When approaching the basing stage of any project there are a number of options available to create a finished base and give your miniatures a sense of presence. You could simply buy resin cast bases from a 3rd party supplier. If you want a cheaper alternative then you could simply glue flock and static grass to the base or even a fine grit sand/ salt (to be covered in PVA glue and later painted). The Citadel texture paints (and similar products) are another option which provide a fast basing solution and give a good range of finishes which can be painted over for further customisation. If you want a mountainous finish, sheets of cork boarding can be broken up and used. (Though I’ve yet to try this option myself.) Needless to say, there are a ton of options to bring the base of your miniatures to life.
While browsing Element games, I came across a collection of textured rolling pins. I was quite impressed by some of the designs and so decided to look on YouTube to see how these products where used. I watched a fair few videos however the following by Dana Howl and Geek Gaming Scenics really caught my imagination.
Dana Howl- “10 easy bases you can make!!! (With basing rolling pins) for 40k & AoS using GreenStuffWorld Rollers”.
Geek Gaming Scenics- “Das How To Use Air Drying Clay With Your GreenStuff Texture Rollers”.
If I understood correctly, It would be possible to create a textured finish, (similar to what you would expect from a resin base) via applying a thin layer of air drying clay (Das in this case) and using one of these rolling pins? At the time I was working on an Adeptus Custodes army for 40k and really wanted a stone temple or marble effect base. I was able to find a rolling pin design which met my requirements, got some clay and decided to give it a go, following the process as described in the Geek Gaming Scenics video. After getting stuck in, I had a few observations:
- Once set up and after a little practice, creating the bases using the rolling pin was quite a fast process.
- The Das/pva glue mixture is very sticky. Use plenty of water & talc to keep everything lubricated and expect your hands to get messy.
- Sometimes despite everything, the clay will stick to the pin. In these cases you can either start again or work with it. In some cases where the clay stuck to the pin on my Custodes bases, I decided to add some GW texture paint. (As suggested in the Dana Howl Video.) This made the base seem more like ruins than a functioning temple.
- It took a couple of days for the clay to completely dry. After which, I was able to cover with a layer of PVA glue and then paint over.
While I am very happy with the finished look, It’s worth noting that simply super gluing the miniatures to the clay finished base does not seem to be enough and pins may be required through the feet of the model in order to ensure they do not break off. I recently took my Custodes out of storage and found a number of them had simply snapped off the base, taking sections of the clay with them at the glue contact points. I’ve been able to repair the bases with no impact on the aesthetic of the miniatures, however I’m concious that this will be a issue when transporting the army. With that in mind, I advise you to consider how you will fix the miniature to the base if you try the texture rolling pins with clay. (This may not be such an issue with green stuff, though clay is a cheaper option.)
On the whole (despite the durability issues) I’ve been impressed with the Green stuff world textured pins. If you are looking for a way to get a resin base finish but don’t want to pay for resin bases, this may be the answer you are looking for.