Base, how low can you go?

DSCF1674At 6mm the answer is pretty damn low indeed. Now for people already into wargaming basing is well known, often defined as a necessity by some rule sets,  so many people choose to do it while others don’t. However if you’re new to wargaming, or looking to get into it then basing isn’t something you might ever have considered. So here I’ll show you how to base, as well as mention in passing why I do; Firstly with 6mm figures, not basing them makes them almost impossible to use, difficult to store and easy to lose. Vehicles are different and a lot of players prefer the more realistic look of them unbased, even if storage is a trifle more difficult. For my current WWII project I spent many months fiddling around with pieces of paper to work out what would work for me, I settled on a single standard size of 35mm square.

Above are the first three stages of all my bases. First the pre-cut standard base in hard plastic, second the bottom of the base with a self-adhesive magnet attached, and third the top cross-hatched with a scalpel to put a texture to it and allow grip for anything I might put on it. On these I’m going to mount Adler mortars in mortar pits.

DSCF1714The bases have been sprayed green around the edges, the mortars glued into place and a small rim of Miliput pressed down around them to form the foundation of the mortar pit.

DSCF1715A small sausage of Miliput is rolled, and then piece by piece each sandbag is cut from it and stuck on the base. A lot of folk don’t believe I do most of my sandbags and masonry walls using this technique, so here’s the photographic evidence.

DSCF1717For these rough field pits two layers of sandbags are enough. With the spare miliput I’ve put a little irregular texture around the edges, this will provide more grip for additional texture.

DSCF1720Of course it’s at this point I realise I’ve done it a little wrong. It would have made more sense to make the pit and then attach the mortars, because now I’ve some quite fiddly painting to do on them. So I decide the next two will be bigger, look more prepared and be a little roomier. I used a penny to score a rough circle and then repeated the Miliput stages above. I’ll also make the german one smarter to reflect the German trait of extreme organisation.

DSCF1728One of the great qualities of Miliput is how it will harden under water. So I’ve painted them before they’ve hardened, the ones on the left where trickier because the crews were already in while the ones on the right were, rather obviously, much easier.

DSCF1759The second British mortar crews have been glued into place, the ground around them textured, a dark wash applied to the bags and ground. When that was all dried I’ve added flock, bushes and then static grass. One of the features of these Adler pieces is they’re cast as semi-circles, one half having bipod and one of the crew, the other tube, baseplate, and the other two crew. This means they can be easily painted, before being fitted so closely together.

DSCF1760The two German Mortars finished, for the remaining ones I have I’ll base them just on grass. For defensive mortars I’ll use these, and aside from meeting the basic requirements of bases they do look like their very own mini-diorama.

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