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Monday, January 11, 2016

Bolt Action - Snow Basing

Today we have an article by an old friend of the cast, John Brader. Please enjoy.

The recent influx of figures in winter gear inspired me to take a closer look at creating realistic winter bases that could be done with only a few products and relatively quickly.  Personally, I’ve applied these techniques to a winter Soviet army with good results.

These figures were based using the methods outlined in this article.  

To get started, the following is a list of material used for the bases:

MIG Mud Europe Wet Mud Fine Texture - P502
Scenic Express Matte Medium Transparent Scenery Cement
Elmer’s Glue All
Woodland Scenics Snow
Silfor Winter Tufts
Secret Weapon Miniature Realistic Water
Secret Weapon Miniature Crushed Glass

For this short tutorial, a single base with three different looks using these products was created.  The three sectors on the base are:
  1. Cold snow (no melting) 
  2. Slush and ice
  3. Mixture of slush and snow

On a 60 mm circular base, the three sectors were painted with Mig Mud.  

Once the mud was dry, snow was added to two of the three sectors using Woodland Scenic Snow, Matte Medium, Elmer’s Glue All, and Silfor Tufts.  This is used to create unmelted snow.

To create the unmelted snow, start by adding a layer of matte medium to the base.  Using a pipette (eye-dropper) makes it easy to put the matte medium exactly where it’s needed.  

Add a liberal amount of Woodland Scenic Snow onto the matte medium.  After a minute or two, turn the base over and let any snow that didn’t adhere fall back into a dish for use later.  

While the snow is still wet, it can be sculpted to shape, and it’s the best time to add the tufts.  A small dot of white glue (Elmer’s Glue All) can be used to attach the tuft, although it will likely adhere to the matte medium without the glue.  By placing the tufts while the snow is still wet, the tufts will appear to be growing through the snow.

This process was repeated for a second section on the sample base.  

For the final sector on the sample base, a different method and product was used: Secret Weapon Miniature Realistic Water and Crushed Glass.  NOTE, when working with the crushed glass, use proper personal protection equipment - gloves, safety glasses, and a mask.  

Add some crushed glass to a plastic pallet, and then add a few drops of realistic water.  Mix thoroughly.  The ratio of crushed glass to realistic water will vary how “wet” the snow looks.  Here, some ice and slush is prepared.

Scoop the mixture onto the base; from there, it can be spread and sculpted to form the desired appearance.  

Tufts can be added in the same manner as before.  

The two methods can be combined to create interesting bases that appear to have slush and frozen snow together.  In the final comparison picture, the lower left sector is  all crushed glass; the lower right is all Woodland Scenic snow; the top center sector is a combinations of the two techniques.  

Give these techniques a try and vary the methods to create unique and interesting winter bases for your figures.

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