December 14, 2011

Forest Bases DIY

A few people have commented on how I do my basing for the Circle Orboros and my Chaos Army. I thought I would put up a step by step to show how I go about it. It is fairly simple and is a lot lot cheaper than resin bases. In my opinion it looks a lot better too.

1) The base is just some standard GW sand. I stuck some broken cork on in the corner as a rock. I like the texture this provides and it takes drybrushing really well. I also stuck on a small twig that I found outside during the Autumn and left to dry out for the last few weeks. I paint the entire base in Scorched Brown(GW) making sure with the cork to get into all the cracks. I actually used Charred Brown from Vajello here as I have run out of Scorched Brown. It is a little less red but this doesn't really matter on the bases.

2) Here you can see how I paint the basic pieces. The cork gets drybrushed in a dark grey and then drybrushed in progressively lighter shades of grey. This leaves a dark brown in the cracks thast more natural than black. The sand is drybrushed first in Bestial Brown and then in Snakebite Leather. Finally I drybrush the twig with Khemri Brown and then with Denheb Stone. The wood in the centre I do with a mix of Bleached Bone and Snakebite Leather. Both the twig and rock then get a wash with Devlan Mud.

3) So these steps are pretty simple. First I try to put some moss on. The material I use for this used to be sold by GW but for the life of me I have no idea what it is called. I usually put it on the rocks and sometimes on the branches also. I put it in lines looking like it is growing on damp patches and rivulets of water. It isn't very noticable once everything else is put on but it adds to the realism of the piece.


4) This is where I put on the static grass. I use a mix I made myself. I wanted to get a lighter shade of green than is standard. It is easy to get a bright green but I didn't want it to be too visually strong. So I got some of the old GW dead grass and added it to the mix. I also added a small amount of the Scorched Grass. The mix is quite nice and I will be sad once it is all used up. I like to add lots of small patches of grass rather than larger ones. I think it looks better. For the static grass I water down my PVA a lot and apply a large drop of it where I want the grass to stick. This helps the grass to stand a little and so it doesn't look as flat. I will eventually use Grass tufts but for now I want to keep everything standard in the army.

5) Here I want to simulate some small bushes or undergrowth. A plant thats clinging close to the ground. For this I use Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage. Its supposed to be stuck on their tree armatures but I find that small pieces make really awesome bushes. I do use the tree armatures for terrain and I keep the colour between the ground cover and the canopy different. When sticking the bushes on I like to kep them close to other textures on the base. I don't like to have them looking like they are an 'island'. Getting them in close to some of the grass or the rocks is great. It looks much better. Sometimes if I have braches looping upwards I will put the bushes under the branches.

6) The final step is the leaves. These are great and they instantly make your base pop. They are actually dried birch seeds and they are pretty easily gathered and dried. If you have any of these trees in the area you can gather them just before they fall in Autumn and dry them in an oven. A few catkins will provide enough for a couple of armies. I like to cover whats left of the blank areas of the base with these. It leavs the sand base peeking out from under all the cover you have stuck on and thats how I envisage a forest floor.

5 comments:

  1. Nicely done. My personal preference is not use birch leaves, not really fan of those after using them on my beastmen army. Mainly, its that I don't really like their shape and they don't really resemble piles of leaves in the woods if that is what you are truly after. Although your woods in Europe are probably a bit different than our woods in Wisconsin that have a huge variety of trees and the leaves all blend together once they have fallen. I prefer herbs and seasonings for their variety. but that is my personal preference.

    I like your use of the twig. Bayardi stumps are also a nice touch that could be added to the occassional base if you do a bunch of them.

    Paint work is top notch as usual.

    What's that little clump of green material on the rock, its cool looking.

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  2. Very nice.
    Like PsychosisPC, I'm not a big fan of birchseed-leaves neither, as I find them slightly too large. On the last couple of bases I've made with leaves, I've grinded dried leaves from the great outdoors, into smaller bits (typically a couple of millimeters á side), and glued them onto the base.
    But the rest you've done is very much to my liking; fairly easy to do and way better than resin bases, that's for sure!

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  3. Hmmm I like them but I guess thats because I haven't tried anything else out! Have you some examples of the smaller stuff you have used? I have seen some paper products I was thinking of trying out. The would appear to be laser cut leaves such as oak and beech. Not sure if it is really worth the expense across a whole army!

    The stuff on the rock is an old product from GW. I have no idea at all what it is called. Its small squarish spongy material. I haven't seen it anywhere since. I guess it is available though from a model train store.

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  4. When I did my beastmen army I actually mixed sand, herbs, and birch leaves...

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v449/PsychosisPC/WHFB/Painted%20Beastmen/

    When doing my Chaos Warriors, I did it bit differently, just herbs, different rocks, and static grasses...
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v449/PsychosisPC/WHFB/Tzeentch%20Mortals/

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