How to Paint Warhammer Bases

Written by alistair wilkinson
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How to Paint Warhammer Bases
You'll need plenty of PVA glue for Warhammer bases. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

You have painted your Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 miniatures and now they march across the battlefields of the Warhammer World and the 41st Millennium. While the models themselves represent the soldiers, their bases represent those battlefields, be it grass, sand, snow or alien landscapes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paint
  • PVA glue
  • Brushes -- new and old
  • Modelling sand
  • Static grass
  • Two small containers

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  1. 1

    Finish painting your models before basing them. A little sand or snow stuck to the boots of your models will look effective but paint from the boots on that sand or snow won't.

  2. 2

    Paint your base with PVA glue. Use an old brush for this. Only paint the top of the base, not the rim. If you do get any glue on the rim, wipe it away.

  3. 3

    Dip the base into a modelling sand-filled tub. Ensure you have an even spread of the material across the base. Tap the base against the side of the tub, to remove any excess material. Wait for the glue to dry before proceeding.

  4. 4

    Paint your base. The colour depends on the effect you want. If you're using the Citadel Colours sold by Games Workshop, then for an earthy finish, you should apply a coat of Bestial Brown, and for a grassy finish Goblin Green. For a snowlike finish you should apply a base coat of Skull White and a wash of Ice Blue followed by a second wash of Hawk Turquoise. Thin the base coat paints with a little water to allow the paint to flow between the gaps in the modelling sand.

  5. 5

    Highlight the sand using an older brush the size of a Citadel large paintbrush. For the earthy base use Bubonic Brown, and for the grassy base use Sunburst yellow. A second highlight can be applied once the first is dry; Bleached bone is ideal for both the earthy and grassy base styles, while Skull White should be used for the snow base.

  6. 6

    Paint the rim of the base using the original base colour that you applied to the modelling sand. For the snow finish it's best to use Fortress Grey.

  7. 7

    Add static grass by painting PVA glue onto small areas of the base. Don't cover the whole base and place the patches in different areas of the base from model to model. Dip the model into the static grass tub ensuring that all of the puddles of PVA are filled. Tap the model against the side of the tub to remove any excess.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful not to overdo your bases. Your model should be the focus and the base should just compliment it. Elaborate bases should be saved for character models or army centre pieces. For rank and file models, keep it simple.
  • This can be a messy activity. Make sure your work area is covered with a suitable material, such as newspaper.

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