Without doubt, re-basing painted miniatures is my most hated hobby task, which is why I’ve been putting this particular job off for some time! Now that it’s done, I’m delighted to finally have a couple of fully painted forces for Test of Honour and I’m really looking forward to trying out the game soon.
My normal procedure for basing unpainted miniatures is pretty straight-forward. I glue the model to a suitable base, apply some texturing using either Reeves Modelling Paste or Reeves Coarse Texture Gel depending on the look I want to go for, prime the whole thing with Army Painter sprays and then paint the model and base in acrylics. I primarily use Foundry paints for the models and cheap Kaisercraft acrylics for the bases – see below.
However, re-basing is a lot more fiddly and time consuming. The painted miniature has to be carefully removed from it’s original base without damaging the paintwork then glued to the new base. The texturing material then has to be carefully applied so as not to get on the feet / hooves / tyres of the model and then primed with a brush, again avoiding all the paintwork. Brush-on primer is typically smelly and doesn’t flow particularly well and once that’s dry, the primed texture material needs a base coat of acrylics and at least one drybrush which also have to be carefully applied if you don’t want to have to go back and make corrections to the model.
In order to get some uniformity with my scenery and to keep the material costs down, I typically follow the same receipe for basing – at least where the base is supposed to represent a temperate region:
- Base coat with Kaisercraft RawUmber
- Drybrush with Kaisercraft Mud Puddle
- Drybrush with Kaisercraft Mocha
- Flock with a 50/50 blend of a couple of Army Painter flocks (in this case Spring Grass and Grass Green)
- Apply an assortment of tufts / flowers from Gamer’s Grass and Army Painter
- Apply a few small stones
- Seal with Army Painter Matt Varnish Spray
The Kaisercraft paints are very cheap (AUD 2.50 per tube) and widely available. Their coverage isn’t the best but as long as you prime first and build up a few layers of paint through drybrushing, they seem to do the job for scenery and bases.
For these figures, I followed the same procedure for their round unit movement trays but first primed them with Army Painter Matt Black (much easier than brush priming!)
The overall process for re-basing all these figures and doing 24 movement trays took in the region of 20 hours, was extremely tedious and I only got through it by listening to a whole load of podcasts. The only reason I went to all this effort was because they are intended for use with the Test of Honour rules, which requires the use of three figure trays for units of Ashigaru.
I’m really pleased with the finished result and now have two complete samurai forces ready to play Test of Honour so I’m looking forward to giving it a go in the near future. All the miniatures are from the excellent Perry Miniatures range of metal models. In my hobby queue for this year I’ve got about double this number of painted 28mm Normans to re-base but I think I need a little break before I tackle that particular project!