Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Basing 101 : Broken Ground

Realistic basing is easy and inexpensive and really adds to your model.
Often many of the basic basing techniques and material are improperly applied and can really ruin an otherwise great looking mini.

In this article I will show you the techniques and material that I use to make my most common bases.

I call this "Broken Ground", it can be used to represent many different types of terrain, such as dirt, stone, desert and more. By changing the paint colors and adding details, it is also a great foundation for more complex basing like snow, woodland and swamp. It is a great start for a base for your miniature and can be used to represent many battlefields.

Here's what you will need;

A model and base
PVA or white glue
small slate chips
paint and drybrush
black wash
static grass, short

1. Build your model and attach to base with super glue, make sure you do all the build up work to the model and prep it for paint including removing mold lines and seam filling.

2. Glue small size slate chips to base with superglue. I am using a single stone, but you may add more to make a rocky base, but don't go overboard. I use slate because I like the longer flatter stones, when glued down they give the look that they are in the ground and not sitting on top of it.

3. Using PVA or white glue, and a toothpick spread the glue around to cover the rest of the base.

4. Dunk the base into the sand mix. I like real sand from outside, I have found a great spot with some coarse sand that I like best. It has small particles and some slightly larger bits here and there. The particles should be very small like table salt to look realistic, avoid model railroad ballast as it is all the same size and too uniform.

5. Primer the model, this will lock down the sand.

At this time I paint the miniature.

6. Paint the base with 3 graduating coats.

I start with a sloppy drybrush of Graveyard Earth.

then a drybrush of Kommando Khaki

and finished with drybrush of Bleached Bone.

7. A wash of Badab Black to add some depth and blend the highlights.

8. Then I cleanup the edge of the base with black paint.

9. I use a small dab or two of PVA/White glue and some static grass. I like using pale green or dead looking tan grass, and I place it in small clumps or next to the base of a slate chip rock. You could also use snow flocking instead of the static grass using larger dabs of glue.

And that is pretty much it.

An inexpensive way to make your own slate stones is to buy a 1 foot by 1 foot slate flooring tile from your local do it yourself building depot, I got mine from Home Depot for about 3 bucks, and bust it up into small pieces with a hammer.

Thats a single tile in the box which is shoebox size and the chips will need more hammer work to get them small enough for basing.

In the UK you can buy bags of chipped slate for garden use, but I haven't found a source yet in the US.

As for static grass, I like to buy the giant model railroad shaker jugs, a huge 32oz for 10 bucks.

As a bonus for all of you that have read this far, and without advertising in the title, I will randomly select from the comments 3 readers to send a custom basing set with a supply of my special secret sand mix, some slate stones, static grass, and my secret formula basing wash.

All you have to do is comment on this post and write a review of the basing set after you use it. ( in email form or on your own blog)

Hope you enjoy!


Friday, December 25, 2009

A Guard Hellhound a la Dave Taylor, Part 4: it's done and I am happy

The Hellhound Truck is done! Just in time, right before my usual collapse of focus and interest, I might say. This thing came out OK and anyone wanting something fun to do, check out Dave Taylor's truck and this one, steal the plans and have at it. It's satisfying to say the least. Before showing you the last rundown of this truck, here is what I started with:
Here it is finished:
This is by no means a masterpiece of building and painting and nothing makes that more obvious then the following close up pictures. Sometimes I am shocked to see how bad a paintjob really is when I see a close up photo enlarged on the screen. Anyhow, here's a sideshot
I added a camo net on this side that the troopers can pull over the tank quickly when they spot enemy planes. I was first going to paint the prometheum tank orange, but in the end I kept it in the same paint scheme, less flashy but more likely.
I don't really use decals but for this one I used a few
The back truck bed has some gerry cans stowed away. Those little details give me great pleasure to make.

and as you can see, the prometheum spills all over the place
I did tint the glass of the protective shield with green wash from Johns new washes. I think it worked out well and gives some color up top as well. The trooper's head is another resin cast that John did for me.
On this side you can see I posed the trooper in a non active position, holding himself steady with his left hand while greeting someone.
Ok, so that's that for the Hellhound Truck!
Some readers have asked to see the whole Bishkek family together in one picture so I obliged: here is the Bishkek 2nd as far as I have built it.
here are the heavies: two Hellhounds and a Manticore. I am redoing the rockets right now so they were not ready for pictures.
The mech Rough Riders
I am building the last one as we speak and it will be my next post, but you will be surprised, mech but no mech!
Here are the snipers and a Priest:
3 flamers:
...and my unfinished Penal Legion. You can also spot the one normal guardsman in there that John painted for me.
And that's that! Hope you enjoyed this ride! As a recap, here is


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

From us at Santa Cruz Warhammer, to all of you and your families;

Happy Holidays and we hope you get some good hobby related gifts and enjoy time off with your friends and family.

John & Mike

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Santa Cruz Warhammer Give Away: and the winner is......

We drew the winner of the wonderul set of Dragon Forge bases. Using, we came up with:


Please let us know your address here:, so we can ship you your prize. For all others, please check out dragonforge and support the independent and creative little companies that make our favorite game extra fun. They need your help!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another Santa Cruz Warhammer Give Away: Dragon Forge

Jeff from Dragon Forge sent us some more goodies to Give Away for FREE to one of you faithful readers. This time we received a set of beautiful resin cast Ancient Ruins bases. This is the loot:

10 25 mm bases
1 40mm heroic base
1 60 mm base
To enter:
1. become a follower so we make sure you know when our next Give Away is (will be a Dwarf Bear Rider)
2. leave a comment that Jeff from Dragonforge has any use for. Constructive comments are greatly appreciated but keep it nice.

We at Santa Cruz Warhammer are interested in promoting a array of different smaller and independent companies that are creative and give our hobby more depth and color. Most of the stuff we receive we give away with a small amount being used to write articles that would promote a great piece or model. Go over to Dragon Forge and give him some of your money, it's worth it!

Have at it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Guard Hellhound a la Dave Taylor, Part 3: Camo

Upwards and onwards with the Hellhound Truck! I am getting into the scary part of the project, the paint job. I fear painting vehicles and although I can spend hours on it, I am never really stoked on the result, being intimidated by so many great painters in the blogosphere that I follow.
But it has to be done, so here we go.
This is where I am right now:
I didn't want to use oils on this one, I am still a little burnt out on the Forgeworld method after doing to big models that way, so instead I opted for the normal primer/camo and then lots of washes and dry brushes.
I am only at the base stage of painting, so everything looks really messy and horrible, but in the next few days I will attempt to clean it up. I do prefer to start from a mess and make it better, I am NOT a clean painter.
The inside of cab and bed are grey
and here's another closeup
A word on the washes: John is producing some brandspanking new Santa Cruz Warhammer Washes, that I am using on this model. He is still working out the bugs, but here is the set I am playing with:
I asked my daughters to come up with some good names, my ten year old came up with
Death Red
Night Black
Grass Green
Coffee Brown (two are the same)


Anyway, once the kinks have been fixed we are going to send these as test sets out to get some feedback on the new line.

Also as promised, I was going to show a picture of the set that produced the tank and guardrails...
and here is the set:
it's an old Robogear Chemical Plant. An excellent kit for conversions if you can find one.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Guard Hellhound a la Dave Taylor, Part 2

The Bishkek 2nd Hellhound Flamer Truck is taking shape. I finished the basic design and am now working on details like tools, equipment and rivets. Here's the update.

This was how it ended in the last post.
At this point I got stuck with Dave Taylors design, because he is using the Ork Trukk as his base, which is slightly smaller then my chassis. So while using Dave's visual ideas, I now created some room to add my own look to it. His is where we are now
I opted to give the drivers cabin angled front plates with a vision slit coming out a bit. I liked that look, which reminds of pre WWII army trucks.
The fenders are nice and wide.
I am still working on the flamer and the gunner. I haven't figured out a good way to transport the prometheum from the tank to the flamer. I made the flamer nice and long as to not burn the truck itself when it fires. The soldier has a see-through screen to protect him from the heat, I used some blister plastic for that. it's not done yet.
Adding details make the model more believable, really handy when you build one yourself.
These are the hinges for the driver door
Here's a voxcaster in the open compartment
I thought a lot about the bumper on the back, in the end I opted for sturdiness.
Here's the vision slit for the driver

The orange stuff is Bondo Spot putty, which is toxic and I won't use it again. But once you fill up cracks, you can sand it smooth. Maybe there are non-toxic alternatives?