Friday, 31 December 2010

Confessions of a Basing Nazi Part 4

This is a reprise of my (very very occasional) series on basing 28mm miniatures, and this post is about a trick I've come up with to speed up basing double-depth elements.

I find that double depth elements are very time consuming to base, because it is very hard to get the brush or palette knife into the space between the two ranks of figures.  Moreover, sometimes paint or gunk gets onto the finished figures which then need retouching.  Yet as the number of miniatures I own increases, I find that I want to base more and more miniatures this way, because they are quicker to deploy and move on the table.

Above are some of the splendid Foundry/Black Tree German figures that Nick has painted for me.  I've done very little too them aside from painting the bases to match the eventual colour of the earth that will surround them, and to varnish them.  I've arranged them on six 60x30 magnetic bases of my own manufacture.

In the above closeup, you can see that I like to position some of the bases so that the figures straddle both bases; this looks natural, and has practical value at a later stage.   I also like to use irregular numbers of miniatures, when possible.  The miniatures are stuck in place with wood glue, which dries relatively slowly and gives one time to move them around to get the most attractive arrangement.

Next, place the two bases next to each other on a magnetic surface, and cover each with your basing compound; I use a mix I've made up, that I call BigRedBatGunk (n.b. there is a square of tinplate under the bases in the photo).  Then  add a little extra gunk along the top of the seam  to disguise it.  It will then appear something like the above; the magnets hold the bases in place whilst the gunk dries like concrete.

And, once the gunk has dried, the two bases can be snapped apart, as above, leaving an irregular line along the break.   I then paint the two half-elements, separately. Once fully painted, the  two bases can be stuck back together along the edge with superglue, and this rough join is very much harder to see than a straight line would be; in fact virtually invisible.  Any figures straddling the join (as above) help to make it stronger.  I'll show the finished bases in a later post.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Not only does multiple figure basing speed up movement it also looks better.Nice looking unit btw.
Happy New Year!


BigRedBat said...

Yes it does also look better!

Happy New Year to you, Christopher, and to all.

The Doc said...

I'm really enjoying your insights into basing. You've a lot of great ideas. The two base make one approach is quite effective. Nice one.

I'm planing some Saxons at the moment which I would have loved to multi-base but unfortunately they are for a skirmish game.

Scullmeister said...

Mate, that's a great idea. I've been struggling with the same dilemma and this is the answer!

James said...

Since my 15mm armies and rules are heavily influenced by Simon McDowell, most are based in 'double elements'. They're great and give a better visual impact.

I'm just curious though; if you can get the gunk in between the ranks why can't you ge the paint in there too and save you snapping things apart?

BigRedBat said...

Hi James, a very good point- I could have explained that better! I'll go back and edit it.

I apply the gunk to each half of the base, then put them next to each other and use my pallette knife to disguise the join. It is a lot easier than doing a single base.

James said...

OK that makes much more sense. It is annoying to get ground material up on the figures ankles.

I usually just hide that in some grass when it happens though!

BigRedBat said...

Hi James, long grass would help. I hate it when I mess up cloaks or shields.

I editied the original post to make it clearer.

Paul´s Bods said...

Good idea..the figures look great..any side on pics??

BigRedBat said...

Paul, good idea, will take some side shots.