Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Basing the British Airborne Red Devils

Since the Warlord Games bases had arrived I figured I would get them based up and ready for the table. This did interrupt the work I have been doing on the second section which includes the 3" mortar crew. I felt like I needed to get section 1 and the MG out of the way so off to the side went the 2nd Section. I haven't done this style of basing for quite a while so I figured it would be worth recording so that somewhere there is a record of how I did this.

I do consider bases to be part of the scenery for the tabletop. Since the British paratroopers really only fought in Europe I decided I would go with a base with a bit more undergrowth than I have been using for my Calamity bases and its definitely a far cry from my North African bases. Much like my style of painting I like to layer textures on to a the mini's base. It adds a lot of character and depth and while the bases are obviously related none of them will be exactly alike.

The first thing I did was to gather up my basing materials (which tend to scatter) and see what I had to use.

There is more but I just grabbed what I thought might be useful for these bases. I didn't really use much of what is in the picture though.

I like to add rocks whenever possible. However, model railroad ballast is to uniform so I prefer something like this from the Arizona Rock & Mineral Company (Great folks by the way, I highly recommend them).

This is a good choice too, and maybe easier to get a hold of for most people.

This is something new that I wanted to try. Dead Fall Forest Debris from Scenic Express. (I was looking for this stuff specifically because it was mentioned on another forum) I was fortunate that Caboose Hobbies is now carrying a small selection of Scenic Express stuff now so I didn't have to mail order it. I did have to drive down and browse through the largest train store in the world (and acknowledged by the Guiness Book of Records). Oh the sacrifices we make for our hobby. Straight up this stuff is not going to work for the bases though, most of  it is just to big.
It was mentioned on another forum that it needs to be sifted to be useful. I decided to give it a try and see if there was enough smaller material to work with. There certainly is!
This is the pile of larger material. I put this back in the jar and put the smaller stuff into a ziplock. I filled the ziplock with the smaller material so well worth the effort.

Ground cover from the Driftwood Scenery Company which doesn't seem to be around anymore. I may well start hording this supply.

I pulled out this package to use as the first layer on the bases. Sheet Moss is very cool stuff

I couldn't find any of my basing goop, so I made up some more. This is Golden Extra Course Pumice Gel. I mixed in some additional rocks and added water to thin it down a bit.

Basing Goop #2 is made from Liquitex Modeling paste, and more rocks and water. This is the mixture I went with for 1st Section's bases.

 After gathering up the potential materials I started in on the actual basing process.
Super glued the minis to the Warlord bases. I used the 25mm round and the 25mm x 50mm ovals.

The MG and two of the crew went on a 40mm round while the third crewman remains on his own 25mm roun.d. Because the fit was going to be tight I glued the MG down first, applied a layer of basing goop and then glued on the second crewman

Basing goop completed. I might be able to use this straight up for a snow base too.

Vallejo Umber Brown for the base coat

A little highlighting. I do this in case some of the base doesn't get covered by ground cover. The highlighting step was probably unnecessary .

I'm missing a picture. The first step is to apply matte medium to the whole base and cover it with the sheet moss from Driftwood. After that layer has dried I sprinkle on the smaller debris material that I sifted out from the Forest Dead Fall Debris so its laying on top of the sheet moss. I thin add drops of matte medium (thinned with water) and soak the base pretty thoroughly with the stuff. The whitish areas on the bases is the drying matte medium. It dries clear. I should have added a bit of flow improver to help it sink in, but this worked just fine.

Here the matte medium has dried (I let it set over night) and I have neatened up the edges with a file.
The ground cover is all in place so its time to pull out the brushes for the last step.

I paint all the edges with Vallejo German Camouflage Black Brown (822/150). I will also use Reaper Master Series Blackened Brown (9137) for this step. The two colors are almost identical. 

The prone Bren Gun team really shows how effective my version of the Denison smock is. I could see misplacing these guys on the table.

So the 1st Section of the platoon along with a supporting Machine Gun is now ready to do battle. I'm back to being charged up to get the 2nd Section finished now too.


  1. Nice work on those bases! I love the "deep forest" look. Possibly with your second section, you could mix in a bit of "town rubble" for fighting in a formerly built up area, which I think could go nicely with the "deep forest".

    1. That's a good thought, give them a similar look but identify the sections by slightly different basing styles.

  2. Replies
    1. I'm really like that extra forest debris material. I think that's moving up to the top of my must have list of scenery materials.

  3. I like that basing - great effect from the leaf scatter :)

    1. Its really adding a nice extra layer of material. Now I just have to clean up the matte varnish build up in a couple of spots. The Liquitex matte varnish is now on my do not use list.

  4. Creative, effective and beautiful, thanks for sharing!