Basing: To Edge or Not to Edge

Like many beginner painters, when I first started painting miniatures back in my teens I never based them. For whatever reason it was always so intimidating when I was a kid. Of course as I got older I realized that basing is just pouring sand over white glue and then painting it, which is nothing to be afraid of!

However, it did bring me to an interesting question: How much of the base do I flock? Do I do the whole base? or edge it in black? There seem to be three schools of thought here, each with their own pros and cons.

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 1) Full Flock

This is the most common choice when creating terrain. You glue/flock the top and the sides of the base and make sure that you have full coverage. The idea is to create a seamless pairing between tabletop and miniature, with no painted edge, or speration of terrrain.

Pros: Your minis will match you tabletop and look like part of the environment. That is why this is so popular for Terrain.

Cons: All of your minis are now on little hills, which looks weird when we are talking about figures rather than terrain.

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2) Coloured Edging

In my experience this is more common with historical miniatures, but this method has you flocking only the top of the base, and painting the edge in a similar colour above. Note on the figures above the edge is painted with a sand colour to match the desert. This method gives the illusion that the minis are standing on chucks pulled out of the ground, rather than little hills.

Pros: If you are only fighting with those minis on one terrain type this will give your forced a finished and professional look, and is why this method is common on historical mins who will be geared for one terrain type.

Cons: If you change your terrain type your minis will look out of place: put those figures above in a dense jungle for example and the illusion is broken.

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3) Black Edging

More common with fantasy minis and Games Workshop figures this method has you flocking the top of the base, and painting the edge black. Similar to the style in entry 2, this method makes it look like the minis have been lifted from the surface.

Pros: This gives you the ability to do more varying terrain types as the black edge give you a visual disconnect between the mini and the terrain. So It is more difficult to look out of place as long as you have done a simple basing job.

Cons: Some people find the black line and the visual separation between terrain and mini unappealing and it destroys some of their immersion.

Personally I prefer the black edge. I think it gives you more flexibility and it just looks nicer.

If you are new to basing then please check out some of those links under the images. Most of them are tutorials on how to create your own flock, and properly base your figures.

So what do you do? Black Edging, Coloured Edging, or Full Flock?

Written by: Andrew Gregory

Basing: To Edge or Not to Edge Basing: To Edge or Not to Edge Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 12/12/2017 02:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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