Monday, 30 January 2012

Basing Tutorial

Greetings one and all! Hope the new year's treating you well so far.
Been rather busy working lately, so haven't made any progress on the rest of my Warrior-regiment, but I found some pictures I took while painting the base of my standard bearer - recalling that I had planned to write a brief tutorial on how I do my bases lately. So without further ado, her goes:

First of all, I tend to use a bit of barch and some milliput to build up my bases, creating rocks and elevation. Add a pinch of sand, make sure the miniature fits onto the mix ( I usually drill a hole for the mini's foot-pin(s)), undercoat and then we're ready to start painting.

1. I start off with a nice coat of Shadow Grey. The blue-tinged grey works quite well for shadows and areas of shade - in fact I use this colour quite extensively when shading my miniatures as well, and find that by using many of the same colours on both base and miniature, it all gets tied better together and looks more natural - as if it's the same sun illuminating both the warrior and its environment.

2. My second shading colour of choice is Scorched Brown. I mix it with water and give the base a good ol' wash. Then I use Skull White to bring out edges and details; sand gets drybrushed, while edges are roughly highlighted.

3. Like I did with Scorched Brown, I make a wash out of watered down Chaos Black. I'm sure some of you might argue that I could just as well have used GW's washes, but this way I can more easily control the colour and opacity of my layers, and I don't risk getting these shiny bits from too much wash...

4: Now, this is the funny bit. Basically I just pick a set of striking colours (Blood Red, Darkangels Green, Ice Blue, Golden Yellow), water 'em down a bit, and place spots randomly on the rocky-bits of the base. It looks rather unnatural at this stage, but when the final layers gets on, these strange spots shine through and to my eyes it mimics the diversity of natural rocks quite well.

5: Watered down mix of Shadow Grey, Chaos Black and Skull White dampens the colourful spots, bringing back the greyness to the base.

6: Finally fine edge highlighting with Skull White for the rocks - maybe a bit of drybrushing over the sand, if you want to bring it out more.

The miniature is then glued/pinned on, I place small droplets of super glue where I want static grass (I use GW's Dead Grass, then place a smaller droplet of glue on top of that after it is dry, and glue some Burnt Grass on top of the previously placed grass - I guess one could just mix the two types and do it in one go, but I havn't tried that); if I want longer blades of grass, I use hair. The leaves on my bases are made by grinding a dried leaf into smaller bits.
Hope you've enjoyed this brief tutorial, and if nothing else it can serve as some inspiration.


  1. Nice work - both on the base and the tutorial.

    Not a lot of people seem to realize that paint colors "stack up" and the finished result is as much a product of what's underneath as what is on top.

    1. Thanks CTF!
      Glad you like it. Fun thing is, it doesn't take much more time nor effort to add those extra steps to basing, contra just slapping some Devlan Mud on top of something boringly grey.

      There is some waiting for each layer to dry, but if you do a couple of bases at the same time and let a movie run on a screen in the background, basing is a joy!

  2. Thanks for the great tutorial, base looks great and I like the crushed up leaves idea will have to copy that for my HE White Lions

    1. You're welcome - crushed leaves are easy to use and as cheap as it gets!

  3. Glad you liked this.
    I'm kind of stuck painting-wise myself at the moment, not happy with the sketches I have done so far of the freehand on my standardbearer - also, the banner broke off from the pole as I transported him back from GWs store, but hopefully I'll get down a nice freehand design, pull my act together and truly finish him and move on to the rest of the regiment.