It’s Mini Monday, where we share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we get down to the basics of miniature basing. It’s Mini Monday #11: Basing Basics.
I’ve been tinkering with this basing method since I started painting Warhammer 40,000 figures, and have refined it into a simple method that gives great effects.
Remember, the main thing you’re looking for when basing your army or figures for roleplaying is consistency. You can differentiate heroes from the rank and file with special bases, but generally, you want a process you can apply to all your figures, to give them unity.
1. Preparing the Miniature
Paint your miniature and glue it to its base. Leave the base for now.
Get sand from your garden and sieve it. You can cook it in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure it’s free of life, then let it cool. I keep my sand in small plastic containers. Mix PVA or wood glue with water, in a 1:1 ratio. Paint this on the top of the base and then dip the base into the sand. Leave to dry.
3. Glue it Again
You can use the same mixture again over the sand when it’s dry to ensure it stays down, otherwise it might come off when you’re painting it. You can also spray the PVA and water mixture onto the base, but I find an old brush works well if the glue is dry: start at the edge and work your way inwards.
When this is all dry, paint the textured base. There are a few options for this. I like to paint the whole base in Warboss Green, from Citadel Colour. Some people like to paint the edge of the base black, or you might choose a sandy tan colour — it’s up to you.
Use small bits of flock to represent scrub and bits of vegetation. Stick this on with PVA glue.
When it’s dry, varnish the whole mini. Sprays are great, but if you don’t have a spray, you can paint it on using an old brush.
That’s it. This technique is cheap and easy, and really finishes off a model. Doing batches of miniatures together makes waiting for things to dry less of an issue.
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The Rising Phoenix Games dude.
Rodney is a writer and editor of tabletop RPGs and a painter of Orks. He is worryingly fond of mill decks in Magic: the Gathering and a self-confessed Japanophile.