Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Warhammer Scenery - Rocky Bases

I've not really done much crafting outside of knitting and crocheting for some time now. Not really living up to my self proclaimed title of Master of a Thousand Things! But this past week or two, I've been focusing on a different sort of crafting - making bases and scenery for Jamie's Warhammer 40k models and games. I've been sharing pics of my progress on Instagram (you can find me there as supertinks), but thought I'd share the work here too, as I am quite proud of what I've achieved!

I started out with something simple - bases. Jamie's been on a real drive to finish off his Chaos Space Marine army, but none of the models bases had been painted. This is because Jamie lets me do that, and I hadn't been in the mood for some time. With the army nearing completion, I thought I'd better get started.

Chaos Lord
Taking inspiration from the Chaos Lord model, who comes with a moulded rocky base, we decided to go for a simple rock and sand look, using static grass to artistic effect on each finished base. Having recently got my hands on some proper basing materials, we decided to make suitably impressive bases for the other character models and large models in the army.

Typhus (image from Games Workshop)

Jamie bought the above Typhus model recently, and I thought I'd start with that. The model is an old sculpt, so it's not particularly dynamic. It comes with a plain base, so I took some thin cork sheeting and made him a little rocky platform.

I had to be careful to keep both sides of the platform level, as he's designed to sit flat on the base.

I just tore the cork sheeting into appropriate sizes, and glued it down with a hot glue gun. The stones were added afterwards, using the hot glue gun for the larger ones, and PVA glue for the sand.

Spurred on by the relative ease of building that base, I got out the Helbrute model from the Dark Vengeance box set.

Image from Games Workshop

Another model designed to sit flat on a plain base, although this one is more dynamically posed and has a stone underneath one foot. Whatever I did had to incorporate that stone.

I used the same principles, tearing up cork sheet to build my rock, before adorning the gaps with stones of varying size and gluing sand to the remaining exposed base. The cork was shaped to fit the large feet of the model.

Painting the bases was easy. I just used the same colours I used on the pre-made base above. They were undercoated with the Games Workshop Chaos Black spray, then a heavy drybrush of Adeptus Battlegrey from the Citadel foundation paint range.

After that dried, I highlighted the rock with a drybrush of Astronomican Grey (also from the foundation paint range).

Once that was dry, I turned my attention to the sand. This is the most ridiculous part of painting Games Workshop bases, as you stick perfectly reasonable sand onto the base, then paint it to look more like sand. If you don't paint it, it doesn't look real compared to the rest of the model!

The sand is first painted with Khemri Brown (foundation paint).

Then, a wash of Devlan Mud (from the Citadel Wash range).

Once the wash was completely dry, I drybrushed the sand with Dheneb Stone (another foundation paint). When I was done drybrushing, I took some Chaos Black (from the Citadel paint range) and painted the edge of the base.

The final touch is to glue on some static grass in strategic places. I use the grass to hide particularly poor areas of the base, so gaps in the sand material on the base itself, or embarrassing looking areas of the cork, for example where there is a splodge of glue showing.

And here are the finished bases with their (still unpainted) models balanced on top:

I am particularly pleased with the way the helbrute sits on his base. Once Jamie has painted the model, and the rock under his left foot has been painted to match the base, it will look seamless.

In order to attach the models to the base when they are done, we will drill into their feet and insert metal pins, which will push easily into the cork and provide a more stable attachment than simply gluing them down.

Following the success of these bases, I have turned my attention to more exciting bases, such as the bases for the flying models, and building proper battlefield scenery pieces. These are still works in progress, but I will be back with step by step guides to how I put those together once they are done!


  1. Warhammer isn't my thing, but I had to say I loved reading about your process. They look Fab!

  2. That is really cool, I remember just buying my models from a store in Glasgow for my D&D character...I think it is impressive that you have done this :)


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