I haven't been doing nearly as much role playing in recent times simply because I've been away from my group since moving and don't have a bunch of possibilities locally. That being said, I've rerouted my gaming fuel into design and have been working on a few different games for a while. Maybe one day I'll finish one. Maybe.
In other news, I've gotten back into Warmachine big time, which was a game that I basically grew into a gamer with when I was younger. I've always loved the lore of the game and thought it would be great to play a Role Playing game in. Recently I ran the intro adventure from the Iron Kingdoms Unleashed Adventure Kit. I highly recommend it as everyone had a good time regardless of their familiarity with the setting.
I've also always wanted to be a good player. I've been doing a lot of research and following on general strategies nowadays. I'm not good, but I'm learning, and having a lot of fun doing it.
One thing I've always been terrible at and generally assumed I just had no skills in was painting miniatures. Lately the Hopeless Wife has given me some tips and tricks, and I've really taken to painting. Like to the point where I actually have some pieces I'm proud of and paint a bit each day. It's actually quite addicting.
One of my favorite parts of painting miniatures is getting the bases complete at the end. Each time I've done it it feels like it really ties the thing together. In Warmachine, every model generally has a front and back arc, so as you see the photos below you'll notice the bases are all colored.
I thought it might be useful for those of you who want to get into this part of the hobby to see just how crazy easy it is to do a simple, good-looking (in my opinion) base.
Step 1: Getting your materials together.
I go for a basic gravel/grass kind of terrain for my bases at the moment, and for that, you don't need much in the ways of materials.
Here's what you need:
- Mod Podge - basically Elmer's glue that you can pour out, available anywhere hobby stuff is.
- A Small Paper Plate - or something you don't mind glue drying on. You're going to pour a little bit of the Mod Podge onto this as your pallet, so to speak.
- A wide bowl - you're going to pour your basing material in there, so it helps to have enough room to maneuver the miniature.
- An old paint brush - one you can have some control with but don't mind ruining.
- Basing Material - for my stuff, I use Woodland Scenics Blended Turf (the green stuff) and Medium Ballast (the brown stuff) because I got it cheap from the Gencon Auction store. I believe this is actually a model train brand, so it shouldn't be too hard to find this stuff or something similar. There are tons of options out there for this ingredient.
You'll of course need miniatures, which I have a picture of the four I did this morning at the top of this post! Pour a puddle of Hod Podge onto the plate, and you're ready for step 2!
Step 2: Painting the base with glue.
For most of this demonstration I'll be using the model Gorman Di Wulfe, a mad alchemist kind of a character who works as a mercenary solo (lone wolf (har har har)) for my main faction, Cygnar.
Once I had my Mod Podge poured, I was ready to start painting the empty base. With Privateer Press miniatures you have a circular base with a bit of a lip on the top, so it makes basing really easy to do as the basing materials are kind of corralled with a defined border.
I was pretty liberal with the MP because it dries very nicely and is easy to get excess liquid off with a quick swipe of the finger. You want to make sure you use enough because this is what's going to keep your flocking material stuck to the base. Goop that stuff on, but be careful not to get too much on the feet or other low parts of the model itself. Again, if you do, it's pretty much no sweat. Just wipe it off!
Looking at the picture, I probably could have done some more in some of the less-covered spots, but it turned out well, so you can see the amount in the two pictures is pretty sufficient.
Step 3: Dip in Flock!
Now that you have your bonding agent, you're ready to dip your model's base into the bowl with the flocking material. I started with the brown, thicker Medium Ballast as I knew this would be my base flocking. It looks a lot like gravel and is probably good enough on its own if you're truly in a hurry and don't want to to anything more.
In the picture above I placed Gorman into the bowl before painting his base with the MP so you can see roughly how much I pour out. You're going to pour out much more than you need because you want to get a good pile of the stuff.
Once you have the MP on the base, place your mini in the flock. Bury the base, and whish him around a couple times letting the flock pour over the front and back. If you painted the MP right in the last step, it'll look like below when you pull him out.
You can see that it looks mesy and is uneven. You're going to want to just brush off (using a different brush from your MP brush or your finger) the extra bits covering the base or lower parts of the mini. It's easy and comes off quickly. You'll want to tap the bottom of the base or basically anywhere you can to get all the loose stuff off the base, but don't be too rough. Some of the stuff that will end up sticking still needs time to dry, so give it just a light tap all over.
Remember how you're going to use more than you need? Good news is you can just pour the excess stuff carefully back into the rest of it. I've found doing this a couple times that the left over flock isn't gross or tacky at all from this process and won't gum up the rest of it.
Now your model should look like below. It's certainly a good start, and like I said you can't go wrong with even this basic look to make the model really pop off the base. Of course I have a gap in the flocking you can see in Goman's base where black shows through. If I were just doing the one layer, I'd probably want to do something about it. Lucky for me I'm doing the second, which should allow me to cover that up like it was never there.
You could easily do some dry brushing or other basic painting techniques to make even this basic flocking a little more interesting, but for me, I like to go on to the next step, which is totally optional, but I think you'll agree adds a lot of life to the ground beneath my models.
Step 4 - Optional: Dip in Flock Again!
I chose to go for a second round of flocking using the Blended Turf to add to the basing as a second layer, just not over the whole base. This stuff is like a fine powder and is a great contrast from the brown, rocky Medium Ballast. If the Medium Ballast is gravel, Blended Turf is grass or moss.
You're going to follow the same basic steps as above, but instead of painting the whole base with MP you pick specific areas. Basically just picking spots where you'd like to seem some contrast. Again, don't be afraid to glob it on as it will catch more Blended Turf and also act as a decent sealer for the Medium Ballast below it.
So dip that in the bowl of Blended Turf, knock off the excess, and make sure your base and mini are clear except for where you want the green powder to be. That's pretty much it! You can see the picture below for the difference the Blended Turf makes. The model on the left is just Medium Ballast while the model on the right has both.
I like it! The whole process doesn't take too long at all. I would recommend saving up several minis to do all at once to save time on pouring materials as well as on the Mod Podge itself. No matter how much you pour, it'll probably be too much, so might as well use as much as you can on as many models as you can at one time.
Below you can see some of the other models I did all at the same time.
Hopefully you found this helpful! I'm telling you, there's a lot of satisfaction in this hobby, and if you start slow, even if you really, really doubt your own abilities, you can pick it up if you give yourself a real shot at it. I started by painting a unit of ten sword knights, and now I'm not turning back.
Let me know what you thought of this post. It's my first time doing a tutorial, and the first time I've felt ever really doing a hobby post for miniature painting. It was a lot of fun as an article, and I'm looking forward to doing more in the future!