The hobby, in the sense of gluing stuff to other stuff or applying paint to things, and I are aren’t really on speaking terms at the moment. However, I have managed to find time to take a look at a few bits from War World Gaming’s basing materials range.
For those of you who haven’t come across War World, they’re a company based in Pontardawe, Wales, who produce wargaming terrain and hobby materials. You can check out their site here. They do some very groovy stuff including a set of sci-fi force fields which I think can find a use in just about everything game of anything.
But on to the basic materials. I took a look at the Snow Scatter, Summer Rock Rubble Static Grass and Sandy Patchy Grass Tufts.
I’ve had a fair bit of experience dealing with snow bases seeing as my Ultramarines have them. I’ve tried to other brands including Games Workshop’s. I’ve even tried using a substance designed for yacht hulls that turns fluffy when it gets wet.
The biggest issue with other brands is the powder is too fine so when it comes into contact with PVA it gets over saturated and dries as a dusting of snow rather than a blizzard. There are ways round this, of course, one being to mix the snow and the PVA together to make ‘clumps’ of snow. This works okay but it doesn’t make for very natural looking bases.
War World’s Snow Scatter is more like static grass only much finer. Which means it responds to the glue better and goes on thicker. You don’t feel like you’re shortening your life expectancy every time you use it either. This is a joyous thing because, frankly, up to now working with snow is a massive pain in the arse.
The downside is that the snow clings to your skin like a bastard which means it can get a bit wasteful but because of how fine it is, it can irritate the skin a little as well. That aside, it’s a great product and at £3.50 for a 180ml tub it’s great value as well.
The Summer Rock Rubble Static Grass is just brilliant. I could beat around the bush but I’d sooner skip to the bit where I tell everyone to go buy it. Whilst I’m a fan of your bog standard static grass it was always the sand that did the real heavy lifting when it came to basing a model. The grass was also, always, far too clean.
The SRRSG (because the actual name is far too long) has a plethora of bits and pieces in there to make it more realistic. I’m not sure if I’d replace sand all together with it but I’d certainly feel more confident about using more than a few spots on a base.
All the different pieces ably simulate the detritus of any real world natural environment. Stones of different shapes, colours and sizes. Leaves, twigs and even a few finer bits of grown grass to give the impression of soil. This adds up to far more natural looking base.
The downside, however, of all the bits and bobs is you’ll need a fair amount of glue to get it all to take which makes making sure your sand is fully set before you apply it. This obviously adds a fair amount of time onto a project that’s all but finished which can be a little frustrating.
However those nice chaps at War World offer a range glues to help you build up your bases correctly. Which, when you think about it, is turning tubs of static grass and debris into its own hobby system. This is not only genius but a long overdue addition to the hobby.
I’ve always had my reservations about pre-made tufts. Whilst I can appreciate the benefit of pre-made basing materials it always felt like a bit of a cheat. Plus there’s the question of matching the sand of the tufts with the sand on the base.
Plus I have a deep seated fear that my tufts may look like someone else’s…is a sentence I never thought I’d write. But it still stands.
All that said, the Sandy Patchy Grass Tufts are pretty cool. The production value is very high and they peel off their backing sheet with minimal effort. Just in case – you will need glue to stick them to the base, the sticky backing will do bugger all.
Where it gets groovy is tufts can be used to jazz up urban, debris heavy or stone bases. Either stuck on top or tucked into cracks and crevasses. The fact that the static grass is mounted on a backing makes it far more precise to work with. It’s far better than just blobbing some PVA into a cavity between stones, pouring static grass in and hoping for the best.
Then there’s the obvious applications for spicing up terrain pieces and diorama. Just bear in mind that if you’re using the tufts with sand or other basing materials, you’ll need to do some blending so they don’t stand out too much.
At £3.99 for 100 tufts they’re pretty good value and are a very cost effective way of tying an army together.
The War World Gaming basing materials are very impressive with real thought given to how the materials will look on the base as well as how they’ll behave during the hobby process. To top it all off, they’re great value.
Check out the War World Gaming website for more details.