Being as whimsical as most gamers I know, I'm on another re-basing exercise! I have probably spent as much time rebasing as painting figures, now and in the past. I have used squares, circles, hexes - you name it! The most adventurous idea was to base a Greek army on large hexes, so that the flanks and rear of a unit were clearly defined when on a wargames table, and that units joined cleanly in battle. Only my powers of persuasion for others was not quite enough!
My last, big idea was basing figures on circles. This was two-fold. The first was that I was gaming a lot on Kallistra's hexes, using Epic Command and Colours as the rule set; the second was that I liked the look of many figures on a circle, as each appeared as a small vignette in itself.
The recent trend in many rulesets (Impetus, for instance) is to have units on larger bases, where the base is the item that accumulates casualties, rather than removing figures themselves. This seemed to also lend itself to large figure basing, where units could look like units on the table. There are many examples around on the Web showing just how beautiful and effective this can be.
Hence the new rebasing project! I have thought about yet another compromise which meets the needs of my current gaming. By placing the figures on 10cm by 5cm rectangles the units can be placed neatly onto a Kallistra hex. This has the benefit of clearly defining the flanks and rear of the unit, using the hex sides to denote this. It also allows me to develop my own rules, being a blend of card, action point and boardgame principles. Whilst my base sizes do not match exactly other ancient rulesets, because I have several armies, they will match up to each other on a standard wargames table. Even at a push, they are only a short measurement out from other rules, and therefore could easily be adapted if required.
Now it's time for the big rebasing project! I have already rebased some armies, but still have many to go. Currently I am doing my Central Turkish Steppes/nomadic army. I thought it might be useful to show my approach to rebasing, as I know there are many different approaches out there.
Once based on mounting card, I use slightly watered down PVA glue with a covering of course sand (minus large stones) and a smattering of cat litter. This takes about two hours to dry. Once dry, I use a flat edged brush and Docraft paint to drybrush (found in Buoys, but in most shops where art materials are sold). Past experiments has shown that the thicker acrylic art paints give a brighter and more prominent contrast to the sand. I also like Grey due to it's neutral nature, it tends to be congruous with most basic colours of wargames tables. I also paint the edge of the base in grey as well, just to give it a finished look.
Now onto the final leg. I like to use the Faller static grass. It's a good match for the Kallistra hexes and the pre flocked gaming mats from Games Workshop. Plus you can buy big bags of it from Kallistra, essential for the number of times I re-base!
I apply the flock using strongly watered down, milk like, PVA glue. And apply the PVA liberally in patches, then sprinkle the base with the flock. The final touches are done with the help of Tajima-1 scenic materials. I have about eight different types which I use to liven up the bases. Here are two finished bases, I will give a full view of the army in another post.