Warhammer 40000 Basing tutorial – Urban ruins

The internet holds many brilliant bits of information regarding our hobby. Information about all aspects can be discovered if you look hard enough. One of the more interesting “How to” subjects, for me, has always been bases.

There are a number of manufacturers making pre-cast resin bases, but there is a joy to be gained from making your own!

Ok, these bases are designed to look like an old ruined urban area smashed to pieces by the current conflict. Materials used;
Plasticard (not pictured)
Snow flock
Styrene Pipe
Balsawood (not pictured)
Slate chunks.
Standard GW bases, either slotted or non-slotted.

The Method

Step one. Smash up some flat balsa wood sheet. Attach to a base. This is an opportunity to use any slotta bases you have knocking about as you can cover the slot with the balsa wood. I use superglue for this stage as it is quick drying.

Step 2. Add some random sections of pipe and slate to flavour and apply sand to the remaining areas. The sand is applied with PVA using a brush to spread on the exposed base areas and then either sprinkle the sand on top or submerge your base in the sand pot and shake. Knock off the excess here and make sure you are happy with the amount and the areas where the sand has adhered. Wipe off anything you don’t like.

Step 3. Score a flat sheet of plasticard in a deliberately inaccurate grid pattern. Thickness of card to flavour. I used about 0.5mm sheet. Once scored the card is easily snapped to create the flagstones of my eventual design.

Step 4. Apply the flagstones to the top of your current bases. Create nice overhands and try and make look natural with some flagstones toppled and perhaps broken. More wear and tear can be added once the glue has dried. I used PVA for this step as the excess PVA is useful when applying Step 5.

Step 5. Apply small amounts of snow flock to random areas of the flagstones. This is designed as splattered mud and it breaks up the surface of the slightly too perfectly flat plasticard.

Step 6. I seal the bases once the glue has dried with a PU sealer spray. Any will do. This helps fix the flock and the plasticard. I then spray basecoat with black. I apply a dark brown wash using a mix of chaos black and Cathlan Brown foundation.

Step 7. Dry brush time. I start with Adeptus Battle Grey. Using a tank brush I perform drybrusing in 1 predominant direction to add some ‘grain’ to the flagstones. I aim to pick up the sand flock as well. Following the Adeptus I move through to Fortress Grey and finally a light dry brush with skull white.

Step 8. OK. At this point, everything on the base has taken a grey drybrush. I want the snow flocked and sand areas to become mud. I’ve been achieving this with a Devlan Mud Wash followed by selective old-school GW chestnut ink application. GW don’t supply this anymore so you’d need to go looking for an alternative in an art shop or something from a Vallejo or similar range. Once dry, these areas only gain a drybrush with bleached bone.

Step 9. Finishing touches with tufts of an appropriate colour grass. These tufts are awesome and are available from a few places. Realm of Legends being one such venue. Simply remove them from the backing with tweezers and apply to the base. I did use glue on my Tau force but have found the adhesive on the film backing to be strong enough.

So, the end result;


In the coming weeks, I will post more handy articles I find about basing tutorials as I find them and maybe even a few of my own!