Saturday, February 4, 2012

6mm Unit Basing

The impending Big Cold War Commander Game in April has raised the issue of basing standards for 6mm scale models.  This is what I do.
My basing material is artist’s mounting board.  You can get it from an arts and crafts supplies shop.  I back mine with self-adhesive steel paper before cutting out the bases.  This is available from a company called Magnetic Displays.  It’s not cheap but a pack lasts a long time.  My storage drawers are lined with “magnetic foam” which you can pick up for about 60p an A4 sheet from Hobbycraft.
Having cut out the bases with a Stanley knife, I try to remember to mark the bottom of the base to show what kind of unit the base will be.  I use a fine-pointed Staedler felt tip designed for writing in CDs.
Next, apply a thin layer of PVA glue all over the base.  Place the model into the glue and sprinkle finely sieved sand over the rest.
You can if you like add small stones or twigs to the base before the sand but I tend not to bother because most of my bases aren’t much bigger than the model.

With infantry or command units I sometimes disguise the thick bases of the figures by blending them in with a little tile adhesive tinted brown with poster paint.

When the base has dried (usually over night) you can invert it and tap the bottom to remove the excess sand.  The base is now ready for painting.

I start off with a base coat of Miniature Paints’ Earth Brown or Games Workshop’s Khemri Brown (or if I’m feeling particularly keen, irregular patches of the two).  I make sure to paint the sides of the base to match the top.

I then drybrush.  For small, single vehicle unit bases I usually just go straight to Vallejo Iraqi Sand or GW Bleached bone but for larger unit bases I use layers of increasing lightness - GW Graveyard Earth followed by Vallejo Camo Orange Ochre, Khaki, Iraqi Sand and finally Iraqi Sand mixed with white.

I then paint the base with patches of thinned down PVA and scatter on static grass.

My bases are to the following sizes for the Blitzkrieg Commander series of games:
CO bases 40mm width x 40mm depth
HQ bases 30mm x 30mm
Tanks, trucks, armoured cards APCs etc. 20mm x 30mm
Infantry, MGs etc 30mm x 20mm
Mortars, artillery, AA elements 30mm x 30mm
FAOs and FACs use a 2p coin, and
Snipers use a 1p coin.


Monty said...

Great post and useful too, I have a load of 6mm stuff that needs basing, so I shall use your method ;)



Counterpane said...

Cheers, Monty!

I've decided my static grass would be better if it had a mix of colours. If I can get to Vapnartak tomorrow I'll try and get some more.