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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's All In The Details

By Matty

I've never claimed to be an excellent painter. I tend to take too many shortcuts and am not quite patient enough to win any painting awards. What I do enjoy, is basing. More specifically, the addition of colors, textures and 'props' to really make my units stand out. Let's have a look on how you can add some flair to your army.

There are a lot of options when it comes to basing material. Some people use sand, drywall (sheetrock) compound or more recently, modeled miniature bases. They come complete with texture and other details that you can then paint to make your Flames of War more detailed. Everything you are about to see is relatively cheap to buy and even easier to use and work with.

Everything has to have a base, whether you use the plain ones that come with most of your Flames minis, or the ones shown here. Check out the extra details these 'urban' bases from Battlefront come with, fences, trees and more.

Woodland Scenics is a company that produces most of the items I use in basing my models. They go on easily and come in various sizes of containers and can be applied with white glue. You have several colors to choose from and these can also be 'inked' and drybrushed once the glue has dried.

Just finished applying ink to all the bases, once dried. I dry-brushed the walls and the rest of the base to give a more 'distressed' look to the brick. There's a big difference when I look back at this 'work in progress' picture.

On this PAK-40 base, I used two different colors of ballast and different coarseness of the rock itself. Normally my models are glued in place first, then fully painted before I place the ballast. Use a toothpick or paintbrush to spread the white glue around, getting it into any empty space you see.

Just showing the entire platoon from different angles. Working and playing with the ballast stone, I rarely see it come off the base to find it in the bottom of my travel case like you do with sand or other compounds. I've also added green chunks of flock and tufts to these bases. Great for depth and contrasting colors.

The addition of rock or brick walls really give this platoon a 'custom' look. These were cast in one piece but then individual bricks were carefully placed in order to break up the wall and make them look a little more run down. Once they are painted, inked and drybrushed, the addition of bigger items on your base doesn't take away from the look of your models. It makes them look a lot better and really adds something to your games once they're on the table.

Smaller bases, same details applied. (Snow backdrop by Canadian winter!)

Another option is to use static grass and coat the entire base with it and then knock off the excess. When doing a lot of stands at once, I normally shy away from that, only because I find it a little messier and more time consuming when doing a lot of painting at the same time. If you have the time though, it's another option worth considering.

Hope you enjoyed a brief look at customization and adding a few more details to your army. The nice thing is, even if you have models that have been painted for years. You can go back and add something else or touch them up using any of the items I listed or discover and share your own!

~Cheers, Matty

Matt MacKenzie loves the history of WW2 and many types of gaming. He enjoys regularly contributing articles to WWPD. Matt is retired on weekends and enjoys FoW, Kings of War, X-Wing and video games. He also hosts a gaming related podcast at

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