5 December 2013

Basing miniatures in 7 steps 'Loki' style.

I am aware many of you can already complete the following without many issues. However I have been asked several times now how I achieve the finished look of my work so I decided that I would publish a post on how I base figures. This guide is for a simple but effective finish, it can also be used by the novice gamer as an aid to finishing the look of their own troops. This method can be applied to any bases be they single figures or multiple bases.

For this method there are several items that I use all the time and I will list them below, with alternatives where possible:

  1. Vallejo Acrylic Sandy paste or white pumice - ( sand and pva )
  2. Tajima Tufts - available direct from Tajima 1
  3. Water, flock and an old paint brush.
  4. Sculpting tool or flat blade of some description.
  5. 3 different shades of brown to cream paint.
I have to make it clear that before I base my figures they are all given a good coat of varnish, this is incase I get paint where it is not needed as a brush loaded with water in good time will remove any undried paint and leave the figure in perfect condition.

Step 1: just imagine this miniature is complete, and has its base already painted in the base colour ready for finishing.
Step 2: With our finished figure already having its base painted, we can apply the vallejo paste around the base of the figure and covering the edge the miniature is attached too. At this stage if you accidentally get any paste on the figure a bit of water on a brush will remove it. I use the paste as it allows me to create texture into it by adding a bit if pressure to the blade, something a sand finish wont allow.
Step 3: Once the basing paste has dried it is time to apply a coat of the Burnt Umber paint as the first step in painting the texture to better resemble earth.
 Step 4: Now I start to lighten the earth colour by adding a good heavy dry brush of teddy bear brown, this stage is not so noticeable but adds a level of depth.
Step 5: A final drybrush of Nubby linen just on the high points will finish the colouring of the earth.
Step 6: Now a mix of lightly thinned PVA applied in patches on the bases leaving areas of earth exposed.
Step 7: Dip the glued base into your chosen flock and tap off the excess and your figure is completed. This method is quick and simple and can be applied to almost anything as highlighted below with the movement tray.
This movement tray has been treated in exactly the same way as the figures just a little extra care around the holes is needed to ensure the figures will fit.

Now you don't have to stop there, you can improve the basic look with one simple application of some tufts or similar scenic items.

I have been using the Tajima tufts for quite a while now and can highly recommend these products to anyone, they are so simple to apply just simply peel from the backing paper and apply direct to your base. no glue or additional mess what they will do is add a bit of character to the vanilla finish of flock alone.
As you can see a few coloured tufts and you enhance the base greatly. These pirates have had a few green tufts and coloured heathers added.
Here the addition of some small grit and a rock that were dry brushed in greys, also add to the finish.
Again grit and a larger stone and a couple of tufts will finish it all off to good effect and at a minor cost.

My principal for basing is to keep it simple enough to add character but not to detract from the figure itself.

I wont list everything that can be used but some examples of other products that I frequently use are Birch seeds, tea leaves, coffee grounds, small twigs, sprue offcuts, the list of possible items is only restricted by imagination really.

Well thats my small guide to basing I hope it may help some of you, and if nothing else you will know how I finish my figures.


  1. That sure takes skill of which much you have at your hill

  2. Good work Andrew, I like the look of the tufts!

  3. Very good work , and paint .
    Cheers .

  4. Nice and I too quite like tufts added.


  5. Your base work is truly exceptional. Nice tutorial. Best, Dean

  6. This is an excellent tutorial. Thank you for posting, especially the product recommendations.

  7. A lovely little how to, well done that man.

  8. Hola
    Buenas esas peanas,tienen buena pinta
    un saludo

  9. Beautiful! I do like the tufts, they certainly add that little something to the bases!!!

  10. Thanks for posting this. I never thought of using the paste to create texture before and I intend to try that out.

  11. Nice one mate. I like the Tajima1 tufts too. Cheap and a great product.

  12. I like those tajima tufts will have to try and get some!

  13. Very well done, Andrew. Thanks for sharing!

    And I have to second the Tajima tufts. I've switched from Silflor tufts and I haven't looked back.

  14. Not seen that tuft product before. Looks fantastic.

  15. Thanks Andrew! Nice tutorial

  16. I use a very similar method except that I use wall filler which is sealed with Army Painter Quickshade after it has been highlighted as this seals the filler and stops it flaking off. Not heard of those tufts though, they look very good

  17. Very nice and straight forward tutorial


  18. Great painted figures! And those tufts look great!



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