Sunday, 16 December 2012

All your base...

..are belong to me! I wanted to make a slightly more general post today, and as you probably guessed the topic is about basing. However, not just regular unit-bases, but also movement trays... These simple plastic or resin trays allows placement of multiple units inside and hence allows fast and well-organized movement on the battlefield. Alternatively, they can simply be a nice addition to exhibited units and armies.

While GW do sell a limited selection of these themselves, there is an unlimited variety and supply out there on the WWW.  I found a bunch on ebay (sold by wargamestournaments), in various sizes and shapes, with both square and round holes. Each was around 7€, give or take. These particular trays are cast in resin and were quite rough on arrival. Nothing a little sandpaper couldn't handle though :) Here is an untreated 10 unit (round 28mm) tray straight from the package.

In order to make the trays fit the bases of my current units I've opted to add some texture before painting. This is easily done using sand. I'm lucky enough to live near the sea and can simply go down and scoop up a can-full.  Below is shown the basics needed for some quick base pimping; glue, sand, an old brush and some toothpicks.

All desired surfaces are covered in glue which is spread evenly with the brush. The whole tray is dipped in sand and left to soak for a minute or so. Afterwards the toothpick is used to pick out unwanted splodges of sand and glue... I usually leave the bases to dry overnight before moving on to the next step.

To undercoat the trays they are spray-painted with Chaos Black to ensure that all colours will stick properly afterwards...

To now apply a base colour, strongly watered-down paint is used. This allows it to soak into the sand for proper coverage. In this case Scorched Brown is used..

After the initial layer of paint is dry it's time for some drybrushing. By applying paint (first layer is Calthan Brown) to a special drybrush (with short stiff bristles) and then wiping the excess paint on a piece of kitchen-roll until almost none remains. Now I can simply "brush" across the structured surface and only a very small amount of paint will collect on the tops of the surface. The image below shows a half-finished tray for comparison.

After 2 layers of drybrushing (second layer here is Bleached Bone), the trays will look something like this...

Now all that remains is to apply some static grass to finish of the scenic trays...

Finally, here is a bunch of my finished trays in use by my various unites... Hope you enjoy :D

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