Thursday 31 July 2014

Red Planet Basing pt2.

Over the course of the last few months I've done a lot of basing of miniatures and thought it was an opportunity to show some the process from start to finish. I've made referrence to my Red Planet Basing tutorial many times but that tutorial didn't feature much in the way of step-by-step so I'd hoped to address that deficiency with a new tutorial. In truth the pictures aren't great but it may yet be of benefit to thos ewishing to replicate the surface of Mars or Ferron Proxima itself.

To complete the process you will need a tube of Vermillion Artists Acrylic [ignore the Yellow Mid] I get mine for Home & Bargain for £1 and it's great stuff.

You will also need a bottle of docrafts Artiste craft acrylic Pumpkin flavoured erm, coloured. You'll also need various washes equivalent to the late great Devlan Mud or Badab Black, I use Army Painters range because it's the same stuff, cheaper, still available and doesn't screw up your miniatures if the batch of 'shade' is deffective.

Now there are two methods to doing these bases that should bring about the same results, heres the first one

This particular group of bike bases is made using my patented mix of 'sharp sand'. This will kill your brushes to paint as it is indeed sharp but I've still got a massive bag in the shed so I sift and graade it for a variety grain sizes. As the bases are separate I sprayed these with Red Oxide car primer.

Because the car primer is darker than starting with Vermillion I wash these with the Devlan Mud equivalent wash. You could try a thinned down paint but we all now washes are the bomb and work better but certainly on a big base or piece of terrain I would opt for a watered paint.

Once the wash is dry you drybrush with the Vermillion.

You then mix Vermillion and Pumpkin 1:1 and drubrush again.

Finally a very light drybrush of Pumkin.

Then you need to pick out individual grains with Bonewhite. Try to look for interesting ones, having a mixed grade of basing material helps here. It's always good to target those grains that are surrounded by more visible shades as the contrast between dark and Bonewhite is more effective. Be very careful not to do too much and make sur ethe individual grains are not too large. You're aiming to make the base more interesting, with a bit of variety not overshadow the model.

This base for 'Pestilence' follows the same principles - Red Oxide

Shadow wash

First highlight Vermillion.

Second highlight Vermillion/Pumpkin 1:1

Add the Bonewhite chips.

Finish off by Mechrite Red [or equivalent - 3 coats of Vallejo Heavy red] and some yellow Autumn Flock from Gale Force 9 [yeah the colours look way different!]

The alternative method of painting is usually when base and model are already attached. In this case you paint the base with Vermillion, sometime adding some water, the craft acrylic is a thick paste. Adding water helps the paint flow into the crevices in the sand, be careful though, adding water may dilute your PVA if it has not dried completely. This will result in a gloopy sandy red mess. Once the Vermillion is dry, usually overnight the proces is the same but the wash will be a Badab Black equivalent. As the base is much brightes you will need a darker wash to tone it down.

Once dry add your Highlights as before and pick out the bonewhite chips.

Add flock, usually in the cracks and crevices. Vegetation will naturally occur in these places and they will likely stick better to the PVA if it's not on open ground. This bit is fiddly but it's worth it.

Pick out any other details on the base, this Hive Node also has gloss varnish applied to the tentacles. it's a small thing, possibly unnoticed by many but I know it's there so it's worth doing.

Apologies again for the inconsistent photography. I may well do another set in good lighting with my digital camera so you have an accurate record, but not before I do my Brown Basing guide, that I used on these guys:


  1. Very nice! It's good to know this type of technique works with a variety of colors. I do a similar method, but use a deep brown as my starting color, and build that up (instead of the red oxide).

  2. I recently picked up some daylight bulbs from amazon for a couple of quid each and less than tenna for 3 including P&P.
    Has made taking photos and painting of an evening much easier.