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  • Base Work 101

    BASE WORK-101

    (Everything
    you ever wanted to know about doing base work but were afraid to ask.)


    I find I'm constantly asked, how I do the ground work on my painted figures and terrain pieces. So instead of answering the question over and over, I have decided to try and explain it as simple as I can in a step by step tutorial here on my web page. My goal is to provide some valuable information to everyone from the beginner to the experienced modeler.

    Materials
    I
    use a lot of ground work materials made by Woodland
    Scenics
    which offers a wide range of scale model scenery making
    materials available in most hobby and model shops.

    For
    my basic base work needs, I use a mixture of model railroad ballast. I use
    a mixture of fine, medium and coarse ballast with some larger materials mixed
    in. This is a product called Talus made by Woodland Scenics.

    The picture on the left shows the different sizes of Ballast I use, the right
    is my tub of mixed ballast.
    As far as a Percentage for my Mixture, its about 25% Fine, 25% Medium, 25% Coarse and a 25% mixture of Talus. But it changes constantly as I add a little bit of this or that. Best advice I can give is to experiment with a mixture you
    like.

    I usually apply ground work to my bases with a Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (super
    glu but you can use anything fro white glue to a clear matt medium. I like
    CA glues because of the speed at which it dries plus its strength.


    Once the
    base work is done I primer the finished model. I paint all my base work because
    I feel it gives a painted figure a natural look. I find that unpainted base
    work looks "Out of Scale". You ask, what do I mean by out of scale?
    Well we spend hours painting a miniature figure to give the illusion of reality.
    In other words we take a small metal miniature and try and paint and model
    it so that it looks almost like it could walk off the war game table. When
    the base work is applied unpainted, I feel it looks "Unnatural"
    or "Out of Scale" So if we paint or finish it, it looks more natural.


    Examples of
    base work primed white and black.

    Below are some examples of painted base work. They are a basic brown earth tones , a desert sand and a "Ash" waste land. As to exact colors used to paint them that's not all that important because there are so many different ranges of paint used to paint miniatures these days. But the basic concept is to start dry brushing with a dark shade of your chosen earth tone, followed by a medium and then lighter shades of paint. Its up to you as to how far you wish to take this. One image shows a small amount of static grass added to it..

    To Paint these
    base examples I used there colors made by Ral Partha

    77-714 Dark Brown,

    77-713 Red Brown,

    77-812 Dunkel Braun,

    77-812 Dunkel Braun,

    77-712 Leather,

    77-903 Bone White,

    77-802 Dark Gray,

    77-803 Slate,

    77-707 Gray

    (Note: These
    paints are at the moment Out Of Production, But should hopefully be back soon
    by Iron Wind
    Metals
    )

    This ends
    the first lesson. If you have an questions or comments feel
    free to ask














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