Sunday, November 15, 2009

1/72 Gondor and Basing Tutorial

Dave passed onto me a bunch of left-over 1/72-scale medievals yesterday (Normans, 100YW) with the idea that I might field an army of Gondor. There were about 50 painted men-at-arms and a couple of hundred unpainted. At the same time, I was asked to do a basing tutorial. On the principle of "two birds, one stone", I decided to based up the painted men-at-arms while the spray primer dried on the unpainted.

I start with 30x30cm pieces of self-adhesive floor tile from Home Despot. Vinyl tile is usually about 1 or 1.5mm thick. I try to buy the slightly more expensive 3mm thick stuff (this is often designed to mimic one-foot square tile). I then mark out the base sizes, score it with a stanley knife and then snap it.

Home Despot recently changed the tile it sells locally. The old stuff had a blackish interior and bottom. The new stuff has a white interior and bottom. The only major difference is that I now need to paint the edge of the base brown.

Once I have the right-sized bases, I peel the back off and place the figures on the stick surface. Once satisfied with the arrangement, I apply a thin layer of white glue to the base (ensure I go right up to the feet of each model), drop some small rocks on it and then coat it with sand from last winter's sandbags. A thin layer of glue is best, otherwise the sand sits too deeply in the glue and won't have enough texture to drybrush properly.

Once this dries (usually overnight), I coat the top with a thin layer of future floor polish to seal the sand. This also helps stiffen the base and ensure the figures stay down even when the base gets dropped. When the future has dried (a couple of hours), I drybrush the base with a carmel colour.

This dries quickly and by the time I'm done drybrushing six or seven bases, the first base is dry. I then add some white glue and push on GW static grass, leaving areas of exposed ground. To get the grass to stand up, I invert the base and tap it a few times.

Once this is dry, I then add in some flock for shrubs (often covering visible bumps from figure bases). And then I'm done.

In a few cases, I have embedded some scenery in the base. For example, for some 6mm 100YW archers, I put down some stakes on the front of the base before sanding.

What I really like about this approach is that is really sits the figures down in the terrain of the base, so they look like they are stepping over rocks and standing in tall grass.

Up next: Some 15mm elves are my main focus. I will also finish a few bases of Gondor horse. Then onto some 15mm Brits. Club night is Tuesday--here's hoping my LotR game goes well!


Heather and Dan said...

These look incredible! How do you paint/finish the figs so that the paint doesn't flake off, though?

- Dan

Bob Barnetson said...

Thanks. I've found a spray primer is an important first step. Then paint with acrylic craft paints Then seal with future floor wax. Seems to encase the figure and nothing chips. No more of the horrors of my childhood where an errant breeze would chip the paint of all of the figures!

Heather and Dan said...

Thanks! Will give it a go!

Mad Carew said...

Thanks for the tutorial Bob! The Gondor infantry look fantastic.

Bob Barnetson said...

Thanks. Wish I could take credit for the painting--my friend Dave's handiwork) but I will try to match the colour when I move onto the heavy infantry and light bow.

Kevin Barrett said...

Great tutorial, Bob.

cooey2ph said...

very nice! great tutorial!