General Hobby – Tutorial – Making urban bases from scratch

Since I painted my Ariadna army for N3 back in December, I’ve gotten a lot of comments and questions on their basing scheme.

Ariadna Line Kazaks with homemade Urban bases
While the process is pretty easy to describe, it’s a lot easier to show. Having picked up some additions to my Ariadna force, I took the opportunity to whip up a quick tutorial on making these bases.

What you will need:

– 1-2mm Plasticard
– A hobby knife with a fresh, sharp blade
– Scissors
– Polystyrene cement. I like Tamiya brush-on
– Texture paint (I used Citadel Stirland Mud)
– Whatever bases you wish to texture
– Pin Vice
– Super Glue
– Paperclip
– Sidecutters

Step 1

Cut plasticard squares

Using your scissors, cut some plasticard squares roughly the right size of the base you’re looking to cover.

Step 2 

Create sections of plasticard

Using your craft knife, cut your card into interesting shapes, dividing them to create spaces between the concrete ‘plates’. The shapes you’re making can be incomplete as well, using the surface of the base like a ‘step down’. Glue them to the bases, leaving appropriate gaps.

Step 3

Trim thin strips off of your additional card.

Using your knife again, trim thin strips of plasticard from your main sheet. You can make these as wide or thin as you want and you can use them to create curbs, ledges and additional surface detail (such as hazard bars, parking stops, etc). Trim them to the length you want after you cut them.

Step 4

Add surface details

The surface details can follow the gaps or additional raised areas. Making them different on each base will help each model have a unique look. Make sure you let everything dry really well after this stage, because you will be trimming and weathering and you want to give everything a chance to set and allow the cement to weld all the pieces together.

Step 5

Trim the excess card

Using your hobby knife, trim carefully around the base. You can use the curvature of the base as a guide (it may be easier to hold the base upside down while you do so). Go slowly as you may accidentally find yourself trimming the base if you cut too deep. You can roughly cut it down on your first pass and go back more carefully to trim it round afterwards.

Step 6

Weather and chip the concrete surface.

Once trimmed you can use your knife to weather the surface. Gouge by twisting the knife tip to make craters. Cut dents and breaks in the surface detail to give the plasticard a more realistic damaged look.

Step 7

Add rubble and debris with textured paint

Textured paint (or glue and sand) can be used to make rubble and dirt piles. This will give some additional detailing and keep the bases from looking too flat and bare. Even the cleanest city streets have junk piles.

Step 8

Clean and mount your model

Now remove the base-tab from your miniature (if it has one) and use your pin-vice, paperclip, superglue and sidecutters to mount your model on the base. Drill a hole in the meatiest foot the model has, through the base and mount it. For additional strength, use an ‘L’ shaped paperclip, gluing it first through the bottom so the lower part of the ‘L’ is affixed with superglue to the bottom. This will provide additional strength to the pinning.

Step 9

All done!

Once your figures are securely mounted and affixed to your new custom bases, get ready to prime and paint them!

Hope this was clear enough and lets you guys replicate what I did. Keep an eye on my Facebook page next week to see these guys painted. 🙂

You’ve got lots of additional options if you decide to pick up textured plasticard. You can get it with brick patterns, hex patterns and all manner of additional shapes and patterns.

Go nuts and see what you can whip up!



~ by Achilles on February 15, 2015.

5 Responses to “General Hobby – Tutorial – Making urban bases from scratch”

  1. Great tutorial! One thing I always struggle with is the painting side of the base – what sort of colours did you do yours?

    • I like to start with a brown base coat, light brown for concrete… Dark grey/brown for asphalt. In this case it was Citadel Baneblade brown, blended up to Mechanicus Standard Grey, wet stippled with 50/50 Mechanicus Standard and Dawnstone. The rubble was left brown and a light drybrush of Ushabti Bone over them and the leading edges finishes off the bases.

      Hope that helped!

  2. It certainly did, thanks! 🙂

  3. Awesome tutorial! Can’t wait to try this out.

    I didn’t even realize you had a blog—you should give it more of a shoutout on your youtube channel.

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