash here and there for some extra depth or where I thought my 'ground' was becoming too light (the idea is to create contrast).

I also very lightly dabbed some spots of Vallejo Stone Grey onto the flock 'grass' to add some areas of bleached grass. Just for some variety in colour.

9. Glossing: Although this stage is actually to provide the paintwork with some protection and prepare the model for the addition of decals, a coat of varnish also helps to stick down that pesky flocking (which has a tendency to moult if you aren't fastidious with your glueing)!

And, there we go. The figure is now ready to have the shoulder patch decals applied and then fixed in place with a final coat of matt varnish. This will also take the shine off the model.

I did notice that while this worked perfectly well for my smaller 1/72 war game figures, I think I need to add a little more texture to the larger 28mm scale disc base. In retrospect, this is probably why many modellers add 'flowers' and tall grass clumps to their bases.

I am still a bit adverse to flowers but will experiment with other texture additions in future figures.

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