Sunday, 1 March 2015

Basing tutorial using corkboard.

G’day folks, Toby here again.


While I wait for my AL to arrive in the mail, I thought I’d add my 5 cents on base creation and do a rundown on how I make mine.  I’ll punch it out in one post so I won’t put up pics for each step just the big ones.  The base itself will be a bit of a rocky wasteland but the same basic painting techniques can be used to make it anything from forest to urban.  All you’ll need to change is the garnishing.

The tutorial's divided into 3 sections, Initial Construction, Painting and Finishing Touches.


Initial construction of the base.


Materials you’ll need:

  • Bases
  • Corkboard tiles
  • Superglue
  • PVA glue
  • Sands of varying coarseness

1.  Take the corkboard and break it up into little pieces of different sizes, I keep only 1 side flat (the side that will be getting glued down) and rough up all the other sides to give it a natural appearance.

 2.  Using 1 or 2 bigger bits of corkboard per base superglue them flat side down.  I’d recommend preplanning this with the positioning of the miniature you intend on using the base on.

3.  Lay down a decent coat of PVA over the rest of the base, put a dot or 2 onto the cork so some sand sticks to it, then sprinkle some much smaller cork pieces around on the PVA, make sure these are a little bit bigger than the sand you’re using.

4.  Now quickly move the base to your sand box and thickly coat it, leaving it in there until the PVA dries.


Painting the base.



  • GW White Undercoat Spray
  • Rhinox Hide (GW)
  • Steel Legion Drab (GW)
  • Rhakarth Flesh (GW)
  • Basalt Grey (Vallejo) (Same as GW Dawnstone)
  • White
  • Nuln Oil (GW Black ink)


And a selection of inks:

  • Athonian Camoshade
  • Biel tan Green
  • Seraphim Sepia
  • Agrax Earthshade


1.  Undercoat the base white.

2.  Basecoat the cork (large stones) basalt grey and the sand Rhinox Hide.  I suggest lightly watering down the grey and reasonably watering down the Rhinox.  Because of the white base it might take several coats but will look alot more vibrant than if you’d done a black one.

3.  Heavy drybrush the sand with Steel Legion Drab, you don’t want to obscure the Rhinox but want a good highlight to it.

4.  Take all your washes apart from black and dab them onto the grey one at a time to create a mottled effect, it will look pretty full on at this stage but it tones down later.  Ensure you let all the washes dry before moving onto the next step.

5.  Water down some black ink and wash the entire base, sands and rocks.

6.  Once the black ink is dry, drybrush the rocks with Basalt grey so that the inks still show through but the borders of each is blended into the whole.  Then using Rhakarth Flesh drybrush the entire base, this draws the whole base together with a common colour.

7.  Very, very lightly drybrush a few edges of the stones with white, choose ridges and places where the light would naturally catch.

8.  Lastly paint the rim of the base in your chosen colour.



The finishing touches.


Materials needed:

  • Secret Weapon shell casings
  • Your choice of vegetation and garnishing’s.  I use MiniNatur and Gale Force 9.  I’m going for a bit of a blasted wasteland look, so chose darker, drier looking grasses.
  •  Matte Varnish.


1.  Lightly coat the bases with matte varnish.

2.  Superglue a few tufts of the MiniNatur grass on, I keep it around the base of the larger rocks so it looks like it’s growing from beneath them.

3.  Spread out some decent patches of PVA over the sand and dip the base into your flock container.

4.  Once everything's dry, or not if you’re impatient like me, take several pre-painted shell casings (see below) and attach them to the base with a tiny bit of superglue.  Run a little line of gold down the top edge as a highlight.  As far as placement goes for them, try to think where they’d naturally end up after being ejected, they probably won’t be balancing on top of that rock, but might be in the cracks between the two.


The shell casings:

1.  Separate the individual casings from the sprue and clean the flash off them.

2.  Put all 50 of them into the bottom of base or some other lipped container.
3.  I used a watered down Vallejo Brass, loaded my brush up with paint and roughly stirred up the casings.  I did this about 3 times until they were all coated with paint.  Make sure you do water your paint down or you’ll lose some of the detail in the rear of the cartridges.

4.  Tip them onto a piece of plasticard and separate them all to dry.  Once dry wash them all with a black ink and they’re good to go.




Well that’s it, they may take a little bit of time from start to finish I think it’s worth it having a good cohesive basing scheme on your minis.    I’m currently working on getting my sculpting skills back up to scratch so I can do some scales and whatnot on my marines.


Until next time, cheers,





  1. Very nice mate. You hit the right balance with pictures and text. It's quite an involved process but the end result is seamless. Good one.

  2. Thanks, great tutorial. I would have glued down each individual shell casing and then painted them. Painting them together makes much more sense!