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"LAZY BASING question..." Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian finds bases at the dollar store!

598 hits since 14 Mar 2023
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Daribuck Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 3:36 p.m. PST

First off, I can never understand why people mount figures on bases (of whatever type!) before at least painting the base green or brown or desert, or whatever. If you do this, please stop!

Secondly, more than once at recent HMGS Fleas, I've bought some miniatures (LOTS of miniatures!) based on unpainted material. By far the most unusual purchase I made was 2 large H&R 5mm U.S. Civil War armies based on (you're NOT going to believe this!) GDW System 7 counters.

So: My bases are Red, Blue, Brown, etc. some with lines, some with dots, some with text, you get the picture! The figures are painted nicely enough, but the basing is horrendous, unworthy of playing (Probably why they were being sold…). Plus, the figures are glued VERY strongly, and mounted VERY closely together.

So my lazy basing question is this. Ignoring flocking, which I don't feel is necessary at 5mm, is there a fast way to paint hundreds of bases (WITH figures attached!) at a time? I am thinking of laying a 100 or so bases at a time in an old cookie sheet, a filling it up with watered-down green paint until all the bases are at least one color.

I can certainly experiment, of course, but I wanted to ask here first. Remember, my figures are only 5mm tall, but the counters are probably 1mm thick, and the base of each individual figure is probably .5mm. Would this solution work for larger miniatures, with thicker bases? I would love to know if any of you have tried something like this!

Thanks for any help you can provide!


Mr Elmo14 Mar 2023 4:00 p.m. PST

Sounds like a job for an airbrush.

HMS Exeter14 Mar 2023 4:07 p.m. PST

I've seen scads of figures based on game counters. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL army I ever saw was a 15mm Battle Honours Napoleonic Waterloo force where each maneuver element was a mini diorama mounted on a wood base marked up as an oversized Avalon Hill Waterloo counter. The guy had painted them in oils.

If you try any immersion, the counters will tend to dissolve. Not helpful if you're trying to paint. Possibly helpful if you're trying to dismount.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 4:36 p.m. PST

Agree with Exeter. Any immersion method will probably destroy the existing counter/bases--not necessarily a bad idea, of course, but not what you were intending.

If you're not going to rebase, I'd use grass-colored acrylic paint front and back, figuring the tight packing obscures any space between ranks. If you can get between the ranks with a find brush, so much the better. Plan B would be just the same, but dip the base in fine turf while the paint was still wet. Let it dry and give the base a sharp hit over your flock box before hitting the base with a matte spray. (Be very gentle with the spray if you do this: it's possible to wind up with flock fixed much too high up on the casting.)

No solution will be perfect. Remind yourself that you bought them cheap and painted.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 5:17 p.m. PST

It's just a question of what you can live with. If it were me, I would rebase.

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 5:32 p.m. PST

I use clear bases from Litko. No paint, no flock, no mess and the mat shows through so I'm not dragging green grass into a desert.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 5:51 p.m. PST

"Sounds like a job for an airbrush."

It's 5mm so you can make do with a can of the appropriate color spray paint. Mount the figures, and then spray-paint the whole thing figure and base and you're done. But you could save yourself the trouble and play a hex and counter board game. evil grin

Zephyr114 Mar 2023 8:42 p.m. PST

"If you try any immersion, the counters will tend to dissolve."

Plus, the paint will "wick" up the figures, leaving the lower halves green.
I would use a small brush and just hit the edges and any easy-to-reach flat surfaces. Yeah, it will take time, but your speed will increase with practice, and you will avoid any major disasters… ;-)

Martin Rapier15 Mar 2023 1:37 a.m. PST

I always paint/flock the bases after I've stuck the figures on. For my smaller figures (2mm, 6mml, just paint them with a brush, maybe water it down a bit so you can run it between the ranks.

Having got them to a common tone, just ran watered down PVA over them and stand them in some flock. Job done.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 6:45 a.m. PST

OC, I cannot see how insulting another miniature wargamer's choice of scale advances the discussion.

Stick to your guns, Daribuck. I've seen some beautiful H&R armies. They weren't MY H&R armies, but that's not the castings' fault.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 1:55 p.m. PST

IF it was me, this is the process I'd use:
(1) Obtain a large-ish bottle of inexpensive acrylic craft paint in an appropriate field green color;
(2) In a disposable low-sided container, pour about 1/2" of this paint and thin with water, maybe at 1:1 ratio or so, i.e. to the consistency of tomato soup (don't want it too thin because we will be dipping the stands into it);
(3) Lay out a sheet of parchment paper nicked from my wife's kitchen;
(4) Take a stand, _carefully_ dip into the paint so that the base is covered but as little of the figures' legs are affected, then quickly remove from paint and shake off excess;
(5) Wipe off the bottom of the dipped stand with a paper towel and put on the parchment paper to dry;
(6) Repeat for each of the dozens of stands, perhaps jiggling them a bit upon the parchment paper to make sure they don't stick;
(7) Once dry, touch up the bottoms of the Union trouser legs with light blue and Confederates with dust-grey.

I think by keeping the paint from being too watery and by minimizing the time of the dip you can keep the stands from soaking up too much liquid and thereby losing structural integrity. While not as fast as the hypothetical all-in-one-oven-tray method, I think my (proposed method) would take no more than an afternoon.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 5:55 p.m. PST

Good idea, Eumelus! I'd try my least favorite stand first, though, because I suspect surface tension will be a problem.

Often easier to buy a large green and a large tan or brown than to find a largish field green. Not too familiar with parchment paper. Might consider waxed, as easier to peel off.

Daribuck Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 6:00 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the feedback, fellas! I
'll try something this weekend, while watching basketball.

I appreciate the interest!


Stoppage16 Mar 2023 5:26 a.m. PST

Chinchilla dust or model railway ballast sand.
If necessary:
- Batch-spray dust different colours.
- Dry sprayed dust batches in warm oven.
Carefully mix dust batches to required overall 'hue'.
- (Note proportions for future reference.)
Apply watered-down PVA glue to bases.
Dunk PVA-ed bases into dust.

To tie everything together chromatically, and texturally:
the coloured dust can be used for everything else – house bases; edges of roads, hedges, and rivers; tree, copse, and wood bases; artillery-emplacements; baggage train and camp bases; etc, etc.

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