I often see, either on the gaming table or the internet, painted minis that are finished up except for basing. Now of course for the fanciest basing you'll really need to pre-sculpt or integrate the details ahead of time(see some of Adary's great articles on Just the Bases). However, if your mini is all painted up and glued onto the base, there are still some nice basing effects can you achieve "around" the planted mini. There's always simple basing with sand(see this article), but one of my favorites is something I call the "Half Brick" or "Ruined Road" effect. The concept here is that the base depicts a decayed roadway or tiled chamber which has eroded so that earth or dirt covers half of the base.
For this tutorial I am going to use a Daughter of the Flame mini from Privateer Press(Warmachine). She's all painted up(more or less) but needs a nice base. Now of course PP bases, as with most miniature companies, are black discs...mine only appears grey because I glued the figure onto the base before I used my grey primer:
Step 1: Creating the Brick(or stone) EffectFor this step you can use any number of materials to create your brick material. You can use Green Stuff(or any two part modeling putty), spackle(filler) or Vallejo stone texture effect. However, for this tutorial I will use my preferred material: Milliput.
Step 2: Painting the BricksPainting the finished bricks is easy! Now usually when I am doing this type of basing I depict grey stone or red bricks, but for this mini I want something that looks somewhat more arid as is the setting where you'll often find the Protectorate of Menoth units operating so I will be working with tan.
After the basecoat is completely dry, I thin down(with water) some Sepia Ink from Vallejo's Game Colors line. I generously apply this over my bricks and make sure the entire surface gets this wash. The details in the bricks are starting to pop now...including the irregularities that we stippled in. You could go back and drybrush on your basecoat color to highlight the raised details(or even line/block in some shading), but we'll keep it simple here. Of course if you were simulating grey stone bricks I would suggest a light grey basecoat followed by a black wash.
Step 3: Sand TextureWell, as this is a "Half Brick" base effect we need to do something with the other half. We're going to apply a simple dirt texture using sand. For a thorough tutorial on this simple basing technique you can see this article(which includes a video). However, so we can be thorough here, let's do a quick walkthrough....
Step 4: Paint the "Dirt"After your sand has dried you can quickly paint it up to look like dirt.
Step 5: Paint the Base Lip
Well, with all that Milliput, sand and paint, the lip of your base needs to be cleaned up to finish your model(especially as mine was primed grey as previously mentioned). At this point you want to find a nice black(I like Reaper Pro Series Faded Black) and paint the lip or round edge of your base. It's not shown here, but I attach my mini to a temporary stand(poster putty on top of an old paint pot) so I can get all around the base neatly.
In the end, here is the final effect...
***Update*** Added a three part video tutorial for the effect above...
(double click on videos to enlarge them)
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and can make use of it in the future...thanks for reading/viewing!
Happy Wargaming Everybody,