Thank you for visiting Librarium Online Blogs! We are happy to have you. Make sure to checkout our forum and discuss Warhammer with over 80,000 other members!


Visit the Forums Now!

|

Easy Desert Bases

This article will walk you through creating an arid or dried earth style base.  The techniques described here should be easy enough that you can quickly apply them to other styles of basing and really let your imagination run wild.  The biggest advantage to this style of basing is it’s quick… so, lets get started:

Materials
Super Glue, Squadron Green Putty (see below), Rounded Base, an old piece of plasticard, sculpting tool, and a rough small rock.

NOTE: Not pictured here is a piece of scratch paper, a reference photo taken from the Internet, and an old beat-up toothbrush you will never ever put in your mouth again.

The equipment

The equipment

If you are new to the hobby, some of these items can easily be replaced with more common items you already have.  For example, the plasticard can easily be replaced by a blister-pack shell from a miniature and the sculpting tool could be replaced with a toothpick or old butter knife you will never ever use on food again.

Step 1-3

Step 1-3

Step 1-3

Step 1: Simply cult a small strip of scratch paper slightly larger than the slot in your rounded base and glue it down with super glue.  Allow plenty of time for the super glue to dry.  This step will prevent the putty from flowing into the slot and causing sag in you base… seriously, it just makes life easier later on.

Step 2: Place a small glob of Green Putty into the well of your base.  Remember, this well is really shallow.  You don’t need a lot of putty to fill it in.  The blob in the picture is almost twice as much as I needed. (oops!)

Step 3: Use the old piece of plasticard to scrape the putty level with the rim of the base.  Work in a circular motion by slightly turning the base as you smooth the putty with the plasticard.  Use the rim of the base to keep the putty level and smooth.  Once the well of the rounded bases is filled, immediately clean up the black plastic rim of the base in any areas overlapped with putty.  You will find that this brand of putty dries quickly, so it’s best to tidy up right away.  The sculpting tool will easily remove the messy bits.  Let the base sit and set-up for about 30 seconds… hey, I told you this putty dries quick.

Steps 4 & 5

Step 4 & 5

Step 4 & 5

Step 4:  The putty should still be pretty soft at this point but have a ‘skin’ formed over the top.  Take the rough small rock and begin to texture the putty.  Be sure to simply press into the putty and not drag or scrape it.

Step 5:  Check your work.  You want to be sure to get a fairly heavy amount of texture going on the base.  If you find that the rock has picked up some of the putty a little water and a paper towel will clean the rock off and allow you to get right back to texturing.  This part of the process is pretty subjective.  However, Image 5 above gives a pretty clear indicator of an appropriate amount of texture for this arid earth application.  For something like cobblestone you might want less.

Step 6

Making the pattern

Making the pattern

Step 6:  Have your photo reference handy and begin by dragging and pressing the pattern into your base.  By dragging the tool you will create the ‘peeled away’ effect common to this type of ground.  If you notice the putty clinging to the sculpting tool too much simply wipe it off and continue on.  For this arid earth patter I recommend making larger shapes than you might initially have thought necessary.  It’s easier to cut smaller cracks into larger shapes if need be.  Notice the consistency and general shape of the design in the reference photo.  Most of the shapes are roughly 5 sided and not all of the cracks are complete.  Additionally, the plates created by the cracks are of a reasonably uniform size.

Steps 7 and 8:  (almost done!)

Almost done

Almost done

Step 7:  Once you’ve finished cutting cracks into your work check it out and see if your happy with the results.  I usually find the initial arid earth pattern to be too rough and jagged at this point.  If this is the case on your base too, simply take the old toothbrush (the one you’re never ever going to put in your mouth again) and lightly brush across the top of the base.  This helps add a little more fine texture to the base and knocks down some of the higher points.  The more you brush, the smoother things will get.

Step 8:  Check your results one final time and see if your happy with your 10 minutes of work.  Seriously, this whole process should take you 10 minutes or less.  At this point if you are happy with the results simply allow the putty to fully dry (about 20 more minutes) then primer and paint as usual.  I recommend washes of color for painting these bases since there are a lot of nooks and crannies to get into.

Here’s the results I’ve come up with:

Final Result

Final Result

A Note About Squadron Green Putty
If you aren’t familiar with this product, here’s a brief review.  Most RC and Model hobby stores carry it here in the US.

First off, a word of caution. Please read the manufacturers directions and follow them.  This stuff can be pretty caustic.  A friend of mine filled in the turret of one of his model tanks with it.  The putty melted the tank.  ‘Nuff said.

Squadron Green putty is somewhere between preschool paste and classic Green-stuff.  It dries much more quickly than green stuff, has a rougher texture, and doesn’t hold detail well.  Normally, all of these fine qualities would make it destined for the round file.  However, for basing and filling gaps it works better than any other product I’ve tried.  The rough texture is great for basing, since very few types of ground are truly smooth.  Because it’s runny, it flows into gaps easily and makes filling small grooves a piece of cake.  Squadron Green Putty is sandable once fully dried.  Furthermore, it sands to a much smoother texture than you might expect.  Finally, because this stuff dries quickly, it cuts down on the amount of time you have to wait  to get back to work on your newest favorite model.  For me, the quick drying time alone is valuable enough to make Green Putty a regular part of my hobby kit.

OK gang, I hope this tutorial has helped.  This is my first attempt at writing one, so any feedback you can give would be great.

Enjoy and happy modeling!
Pez5767

Posted by on October 11 2008. Filed under Modeling & Scenery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

13 Comments for “Easy Desert Bases”

  1. Great Tutorial.. Easy to follow and very useful for my Tomb Kings army, he he

    A few questions though! Do you think this green putty can be used on a larger area? I am thinking something like 6″ by 6″…

    Another thing, I am not from the US, and not familiar with this brand. So I would have to find another manufacturer..
    I know that many hobby products are also sold under a different name in hardware stores, where you buy large quantities for a fraction of the price… As soon as a product is labelled “hobby” the price skyrockets!!

    So the question is, do you know the technical term for this sort of putty?
    That would make it easier to find, even if only available in hobby stores..

  2. Great Tutorial.. Easy to follow and very useful for my Tomb Kings army, he he

    A few questions though! Do you think this green putty can be used on a larger area? I am thinking something like 6″ by 6″…

    Another thing, I am not from the US, and not familiar with this brand. So I would have to find another manufacturer..
    I know that many hobby products are also sold under a different name in hardware stores, where you buy large quantities for a fraction of the price… As soon as a product is labelled “hobby” the price skyrockets!!

    So the question is, do you know the technical term for this sort of putty?
    That would make it easier to find, even if only available in hobby stores..

    • I’m not sure about the technical term for the product. Any fine model shop (planes, trains, and automobiles) should carry a similar gap-filling type of product. I’ve used this technique on a base as large as a CD without any I’ll effect. The problem with this product comes from when you apply it in a thick layer. If you keep the layer thin you should be in good shape.

      Thanks for viewing. GOOD luck.

  3. Thanks for the feedback. Really to only problem I’ve found with the Squadron Putty is with plastics. So, for a 6″x6″ surface you should be fine if you are using wood, but otherwise I would do a test run. The thicker the layer of putty you put down is, the more likely you are to get some warping. Conversly, the thinner the plastic, the more likely it is to warp as well.

    As for the techinical name for this product, I haven’t much help for you other than it is a model specialty item. Find a good hobby shop that specializes in classic model cars, airplanes, and the like, and you should be on the right track. The only note on the package about ingredients was “CONTAINS TOLUENE”. Sorry I’m not more help here.

    Good luck.

  4. Thanks for the feedback. Really to only problem I’ve found with the Squadron Putty is with plastics. So, for a 6″x6″ surface you should be fine if you are using wood, but otherwise I would do a test run. The thicker the layer of putty you put down is, the more likely you are to get some warping. Conversly, the thinner the plastic, the more likely it is to warp as well.

    As for the techinical name for this product, I haven’t much help for you other than it is a model specialty item. Find a good hobby shop that specializes in classic model cars, airplanes, and the like, and you should be on the right track. The only note on the package about ingredients was “CONTAINS TOLUENE”. Sorry I’m not more help here.

    Good luck.

  5. A excellent tutorial but is it possible to do this on a Games Workshop base and keep it need?

  6. A excellent tutorial but is it possible to do this on a Games Workshop base and keep it need?

  7. An FYI about Greenstuff… it’s a solvent-based putty. I wouldn’t say it’s caustic (it’s not basic like bleach), although I would agree that you should avoid getting it on your skin. Among others things, it contains toluene, which the culprit of making this a little nasty like old-school enamel model paint (like Testors or Humbrols). The solvents in Greenstuff help it to dry quickly, but they also help to create a good bond with plastic by actually dissolving/melting it. So, if you apply a lot to a piece of plastic, the Greenstuff will indeed melt it.

    For the same reasons, Greenstuff does not bind to metal; it will easily flake off. I’ve used it to fill gaps on metal miniatures, but always followed up with a coat of cyanoacrylate glue (i.e., superglue). Greenstuff is generally used to fill seams/gas in plastic model kits (e.g., airplanes, tanks, as well as GW plastic models).

    Apply Greenstuff in thin coats or layers, perhaps no more than say 5 mm. The more you add, the greater the risk of melting the plastic. Test it out on a piece of scrap. You discover behaves differently depending on the plastic manufacturer.

    Greenstuff is pretty darn great, you just need to be careful with it. Another great trick is to clean up excess putty with a cotton swab wetted in nail polish remover (be sure the label says it contains ethyl acetate, not acetone, as a primary ingredient). Also, if the putty is too thick, you can thin it by mixing with a small amount of lacquer/cellulose thinners. Take care you don’t thin it too much… the lacquer will dissolve plastic same as toluene. Which invites all sorts of possibilities of lacquer thinner, too, especially in removing light mold lines in difficult-to-reach areas.

    Maybe I’ll post some more notes one day here on LO in case anyone is interested.

    Cheers!

  8. Very easy and a very good looking.

  9. Very easy and a very good looking.

  10. I’m not sure about the technical term for the product. Any fine model shop (planes, trains, and automobiles) should carry a similar gap-filling type of product. I’ve used this technique on a base as large as a CD without any I’ll effect. The problem with this product comes from when you apply it in a thick layer. If you keep the layer thin you should be in good shape.

    Thanks for viewing. GOOD luck.

  11. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I am experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting equivalent rss downside? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  12. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognize what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally seek advice from my site =). We may have a link trade arrangement among us|

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYk6dMLwo6Y

Leave a Reply