Sunday, 6 March 2011

3mm ACW: Basing Progress

The basic work on the Confederate 1/600 Brigade has been done, so I thought I'd share some photos and my thoughts on the process so far.

Previous 2mm projects have seen me using a method with pre-painted bases, where the blocks pretty much sit on top, patches of small flocking adding ground cover, but for these larger 3mm figures, I wanted to texture the bases, and to some extent, disguise the integral base parts of the minis, particularly where individually clipped figs were being posed.

I wanted, however, to avoid swamping the strips, so rather than using 'basetex' type materials or sand and PVA which are useful for 6mm sizes and above - I went with a smooth fine surface filler that was coloured with the same paint I used to shade the bases of the strips, smeared onto 1.6mm depth Artists card, as usual, backed with magnetic tape.

In order to accurately place the strips, I used a rough paper template to go around the base, and with a superglue Gel, stuck down and aligned the figures where I wanted them. I found it was useful to sort out the figs onto another empty base in the formation required, making sure that they were all facing the right way around, and then move these individually to the actual base I was sticking down onto.

I then worked the surface filler around the minis using an old brush and small scrap of wood.
I found that the original white colouration of the filler meant that the bases dried lighter than I really wanted, and also on examination, I realised I had been a bit too timid in the depth of the filler around the strips - I was concerned not to slop any over onto the figs, but this meant that the bases are still a bit visibly pedestal-like; something I can hopefully correct when doing the final flocking of the bases.

Eventually, I went around the strips and individual figs with a darker earth tone before moving on to the first layer of flock.

This is the first rough and ready application, where using PVA glue diluted with water, a mixture of colours was laid down:

The strips are still somewhat isolated-looking - the perennial difficulty of working the glue up close without actually ending up brushing it onto the figures themselves, but the gaps will be filled on a later application, probably with some small-sized static grass.

I'm currently working on painting up some Cavalry to accompany this Infantry Brigade, so will wait until those bases are at the same stage before finalising the whole lot - some small logs, bushes and maybe some trees, etc, should help liven things up a bit....


  1. Have you though of flocking the strips before sticking them to the bases?

    I find it easier to hold and glue the metal blocks first...


  2. Hi SoS,

    I shall watch this one with interest - they look very good thus far and have given me much food for thought...;-)

    All the best,


  3. Got to say they look very nice and I love the way you've based them with skirmishers out front and officers behind. Makes me want to do ACW Aeronef!

  4. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - things are still looking a little rough - the photos reveal where some figures could do with a bit of touching up (ooh-er!), and the basing scheme has yet to really come together - but at least I've managed to concentrate on this particular project, and have not yet dropped it for something new and shiny....well, not yet....

    @Andrew, that's a good idea about the pre-flocking - have to give it a try with the Union troops, see how it goes.

  5. Nice basing and very dramatic use of skirmishers

  6. Done a nice job with those, very tempted to try it.

  7. Very nice work my friend....I will not be tempted...Iam tempted ....I must not start a new project.....noooooooo!


  8. Really nice effect with the basing scheme and texture of the flocking. I may have missed it in an earlier post, but what rules will you be using for this project?


  9. Hi SoS,

    Can you drop me a line on where you may learn something to your advantage....

    (MWAHHH,HAAA,HAAAAA and other such evil cackles....)

  10. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - always helps to know what others think of my scruffy efforts! Seriously though, does a lot to motivate me to do more - appreciate it...

    @Chad - thanks to the suggestion of Bill Owen over at, I think Volley and Bayonet is currently top of the list - in typical style, I had approached this project back to front and went for the shiny new minis first, so rules etc are so far very much in 'afterthought' territory!

    @David - mail on its way!

  11. Thought about the 'Bitter Angels' rule set? Grande Armee style?

  12. Hi Steve, thanks for the suggestion - looking into it, yes, that could be a contender, particularly if I continue with seeing the bases as 'Brigades' - still have a hankering to do Regimental, though....

  13. Your Confederates look amazing, but I have one question; what do you use to make you bases?