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  • Tutorial - Display rock base (step by step)

    Hello everyone,

    In this step by step tutorial I will show how I made the base for Bör Dragonbane. This SBS will cover both the cuild up of the base, the painting of the base, and the finishing touches.
    Please excuse the not-so-great pictures, I couldn't pull out my photo set up in between every step ;)

    Material needed:

    • Display plinth (any type of cube will do, as long as it’s workable – mine is wood)
    • Milliput
    • Rock material (about 0,3 to 1 cm)
    Any kind will do. You can also use cork, tree bark or sculpt your own rocks. The material you use will of course influence what type of stone it wil look like. I have used the ‘slate rocks’ that come with the Warhammer 40K basing set
    • Small rock material (about 1 to 2 mm) (same comments as above)
    • Superglue
    • PVA glue
    • Fine basing sand
    • Pumice paste (Vallejo’s stuff is great)
    • Fine turf / foliage – I used Woodland scenics blended turf “earth blend” for this.
    • Grass tufts – I used 4mm tufts, “late autumn” from MiniNatur/Silfor

    Paints needed :
    • German Camo black brown (VMC 822)
    • Greatcoat grey (PP)
    • Fortress grey (GW)
    • Morrow white (PP)
    • Catachan green (GW)
    • Leviathan purple wash (GW)
    • Devlan Mud wash (GW)
    • MIG pigments: “standard rust” and “light rust”


    Building the base

    Step 1:
    Cut away a corner of the plinth, using a wood saw, a dremel or any other tool to your liking. This does not have to be very precise, because it will be covered in the next step. Varying the shape of the cut away piece can help you create different shapes to the rock base.


    Step 2:
    Cover the entire cut away shape with at least 2 mm of milliput. You can be sloppy, it doesn’t matter. Also cover slip-ups to the side of the base, later on you can sand the sides of the base to make everything smooth. Don’t let the putty harden at this stage.


    Step 3:
    Now push the rock material piece by piece into the putty. Leave some space (about 0,5 to 1 mm) in between the rocks, and create any pattern (or none) to your liking.


    Step 4:
    Cover the gaps between the rocks with superglue and spread some of the small rock material. Move the material around (with a toothpick for example), to put it in the position of your liking.


    Step 5:
    Cover the top of the base (the horizontal part) with thinned down (1:1) PVA glue, and spread a thin layer of fane basing sand over it. Shake off the excess sand.


    Step 6:
    Cover the remaining gaps (in the rock part) with diluted Pumice Paste (1:1). Also apply some randomly over the rocks. Leave to dry overnight.



    Painting the base

    Before you start priming the base, make sure that you sanded down the sides of the plinth if there is milliput sticking out. In my hurry, I forgot to to this….not a good idea!
    Start by priming the base. I used GW chaos black primer spray.

    Step 7:
    Paint the whole rock area with Greatcoat grey. Then, drybrush everything with a 50/50 mix of Greatcoat grey and Fortress grey. After that, drybrush the whole area with pure Fortress grey. Lastly drybrush (only the top half of the rock part) with Morrow white.
    TIP: When drybrushing, try to brush only from the top of the base downwards. That way there won’t be too many highlights on the underside of the stones.


    Step 8:
    Apply some Leviathan Purple wash to the underside of the rocks. This should give an interesting shade. It doesn’t matter if you spill a bit, but don’t spread it around everywhere.


    Step 9:
    Repeat step 8 with Devlan mud. (No pictures, I forgot)

    Step 10:
    Use thinned down Catachan green (1:1), and apply it to the flat top parts of the rocks. Also add a bit to the undersides of the rocks. Play around with it, but don’t overdo it.


    Step 11:
    Now comes the fun!
    Thin down the “standard rust” from MIG. It’s difficult to say how much you should dilute, I guess about 1:1 with water. Apply the pigments to the crevices in the rock part. Repeat this step with “light rust”. Only apply little bits of this, to the areas where there is already “standard rust”.


    Step 12:
    Paint the top of the base (the sand part) with German Camo black brown. When this is still a bit wet, add small drops of the diluted “standard rust” (with your brush) to the base. The diluted pigment should easily spread, and create nice gradients in the sand. Again, repeat with “light rust”.


    Step 13:
    Randomly place some small drops of diluted PVA glue on the rocks. Don’t be afraid to cover the pigmented parts, the red will come through. Drop some blended turf on the glue, and shake off the excess material.


    Step 14:
    Finish the base with some turf, or any adornments you like :)



    That’s it!
    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial / step by step. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Suggestions are also very welcome!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tutorial - Display rock base (step by step) started by MaGie View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. seasonman's Avatar
      seasonman -
      Great tutorial very well explained and good clear pictures of each step . Thank you . And well done
    1. War Griffon's Avatar
      War Griffon -
      Well done MaGie, nice and easy to follow
    1. shanerozzell's Avatar
      shanerozzell -
      Thanks MaGie. Nice Tutorial
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Really nice tutorial, thanks!
    1. Darklord's Avatar
      Darklord -
      Great Tutorial. Used this technique on my Beastman piece - simple but very effective
    1. weareblind's Avatar
      weareblind -
      Exactly, simple but effective! Thanks for sharing it.
    1. Jabberwocky's Avatar
      Jabberwocky -
      Thanks Magie! Great SBS.
    1. piratemama's Avatar
      piratemama -
      Thanks for posting this! Very well done :)
    1. ScottRadom's Avatar
      ScottRadom -
      I like it, thanks!
    1. vegel's Avatar
      vegel -
      I like it, the details and the levels and the attention each rock gets.....

      one comment is that I live in Hong Kong and I don't get to see nature a lot, so when i saw your base (in that AOW thread) I was thinking to myself where would i ever see something like that, I know this is meant to be a fantasy figure and the landscape doesn't necessary relate to reality too much, so I am just wondering, what do you think? is it meant to resemble reality, and it's just me a city boy whom haven't seen enough of nature?
    1. Vern's Avatar
      Vern -
      Good tut - like how it turn out
    1. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
      Ulfgrimr -
      Great tutorial MaGie, many thanks.
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Quote Originally Posted by vegel View Post
      I like it, the details and the levels and the attention each rock gets.....

      one comment is that I live in Hong Kong and I don't get to see nature a lot, so when i saw your base (in that AOW thread) I was thinking to myself where would i ever see something like that, I know this is meant to be a fantasy figure and the landscape doesn't necessary relate to reality too much, so I am just wondering, what do you think? is it meant to resemble reality, and it's just me a city boy whom haven't seen enough of nature?
      Magie is in Holland of course but there are some things here in the UK where we have quite a few slate rock outcrops that have the look and we are really lucky in our varied mountain and fell regions.

      I grabbed a couple of random google pics, which gives you an idea of the sort of landscapes you can find in the UK, Castle Crag in the LakeDistrict.

      http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=cast...N&hl=en&tab=wl







      Its often quite cool to explore these places via Google great terrain inspiration.

      I am lucky and have climbed and walked extensively around this area and its worth it just to find a colour scheme
    1. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
      Ulfgrimr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Captain Sprout View Post
      Its often quite cool to explore these places
      One of the beauties of Cumbria, and many other parts of the UK, is that there are often many different rock/terrain types in a relatively small geographical area. The different geological bases often give rise to different flora and fauna giving even more inspiration for terrain and basing ideas.
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Very true Ulf, hope it inspires some people who are not fortunate enough to live near it to Google it.
    1. MaGie's Avatar
      MaGie -
      WOW I love those pictures CS! Hadn't really googled anything before making the base, but this would indeed have been an inspiration :)
      So I guess Vegel, there is your answer. Actually it's a great idea to google for examples of real landscapes when creating bases. Thanks Captain Sprout!
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Thanks for the tutorial, made me think about needing more inspirational terrain pics

      We are lucky to have a Cumbria expert on board too as Ulf is lucky and lives there!
    1. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
      Ulfgrimr -
      Just watched a great programme on BBC4, Julia Bradbury's Iceland walk. It was full of striking scenery, very varied and quite inspirational for basing ideas. Don't know if it's available via BBC iplayer, I'll check in the morning, but the area covered in the programme was the Landmannalaugar trail.
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Thanks Ulf will have to find that one and watch it.
    1. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
      Ulfgrimr -
      Just checked iplayer and it's available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...Icelandic_Walk