Friday 19 April 2013

Snow Bases

Right now I'm working on the first unit for my Novgorod force for the Baltic Crusades project. Yes, they've been a long time coming for sure. As Dalauppror has already done both his armies with winter bases, of course I'm going to do the same.

There are a lot of tutorials out there for snow bases, as a quick search will show you, but most are variations of a few different recipies. Having never done a snow themed army, I wanted to test a couple of techniques and find the one that suited me best in terms of minimal work (I'm lazy ...) and best look (... but also want my army to look good).

So, armed with some glue and Army Painter's snow flock I set to work. I decided to try out 5 different techniques, and in the picture below you can see the results (click for a bigger view).

The "recipies" for the bases were:
A: Snow flock sprinkled over Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement.
B: Carpenter's glue and snow flock, mixed 1-1.
C: Carpenter's glue, snow flock and water, mixed 1-1-0,5.
D: Carptenter's glue, snow flock, water and light grey paint (Foundry Arctic Grey A). When dry drybrushed with white.
E: Carpenter's glue and snow flock, mixed 1-1. When still wet, snow flock was sprinkled on top.

Here you can see some close ups of the bases (click for even bigger close ups).

The verdicts?

A: This is great for that light, freshly fallen snow look. However, as the flock is not secured it will fall/rub off easily. A drop or two of Scenic Cement will take care of that though.
B: Looks good with a slightly "icy" look. It was a bit hard to apply the mix, as it would rather stay stuck to the cocktail stick I used than stick to the base.
C: Looks a lot like B, but maybe a bit less "icy". The addition of water made it easier to apply than B.
D: This one didn't come out the way I thought – it doesn't look like snow! Also, it's the most time consuming method of the ones I tried. Not a winner.
E: This is perhaps my favourite. It combines the best bits from A and B – it looks convincingly like a thick carpet of freshly fallen snow. Nice.

My idea for the look of the army, was that the novgorodians are on a campaign in the middle of the winter, and so the bases should have lots of snow and not much (if any) vegetation. Thus I will probably use the E variant, but will add some water to make the mix a little easier to apply and also secure the top snow with a drop of Scenic Cement.

Hopefully the first novgorodian unit will be finished soon, and I can post some pictures of it here.

Finally, a warm welcome to my new followers Christopher(aka Axebreaker) and Sean. I hope you'll like the blog!

Have a great weekend everybody, especially those of you going to Salute! I'm not at all jealous of you, oh no ...


  1. I think you are right in the choice of E.. right thats me off now have to drive to Salute ready to work tomorrow

    1. Like I said: Not jealous! ;)

      Hopefully I'll make it to Salute next year. That's the plan anyway ...

  2. A very helpful article, thanks for posting.


    1. Thanks Matt, I'm glad you found it helpful.

  3. Nice!
    I agree that E is good.
    I guess it also depends on what your gaming table will look like. In the AAR over at Dalauppror with only patches of snow was nice. And if that is what you will go for (rather than a totally snow covered board) than maybe B or C would work,representing those icy lumps of snow left on the ground in late winter/early spring.
    Looking forward to see those Novgorodians

    1. That's a good point. I actually haven't decided which look to go for yet. The patchy look is very nice, but so is that thick snow look.

      I will have to make up my mind soon ... :)

  4. Very nice testing Jonas

    If you drop scenic cement on A they to will get a frosty look, at least my bases did.

    I made my bases as I used to and just used quite mych snow on PVA glue, work fine, of course some fall off but most od it have stuck good withour Scenic cement.

    Looking forward to see the Novgorodians on the wargaming table:)

    Best regards Michael

    1. Thanks for the tip Michael. I might have to do another test base as I really like the look of your bases.

  5. Very timely! I do like E best as well. I'm thinking about Rus for Saga and if I go that route, well, it'd be time for snow! Out my window, there is 6" of the white stuff for inspiration. Sigh.

  6. Cheers Monty! We had a long winter here in Sweden but in the southern parts at least the snow has been gone for a while now.

    Looking forward to seeing your Rus, if you do them.