This step makes a huge difference, I see the appeal of shiny old fashioned toy soldiers, but it's not the effect I'm after here.
Once the varnish has had time to dry, I move on to the bases.
Confession - I meant to take pictures here but carried away and got the figures done.
Bases are first coated with PVA and dipped into a old biscuit tin which I have filled with Woodland Scenics Fine brown ballast. The excess is tapped off and then they are left to dry again.
Next up - more PVA in patches and a mix of static grass is applied on top of the ballast. (It's mostly GW at the moment but does vary according to what I have at the time to add to the pot.)
Again - drying time of a few hours and I finish off with some tuft material - this is Army Painter again (I didn't realise I used so much of their stuff!) but there are loads of alernatives. I've used a 'Meadow Flower' mix and applied it to the whole army, and their German counterparts, which helps to tie-in all the figures into a whole.
And, apart from a little tidying-up around the base edges, that's it.
It's entirely sensible now to perhaps go back over the flesh, and pick out some other details.. but for me, this is an army that I've painted incredibly quickly and are ready for a game. I think they look great at arms length, which is 'normal' viewing distance for most wargames figures anyway.
Finally a pretty impressive figure courtesy of Tim at Warlord.. he will either be backing up my CO, or perhaps acting as a Commissar in our games of Bolt Action.. An interesting rule where shooting your own troops can force a re-roll of failed command dice!