Working on my Tomb Kings is a long process and I have a nasty habit of changing my mind about stuff at completely the wrong time. The Bases for this army are no exception! Just as I was half way through basing a large unit of models with plain sand, the new Agrellan Earth came out and I tried that. But I wasn’t happy. I wanted a stone temple base but couldn’t afford the lovely resin bases that are all the rage . . .
So I cheated.
I took a look at the movement trays that I had made, and the spare bits that I had from making them and started to make old stone slabs (cracked by the baking sun of the desert). It worked for me and below I have taken a load of pics to show how you can do the same for any stone type you want.
The first part is to cut the movement trays to size. GW have made this easy with the exact sizes being already scored into the plastic! Simply cut along the lines a few times with a scalpel and snap – dead easy! (No pun intended)
Next is to round of the edges a little – use sandpaper (any grade – the rougher makes it quicker). At this point I recommend rounding the corners too.
Roughing up and adding detail /cracks can be done now – I used knives, files and even a hacksaw – they all do roughly the same thing, roughen the edges and make gaps for the ink to fall in later . . .
Once this is done I tend to stick the slab to the correct model base – they should fit exactly to the footprint of the base. If you have problems, hack and adjust away – it will only add to the detail later.
After undercoating and base coating – let dry completely (I undercoat white for this type of slab and base coat with Ushabti Bone). Once dry, wash with your normal ink for shading (mine is Agrax Earthshade). The ink will run into the cuts, slashes and scrapes – as well as the texture of the flat pats as well.
For my effect I like to give a couple of runny layers of Ushabti Bone over the wash (sometimes when it is not even dry) this gives an uneven and odd layering to the base and sometimes lets the mottled texture of the base show through.
I then mix a little White into the mix and roughly highlight the edges – often dry brushing the corners for the final highlight. Once that is dry again I can drop more Agrax into the gaps and slashes that have been lightened too much and even rub some into patches of the flat areas. After all this is done – a simple (darker) shade of colour (mine is medium/dark Brown) for the slotta base helps to make the slab jump out.
This technique can be used with a black or dark undercoat too – I have done grey and almost black slabs and dry brushed for great effect. When they come together in units it has a stunning effect that can be continued into presentation trays and displays easily.
Below is a progression shot of a 20mm Base from raw plastic to finished base (6 stages) and a Gif to show the progression.
(Click to see animation)
Another tip – If you get a part that has an odd shape (some of the squares have round indents in) or numbers (some odd GW serial code) then don’t be afraid to snap them off!. I use these extra spaces to use Sand or Agrellan Earth to add a little more detail – and don’t forget those Tomb King Scorpions
There are many armies that have backgrounds of having or destroying temples (Dwarves and Lizardmen immediately spring to mind) and even an odd character model here or there may benefit from using this technique. It is a simple and relatively cheap alternative for bases. Hope you enjoy experimenting as much as I have . . .