Basing Elephants

I’ve made a few purchases recently to make finishing off figures a little more efficient. On my visits to Mark’s place I have noticed that he has various pre-mixed potions in bottles. This makes it easier to paint figures on an impromptu basis as mixing the washes etc takes time. After searching around online I found a shop that sells supplies for aromatherapy, candle, and soap making – there are a few of those actually if you look. I got myself some 25ml amber bottles to hold pre-mixed washes, cosmetics tubs to hold the mixture I put on the bases (when they are not all ‘grass’), and a bag of ground pumice. Derivan sells pumice in their ‘dry mediums’ range in small bottles but the stuff from the soapmaking supply shop (added to soap as an exfoliant) is a lot cheaper. I used to use model railway ballast for ‘sand’ on my bases but while it can be made to look attaractive it isn’t very robust and my older armies are looking a little ratty. Nowadays I use ballast, pumice, and other sandy stuff mixed into Derivan Impasto Medium – to save time I’ve mixed a lot up and put it into one of my newly purchased cosmetics tubs. It turns out that there is a very similar product from Pebeo that is ready mixed.

I’ve just used my pre-mixes on my Xyston Indian Elephants and I’m pretty happy with the result, although you can’t see my drybrushed sand mix under all that grass. I found this Flames of War article on desert basing  inspirational, and before I base things I try to have a look online at how the area actually looks – in this case the dry tropical forests of western India.

Completed and based Indian elephants from Xyston


6 responses to “Basing Elephants

    • The Xyston elephants are in two halves plus the head. There is a bit of a gap around the neck which is hard to get to with the filler, but the mahout’s legs hide that. There is also a bit of a gap at the elephant’s rear end – I could have filled those a bit better but if you don’t stare too carefully at the elephants’ backsides it shouldn’t be a problem! Otherwise there was just a tiny bit of filling and sanding along the spine. It sounds worse than it was. I use Squadron Green Putty for filling white metal and it works nicely.

  1. Not my cup of tea at all 😦 , but each to his own. I’m painting an Indian army too, we will have to fight them one evening.


    • That will be one evening in 2012 or so as I don’t plan on painting any more Indians until then. I had a look around online and I couldn’t bring myself to give the elephant crew white dhotis since they are likely to be fairly high status. Good luck making your figures look dull as the Xyston elephants and their crews have loads of bling.

  2. The elephants look great.

    However, feel free to keep them at home. My hoplites have been flattened by these sort of eastern monsters to often!

    • No need to worry – these blokes are hard enough to store, let alone transport, as the pikemen are brandishing their pikes.

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