I have talked about it for a while, so here is my tutorial on my custom Desert Sand bases. Although these were made with the round lipped bases for Warmachine, they can be used for any bases really.
These ones were custom done for a Protectorate of Menoth army I was commissioned to do a while ago, and still get some more once in a while. There is the background, lets begin!
STEP 1:: What you Need.
So here are some items you will need.
STEP 2:: Preparing the Bases
If you have the grove open in your bases you may want to cover that slot up. There are many options to this as seen in the picture above. You can cover the slot with basic tape. You could also clip a toothpick down to size and glue it in the slot. These are the two different methods used above. Really either way works good. Although the tape is a quick way to start getting at the bases, the toothpick provides support if you plan on pinning the model to the base down the middle.
Green Stuff is a two part epoxy that you mix by hand, combining the yellow and blue until you get a nice green color. Remember a little bit can go a long way. Even more remember that you can always add more green stuff, but if you make too much then you better have a use for the excess.
STEP 3:: Press to Fit
Here is a wide picture of a few bases being worked on at once. Slots are covered up and green stuff is made. Now take the green stuff and press it onto the base and smear it to match up close to the top of the lip. You want to leave gaps to see the base, like in the picture. This will help separate the cracked earth appearance and the rocky earth.
STEP 4:: Making the Earth
It easier than it sounds. Let the green stuff "dry" a bit (30 min-1hr) to where you can drag your exacto blade across without dragging up green stuff. Here you can removed any unwanted excess or re-shape the ground.
STEP 5:: Adding the Grit
Once you have your desired shape, let the green stuff cure a bit longer. Not completely harden or the next part wont work properly. If it doesnt cure enough then the grit will spread into the green stuff ruining the design.
Take your white glue and spread a thin bead upon the "open" parts of the base, that is the black areas you can still see. It is ok to get glue upon the green stuff itself to blend the two bits together.
Then you press the base into you sand grit, or sand mixture. The grit should hold to the glue and put some indentations into the green stuff. Shake off the excess and reshape your earth cracks. Let completely cure before continuing onto painting.
STEP 6: Painting
Prime the base with your favorite primer. I use a brush-on primer to knock off any loose grit not held fast by the glue. You can kind of make out the indentations made by pressing the grit onto the base from the earlier step. All of the following colors I have used Reaper Miniatures Master Series.
Here we painted with Khaki Shadow.
Drybrush on top of previous layer with Faded Khaki.
Another drybrush layer on top using Desert Khaki.
This is the highlight level so try to get only the top most parts.
You can see the indents from the grit coming more apparent here.
And one last drybrush. This is the Extreme highlight, the top most highlight layer.
Drybrush this in scarce random areas. Sparingly, just a bit here and there.
Color used: Desert Sand.
And there you have it! Desert Sand bases. Could also be dry earth or cracked earth, depending on how you paint them up and how much of the sand grit you apply.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I plan on doing more at some point on the bases and other things. Off to paint again, good luck out there.