Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tutorial: Slate Bases

I've had a few questions about how I make the bases for my Executioners, and I even had one person think they were resin bases and ask me where I bought them. I figured it would be a good idea to write up a quick tutorial on how I made them.

I wanted bases that evoked the rocky hills described in Cimmeria, so I wanted lots of jagged rocks jutting from pretty desolate ground. I looked at a lot of custom resin bases, but none really fit what I wanted. I decided that if I wanted really jagged edges and a lot of texture on the stone, I needed to make my own using real stones. 

The biggest hurdle is that you need a lot of slate chips. I found a slate tile at Home Depot in the flooring section. I bought a one foot squared tile for around three dollars. So far, I've made thirty bases and I still have this much left unbroken:

Once you have your slate, take it outside, set it on something hard (I used a concrete patio) and hit it with a hammer until you produce pieces a bit smaller than the base that you're using. I would strongly suggest wearing safety goggles while doing this, as rock shards will be flying about. Once you're done, you'll have something like this:

Sadly, you won't be able to use all the shards for basing, but save the oddly shaped ones for terrain. Look for shards that are reasonably flat and large enough that a marine's foot will have a lot of contact area for gluing. You can either use one large piece, with both of the marine's feet on it, or two smaller pieces that are roughly the same height, with one foot one each. It helps to have a set of legs available so that you can test the fit of the shards.

Once you find some that you like, crazy glue it to the base and use white glue to glue modeling sand around it. You should end up with something like this:

Now just crazy glue your models feet to the slate. Try to get as much contact area as possible, as this will keep the model from breaking of. This is a real problem when there are only very small areas of contact, as the slate is actually softer than the glue. Your model will break off with bits of slate still glued to its feet. Now paint the model as normal.

Once the model is done, paint the base and sand with Scorched Brown and the stone with Charadon Granite.

Once that is dry, drybrush the sand with Dheneb Stone and the stone with Astronomicon Grey.

The last step it so wash the sand with Devlan Mud and the stone with black wash. I then re-paint the edge of the base black and glue on some static grass.

And there you are, finished bases.

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