Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Basing Miniatures - Shadows of Brimstone

One thing that I think really pulls a miniature together that is often overlooked is a good but simple base. If a miniature is beautifully painted but has a bare black base, it will remind the viewer that its just a simple plastic miniature and pull them out of the game. Similarly, I think that if a miniature base is full of little knick-knacks and skulls and broken swords and bodies and what-have-you and is overly complex, then it takes away from the miniature itself. Also I'm a pretty lazy hobbyist, so I like to base my minis simply.

Here's how I base my miniatures for the Flying Frog Cowboys vs. Cthulhu game Shadows of Brimstone. Since 90%+ of the games occur in an Old West Mine, I decided make just a simple rocky base for all the minis.

To start, I squirt some glue blobs with regular white glue around the base and then wipe it into a layer with a piece of wire. Anything will do, really, but wire is what I like to use since I can kind of bend it into a shape if I need to work around the legs of the mini.

Then I dip the base into a mixture of fine-grain and medium-grain sand I've mixed together in a ziplock bag. I don't do anything special, just dip it and shake off the excess sand.

Then I let it dry for an hour or two. You don't want to try and paint the sand when the glue is still wet, because you'll move it around and make it look weird, and then you'll have to try and mash it back down again which is a pain. Just let it dry.

To recreate the mine floor base color, I make a slightly watered-down 50:50 mixture of Dark Flesh and Leather Brown (all colors from the Shadows of Brimstone paint sets), and paint that onto the glued rocks and sand until everything is an even brown. I water it down a little because that allows it to get in all the cracks between rocks and cover the whole base. Then I let that dry for about an hour or more. Since I water-down the paint it needs a little longer than normal to dry.

Once that's dry, I do three consecutive drybrushes to make the brown sand look like a Mine floor. I do them in quick order so forgot to take pictures between drybrushings. In any case, first, a heavy drybrush of Desert Yellow. Then, a medium drybrush of Fang Bone. Finally, I do a very light drybrush of Spirit White on the base, just to pick out the tallest rocks and give it a bit of a finished look.

Lastly, I take Shadow Black and paint around the outside edge of the base to cover up any paint slop I got on the sides of the base during the drybrush or initial basecoat steps. Painting around the edge with black really cleans up the bases well.

I like these bases as I can do them really quick and they look good on the Brimstone tiles. If you feel like putting some extra details or something on some of the larger monster bases you could in the future, but I'm a fan of clean, simple bases so these are good for me. Also since these minis will be handled a lot I recommend doing a final coat of Matte Varnish over them to protect the paintjob.

So there you have it. Quick and dirty bases for Shadows of Brimstone.

Game on!
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