Half-Ass your Way to the Top with dethtron: FoW Infantry Assembly 102: Bases: more subtitles and colons

First of all, you’re all welcome in advance for my conscious decision not to call this article something really sassy like “back to base-ics” or even make an “all you base..” joke at any point.  That took some restraint, let me tell you.

Today, I’m walking you all through the final stage of assembly for my Fallshirmjaeger models that I put together last time.  We’re making the bases. 

You’ll notice right away that unless you’re using the new hole bases from battlefront (of which I am no fan- don’t dictate where my models go on the bases damnit), you are going to need to work some magic on your infantry so that they’re not all standing on their own little hill exactly the width of their shoulders or stride.

Fear not, though, using some simple materials and about 10 minutes of labor, you’ll be able to sculpt a more level ground for them to stand on.  Again note that I’m doing this BEFORE painting, because any other method would take too friggin long.

There are a number of ways you could go from this point, but with 15mm models, I’ve got a pretty good system going to help avoid using a sand/ballast that’s too damn thick for the scale.

So here are the materials I’ve used:

  • Spackle/Filler (I use the kind that goes on pink and dries white)
  • Vallejo Pumice
  • Super old ass brush ( DO NOT use a new one unless you hate your new brush)
  • Sculpting tool
  • Water

Additionally, if you wanted a more complex base, you could add ballast, aquarium gravel, balsa wood, or anything else your heart desires.  I’m keeping it simple today, though, so we’re just doing a basic dirt and gravel base.

First I worked a little bit of spackle on to the base  with my sculpting tool. 

Next, I added a drop of water to that spackle with my sculpting tool and smeared a thin layer of the mix across the base.  This gave me a solid base to work the rest of the spackle onto.

Now all that needed to be done was to layer on un-watered down spackle on o the model.  There will be a cleanup phase after this is all dry, so don’t worry about being super neat.  Also, don’t worry if you accidentally make stiff peaks of spackle.  This is great for a meringue,but not your bases- but it’s almost impossible to avoid and easier to fix later anyway.  My main goal here was simply to provide a surface that is levelish with the metal bases of my figures.  I also added some gradation to the ground and even added some small divets as well- the reason for which I will share with you in a few articles time.

I didn’t even sweat it if some of the spackle got a little high over the metal bases.  This can all be fixed later.  Here’s another view:

A couple minutes later and the whole unit is done.

Remember, I always work a unit at a time when speed assembling/painting an army.  Repeating the same step 10 times is faster than doing it once, moving on a step and then going back to base the next model.

45 minutes or so later (and this wasn’t wasted time as I had like 3 other project to work on during the drying period) and we’re all dry.  Note that it’s not difficult to figure out when your bases are dry since I chose awesome spackle to work with.

Now it was time to clean up those stiff peaks and any imperfections I wasn’t happy with.  Using the bladed part of a sculpting tool, I simply scraped everything down to the proper height.  I also cleaned up the edges of the base, eliminating all spackle since it appears I was working all kinds of sloppy.

Here’s what that looks like cleaned up:

And here’s what my crotch looked like:

Good thing I was wearing black pants.  Reminds me of a certain Ween song.

Anyhow, things still didn’t have to be perfect at this point.  I had pumice to put on yet and static grass and other shit to put on later that will help fix all my fuck ups.

Speaking of pumice, that’s what went on next.  I used an old brush to apply it sparingly to each base, fixing areas I wasn’t happy with and adding texture.

This stuff comes in a great big tub and consists of really fine sand mixed in what I believe is a liquid resin.  However it’s made, its fucking magic.  It’s a much finer grit than normal basing materials, so works much better at 15mm scale and I’m even beginning to prefer it for 28mm scale as well.

2-3 minutes tops later and I was done.  Time to celebrate with a Schlafly.

I moved on to work on another project while that dried and then prepared for another important stage- Primer.  But that’ll have to wait for another week.

If you want video showing you the spackle tricks and can deal with shrill New Zealand accents, then check out the video below from the official Flames of War channel.  It’s got the basic steps for what I’ve done above.

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