Cold War Project — Infantry Basing Method

GPMG group, primed but not yet painted or flocked
This is a Heroics & Ros 1980s British three-man GPMG group, with the gun mounted in its sustained-fire mode on a tripod.

I am mounting all my infantry on steel washers, the size of the washer being dependent on the number of men in the group.

For three-man groups and team weapons, I'm using 22mm washers. For two-man groups 16mm, and for single figures 12.5mm.

Single figures are there pretty much just to allow for casualty removal, but also to represent men with specialist equipment like the Blowpipe AA missile launcher.

The only problem with washers as basing material is the extremely inconvenient hole in the middle. I cover that hole with a piece of 80-90gsm printer paper, torn into an irregular shape to give soft, irregular edges and glued into place with liberal amounts of cyanoacrylate (superglue). The superglue penetrates the fibres of the paper and, when dry, gives you quite a tough, plasticized material, more than strong enough for this purpose. Make sure the cyanoacrylate has soaked the paper directly over the hole as well.

The figures are glued in place, either before or after being painted, again with superglue.

Lots more superglue (liquid, not gel) is flooded all around the figures, and then baking soda is spooned over everything. The baking soda combines with the liquid superglue, curing it almost instantaneously, and results in this rough plastic-like groundwork around all the individual figure bases. This blends the square figure bases in with the communal base, and it means that you don't have to faff about with any other groundwork materials like pumice gel or the like. The excess is just tapped and blown away.

The last stage would be the application of very fine flock — I like coloured MDF powder, which gives you an irregular cover that isn't granular enough to overpower the very tiny figures, but the more convenient ready-made option I use is Woodland Scenics Fine Turf — the Burnt Grass colour seems to me to be the best basic colour — with the very restrained addition of Coarse Turf to represent small bushes.

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