The Dark Fortress

Tutorial: Speed basing by Drathmere

The bases always suffer for being the last thing to do and can be fiddly to paint once models are mounted upon them. Here is a quick and dirty method of basing by Drathmere that gives a grim-dark finish — ideal for setting off bleached bone or Dark Angels green.

I figure a lot of people out there are speed building armies right now. Since I just sped through a bunch of basing, I thought I should share. This time around I went for a darker look.

Note that the bases are done without the model attached — that's what makes it so fast! It is possible to knock out a whole army's worth of bases in an afternoon if you assembly line the process which is great for colour consistency. I did steal my wife's hairdryer to help speed the process along!

Here goes:

Step 1: building the bases

As usual I started with a bunch of sand, broken tank bits, and little squares of plastic cut with regular old scissors. It's quite random — just remember to leave enough clear space for the model to stand on. At this stage don't worry too much if you have access material going over the edges (see below) as this can be easily tidied up before the PVA glue hardens.

Drathmere 1

Step 2: prime the bases

Once the glue had set I primed the bases black with a lot of primer. Don't skimp here because the paint helps the base stay together.

Drathmere 2

Step 3: base washes

I then took a tank sized drybrush and mixed up some deheneb stone and Chaos Black to form a dirty grey colour. I used this liberally over all of the bases, including the edges, following up with a very heavy wash of Devlan Mud.

Drathmere 3

Step 4: detail highlights

The final part is my favourite technique right now. I use Tamiya Acrylic Thinner X-20A to make a very transparent blazing orange wash. Then just cover each ruined machinery bit and a few random spots with it.

Drathmere 4

And that's it. A bit of adjustment to the colours at stages 3 and 4 could result in a lighter look. Similarly painting the edges a different colour — codex grey or black for example — would serve to contrast a bit more with the top surface. It would just add another stage to the process.

Happy basing


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