Base Glue... PVA?


okay.. When i'm basing and doing something like dirt or so, I put down a thick-ish coat of PVA before I sprinkle on whatever mixture (tea often). it sticks it really well but.. often it then comes off the base and i have to glue that bit down with super glue or something.. any one got any ideas on good way to get to stick on the base? I don't think putting down plenty of superglue before sprinkling is a good idea.. maybe if the base was roughed up a bit for a better grip? though I don't think the base surface is smooth..

any ideas?

twisted moon

use less PVA.
my experience of applying it (too) thickly, is that it forms it's own strata with the basing material (usually sand in my case) which can have an existence independent from the base. there seems to be less tendency for this to happen with a thinner layer of PVA.
Tried washing your bases with thinned down PVA? I’ve done this in the past for 15mm before the drybushing & flocking steps.


Are your bases plain plastic or have they been primed? I'd imagine the adherence for the latter would be better.

Somewhat missing the point - being a lazy old man I just slap either Russian Mud or Dark Earth from the Vallejo Dirorama FX range on the bases and then some static grass and call them done for fantasy. For sci-fi it's the Dark Earth with a black wash and quick drybrush and maybe the odd tuft. Anyhow that stuff seems to stay stuck down, but probably is no good if you want a traditional green base.


normally I just leave them as is without priming or anything, tea works well (good tip from Fimm) and with some.. events last year I ended up with quite a range of some textures and colours, also mixed in some odds in some mixtures making some nice stuff. Also very easy to get. drink a cup, leave the bag to dry for a couple of days, then just cut up and store.

I do have various tuffs and stuff to add if and went need.. it's just i don't know if I'm not putting down enough but it seams when dry, the pva can just have a pain sticking to the bases at times..
I do have a couple of citadel textures I use for .. well, non base stuff.. I've used an astro grannite or whatever stupid name to put texture on some laser cut stone walls which worked pretty well, and i think it's Stirling mud is a good base for some rust.
I glue stuff on with PVA, then seal it in. This way the flock, Tufts, whatever is glued in from both the bottom and the top.

There ready mixed sealants out there.

I use AK interactive gravel and sand fixer. This is simply the best, does not darken whatever you pour it over. Alas, quite expensive when you need much.

Other options I use more regularly is PVA or mod podge thinned down with some surface tension breaker added, dish soap or iso.

Paepercuts scenic glue recipe also works very well.

The last two options both darken your base. If you paint it afterwards, no issue, if you don't, you need to be aware of that.


I was talking to a friend recently who said he's recently switched to ModPodge (matt) and finding it much better. I keep meaning to give it a try myself.

Might have to go and look at the AK interactive gravel and sand fixer. I'm guessing an acrylic binder of some sort in an alcohol solvent or similar to ensure low surface tension. Probably similar to the pigment fixers I've used, but I've never thought to try those on larger things like sand. Anyone have a mass spectrometer to hand?
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The solvent in such things is generally being use as the carrier - so if you take "water colour" paint for instance the solvent is just water (which you add) - it evaporates leaving behind the pigment that was suspended in it. In this case you'd probably want something that evaporated quickly and had a low surface tension so it flowed/wicked well.

But yes I get your point, too much solvent and you wouldn't be doing much sticking! :)

Well I'm going to be trying out both modpodge and this sand fixer next time I stock up supplies (although on the PVA front a 5L bottle from the DIY shop lasts a long time!)