I´ve said many times that one of the things I like most about Impetus is the posibility to create small dioramas with each unit. In the case of an ashigaru unit (FP) in 28mm, you could put up to 14 figures on the stand in a compact and tight formation, with which you would get a massed unit look. However, another option is to reduce the number of figures (less cost) and create a more dynamic unit. I opted for this second option, reducing the number of figures to 8-9 and dropping them in a scattered formation over the base, giving the impression that they are doing something (advancing on the enemy, charging, crossing a river...), instead of just posing one after another.
The first step is to get an idea of the figures emplacement over the base. Using Blue Tac you can place the figures and see different options until you find the one you like most.
After that, we have two options:
1. Glue the figures and decorate the base.
2. Mark the position of the figures, decorate the base and then glue the figures.
The first option is very useful when the unit has few figures (skirmishers, for example), but if you have too many figures, it will be too hard to reach all the areas with the brush.
I chose the second option, since the unit has enough figures and the spears difficult the paint (they are sharp!).
So, let´s start. With a pencil, mark the position of the figures. It's a good idea to take a picture to remember what figure should be in each position once we finished the base (or type a number in the base).
Cover the base with putty, respecting the marks for the figures, thus the soil will have an uneven surface and some height (the basis of the figures won´t be noticed).
Smooth the surface and add some elements such as bark or gravel to simulate rocks of different sizes.
Once the putty dry two things can happen. If the putty provides a rough appearance (like ground), you can paint it directly. If it is too smooth (like mine), you can give some texture before it dries giving light taps with a cloth or a rag.
Another option is to cover the base with sand. First give a coat of glue and then add the sand. Once dry, shake off the excess and cover with another coat of glue, but this time very diluted. Once dry, the sand will be perfectly glued.
I´ve choosed dark brown tones for the base. No need of priming, the first coat is h is toast, and then highlighted a couple of times with Kakhi and Dark Sea Grey on larger stones. Once the base is painted we can add some elements such as grass, bushes, branches...
When the base is almost ready we can glue the figures. This must be done one by one, gluing and camouflaging the union of the figure with the base.
In this picture you can see that the figure fits nicely into the space we have left.
In order to integrate the figures with the base you can use several methods, I have used both.
The first option is to completely cover the figure base with flock. It´s very easy to do, but try not to use it with all the figures.
The second option is to cover the base of the figure (once glued) with putty or sand, and paint it with the same color scheme as the unit base. As I have used sand on the unit base, I added more sand to cover the union and painted it with Burnt Lumber and highlighted with Kakhi.
As you can see in the picture, you can´t notice that the figure has been added later.
Once we have integrated all the figures in the base (you can combine two methods, as I do), add some details: add more flock, branches and highlight up a bit more large rocks with White. You can also add some water effect in order to simulate a river, as in this cavalry unit.
I like to paint the edge of the unit in black, but can be painted with the color of the table to further integrate the unit.
Now the unit is completely done!.