Thursday, 3 February 2011


 Hello all,

As promised I have taken some pictures of how I do my bases or the infamous PVA and sand method I keep moaning on about.
I start off by masking off the frame with some magi tape,it is waterproof so and paint does not seep through like the masking tape I used to use.
I learnt to lay thing out first to the scale and positions sorted out first.I just realised that I have omitted a picture where I place the foam packing in the corners for different heights and undulating ground,that's a great word isn't it!
I use a sharp retractable knife to cut the foam leaving the pre-cut pieces to butt up to the corners.
Once I am happy with the lay out I cover the whole area in PVA glue, right up to the edges of the frame because the glue will shrink when drying.The shrinkage came be used to create that dried, cracked desert floor look.This came be done before the glue has dried,paint it and let it crack.
I now start to sprinkle small rocks,then larger rocks over the whole area.

This is the rocks that I got in a sale from Gale force9,They are great for desert scene's but to be honest any rocks or gravel from out side or railway model shops will do.Just be sure to mix it up a bit.

A closer look of the mess,this is the first stage of layering the gravel.I tried to go over the edges of the Italeri base to make it blend in to the whole diorama.Next comes a large amount of sand.I did have a bag I picked up from the local beach but when that ran out I bought a bag from the local aquarium/fish shop and has lasted me for a year or so now.
I have again I forgot the sand picture but I pack the sand  up to the level of the rocks and add more rocks of both sizes and pat it down to firm it.This helps the drying  time as well so I try to do it on every project.
I lied I did take a picture of the sand at the final level.I placed the tents so as to bed them in so they do not look like they are floating on top of the rocks.I now leave over night to dry unless I am trying to get the crackle look.Let it dry or otherwise you will be picking sand out of your brush forever,not that this has ever happened to me......much.
12 hours later and I was ready to painting.I put the whole frame in a plastic carrier bag to shake off the loose sand and rocks.Not to waste this ready mix I have a small plastic box that I tip the contents in to use on smaller dio's.I used Vallejo brown sand for a change to Iraqi sand.I also painted the water in the well at this point and thought it was a bit "blue".since I have posted this in Benno's I have been told that as well.I watered down the brown sand 50/50 to cover more and and to get into the knocks and crannies.
I could not leave out the Iraqi sand so gave the whole base a dry brushing to take the edge off the brown sand.
This took forever tyring to cover the base and I should have used a bigger brush!To be honest this could be used for any theatre of battle just add grass for Europe and snow for colder climates.I hope this has been of some help if not a least you know what I am on about when I prattle on about PVA glue and sand.

Cheers for looking    Rich.


Thanos said...

Great work!
Thanks for the tutorial Rich!

jmchasco said...

Thanks for share Rich !!
It always look great on your hands.


Bartender said...

Fantastic. Now let's see more of these posts more often!