I'd spend ages tinkering with the bases of my models. Adding sand, stones, brass details, static grass and more. I was seldom happy with the result. Its a little known fact, I once painted a Sisters of Battle army back in the mid 2000s. There I said it. I still have it (somewhere) buried in the garage. I used chopped up left overs of plastic kits to build up their bases, along with green stuff, bits of wire and God knows what else. At the time I was really pleased with the results, especially when I used drybrushing to weather them up a little. I got them out a few years ago, and despite my heady sense of achievement at the time, they were a disappointment. They were cluttered and fiddly, and in hindsight they took an age to complete. It was this experience that influenced my view to strip down and simplify the bases of my Old School Citadel miniatures, which I started painting in earnest in Summer 2011. I was always inspired by '80s models, and the simplistic approach the Old Masters took.
Trouble was, I wasn't satisfied with the 'Woodland Green drybrushed with Bilious Green) approach. It just looked too simplistic in comparison with my models. Nor did I want to go for the staple of earlier '80s models, which was the coat the base in PVA and sprinkle over a layer of railway flock - I think, but I am not sure, that static grass was not widely available during the 1980s. Anyone know for sure?
|Six plaguebearers, including two painted by Andy Craig in the centre and one unreleased test (front rank, far left), which display the classic Goblin Green and Bilious Green combo.|
Eventually, I developed my own style of Old School base. One thing I wasn't prepared to do was go all Fraser Grey/Kevin Adams and produce detailed green stuffed foliage, but I want to acknowledge the style of a simpler age. In the end I developed a quick method which I feel matches the bases perfectly.
Here it is:
1) Undercoat base in Goblin or Woodland Green.
2) Wash over with slightly watered down yellow ink, in a blobbing fashion to create a sense of natural colour difference in grass.
3) While the ink is still wet, use a brown ink around the edges of the base, so that the ink runs into the detail created by the sand. I sometimes paint irregular patches at this stage, again to create a natural look.
4) Once dry, I drybrush over the top with white or bone coloured paint and tidy up the edges in black.
|Examples of my basing technique explained above. Here we see a Champion of Slannesh and a Chaos Sorcerer.|
How do you view bases? Something simple or something worthy of more attention? Do you have different views depending on the nature of the model (character/rank and file)? Do you have your own colour mixes or secret tips that you are willing to share with us?