PaK36 sabot bases — WiP Part 2: The Dirt

Now the guns and bases are painted. The bases aren't painted very smoothly except around the edges; they don't have to be, all of the top surfaces will eventually be covered with various textural materials.

I also haven't bothered smoothing out the hard channels in the surface of the bases, as those same textural materials will soften the hard edges quite successfully without going to all the extra work.

I use a slightly dilute mix of PVA glue (4 parts glue to 1 part water) to fix the first layer of texture. The dilution allows it to spread more easily, and it also slightly increases the glue's working time.

I've got into the habit of texturing the bases in several stages, because in summer the glue goes off quite quickly, and I want it to still be very liquid when the textural material goes on so that it will soak through it. It's late autumn here in New Zealand at the moment, so that's not really necessary, but habits are hard to break.

I'm careful not to allow any of the glue over the lips of the crew cavities; the washers they're based on are already quite a close fit, so there's no room to spare.

On goes the first part of the first layer.

This will be the "dirt", over which will go other materials to represent turf and other foliage. It's not actual dirt; it's actually MDF sawdust that I've coloured with acrylic paint and re-ground to a powder, with some ground-up model railway ballast added for stones.

There's no particular reason I can think of not to use actual dirt for this stage, as long as it's perfectly dry and ground suitably fine. The MDF just guarantees a consistent colour across a whole lot of bases.

Here's the first "dirt" layer complete on all the bases — the two guns, and an extra for a command group, if required.

Something I didn't expect is that the MDF "dirt" appears to be magnetic. I don't know why, maybe it's the ferric oxide in the pigment I used to colour it? It's not important in any case. Once the glue has dried, it will brush and blow away quite easily.

Part One
Part Three

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