Desert Bases Tutorial
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This is a very picture heavy tutorial for all the steps it take to make the simple desert bases that I use on my Tau army.
A lot of people asked me how they are made so I figured a nice how-to was in order. I can't take 100% credit for these bases. I was originally inspired to make these bases by some pictures I saw online a long time ago. I can't remember where as it has been years.
1 Old brush (This tutorial literally shreds brushes, use an old one)
1 or more Bases (25mm, 40mm, 60mm any size works accept flying bases)
A sheet of 1/8 inch cork board
A bottle PVA (white) Glue
Tub of course grit sand
A bottle of Vallejo English Uniform (70921)
A bottle of Delta Ceramcoat Flesh Tan
A bottle of Delta Ceramcoat Palomine Tan
A Can of Flat Brown Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum)
1. Palomine Tan is a discontinued color however it is easily made by a 2:1 mixture of (2)Delta Ceramcoat Spice Tan to (1)Delta Ceramcoat Drizzle Grey.
2. You don't need to uses the colors I used, You just basically need 1 Dirt Brown, 1 Flesh Tan, and one Orangey Tan.
Ok enough reading, on to the pictures.
Grab a base, any size will due. I used a combination of 25mm and 60mm bases in this tutorial. Flying Bases wont work because the cork has a hard time adhering to their convex shape. Make sure you clean the sprue burrs off the bases before continuing.
Rip the cork with your fingers until you get shapes that make a pattern that you are happy with. Be random, some bases may have one piece, other 3, 4, or even more.
Before you do any gluing, line up all your pieces and make sure you are happy with the results.
Rub a thin but generous layer of PVA glue all over the surface of the base. Be as even as possible. Try not to put it on too thick.
Put the cork on your newly glue covered base. Make sure the cork lies flush on the base. You don't want send getting under the cork and ruing your base.
While the glue is still wet, sprinkle course grit sand all over places where the glue is still exposed. Allow your base to sit for about 30 seconds to a minute in the sand to let it really sink into the glue. Then, dump the excess sand off your base.
Lay your bases face down on a flat surface and then put something very heavy on top of them like a stack of books, the heavier the better. If you don't apply a generous amount of weight to the bases like this, the cork will actually begin to curl up as it absorbs the liquid in the glue. Allow the bases to sit like this for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Your bases should now be fairly dry, and ready to be sprayed. Go outside or to where ever you typically spray paint and give them a nice coat of flat brown spray paint. I would recommend using only brown. Using other colors such as black of white tends to make your bases too dark or light. Also spray paint takes a while to dry. I usually leave them to dry like this over night.
Give them a fairly generous coat on Vallejo English Uniform on both the sand a cork. Don't forget to get the sides of the cork.
Give the top of the cork a THICK layer of Palomine Tan. Make sure you only get the top of the cork, not the sides, or the sand. I know it looks thick, but the idea here is to fill all those little holes on the drop of the cork and give it some texture. I usually give it 2 passes. Also, Let the bases dry for a good hour or so after this. You want a nice dry surface, and the cork absorbs moisture and stays wet for a bit.
All the bases
Heavily dry brush the edges of the top of the cork with the Ceramcoat Flesh Tan. And let it dry for a minute or 2
Lightly dry brush the top and sides of the cork, and the top of the sand with the Ceramcoat Flesh Tan. You can start light, and then build up in the different areas until you get your desired look. I prefer going heavier on the top of the sand and the sides of he cork.
Clean up the sides of the base by giving them a nice coating of Vallejo English Uniform
Add you models by attaching them to your base with super glue. Super Glue works Great on these bases. The porous cork really binds to the glue. Once your models are attached, you are all finished. Congratulations!
For the large vehicle base, I drilled a hole in the back of the base with a 1/8 inch drill bit, right through the cork. Once I had the hole, I just pushed the flying peg into the hole in the cork, turned it a few times so it made a mark where I had to cut, and just dug out the surrounding cork with a tooth pick till the original plastic was exposed.