July 23, 2014

Basing Technique: Resin Sand

We're all familiar with basing models. Techniques range from really simple (glue and flock on a green painted base) to really complex multi-step variations. I want to show one method I found that is pretty quick and easy. I don't use it on all my models, just some. What you see in the picture is Liquitex brand Resin Sand. It's a gel medium meant for painting on canvas. This is going to be our basing medium.

Other things you'll need for this:

 A medium (or larger) grit gravel. I'd like to tell you what brand this is I have, but I bought over 10 years ago, and I don't have the original packaging (it currently resides in empty Warmachine blister pack)
Craft sticks.

When you open the container, it looks like this:

As you can see it's pretty thick. If you get some on your fingers and rub them together, it feels really gritty. So they aren't kidding on the "sand" aspect of it. Get a good glob on your craft stick.

And put in around the edge of the base. You can see it's pretty high on the base, but that's okay, we're going to smooth it out.

Use a brush to move the resin sand around and get it in between and under the feet. Flatten out any hills that are too high, or leave them be if you wish, the nice thing about this product is that you can easily pile it up. I use a stiff brush for this, a cheap one I picked up at a craft store for a couple bucks. It washes out of the brush easy.

Here's how it looks from the front.

And the back.

Next I take a pinch of the gravel and scatter it on the gel and lightly press them in to give some different texture.

Once it dries, it will be relatively clear. At that point you just prime and paint the model as normal. If you wish, you CAN add paint to the Resin Sand as it is a product designed to be used for actual on canvas painting so you can mix whatever acrylic paint into it you want ahead of time if you wish. So here's a couple comparison pictures for you.

 This Terminator was done with the standard PVA and sand technique, primed them painted and dry brushed.

This base was done with just the resin sand (no gravel... it was a test subject). Primed, painted and dry brushed.

I mostly now use the resin sand on my Terminators and any other troops that look "heavy". Since you can pile the gel medium up around the feet it looks like their sinking into the earth under the weight of their armor. How much depends on how high or low you pile it around the feet. When it dries, it does sink down (or shrink down) a little bit, so that's somethign to keep in mind. You'll want to test it to get it where you like it. The gel lends itself to a lot of techniques too if you want to get fancy. You can basically sculpt it in a limited sense with a brush, so you can keep it relatively flat for a "normal" ground look, you can make small hills and bumps with it, you can stipple your brush in it to make sharp points stick up, etc. Put it on a base first and press a model in it to make footprints or tread tracks, etc., then glue the model down after it dries. Make a shallow divot in it and put a water medium in to make a puddle etc.

I hope this was of some use to all you folks out there.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great tutorial. I was using a poor man's sand base (basically dumping pva glue on bases, then into sand, and mud washing them). This is a much more secure and durable method.

    Thanks for sharing!