Elblondino’s Guide to Basing Ships

It’s time for another guest blog. On this occasion I hand the reins to @Elblondino who is going to do a tutorial on how to base Dystopian Wars models. I saw a WIP snap of his technique a  while back and was so impressed I immediately got in touch and asked him to put together a tutorial for your hobbying pleasure. I think you’ll agree he’s done an ace job and I hope he’ll grace The Shell Case with more of his hobby based wisdom very soon.

Greetings fellow Warmongers my names Mike aka Elblondino. Firstly I’d like to thank Mr Shell Case himself, Phil, for letting me show-off a couple of bits on his site. Hopefully they’ll be of use to some of you.

As you may or may not be aware, I have recently moved over to Dystopian Wars from the Plethora of GW games I used to collect. I was drawn like a moth to the fantastically detailed models produced by Spartan Games and in particular the Naval fleets. I’ve always had a hankering for naval warfare since playing Red Alert 2 when I was younger. With that in mind it’s no surprise I decided to go for the Prussians. (blimps and cool ships a happy blondie make).

Now call me anal if you like, but I prefer my models to be based appropriately. I’ve never liked the thought having lovingly painted models getting moved around bare bottom so to speak on a tabletop.

  1. They get damaged a lot easier
  2. They look cooler with a base in my opinion.

As I had never played naval battles before I wasn’t sure of the best way to go about this. The easiest option is to stick the model onto some card or plasticard and paint it blue. Fantastic it does the job and will look pretty cool to boot. Me being me however I wanted to add a little bit extra to it, and the obvious extra is waves. After experimenting with a couple of ideas I came up with the method which I’ll explain below.

To start you will need some plasticard, green stuff, a suitable tool and of course your ship.

First cut the plasticard into rectangles to fit your models. In this case I cut them roughly 5mm larger than the model on either side but this is down to preference. Now super glue your ship onto the middle of the base.

The next step is to mix up some green stuff and roll into a long sausage shape.

Now lay the sausage of green stuff along the sides of the ship and squash it down with your tool. I found a triangular tool to be best for this as it helps guide the waves in the direction you want. It’s also vital to keep your tool wet so it doesn’t stick to it and mess up the waves.

This should give you a rough idea of the wave formation now minus the front and back. Get another sausage blob and stick it across the front of the base squishing it down to fill the gap.

Now do the same with the back to fill in the gap. At the back of the ship I made a little ridge in the green stuff to represent the small ripple caused by the propeller.

Once the whole base has been filled just go around and flatten out the waves until you get them looking how you want them and cut off any excess green stuff with the edge of your tool. It should only take about 10 minutes to make a base and before long you’ll have a whole fleet based and ready for painting.

From looking at pictures of real bow waves etc the key thing to bear in mind is that the waves should be relatively straight at the front. They should then get a steeper and steeper angle on them as they move to the back of the ship. A good way to try this at home is to hold your finger under a curtain or other fabric and push your finger up. It will cause creases in the fabric which give a very similar effect to the water.

Anyway hope this is of some use to you all, and if you have any suggestions or comments feel free to come and bug me on twitter. I don’t bite much.

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