Thursday, December 18, 2008


Basing often bedevils gamers, including me. One of the things I like about Colonial games, including Colonial Adventures, is the individual basing. No re-basing, ever. But it still does tend to be a bother, mostly left to the end when it seems like a chore to overcome before the finished figure can actually be used. I've tried many methods; here's my current favorite.

I mount all my native figures on round bases from Game Crafter's. (I like them so much I'm selling them on the Askari web store.) The European infantry usually go on square bases, although I'm mounting some on round ones as well. European command and auxiliary figures go on round bases. Both round and square are 20mm or 3/4"(19mm) size. When I mounted my natives on square bases, players tried to line them up in formation like Napoleonic line--so now only troops who could form line have square bases. The bases stick well to magnetic sheet for transport.

The figures are glued to the bases with epoxy. The disc and the base are blended with Grey Pumice from Vallejo. Thanks to Bob Bowling of RLBPS for that tip! It comes pre-mixed with glue. Just dab it on with a toothpick and Bingo!, you're done.

The trick is to do that first, then prime the figure. That way, the tedious part of basing is done up front and the painting of the bases becomes part of the artistry of painting the whole figure. I undercoat the whole base with black, burnt umber, or some other dark brown like Howard Hues Nubian. I didn't really like Nubian as a color for Negroid flesh but it's found a good use as base undercoat. Drybrush a lighter shade (figure at right of photo) and you could be done. But it's really awesome if you drybrush a third color over that (figure at left).

I've really started at the end of the painting process. The next post will take Ed's Army from the beginning.


  1. Steve Miller-DFW IrregularsDecember 23, 2008 at 6:55 AM

    Glad to see someone else uses Vallejo's pumice. I skip the step of undercoating and just mix the color of paint I want the base coat of pumice to be directly into the pumice tub. I used Vallejo's Iraqi Sand for my 1st Crusaders, Medium Viscosity Burnt Umber for all the rest. If I want to mix larger rocks in, I just use some medium ballast from Woodland Scenics. Mix it together and use a modeling spatula (bought the set from Hobbytown) to apply it. Let it dry overnight or put it in the hot Tejas sun in the summer and drybrush. Add a dab of Woodland Scenics burnt grass on them and they're done. Really saves time and I usually base 24-48 models in a sitting.
    Hope this helps a little...
    Steve Miller

  2. One thing a myself and some some of my friends use for basing is Liquitex (Texture Gels) which come in several types and is available at Michaels and other art stores. I usually use the Natural Sand. It too can be mixed with the color of paint you want before using and cleans up with water.

    I have used Vallejo's pumice in the past but prefer (MHO) Liquitex.