"All resources will be used to make the army ready for war." - Napoleon, 1813

Friday, February 1, 2013

Basing Ballast & Paint

Our basing colour line up.

We have covered the Litko bases and so I thought I'd talk a bit about texture and paint. Jason and I have been kind of doing the same bases for years for our GW armies. As we've kind of been mimicking each others styles it was very easy for us to come up with a solution to match our preferences.

We start with the ballast. Some people have given me "great" ideas on how to save money with large quantities of cheap stuff. The only thing I found cheap was the quality of the end product. I stick to what I know is best- Woodland Scenics Ballast.

Basically our mix is one part Medium and one part Fine. Applied with white PVA (school) glue and left to dry. It's simple and always comes out right. This gives enough texture for good drybrushing.

Normally the next step would be primer but as we have to attach our little soldiers on the bases before the ballast we have to use the brush. Again, the Vallejo colours we chose are based off our old styles combined. We start with a German Cam. Black Brown. This one was discussed the most as we thought about mixing a warmer brown (like Burnt Umber shown above) with it or just dry brushing the warmer brown as the next step. Either way German Cam. Black Brown is our base.

A little trick I picked up is that for large projects you can go to a hardware store and they'll match a paint sample into interior house paint. This is good for game boards, terrain AND laying down the first layer when a brush has to be used. It's thick water based paint and it's perfect for sealing in the ballast.

The next layer is English Uniform. This is a thickly dry brushed on as it acts like a second base. Next is the Red Leather. This is applied lightly in patches as it will help the cool paints for the uniforms and really ties in the earthy feel for dirt. The next colour is the either Olive Green or Yellow Green. This is also applied lightly in patches and not always the same ones as the red. This will help the warmer colours of the uniforms. The last dry brush is Stone grey. This is applied very lightly as it's not too far from white. This helps give the texture a little strength at the end.

Basing drybrush steps.

Of course not every one of our bases will be the same with the amount of grass, flowers, shrub and other scenic gestures applied.

Time for a static grass mixture...   :)


  1. Good stuff Eric! Thanks for the breakdown.

  2. Your results are excellent, thanks for sharing! I'll be switching to a 50/50 mix of WS fine and medium for 28mm.

  3. Enjoying this blog, looking forward to seeing it develop.

  4. That was really interesting, I have been trying to improve my basing and this really helps. I start out with Burnt Umber as well, I really like where you go after that.


  5. Thanks gentlemen.

    One key note I forgot to add- It's helpful to have a palette knife or old spoon to scoop some the paint out of the can and onto your palette. As dipping your brush direct from these containers can be a little tedious.