Blood Bowl – Basing detour

Blood Bowl – Basing detour

A little detour, as I talk about some experimenting.

GW Basing material, bottom right

As I might have mentioned, I quickly realized that I’m going to need a lot of basing material, especially if I’m going to continue painting 20+ teams with 16+ minis per team. Unfortunately, I used about a half a pot of Astrogranite really quick on one team, and as we know, that stuff isn’t cheap.

Then I happened on Ann’s post about basing. In her post she does mention finding out about this from JNV’s site, so I have to give a shout out to him as well. Either way, we all win! Thanks to you both.

Ann’s experiment and post about the Vallejo texture paste, got me to purchase a couple jars of the stuff. And I do mean, jars!

The difference is kind of mind blowing.


Ann didn’t really go over the difference between the GW and Vallejo products, as I recall she has mainly used sand for basing in the past. I on the other hand, really needed a comparison between the two…as matching the texture of existing bases was a very important consideration.

So how do they compare? I’d say they are fairly equal. The GW textures can pretty much be applied to the base and you could call it done. I’ve found you sometimes need a layer or two for full coverage, depending on the type of texture. The texture on them is super nice. Cost, not as much.

The Vallejo texture (Dark Earth is the only one I’ve used to date), is nice and costs quite a bit less/ Texture wise, it likes to whip upwards, kind of like a meringue topping or something. I found it best to use an old brush to get the texture on the base and then try to tamp it down where it spikes. If I recall, GW has added tiny plastic beads to their product that might affect the way it lays on. If I could find some tiny micro beads, I’d definitely give that a try with the Vallejo product.

Usually with the GW texture, I add 3 layers of Agrax and then dry brush with a light brown for a nice earthy look, that I’ve just really come to love. The Vallejo Dark Earth didn’t match that look out of the jar, so I tried some different paint combos. As you can see in the pic below, the Vallejo and GW bases look nearly identical in color afterwards.

Vallejo Dark Earth on the left, Games Workshop Agrellan Earth on the right (not the original colors, as they were both painted/washed)

The texture still turns out slightly different in the Vallejo product, but it was close enough that I could live with it. With a miniature and/or some static grass on top, someone would have a really hard time telling the difference.

Speaking of static grass…


It’s something I’ve finally gotten around to using.

It’s always been a bit intimidating to me, but its not too bad when you get used to it. Some watery glue, mash down into a tin of grass, tap, apply another layer if needed. The one above was some Stonehaven Summer Green, which then got painted, washed, and/or painted again. I’ve also been trying out Woodland Scenics brand. It’s more economical, and seems about the same so far. A lot of Blood Bowl takes place on grass fields, so I’m sure you will hear even more about this stuff as I become familiar with it.

All in all, I like the Vallejo texture paste and will likely continue to use it just based on how much money it will save me in the long run. I imagine I’ll be doing more experiments with it in the future, to nudge the texture closer to GW’s. But it’s a great find nonetheless.

Up next: More Humans, for real this time!




9 thoughts on “Blood Bowl – Basing detour

  1. Great comparison between the two products, and they look very similar, always find Vallejo to be better value for money and this seems no exception.
    You should be able to find micro beads on Ebay, relatively cheaply, look under dressmaking or bead craft, can be very useful for making saliva droplets as well

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  2. Sounds like a good move for you – bases look very good! 🙂 And thanks for the mention! I use a brush to put the Vallejo base material on and then a damp/wet brush to smooth out the “spikes”. The colour doesn’t bother me since I always paint my bases in Humbrol dark earth afterwards anyway (used that colour for decades, so can’t really change a couple of thousand figures later)!

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    1. Well, thank you for getting us going. It’s a great product, for sure. I’ll have to try the damp brush method next time I make some bases. And the Humbrol Dark Earth as well. Thanks again John!

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  3. Looks good, I couldn’t honestly tell you which was which on the finished, painted bases, and once they’re partially covered with patches of grass as on your Ogre, they look fantastic.
    I use the Vallejo and the Citadel for different things. I recently got some Astrogranite via an issue of Conquest Magazine so I used it on a couple of bases before painting it as dirt and it’s pretty decent. Still, I won’t be rushing out to buy more. The Citadel “crackle” variants are the ones I find worth the money right now (until Vallejo comes up with their own version, perhaps!)
    I found with the Vallejo a similar trick to yours – I added a tiny bit of water to the metal clay sculpting tool to flatten out the spikes. The extra liquid just evaporates as part of the drying process anyway.
    I’ll be picking up a few more of the different Vallejo textures to do more experimenting with, and obviously stratch my basing and scenery basing especially a lot further.

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    1. Thanks mate. I still like Citadel’s Astro Granite, Agrellan Earth, and Stirland Mud. The end texture is really cool. The crackle paints though, leave me a little cold. The effect is pretty random and I find them often flaking off. Though you can use a hair dryer to speed things up and control the effect a little more that way, and varnish helps with the flaking.

      I experimented mixing Citadel/Vallejo, and it didn’t really do much. Though I did have a more interesting experiment turn out all right. Mental note, take pics of those bases before slapping a mini on them! At any rate, I can see many more experiments in the future, which I’ll get to share with everyone!

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      1. I use the crackle paints on my current desert bases. To prevent that flaking, I go over them with a coat of thinned PVA/water right after they set, and I’m slowly learning how to “control” the effect with the thickness i apply. That is for a very specific basing style, though generally I still use sand and occasionally some paste.

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