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Forest Bases on a Budget

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Top Gun Ace writes:


Thanks for sharing…..

Revision Log
22 May 2008page first published

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Holy Roman Emperor Joseph III Fezian writes:

One can never underestimate the importance of good basing. It can make a mediocre paintjob into a good one, and can jazz up otherwise boring miniatures.

Being a college student (well, actually, I'm between Undergrad and Grad School), I can't afford expensive scenic products for my bases and scenery. I am often forced to improvise. I've found that I can achieve good results with common household materials and a little ingenuity. I present to you my method for creating interesting forest bases with materials you can buy at your local grocery store.

You could use this basing style for a variety of miniatures: Woodland Indians, Ancient Germans, Wood Elves, etc.…


  • Bases of your desired style
  • Yard Sale labels
  • 1 sheet of toilet paper (the cheaper, the better)
  • 1 container of oregano (again, the cheaper, the better)
  • 1 film canister
  • CA (superglue, Krazy Glue, etc.)
  • white glue


  • Burnt Umber (whatever brand you prefer)
  • Vallejo Saddle Brown
  • Vallejo Iraqi Sand
  • Apple Barrel Black
  • Apple Barrel Nutmeg Brown
  • GW Flesh Wash
Note that these bases are supposed to be a stylized forest. I'm trying to represent elements of what you might find on a typical forest floor. Feel free to add or subtract elements according to your taste and what kind of forest you are trying to simulate.

We begin with three 40mm lipped bases that have had their slots filled with the yard-sale labels.

Labels plug the slots
Yard-sale labels are a wonderful hobby product. They're cheap, and they hold well to whatever you stick them to, but not so much that you can't peel them off at a later date. I use them to fill in most of my slotted bases and washers. I also use them as a mask when I'm painting a complicated shield design.