Saturday, November 26, 2005

Getting Ready for Gamecon: The Numidians, and Basing Tips

The Napnuts are heading down to Gamecon this weekend, where we'll be putting up the Battle of Zama in 15mm. I'm contributing the Polybian Roman Army forces, as well as a contingent of Numidians, which were hastily painted up over the weekend.

I thought I'd give a run down of the process I go through with basing my minatures and a few basing tips that I've discovered over the years.

Painting the Numidians

After the basics (wash, remove flash) I left the figures to dry while I prepped the bases. These figures are from Corvus Belli, which makes a high quality (if limited) range of 15mm miniatures. Pic A shows the unpainted figures.

For the Numidians, I used wooden bases rather than my usual mounting board bases. I stick magnasheet on the bottom of the bases so I can carry them around in metal tins (usually chocolate tins ... although a large protion of my WW2 armies do travel in a group of Girl Guide Cookie tins ...).

One trick I've learned is to ensure that the magnasheet is aligned the same way on each base: on earlier figures, I discovered that some bases would not sit snugly next to each other in the box because the magnasheets were repelling. What I do I mark the top right hand corner of each magnasheet with a check mark (just visible in picture B, above) and the bases the same way. This way, even after they're glued on, I know they're aligned in the same direction.

Wood tends to warp, so it's important to weigh them down as they dry (Pic C). Anything will do. but in this case my esoteric collection of magazines finally came in useful. I knew I was keeping all those copies of Foreign Policy around for a reason ...

Once dried, the magnasheet serves another useful purpose: when flocking the bases, the wood tend to warp a second time (in the other direction) so leaving them on a metal surface allows the magnasheet to pull down on the base and minimise warping. I'm leaving the base as desert for the time being, without any grass (Pic D).

After that, I did a basic paint job on them - two layers of paint, base and highlights, skipping the mid-tones completely - and they're good to go for Zama and Gamecon.


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