Just an update on where I am with basing of my old Union army. I've still a long way to go but blogging beats basing, so here is a picture of some of the stands I've made. As you can see these figures are really old Airfix ones but they have sentimental value for me (most of my armies are very old) and nostalgia aside, they look just as good based up as some of the (cheaper) metal figures that are out there.
Anyway, the sand has quite a lot of shell fragments in it which make it quite rough and textured, as well as varying the shades quite a bit (no need for dry brushing). Also, some of the larger fragments of shell I was able to incorporate onto the stands representing bits of debris or dead wood. After the sand was dry I put on some Javis Autumn Mix static grass (everything was stuck on with PVA glue).
I've quite a few more bases to get on with (including the Confederate Army now) so it'll take a while, but the next time you see these should hopefully be in action on the battlefield.