Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday #5: All Your Basing is Belong to Us


Guess who lied to you all!

I was sitting there yesterday thinking about a potential tutorial for you all, and I finally came to the conclusion on basing. Basing is a very overlooked aspect of finishing a model sometimes. I don’t know how many times I’ve played a painted army with no bases. It was a little daunting for me when I started basing my Mordor Orcs a few years ago. How do I apply the glue? How long does it need to sit? What about painting? Fear not loyal listener! I’ll help you on the long road to basing!

Materials Needed


  • Basing Material: Can vary on your choices. Basic Sand can be purchased from Gale Force 9, but GW, Woodland Scenics, etc., will work the same as well.
  • Wood Glue: This is my favorite basing adhesive, as its really strong and lasts, as opposed to White (PVA) glue.
  • Super Glue: The perfect stuff to apply most types of static grass to the bases.
  • White (PVA) Glue: Used in applying Snow flock, and other white basing materials like ash. White Glue is key as it won’t yellow and discolor the snow.

Basic Sand

1) Squeeze a small amount of wood glue into a old piece of plastic, tile, etc. Using an old brush, water down the wood glue.


2) Apply the watered-down Wood Glue to the base of the model, taking care around the feet of the model.


3) Next, dunk the model into the container of sand, ash, etc., and let it sit for a second.


4) Pull the model out, shake it slightly to remove the excess sand, and clean the rim of the model off with your finger.


5) Let the glue dry. You’ve now based your models!

After the glue has dried, you can prime and paint the sand as desired. Personally, I like a thinned dark basecoat, complimented with a series of drybrushes to give the sand its texture, as well as bring a natural lighting to it. I’ll use my Company Commander as an example.

Company Commander

His base is a simple sand base. It uses a basecoat of Dark Flesh, then drybrushed with a 1:1 mix of Dark Flesh and Tallarn Flesh. Finally, a pure coat of Tallarn Flesh is drybrushed on.

Applying Flock

As for applying flock, here’s where the superglue comes into play. Some people use PVA, but I prefer the grip Superglue provides.

1) Apply a small drop of Superglue onto the finished base.


2) Using a pair of Tweezers, pick up a small amount of flock and place the pile onto the Superglue. Using the back end of the Tweezers, pat the flock down.


3) Finally, blow the flock off of your model. Blowing on it will both remove the excess and make the flock stand up a little bit, making it look more natural.


Yes, that’s an Ultramarine. I was teaching a friend so I painted one to show him how it should look.

As for doing snow flock, I have a tutorial HERE on how to do it.

Finally, there are other ways to do bases. For my Khorne Berserkers, I glued bases to a sheet of textured plasticard, then trimmed and cleaned up with a pair of scissors and my Dremel after it dried.


The other route which looks good and is already textured would be to go with Resin Bases. My personal favorite is Dragon Forge, of which my Arvus’ base came from, as did my 2nd Valkyrie’s base. There’s plenty of others out there, so if you want to go that route and spend a little extra cash, go for it!

I hope this article helped out, expect pictures of the Thousand Sons tomorrow!


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