Lion Rampant: Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick

As you may recall, I've begun working on my Wars of the Roses armies for Lion Rampant.  I've gone for Yorkist and Lancastrian retinues that weigh in at 36 points each.  I know, I could have settled with a lot less, but I've long wanted to game this period, and I want to do it in style!

The treads of all this began back in 2014 when Perry first released their Wars of the Roses Infantry plastic set.  I had originally intended to use them with DBA.  This explains the basing you can see in this next photo...
However, things moved on with the release of Daniel Mersey's Lion Rampant.  This meant I had to rebase my models.  Somewhere around this time, I decided to base all my models on individual 25mm circular discs.  If I needed to bunch them together for a game system, I'd insert them in sabot bases.  And since almost every rule set by this time way saying you could play their rules as long as both armies conformed to the same basing system, I reckoned I was on to a winner.  I could now use my models individually for skirmish gaming, and use them for larger scale battles when needed.  

Fast forward a few years to the present, and I'm now able to work on this project! (Incidentally, you can read about it here if you're so inclined!).  And in another fit of rebasing, I'm making my Leader command stand for my Yorkist force!  Oh, it's great to finally make a decision!

As you'll have guessed both by the title of this post and the banner in the photographs, I'm making my commander as Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.  And after some discussion on the Lion Rampant Facebook Group, I've decided to make this a larger base than normal.  Much larger than normal.  What you can see in the next photo is the Kingmaker, Musician, Warwick's banner bearer and the Standard of Edward IV, all on a lovely 3mm deep 80mm diameter MDF base from Warbases.  Lovely stuff.  I removed the magnetic disc from the underside of their bases but didn't want to risk the paint job by hacking away at the Renedra bases they were stuck fast to.  
 With the models glued into position, I began to add PVA glue to the rest of the base and worked this into place with an old brush.  If you want a more uniform appearance, you could easily add some polyfiller (remember to size the base first with PVA) or apply some miliput.  I actually like uneven ground on my bases, so I just went ahead and added my glue.  There's really no correct way of doing this sort of thing.  I'm just doing what works for me. 
 Anyhoo, with the glue in all the right places, my models go to my Base Mix box to kick about in the sand for a while.
 And with the excess removed, they get put to one side to dry.  Overnight is best when you're using this much glue. 

My base mix originally began as a rubble mix for my WWII models.  I'd add it around small bricks I'd cut out of the leftover frames once I'd assembled the models.  Since then, it's become my go-to way of basing my models, chiefly because it creates an uneven surface as the glue dries and shrinks.  The mix itself is roughly 70% sand, 20% ballast and 10% cork chippings.  When I apply this mix I like to take some of the chippings and push them into the glue before adding the mix over the top.   
 Once everything is properly dry, you can begin the painting.  I always make sure that any loose pieces are removed by brushing over the base with an old brush.  It saves a lot of time and bother later, even though you'll still see some bits of cork come off when painting. 
 I base coat the whole thing with a mix of black and English Uniform (I paint my models with Vallejo as you can see!) I add a little water to the mix to help it soak into the sand.  A second coat is applied to any places that look like they need it.  The ballast is notorious for this...

Then, once it has been left for a half hour or so to make sure it's properly dry, I begin dry brushing the whole thing, taking special care not to put any paint on my men.  I use English Uniform for this and no, I don't mix it with black.  I allow each successive layer to build up the colour.  This gives natural shading.  This goes over everything.

And then begins the fiddly part.

I begin dry brushing the cork and ballast with Khaki.  I guarantee I'll miss a few in the process with a base this size.  But that's not a problem because flocking can cover a multitude of sins!  I then repeat the dry brushing with a mix of Khaki and Stone Grey and then add a final dry brushed highlight of Stone Grey. 
When this is done, I paint the edge of my base.  I prefer to use black.  You can see the effect this creates in these next photos:

 And this morning, I began the process of flocking the base.  I use the same materials and colours as I have on my wargaming boards, as this really helps the models look a part of the surface they're battling over.  The first layer is Woodland Scenic's Green Blend Ground Foam.  I add PVA to my base with an old brush.  I avoid the cork and as much of the ballast as I can, although I'll stipple some of them to allow a little of the ground foam to stick to them and look like moss.  Doing a base this large takes time, so I worked on sections at a time. 

 With all the base covered, it looks like this.
 I don't tap off the excess.  I don't leave it to dry.  I simply go on to the next step.
 My next step is to add static flock.  I'm using Noch Spring Grass.  This is another fiddly process.  I use my old brush to dab blobs of PVA on top of the ground foam.  You pick up a blob of glue from the palette, decide where to place it and blob it on.  If you ever try this yourself, you'll notice that you tend to bring up a bit of the Ground Foam as you apply the blob of glue.  This is okay.  I used to leave my models for a couple of hours between these stages.  I'd tap the bases to remove excess.  But every time I tried to apply glue on top, I'd still have some lifting off.  So why waste a couple of hours?

Wih the blobs of glue in place, I then pick up some static grass with my tweezers and dab it onto the glue.  I then go and get some more in my tweezers and dab this over the top.  I'm sorry I don't have photos of this in action, but I simply don't have enough hands to do this.  The tweezers allow me to put the flock where I want.  The dabbing allows me to make sure it sticks in place, and the static generated by the dabbing stops my flock from lying flat.  You'll also find this helps to make the grass have an uneven look.  As you can tell from this post, I like this effect a lot!

In this next photo you can see the effect about three-quarters of the way through the process:
 And here it is completed:
 Now, you can see that I have left a number of places where the ground foam is visible.  I apply small blobs of glue to an uneven number of these sections and apply some underbrush.  This is a coarser ground foam.  I have two shades, Medium Green and Dark Green. 
 I then set the models aside to dry for a few hours.  You can see the finished effect in the next few photos!
 This next one shows how spikey the static grass is!

 And there you have it!  My Leader base for my Yorkist retinue!
As always, thanks for stopping by!

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