It takes time and practice to get it right
Had an nice comment from Darth Weasel about my Vampire Counts basing so thought I would put up a quick guide to how I got them looking that way.
My first attempts at basing were pretty poor as with anything you try the first time you make a lot of mistakes and are not quite sure what you should be doing. The Dwarfs below are a good example.
In both cases I used a single type of flock in this case some fluffy brown stuff that I just randomly stuck on using either normal modelling glue or PVA. It covered the bases, sort of, and made them look kind of uniform but that was about it. Overall, it got the job done without being very pretty.
Over time I moved onto the standard Games Workshop green grass flock which worked a lot better. Application simply involved covering the bases in PVA glue spreading it around with a small knife or old paint brush and then dipping the base into the tub of flock.
I pretty much use this stuff on everything now, although I don't drench the models in it like I used to. Only using this type of flock - which is fairly cheap at $7-10 a tub (although non-standard brands are cheaper I prefer this one) - I got better results and a nicer (if not spectacular look).
Adding a bit more detail
Where could I go next? Well adding a bit of sand. Every great looking base you see has sand on it, and they all start with sand. But I had my green flock technique down so simply added bits of sand to the top of it. It makes it look different, but again is only so-so in terms of overall appeal. But it works for me so a large chunk of my Dwarfs and High Elves have been done this way as it is a very easy way of flocking large units.
For the sand I switched to a Gale Force 9 product and this is now a permanent part of my basing materials collection. Prices are slightly cheaper than Games Workshop depending on source and you tend to find, at least in local stores, a wider variety of flocking materials.
Going a step further with the Vampire Counts
It was only recently with my Vampire Counts that I really tried to get the whole basing thing looking right. This time I started with the GF9 sand applying it BEFORE I undercoated each model, or after undercoat and BEFORE painting. Either way is fine. Same process used PVA to cover the base, spread the PVA around and then dipped each base in the tub.
After that I followed a series of simple steps to get the overall look:
- Paint the sand and base with Mud Wash
- Drybrush with various browns, greens or greys depending on what I wanted
- Apply small amounts of standard plastic glue in several areas ready for GW grass flock
- Touched up areas left bald with grey paint.
Each army has its bases edges painted in a different colour as well
- High Elves / Goblin Green
- Vampire Counts / Graveyard Earth
- Dwarfs / ??? um can't remember now been a while but some kind of earthy brown