Home Forums General General Need Help/Advice/Guidance with 10mm Basing

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    Avatar photoJust Jack


    Operation Barbarossa is fast approaching.  For some reason I decided to re-base my forces, wanted everything uniform, was tired of the hodge-podge of different colors and flocking.  So I’m almost finished, but I’ve run into a conundrum: I didn’t want to base my vehicles because I plan on playing both summer, verdant battles and snowy, winter battles, and when you base your vehicles you sort of have to commit to either verdant or snow.  But I don’t want to commit, I want to eat my cake and have it, too.  So the question is, how do you base vehicles that can be used for both the grassy steppe and snowy winter?

    Take a gander at what I’ve got and what I’ve done so far.

    So, here’s the whole mess, Germans on the left, Soviets on the right.  It’s not finished; I took everything I had and re-based it, then I had to buy some more stuff.  I had plenty of infantry but needed more vehicles, so I picked up some German halftracks and some Soviet T-34s, T-26s, a Ba-6, and a T-60.  I also picked up some Panzer IVGs (long 75s), Marder IIs, and Stug IIIDs (long 75s), so I figure the collection you have before you can take me all the way through the German ‘gray’ era, or up to summer of 1943.

    Back to the basing issue: as you can see, the infantry are flocked in a nice, verdant mix, while the vehicles are not.  Just so you know, I have separate German and Soviet infantry and guns for winter, they’re just not finished.  So I knew I’d need separate summer and winter infantry and guns, but want to use a single set of vehicles.  To that end, you  can see I have not flocked my vehicles, just painted them a nice muddy color on the base.

    A closer look at ze Germans.

    And the Reds.

    A close-up of a Soviet engineer platoon, to show the basing, the painted base edges (which are now a single color for all bases, rather than the 96 I’d previously used).  You’re looking at a platoon command stand and three squad-sized stands.  I may add some clump foliage to the infantry/gun bases, we’ll see.

    So those look good, but what about the vehicles?

    Here’s my plan: leave the vehicle bases muddy brown in the spring/summer, then paint them white for the fall/winter, then paint them back muddy for the spring/summer of ’42, then paint them white for the fall/winter of ’42, then paint them brown for the spring/summer of ’43.  Do you think that will work?  My concern is that the muddy-colored base is too jarring/ugly.  What do you think?

    Here’s what the muddy bases look like on the table at ‘normal’ tabletop distance.

    A close up of the Panzer IV.

    And the KV-1.

    The KV-1 taking a shot at the Panzer IV.

    So how does that look to you?  Can you stand it?  Should I?  Is there another alternative?

    Let me lay some ground rules: I’m not going to buy another set of all those vehicles and do them again in winter colors.  I can’t see flocking the vehicle bases for summer and then scraping it off and painting the bases white, I think it would be too frustrating trying to get all the flock off, would probably damage the basing gel I put down, and may even end up stabbing, scraping, and damaging the paintjob on the models.

    I have thought of having two separate bases for each vehicle, one summer and one winter.  I lay on the basing gel, then pull the vehicle off, let it set, and flock for summer and paint white for winter.  Then I attach the vehicle to the appropriate base in a non-permanent way, so that I can put them on and take them off as appropriate.

    So what do you guys think?  What would work best, or do you know of another idea, something I haven’t thought of?
    Thanks in advance!


    Avatar photokyoteblue

    You can use the scenic woodlands snow flocking over your green bases then shake it off for summer again. Kinda messy but it would work.

    Avatar photomadman

    Not really answering your question directly. I game in 6mm (or any variation thereof). I use one colour for all the bases of one side. So all my Germans have green bases, British are brown, Soviets dark brown, etc.. The only variation is desert, then again each side has their own. Where possible allies use similar colours, so all my Allied forces use a variation of browns. I don’t base most vehicles, just the small awkward ones. Stands out but I game, I do not try to appear in magazines.

    Avatar photoGuy Farrish

    Clear plastic/acrylic bases so the underlying board/cloth/terrain shows through?

    I had a friend do this with figures so he didn’t have guys walking down a city street dragging grassland with them.

    (Can’t say I was that convinced myself – they looked a bit shiny to my eye but might be worth a try?)

    Avatar photoJust Jack

    Thanks, guys, I appreciate the help!

    I’m a bit intrigued by the clear bases, but the pics I’ve seen do seem a bit shiny.

    I don’t think I want to put any kind of loose flock on them as I think it will be too messy and  hard to keep where I want it.

    Not basing the vehicles is not an option.  I didn’t want to base my vehicles, but then the bases I bought for my troops ended up being thicker than I expected and I don’t want my troops running around being three (scale) feet taller than my tanks!

    I’m leaning towards having separate winter and summer bases and just swapping them out as appropriate.


    Avatar photoNorm S

    I just go easy with the grass flock, with dry brushed ground and sand making up the bulk of the base, this allows for multiple settings including city etc.

    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    Well I don’t base my vehicles, so that’s one problem ‘solved’ and my bases are 1.60mm thick, so the infantry doesn’t look too tall next to them. You could base everything as mainly earth and some grass here and there on the bases. Then for snowy terrain don’t have it all snow, but imagine it’s thawed in places, so then the bases might not look out of place?

    Avatar photoMartinR

    I do my vehicles (and infantry) on light coloured earth with clumps of flock. They look fine on grassy, arid and snowy game cloths. In my experience, snow gets churned into big muddy bits quite quickly anyway.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    Are you really going to repaint them 4 times?
    IF so maybe experiment with water color for white so you could wash it off instead of repainting. You probably don’t need to paint it all white either, just the large flat areas to make it look like rushed paint job.
    OR use white masking tape?????????????

    If only these little tanks were remote controlled we wouldn’t have to base them. If they could also shoot little shells we wouldn’t need to roll dice.

    Avatar photoMike

    My concern is that the muddy-colored base is too jarring/ugly.  What do you think?

    I think that works.
    For me the black edges draw the eyes away and give it an almost counter/chit like appearance in some degree and as such the fact the base is not a perfect blend with the terrain seems moot.

    Avatar photoJust Jack

    Those look great Norm, I might have to see if I can pull that off, and I’m assuming Martin does something similar?  Too late to not basing them, Steve, these vehicles are based and are staying that way so they match the infantry.

    Thomaston, I’m not going to repaint the vehicles each time, just want to turn the bases from summer to winter, that’s all.  But yes, four times.

    Thanks Mike!  The black is actually a dark green, and my reddish brown mud is actually pretty bright as I haven’t given it a wash yet.  I’ll post pics again after I put a wash on it; I’m really hoping that would be good enough, and then ‘when winter comes,’ I just paint it white.  When spring rolls back around, I paint it muddy again.



    What would happen to the glossy clear bases with a coat of matt varnish?


    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    Avatar photoJust Jack

    Not sure, but I’m scared they’d cloud up, and I’m too far down the road for that to give it a try now.



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