Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi How I Base My 3mm Scale Infantry

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  • #144329
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Thought this might be a useful step-by-step for how I base my infantry. It’s simpler than it seems and gives you a flush base that’s very effective visually.

    First, I take a laser cut blank and mark it with a pencil. I like to leave a margin for a base label on mine, and a little spot to make sure my pieces are spaced out uniformly.


    Then I apply the infantry models, clipped from their strips with a flush cutter. These are for a modern game and so they’re US infantry for O8. Standard troops with an antitank missile launcher in the middle, in this case. I attach them with Loctite Gel Control CA glue.


    Using scotch tape I mask off the flat area for the base label – this is optional of course.


    Then I apply a generous coat of plain, unmixed Elmers white glue around the models using a toothpick – the glue levels itself in a few seconds and the surface tension will let it run right up to the edges of the bases and the edge of the plywood with just a little touch – flows well but holds its shape. A little practice will get it right.


    Drop dry sand on the top and tip off the excess.



    Remove the masking while the glue is still wet, and set the whole base to dry thoroughly.


    You can clean up any loose grains easily at this stage. When the base is dry I prime the whole thing and paint it all as a unit including the base.

    To my fellow 3mm enthusiasts, I hope this is an interesting and helpful little bit!

    #144335
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    Do you do anything with the edges? I find if the laser cuts get wet (even from sweaty fingers) then it can lift and start smelling.

    I’m currently basing up some 6mm for the One Hour Wargames set of rules and plan to paint five of the edges red or blue depending on the army with the last edge coloured denoting the unit as I did not use a marker or label.

    #144336
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    I just primed the above bases and will afterwards paint the edges black. Then I usually give the whole thing a coat of clear matte lacquer. I’ve never had laser cut plywood delaminate in probably ten years.

    #144341
    Andrew Beasley
    Participant

    I wondered about using a Sharpie for the edges? I had lots of great results with a grey on paper but think a 2mm base maybe a bit thick. I find I occasionally slip with the brush despite using the edges and need to touch up the top now and then…

    #144342
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I’ve had sharpie bleed into the acrylic paint and turn it red over time, must be something to so with sharpie medium.

    Tired is enough.

    #144345
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    I do much the same with my bases for all scales, just use finer sand as the size of the figures goes down. I too prime the bases dark brown (including the edges) and then seal the sand with the same paint followed by dry brushing.

    Why do you use a toothpick to spread the PVA ? I have seen other people say this and often wondered why you don’t use a brush ? I’m sure there must be a good reason but it doesn’t come to my mind as being easier than using a tool actually designed for the purpose.

    Recently I’ve been using a dice holder and magnetic strip to hold a label on the rear of some bases (for 30mm square bases for 10mm figures). I was a bit dubious at first, thinking it wouldn’t look good, but it surprised me how soon you get used to ignoring the label & die when you don’t need the information on them.

     

    #144352
    ian pillay
    Participant

    Why do you use a toothpick to spread the PVA ? I have seen other people say this and often wondered why you don’t use a brush ? I’m sure there must be a good reason but it doesn’t come to my mind as being easier than using a tool actually designed for the purpose.

    I use this exact basing method for pretty much all my scales of toys. I do use an old brush that over time has solidified to a decent point, I guess I use it in the same way as a tooth pick. It allows you to get up to the edge with going all over boots / feet etc. With the glue.

    Never had a laser cut base delaminate (yet), I will be mindful of that happening!

    Tally-Ho!

    #144355
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Yes, I use a toothpick mainly because I want the glue to basically form a continuous layer and go right up the the edges of the infantry bases with the surface tension.  With a brush it tends to go everywhere and requires too much cleanup.  The glue acts more as a very fluid putty, rather than as a liquid you paint on, and the result is it self-levels and you can get a very uniform distribution of the sand on top.

    #144358
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    The result when primed looks like this:

    The infantry seems to be standing at ground level, instead of on a little platform.

     

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