Monday, 2 April 2012

Macedonian Cavalry - the Bases

The Macedonian Cavalry are ready to be have their bases textured and painted.

The bases are 40 x 20 mm cut from 2mm thick plastic sheet. The base is magnetised by sticking it to magnetic tape. The tape needs trimmed with scissors to get a neat finish. I get my magnetic basing supplies from Trevor Holland at Coritani.

I build up the contours to disguise the edge of the figure base with Tetrion (a ready mixed plaster in the UK, called 'spackle' across the pond). I usually put a very thin coat of white PVA glue on the plastic base before adding the Tetrion which should help it stay stuck for a long time.

It is not important to get the Tetrion very smooth as a bit of texture gives the ink wash something to flow around.

I then add little clumps of fine grit with a dab of PVA glue. Again this creates a bit texture for the ink wash to flow around. I often drizzle a little polystyrene cement over the top of the grit which keeps it in place. I sometimes add bigger pieces of grit or even gravel when I want a rockier texture but not for this unit.

During the painting process I forgot to mention that I often paint white muzzles on my horses as you can see on the figure above. This can add a bit of 'horsey' character to the model.

Once the grit is fully secure I give it a coat of Vomit Brown making sure I get paint right into all the little crevices.

The rest of the base is given a coat of Bleached Bone.

The whole base is then given a wash in Windsor & Newton Nut Brown ink. This ink adds a lot of shadow to the textured base and helps to meld it with the figure which also had an ink wash.

The edge of the base is given its obligatory coat of Scorched Brown and the whole base gets a final coat of Windsor & Newton Artists Matt Varnish.

All the figures need now is a clump or two of grass tufts, some movement trays and they are ready for combat.


  1. That's a good tip about adding a layer of PVA glue before applying the Tetrion. I must try that.

    1. Morning Kingsley

      Yes, a little touch of PVA helps the plaster to stick to anything which is non-absorbent. Plastic sheet can be a bit shiny and can also flex a bit which is usually bad news for plaster which once dry can be quite rigid and flakes off easily. I sometime score the plastic if I think it needs a bit of extra adhesion.