Sunday 16 June 2013

Urban "Rubble" Bases

After watching one too many episodes of "The Walking Dead" I am really digging the urban 'environment', particularly one which has seen some form of damage and then languished with grass, dust and debris gathering without being disturbed. I have also previously thought of basing as secondary to the model, but would now like to separate the two from each other when painting to make it easier to dry-brush evenly, paint legs and feet more easily, as well as provide more of a theme or 'frame' for the model.

I kicked things off with some "Gale Force Nine" plastic tubing and sand to represent the exposed rubble beneath bitumen or concrete, inspired as I was with recent trips around town. I then added some "liquid green stuff" for the top layer on which the model would stand. I haven't used this product before and wasn't expecting such a pasty compound, which required a sharp hobby tool rather than a brush to apply. Fortunately it set as expected, molding to the surface in a more liquid sense, and after a second coat I was quite happy with how it looked. I will definitely be using this in the future for some interesting textures.

It was a treat to paint these bases, as the texture really rewarded dry-brushing and the palette was quite different from my desert basing of late. A little brown and metallic paint on the piping was a good base for some of the weathering powders representing rust on the pipes and seeping through the bitumen surface. By this stage the large flat areas were looking a bit drab so I added some "ash" from the GF9 range for a bit of extra texture.

"Ash" on the left, without on the right.

All that was left was to add a little colour. I mentioned the word "languished" at the start, but what I was really itching to try out was some "Meadow Flowers" by Army Painter to represent new growth aside from the usual static grass I would normally try. It also adds a bit of fun to the usual "grim dark" basing style.

When applied sparingly I think it doesn't look too bad! Of course it will all depend on the positioning of the model as to whether the flowers will be prominent or not. I will probably make a few more of these before breaking out the models and trying a few complimentary paint schemes. The thought of drilling into the bases for pinning the model is the main worry at the moment, I'm not sure if they will crack open or not?

You can "click" for a larger photo.


  1. Not sold on the piccies. They could well look better in real life though. Interesting idea, too. It can be worth watering down liquid green stuff a little when using it - doesn't cause any problems and makes it a little easier to work with.


  2. Yeah, the camera skills need an upgrade certainly! I will definitely be watering it down, the streaking makes it look a little like cobwebs once drybrushed. I had already started the 40mm bases in the next post before you mentioned it, however. Thanks for the tip!