Thursday, August 22, 2013

Basing Texture Revelation!

I started off trying to do this hobby on the cheap using household kitchen ingredients, like shredded coconut instead of flock, but soon realised that bought texture looks a whole lot better than home-made! 

I started by flocking the bare base which did little to disguise the 'step' where the figures' bases met the cardboard. By lucky chance I was in a craft shop with my girls when I discovered coarse artists' gel. It's been my chosen texture ever since. A while ago I was in an art shop looking for holiday projects with the girls when I spied some pumice mortar. As I was running low on the coarse gel and this art shop didn't seem to have a similar product, I bought a tub of this stuff to see how I'd go. At around A$15 I thought it wasn't too outrageous a cost if it doesn't work.

I recently ran out of my coarse gel and thought I'd give the pumice mortar a go, and I'm glad I did! It really is terrific stuff. It's an acrylic resin with tiny chunks of pumice in it so it literally sets as hard as stone. It's a bit hard to work with out of the tub, but after a little experimentation, I found it works best if diluted slightly, which makes it much easier to spread evenly.

I also experimented with colour as it makes earth tones too dark for my taste if applied straight on to the dried pumice. I can't remember which blog it was, but I recall someone using a pale flesh base undercoat for terrain, so on my latest battalion I tried that, then applied a wash of earth tones that sunk into the gaps, leaving the lighter tones exposed. I think it works quite well!

Does anyone else have any top basing tips?

The end result; not too shabby at all!

As recommended by Johnny Rosbif!

The raw stuff; not very attractive, but comes up well in the end!


  1. Since you are acquainted with art supply stores, look for the raw and dark unmbers in bulk, great to use as basecoats, cheap and take washes of other colors well.

  2. I'm old school and faff around with PVA and sand/talus mix.

  3. I use something very similar, a Vallejo pumice gel, with the addition of a couple of pebbles; no need for extra glue either. As many of my miniatures are individually based I tend to add the pumice before the undercoat and then just work up from there.

  4. Very good results, Rosbif! I have a bunch of Woodland Scenic ballasts I use with paint and PVA. They require a bit of fiddling and more steps, so you have me beat!

  5. Always used PVA and talus but that pumice looks good. Also check out Doctor Mike who paints 6mm figures for Baccus. he has his own basing material mix which Russ has tried and says is epic.

  6. Not heard of this stuff before, looks quite good!

  7. Like most of your respondents, I use home-made stuff; a mix of PVA, white sand (beach sand or sandpit sand), paint and water. I seems to work alright for me, allows things like sticks, pebbles and lichen to be stuck on and adds some nice weight to the based troops (being a plastics man).


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