Friday, March 15, 2013

Industrial battlefield : bases tutorial

 Here is a short tutorial on how I make and paint my Ultramarine bases.
1) The location
Before starting your basing efforts, I think it's best to imagine your force in action,
where are they fighting? How long have they been fighting for? Who are they fighting?

I first started my Ultramarines on swampy bases. I pictured them fighting toe to toe with tyranids in a forsaken swamp, knee deep in the mud and brackish water. I started a few bases then painted a whole batch in a hurry for a tournament.
Here's my best effort:
Here's what my rush job looked like

They sucked!
I realised that I needed good looking bases, with a fast painting and modelling time.
The swamp bases could look good, but I had trouble transfering the process from 40mm to 25mm and they just took too long to paint and blend.

I could take the time to blend a few items on a base, but the main technique would have to be drybrushing.

I imagined that my Ultramarines were defending an old industrial complex.
Part of the force has been fighting for days in the complex, weathering several assaults and bombardments,
waiting reinforcements for a counter-attack. The other part of the force would be the reinforcements.

The main feature of the bases would be metal decking (to match with some of my space hulk terminators),
and concrete slabs to represent the walls of the complex. I would also sprinckle some other items : cables, tubes, lines,
to make them more interesting.
plastic base
cork sheet (for the concrete slabs)
 fine plastic mesh (for the metal decking)

  1. Cut rough pieces of cork the size of the plastic base
  2. Glue them to the base, using PVA glue or a glue gun (recommended for speed)
  3. Cut the mesh into small pieces about the size of your cork, glue them to the cork, using either PVA glue or a glue gun. Beware this step might prove difficult as the plastic has a tendency to curl up, you might need small clamps.
  4. Glue random stuff to the base: sand, plastic strips, plastic tubes...

You should get something like this:
Prime black:
Dry brush (chaos black+shadow grey, shadow grey, shadow grey + white), and metal on the decking:
Now you should paint the small bits you glued during step 4.

Finally apply rust colored pigments :
 I use pigments in 2 ways : first as a paste (Brown iron oxyde by Vallejo + a dark brown called Terre de Cassel), mixed with white gas (Essence F in France), this will represent thick deposits, second with a dry brush for highlights with a lighter pigment (Dark red ocre by vallejo).

 Time to reload!


  1. Super technique ! ou t'es tu procuré le ''grillage''..?

  2. Le grillage est de la moustiquaire plastique pour porte.On en trouve à Casto.

  3. Where would you get the plastic base? Hobby shops?

  4. Hello Ash,
    the plastic base are regular warhammer 40K round bases. You can get them at hobby shops or online if you don't play the game, try typing warhammer round base in google. Those are the small 20mm bases, but you can also get 40 or 60mm.