I couldn't remember if I'd done a post on basing before. Apparently I've had several talking about it but none giving the step by step. A couple of years ago I talked about my method here.
On to today's version. Mostly the same with a few refinements.
So this is how I base almost everything except for my Sci Fi (40K) stuff. The only thing I didn't picture is the Air Dry clay (Amaco, 10Lbs for $10 at a craft store.) You also need glue (PVA), texture gel, some kind of grit and, for 2.0, varnish. I then use a couple of sculpting tools and a cheap Testors brush that I abuse the hell out of.
Since the air dry clay comes in a gigantic block that you can never use quickly enough I chip off chunks that I need and keep them in a smaller container. The good, and bad, thing about this clay is that you can make it workable by getting it wet. So I wet a paper towel and seal it in a plastic bag with the main brick and do the same in the plastic container with the chunks I'm using. Sort of like a humidor.
After you've cleaned up your figure and glued it to the base, spread diluted pva over the surface you intend to cover with your clay. If you're using greenstuff you probably don't need the pva.
Use your sculpting tool of choice to push around your putty (clay). I like to put as thin a layer as i can get away with. Be careful about the gaps in slotta bases. You don't want to waste product by filling the gap, just try to skim over it as best you can. Some clay will accumulate inside. When using clay the thinner the layer, the more susceptible it is to cracking. Thus the next step.
Slather on some texture gel. I use Liquitex Natural Sand. It has the dual benefit of sealing the clay and giving a fine grit texture to the surface. I tend to wet my brush to help it spread, one could probably use a sculpting tool or palette knife, but it's hard to work around the model and not get gel on it.
Then scatter a pinch of grit on top of the wet gel. Mine is just some green aquarium sand that i bought 20 years ago that I'll probably never use up. Now you could just prime it here, but the grit may flake off during painting or even priming, especially if you use a brush. I tried spreading more dilute pva on top to seal it, but wet paint can reliquify pva. So you're back to square one.
In 2.0 I'm trying a spot of varnish to seal down the grit. I use a dropper bottle, put a drop on a couple of corners and daub around with a brush.
Getting some lads ready for Oldhammer weekend.
Have a tried and true method for basing you want to share? Have any questions about how I do it? Comments and critiques welcome.
See you later.