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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Basing Flock & Foliage

Great period flick!

Last night Eric and I got together to watch The Duelists, have some beer and pizza, and oh yeah, mix up our static grass/flock blend we will use for our bases and terrain boards.  All pretty exciting right?!  Anyway, in this post I will wrap up the rest of the stuff we use to deck out our unit bases.

Big pail of flock...aaaaaaachoo!!

Along with the colors we use to paint our gravel/ballast, we also choose a grass mix appropriate for the time of year and to compliment the colors of our figures.  The products we used are pictured below using a full bag of NOCH's Sommerwiesen Gras that includes a hint of red, a full bag of Streugras Wiese which is a nice Summer green, a full container of Woodland Scenics' Harvest Gold, and half a container of Burnt Grass that would complete a late Summer early Autumn look of green-brown grass.  You may not want to mix up as much as we did, but at least it gives you rough idea of the fractions involved in matching our bases.

Oops! Forgot to take the pic before emptying the bags...

I've seen the grass on many flocked bases turn out pretty flat.  A couple of tricks I use go way back to when GW first introduced their static grass product.  After applying the glue and then the grass on top, you wait a few moments (maybe doing up the next base then coming back).  Then turn the base over to let the excess fall off and gently tap on the bottom of the base.  This helps the freshly glued grass to "stand up" a bit.  Another trick is to then lightly drybrush the static grass with a very light bright green (I use the old GW color Bilious Green).  This not only further helps the grass to stand up, but also gives the impression of fresher blades of grass growing up through the darker brown ones.  If you're going for a more late Autumn early Winter look, then perhaps using a light slightly pale yellow brown would work.

To add some additional texture and color to the bases, using a variety of grass tufts like the ones from The Army Painter for example are really nice. For a bit of color here or there, the tufts of wild meadow flowers from NOCH are great.  A spot of blue or red on a few of the unit base will really compliment and help the uniforms, cuffs, and collars pop on your figs/unit.

Another great product to use is Leaf Litter.  I don't remember where I got mine from, but it usually comes in "natural" brown or dyed yellow, red, and orange.  Below is a mix.  We plan to use these sparingly, as even in the middle of Summer there's still various leaves found on the ground.  These are great for warming up your unit bases along with the colors mentioned in the previous post, and once again complementing the colors of the uniforms as well.  As with the flowers, you don't want to overdo it though.

Otherwise known as Birch tree seeds.

With a quick revisit of my first Fusilier base, I wanted to mention my use of Apoxie Sculpt to help smooth out the ground around the metal/plastic bases of the figures themselves.  The bottoms of these Perry Miniatures are really nice, but some ranges are rather chunky.  I usually trim them down the best I can, and then use the Apoxie to smooth things out so that no unnatural looking bumps appear on the base.  Then apply the ballast as normal.

Next up will be a blurb talking a bit about the planned Order of Battle (See the page tabs towards the top) for each of our forces including our initial goals and more on our overall design philosophy.  Hopefully later in the week will bring some more WIP shots and a post detailing how to magnetize your unit bases and figure cases to really help in the ease of transport as well as the protection/security of your army.


  1. Great tutorial, Jason. I'm always interested how other people do theirs.

    I never thought about using birch seeds. Pity we moved away from a house with a birch tree in the backyard! Oh well, I'll have to scout the neighbourhood for one come autumn!

  2. Thanks for heads up on the movie - not sure if I have seen that one before...

    I know what you mean about the flock and "Aaachhoo!", whats worse though is getting it in your eye! Ouch.

    I hadnt seen the Noch product before, will check that out...

  3. Great post Jason. The flock mix looks good and I too will have to keep an eye out for Birch seeds.

  4. Very nice tuto! Thanks...

  5. The mini's and bases look awesome! I can't wait till I get myself a 28mm Napoleonic army. HAzzzzzaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,argh cough cough! ;)