This past Saturday my wife worked while I stayed home with the boy. While Jack has given up his afternoon nap, I'm still able to get some hobby work done while he plays.
Our house has a pretty open floor plan, with kitchen, dining room, and breakfast nook all in one big area. We put up a baby gate to block this area from the rest of the house, and we keep all Jack's toys in there. He can play while I work on the island and watch him. Saturday I based up all 160 Confederate infantry while Jack prepared food in his toy kitchen.
I cleaned the edges of 40 Litko bases with a paper towel and a little warm water. I had been storing the painted figures 10 to a popsicle stick.
I broke the figures off their storage sticks and arranged them for basing. I had 32 poses, which made for eight different groups of four poses each. Each group would make for five bases. I tried to vary hat styles, blanket rolls v. backpacks, and uniforms' color schemes on each base.
I put out five bases for each group, then put four Elmer's Glue All beads on each base. I worked in groups of ten bases to keep the glue from getting too tacky.
It took about 20 minutes to get to this point. Then I had to walk away for a couple of hours to let the glue set.
After the glue was fairly dry, I painted the base edges with brown iron oxide paint. I know a lot of people like to leave their Litko base edges alone, but I think they look better painted.
I painted each base in spice brown, then gave it a swirl through the medium brown ballast while the paint was still wet. This is the most time consuming step of all, taking about a half hour to complete.
Once the paint is dry, I gave each base an Elmer's glue wash. This keeps the ballast from scattering each time the stand is handled. It also gives me a firmer surface on which to apply a light chocolate drybrush, highlighting the base and giving it a nice dirt effect.
The last step is to apply static grass. I use slightly diluted Elmer's glue, hitting various spots around the base. Then I swirl the base through my static grass bowl, tap off the excess, blow off any remains, and set the figures aside to dry.
All told, I spent about two hours on Saturday basing 160 figures. Economy of scale, gentlemen. It's the only way to finish large armies quickly.