This is an article I did for the Wargames Directory forum, concerning the basing of some 15mm Napoleonic Highlanders. Enjoy :-D
With regards to these first pics, all I need to point out is that the metal bases of the figures should be painted brown(preferably the same brown you will be using later) before the basing starts. This will help you in due course. The bases are 2mm MDF from ERM.
These are the boys I will be basing:
the different basing steps will be shown on this base:
At the end I will post a pic of the whole unit as well.
next step in the process; thin PVA(white glue, Elmer's, wood glue whatever they call it where you come from) with water(not too much just enough to let it be picked up by the brush and spread with ease) and apply it with a brush on the base. Please be careful not to get it on the feet of the figures. If you do (I invariably do) have a brush ready nearby and immediately wipe it off. After you have coated the base in PVA then dunk it in a container of sand. For 15mm it is best to use the finer variety (NOT silica though, that's TOO fine and on the other end not the GW variety, that's too thick for 15mm figures). The sand I use is from Timecast and has little pebbly bit in it which look brilliant when drybrushed. Allow to dry and then shake for the excess sand to drop and using a very soft and large brush lightly flick over the figures to remove the 'dust' the sand has left on the figures' feet.
Images of this next step:
Paint the sand and side of the bases with GW bestial brown. Before applying it thin the GW bestial brown with water. It flows easier and consumes less paint and despite the fact that the colour is not applied full strength (watered down as it is) the sand will absorb it and colour itself very nicely. If you get brown on the figures' feet have a wet brush nearby and wipe it off.
ps. as an interesting aside, the pic above was taken in total darkness. I was keen to experiment with the camera and there you go.
ok next up drybrush the sand with Humbrol enamel 93. Don't fret about getting the colour everywhere. it will look more realistic if you've missed a spot or two.
next step up is to drybrush the base with GW bleached bone. Don't go crazy with this. A light drybrush will suffice.
Next to last step involves gluing static grass here and there on the bases. Don't go overboard on the static (certainly not if you are gaming the Peninsular). Apply slightly(I stress SLIGHTLY, too much water and the grass will end up in clumps) watered down PVA here and there on the base in an irregular pattern. Dunk into a container with static grass. Leave for a few hours. Take it out tap the excess grass off, give a blow or two and it's ready.
Step 7 (last one)
ok for the last step you whip out some yellow and drybrush the static grass VERY lightly. The purpose is twofold; add a sunburnt shade to the grass and also raise it to have it pretty much standing up. And that's it lads; hope you enjoyed the whole thing and that some of you found it useful.