Basing technique for my 'Crusaders'.

First I stick the figures onto the base (in this case 4mm plywood - cheap, available locally, and cuttable with a Stanley knife) using household contact adhesive (Bostik or UHU). I then liberally 'paint' the base with PVA and place cat litter and cork before dunking the whole base in a box of fine sand (children's sand pit sand) and ground oyster shell (available at pet shops).

When dry, I paint the base with burnt umber ink (as shown) watered down 1 part ink to 5 or 6 parts water. Ink is about £4 a bottle but the dilution (essential) makes it go a long way (400+ figs?). Again when dry, I dry brush with Humbrol enamel (number 63) then lighter again (with number 103). For Europe I would use antelope brown ink and Humbrol 62 then 63 drybrush.

Now comes the 'flocking'. Syria is not a desert. It is an area, during the dry campaigning season at least, of arid rough pasture. Anyone who has travelled anywhere around the islands of the Med' (I think of Crete) in the summer time will have seen parched grass and bushes everywhere. I use three shades of woodland Scenics stuff for this. I think it gives the right 'impression' for late spring / early summer. It is all stuck on with PVA dabbed in the right places, one flock at a time, tapped down then the excess shaked / tapped off, with a drying time between. A pair of heavy pincers is useful for getting it in the trickier spots.

Finally I add two or three low 'bushes'. These are also by Woodland Scenics but I can't remember what they are sold as - 'Clumps' or possibly 'Undergrowth' in 'Dark' or 'Forest' green?

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