RRtK for Thucydides, Part 3

img_1066Basing and/or Rebasing

Before moving deeper into troop types and how to represent them on the table top, I thought I’d take a quick break and show the process I use to base figures and also how I rebase them.

Sometimes, rebasing can’t be avoided and sometimes new basing materials come along that inspire a fresher look.  When I started, most folk were using kitty litter as their go to basing material. A lot has changed and some bases are as much a work of art as the figures.

For this upcoming convention game, I’ve decided to double rank the stands just so it will look more like a battle.  In addition, to adding new figures to my collection, I’ll be rebasing all of the others.

Litko bases and flex-steel bottoms.
Litko bases and flex-steel bottoms.

The bulk of the two armies will be based on Litko laser cut plywood bases.  The bases are three inches wide, two inches deep and 3mm thick.  The cavalry bases will be 3″ wide and 4″ deep.  I will attach “flex steel” liners onto the bottom of each base.  This is for storage and transport.  I’ll be using shallow plastic tubs lined with the magnetic material used for magnetic car signs.

Bases are painted brown
Bases are painted brown

I use acrylic craft paint and a craft brush to paint the bases and then attach the bottoms.

To remove figures from a base
To remove figures from a base

Here is a big tip I learned the hard way.  Use white glue (PVA) to attach figures to bases.  Someday you may need to rebase the figures.  It is much easier to do so if you used white glue.

To remove figures from a base, I use water, an eye dropper, a craft brush and a cheap sculpting tool (costs about $1 at Michaels or Hobby Lobby).

I've flooded the area around the figures with water
I’ve flooded the area around the figures with water

I start by using the eyedropper to flood the area around the figures with water and let if set a minute or two.  Then I use the sculpting tool to scrape away the material around the  figures.

Take care to remove figures from the base
Take care to remove figures from the base

I carefully use the sculpting tool to remove the figures from the base.

Glue figures to the new base
Glue figures to the new base

I use undiluted white glue to attach the figures to the base.  These slingers are by Black Tree Design.

Today's figures attached to their bases
Today’s figures attached to their bases

Here are the figures I finished recently, attached to their bases and ready to be flocked. I really do like using Aleen’s Tacky Glue for my hobby projects.

Flocking material
Flocking material

You don’t have to buy a lot of flocking material.  It lasts a long time.  Well, as slow as I paint, it lasts a long time.  From Woodland Scenics, I use the Summer Fine Turf, Fine Yellow Grass, and Fine Buff Talus.  The container that says “Black Peppercorns” contains left over clump foliage, old tea leaves, and old spices.

Tools for flocking
Tools for flocking

Here are the tools I use for flocking, water, white glue, an eyedropper, craft brush, old fine brush for dusting excess flock off of figures, a container for mixing glue and water and  a container to hold the flocking material for dredging.

Mixed flock ready for dredging
Mixed flock ready for dredging

I mix all of the flocking material until I get the color I want  and also the amount of stones and leaves.

Water and glue mixture
Water and glue mixture

I mix the water and glue at about a 50-50 ratio, sometimes a little more glue. Then you brush it onto the base.

Freshly flocked base
Freshly flocked base

Then you dredge the stand through the flock, just like chicken fried steak. What? You’ve never dredged chicken fried steak or chicken in flour?  You’ve never dredged catfish in cornmeal?  Child, you ain’t from the South!

Anyway, you tap off the excess flock and use an old brush to dust away any material sticking to the figures.  You allow this to dry thoroughly and then you spray the base with matte acrylic sealer to keep the flock in place.img_1067img_1066A unit of hoplites. Six figures are from Victrix and two are from Black Tree Design.

A Note on Black Tree Design:  Black Tree Design makes wonderful figures with lots of character.  However, the wire they provide for spears and the shields are horrendous.  To keep the shields for my metal figures compatible with the plastic shields for Victrix plastic figures, I bought shields from Gorgon Studios and spears from Sgt. Major Miniatures. It adds a little cost, but the result is well worth it in my opinion. I have metal hoplites from Essex, Foundry, Black Tree Design, Gorgon Studios, and Sgt. Major Miniatures. They all have shields from Gorgon Studios.

Next time, I’ll get more on topic and take a look at slingers and archers.