10 Feb 2013

Semi - Pro Basing: Static Grass vs GW 'Tufts'

Trash Bases - Available from Microart Studios
Hey again, JT here with our first post in the Semi - Pro Basing series of articles that will be available right here on IGuides for your viewing pleasure; I'm sure you'll notice we're in the process of launching several 'series' of articles to cater to hobbyists and players of all skill levels - be sure to check back regularly for updates on your favourite IGuides series!
   For Semi - Pro Basing, we will be providing information and handy tips to help produce those awesome looking (and usually over-looked) bases for your little soldiers/psychopaths/fish men/fungus to help give them just that little bit of extra flair to really make your lovingly painted models pop.
   We acknowledge the existence of several awesome, manufactured scenic bases available for purchase on the web and possibly at your FLGS, however - we also wish to help those who simply don't want to buy pre-built bases and would like to build their own.
   Today we'll be discussing GW's range of pre-made static grass Tufts and how they stack up v.s regular static grass, as well as providing an easy guide to using both types.

Click the 'read more' link below to view the article.

   I'm sure many of you have seen the little grassy bits on the bases of many miniatures, it is featured quite prominently on the bases of many of GW's stock photos - but as of yet you simply haven't been bothered to attempt to replicate it, or are simply confused by the steps it takes to achieve that effect.
   The think-tank that is GW has come up with the static grass 'Tuft' range, which is essentially pre - made tufts that you stick to your models for a quick, easy and mess - free result - all you need to do is glue them on to your model with a bit of PVA glue and voila! You've now added static grass to your model - this is a god send for some - but these tufts come at a premium; compared to plain - old tubs of static grass, they are quite pricey and aren't really necessary if you know what you're doing.
   At IIndustries we view these premium prices as simply the price you pay for convenience; and for those who lack the time or knowledge to use proper static grass - they really are excellent. However; we believe that Knowledge is Power and the more you know, the better you will be - and it really isn't difficult to use static grass and achieve good effects.
   With just plain static grass, you have a greater degree of control over the placement and effect you're hoping to achieve - the tufts simply aren't flexible in that regard, they come in pre-determined shapes and sizes and with most scenic bases, will not fit.
   The price on the Tufts is a killer when you consider just how many packs you will need to purchase in order to do any kind of horde army, it quickly becomes an extravagance most cannot afford. I will say that using the tufts on Monstrous Creatures and over large miniatures is a viable use for the tufts, and save's a lot of time with good results - the bases for L2E's Tyranid MC's will all be done with the tufts as it achieves a good effect and is quick to place on the model.
   For regular sized miniatures, such as your Tactical Marines (or a hoard of Gaunts) - a tub of static grass can do hundreds of these models to a good standard, and is much cheaper - you won't get nearly as many uses from the pack of tufts; we are firmly of the opinion that the tubs of static grass are of much better value - and to help you out, we have a guide to using regular static grass that is easy to follow:

  1. Paint some PVA glue or put a drop of super glue where you'd like the static grass to be, PVA works better, is more controllable and cheaper to use - but super glue dries much faster and acts like a gap filler which will help the grass stay upright slightly better.
  2. Dunk your miniature into your tub of static grass, cover the the entire base in the stuff. After you've got your base (and probably model) covered in tiny fibres, tap the base sharply against the container until most of the excess is off.
  3. Flip your model upside down, and blow the base until the grass stands upright - don't blow too hard, you'll just make a mess. If this doesn't work, you hold the model horizontally and tap the edge of the base sharply against a hard, flat surface.
  4. Poke the grass with a toothpick, you can use the fine tip to help lift your static grass and refine the shape of the grass to any position you like - this is an extremely useful final step and will help provide the result you desire, and is unfortunately - a regularly over looked step to using static grass.
   And there you go, if you're still having trouble with your static grass -  leave a comment below and i'll endeavour to respond as quickly as possible (generally with 8 hours) and help you as best I can. If you have any suggestions, idea's, critiques or suggestions for future articles in this series - feel free to leave a comment or contact us through facebook, twitter or email.0

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, that's really useful. I've never bought the tufts or tubs, but knowing it's so easy, it's certainly something I'll consider using in future.