Review - Skullcrafts Autumn Basing Kit

I've always struggled with basing. I hate spending a lot of time on basing, and I frequently run out of basing ideas. Often I end up using a sculpted resin base since then I don't need to come up with something creative, but I've always been jealous of the painters that create these nice bases with flowers and natural vegetation. Browing a forum I came across the link to the Skullcrafts Store. I ended up purchasing the Autumn Basing Kit ($30) along with some leaf scatter and sand.

My package arrived quickly and well packed. Here is the kit in all its glory:

The basing supplies are all packed in little zip lock bags or in small bottles, complete with Skullcrafts logos. It's pretty professional looking. First up are the bottles and jars:

You get a small bottle of scenic water, and jar of texture paste, and a bottle of PVA glue. I don't have much use for the PVA glue since I already have a huge bottle, but I supposed the small bottle is nice to take with you if you're going to a tournament and haven't finished all of your bases. I also own a large bottle of scenic water, so I haven't tried this one out yet. I actually think it's a resonable size since my large scenic water bottle will probably last me for three lifetimes. The scenic water looks similar to Woodland Scenics Realistic water in that it will dry as still water - no waves.

The texture paste is one of my favorite items in the kit. It's a grainy black paste that you smear on your base and leave to dry for a couple of hours. It gives a slightly gritty finish that works well for representing moss or sand. It paints up very well.

You get three little baggies with different sizes of cork:

The slate tiles are perfects for making those Rackham style bases where the figure is mounted on a completely flat rock. There is probably enough for around 10 bases in that style.

The rubble/rocks are simply amazing. If you are like me and struggle with way too round looking greenstuff rocks, these are perfect for you. There is enough size variation for you to create some very natural rocks and they paint up extremely well with very little effort. I'll be buying a whole jar of these when I run out, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

The boulders are great for 50mm bases. I use them for my Warmachine warjacks. They look great combined with the smaller rocks

More little baggies:

The Bark Chips work well as rocks too. In the past, I have mounted minis on bark chips. I only do it with display minis since the bark tends to be a little fragile. The black ballast works nicely as small rocks on your base. You don't even have to prime or paint it though I'd recommend a light drybrush to give it some depth.

The Oregon beach sand is just very fine sand. I find this really useful since I don't go to the beach that often and when I do I often forget to bring home sand (other than between my toes). Because it is so fine it gives a very subtle texture to the base. I really like it for representing sand or asphalt.

The kit includes quite a few dried plants:

I really like these things. Yes, you could probably go out and find them youself, but I really don't want all that hassle. The reindeer moss works beautifully if you want small bushes or heather on your bases.

The Autumn Leaf Scatter is made from colored birch seeds. There are three different colors in the mix. I think the "leaves" are absolutely beautiful though a little too large for 28 mm minis. I'll use them anyway though.

The Autumn Vegetation is a gorgeous deep red color. I'll only be using these for display minis since they look a little fragile. For all the natural materials I'd recommend giving them a careful drybrush with a lighter color after you've attached them to the base. That will help them seem more in scale with your minis.

Grass, grass, grass:

I'm really looking forward to trying out the field grass. It's often nice with some tall elements on a base and field grass is just that. I'm not sure I'd recommend these for gaming minis since I can imagine they might break.

Both static grass and flock are standard basing materials, but these have nicer colors than most. The static grass is paler than the usual bright green variety. It's a mix of different colors of static grass which makes it look very natural, especially with a drybrush of a bone color. The flock also containes a mix of different colors, and like the static grass it is more subtle than the usual bright green.

And finally we have the little extras:

I personally don't need the little bag of bases (I have millions), but if you are just starting out, it might be nice to have some to practice on. The sculpting medium is interesting. It needs to be cured in the oven at a "low" temperature. I'm pretty happy with my greenstuff, so I'm not sure I'll use it, but it's always nice to have options. The wooden sticks would probably work well for applying the texture paste or the PVA glue to the bases. I just use my sculpting tools.

An example of a base created using the kit:

I used the Black Texture Paste, the Cork Rubble/Rocks, The Autumn Mix Static Grass, and the Autumn Mix Leaf Scatter for this base. I think the effect is quite interesting.

Overall, I have to say I love this kit. It just gives me so many new options, and it's really good quality. You could probably find/buy/make most of the items in there seperately, but I like that this kit makes it really, really easy. In fact, I'm considering buying some of the other seasonal kits.

If you have comments or questions regarding this review, feel free to drop by the forum.

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