Monday, October 21, 2013

Late 19th Cent. Prussians & Basing Test

A while ago I had started on a Franco-Prussian War project that I never completed sadly due to a waning interest when I realized nobody else really gamed it nor had interest in it (at least in my area). So, my OG Prussians sat patiently in a box waiting to be based for a future game. Recently, a friend has come up with an interesting idea for a game and now I get to use my Prussians for this super secret project! Not only was it a great moment to break them out but also a chance for me to test some new basing techniques.

Basing has always been a last concern for me really and a step that I rush through to field a quick army. I had made a mix of two different static flocks as well as some random stones which, after my base was covered with glue, my figures would be dipped into overnight. In the morning, I'd tap the excess off and blow on it to get the grass standing and I was done.

A typical base for me. Rock & Flock!
After doing some careful research, I decided to go with a basing method utilizing DryDex (something no homeowner is short of). The first step is to apply your painted figure (I just used super glue) and then after the glue is dry, apply the DryDex. Spread the DryDex around and don't be afraid of getting some on the figures or the edges of the base (I'll explain later). When the DryDex is on the base, it will be a pink color until it dries and then it will be white. WAIT! It isn't fully dry yet! If you don't give it adequate time to fully dry, you could end up leaving indents of finger prints or flaking off pieces. Once it is fully dry, go ahead and chip off any spikes or weird, unnatural formations with a plastic knife or other tool.

DryDex + Stones
Once the DryDex is set, put on any color stones you want. They will get painted over anyway. In my case, I used some really cheap craft store stones that come in all sizes and shapes. (I don't even remember where I bought them so don't ask.) Use a 50/50 mix of water and PVA glue over the stones and let the glue dry fully. Once the glue is dry, go ahead and apply whatever color you want for the soil. In my case, I used DecoArt Americana Mississippi Mud for my first layer. I then dry brushed a khaki over that.

Mississippi Mud, Khaki dry brush, and black stones.
I then highlighted the more interesting rock formations using some Reaper Dragon Black. Once that dried, I went over the stones with a coating of Reaper Armor Grey paint before hitting them with a dry brush of Reaper Granite Grey. From there, it was just some minor touch-ups and the flocking. For the flocking, I just put on some 50/50 watery glue and let it make some odd shapes before blowing on static grass made by Gale Force 9.

The final product.
Close up.

The cavalry.
The DryDex method proved to be a nice looking one but it is also extremely time consuming! No joke, I spent my entire weekend doing 20 infantry bases, 10 cavalry bases, and 3 artillery bases. Only tonight (Monday) was I able to really finish them by doing the black trim on the bases and adding in things like bushes and flowers. I still have another ~15 infantry bases before I am done with the beginning of the project. I will likely expand the army as the project goes on.

What do you think? Was the new basing method worth the time?

*UPDATE* I later realized I never explained why it is okay to get DryDex on the figures. It is easily removed with a damp q-tip. No mess, no fuss.


  1. This basing is really good to me Jim!

    1. Thanks Phil and thanks for following!

  2. It looks good and is similar to my approach to basing. A good looking base is worth any amount of time spent on it!