Friday, June 17, 2011

Tutorial: How-to Rock Bases on the Cheap

In a previous post, here, I mentioned that I am working on making my own rock bases for my Blood Angel army.  Being the cheap cost effective hobbyist that I am, I wanted to make sure that I could make an entire army's worth of bases for very little additional cost.  Luckily, I could and am.  All you need for this simple tutorial is:

hobby clipper/small pliers
wood glue
paint: black, brown (or whatever base color you want) and grey (base and highlights for the stone)

Pine Bark Mulch

Playground Sand
Pine bark is really great for simulating rock because it breaks apart in layers that look very similar to slate or other sedimentary rock.  When painted over, it's hard to tell that it was once a piece of wood.  It is also important to note that a single piece of bark, a little smaller than your hand will provide you with around 10-15 bases worth of material.

So here is a piece of bark that is of satisfactory size.  It's probably about 3 1/2-4 inches across and about 1- 2 inches thick.  Simply use your hands or a pair of pliers to break it apart.  To get varied height pull apart the layers of the bark. 

When you are done, the pieces should be about this big.  I have included a 25mm round base to give some perspective.  If you are working on 40mm or bigger bases, you may want to create some larger pieces. 

Use the wood glue to glue down the chunks in various positions on the bases. I like to vary the way they look from high to low, some bases with one piece while others have multiple.  This breaks up the monotony and make the bases look more genuine.

Glue down sand on the exposed surface of the base.  When you are done painting this will look really nice. In order to make the bark look like rocks, I start out by painting the entire piece of bark black.  If you haven't primed your model yet, you can spray prime the model and base together.  I then follow this up with a very heavy drybrush of dark grey.  I used the GW foundation paint adeptus battlegrey for this step.  The final step is to highlight with a lighter grey.  I used GW foundation paint astronomican grey.  Another thing that can add some ambiance is to use some washes of brown and green on the undersides of the rocks.  This gives the impression of water stains and mold.  When you are done, you should have rocks that look like these that I added to the base of the Dreadknight commission that I just finish.

Well I hope this tutorial was helpful.  I will post my Sanguinary Guard army when I have based it to show off an entire army using this method.  I hope you and your wallet enjoy this method.

Other articles you might find interesting:
Using Greenstuff to Create Unique Space Marine Shoulder Pads
Painting Halfway Decent Power Weapons

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1 comment:

Krisken said...

Oooh, very nice! This I will definitely have to try out!

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