Fantasy – Stone Bases

Fantasy – Stone Bases

No, I wasn’t kidding when I said this post was going to be about rocks.

Well, sorta. So while painting up some fantasy minis, I had seen images of minis based on dungeon tiles of sorts. I really liked the idea, and started looking into it.

First, I searched Ebay and online stores, but nothing was really scratching the itch. So, I tried painting the stones on by hand.

Painted on dungeon tiles, WIP.

I’ve used this method in the past, and they turn out okay, but it’s a time consuming process. If I was going to do that for every single Fantasy mini I had, that would be a huge time sink! There had to be an easier way…

Rollers, Plunger, and umm, that’s not all I bought!

I remembered reading about Green Stuff World from The Imperfect Modeller’s site. I had looked at the green stuff rollers they had, but cost/shipping cost deterred me. But now I really wanted dungeon bases, so screw the cost!

Stone bases via Plunger and Rollers

My first attempts were not quite what I was hoping. Admittedly, with more practice, it could get better. The squares were a bit off. I used Green Stuff, but also tried Apoxie sculpt. The Green stuff was sticky and tended to lift with the roller (or was it the plunger). The cracks show up better in Green Stuff than Apoxie. But Apoxie has a bit more grain to it, which works well for stone. The Apoxie took a couple weeks to dry though, which was kind of crazy.

Trying to get either to stick and/or form around a base, also takes a bit of work.

Around this time, I remember seeing a post by Circus of Paint on making your own bases. They didn’t use a roller, so it’s a little more time consuming but still looks really nice.

Then I had an exchange with Mr. White, and discovered that he was using some bases I had just ordered off of Ebay. It took a little while for them to come over from the UK, but they turned out to be pretty nice.

I primed them with Stylnrez grey and set out to tackle them.

Just before the dry brush. Ebay base on the left.

I added some different colors for variation. Wasn’t sure about that at all, and tried not to freak out. “Hey, I got plenty enough of these that I can screw some up, right?! Grrrrr….”.

Ebay bases on the bottom.

After the dry brush though, things actually looked pretty good. The colors start to blend a bit more and the dry brush gives a nice stone look.

Roller/Plunger bases.

I have always admired Azazel’s Stone work on his site. Just beautiful stuff. But I never felt satisfied with the results I got. Till now that is. I imagine it might get better over time, but I feel like I finally have a technique (as basic as it is), that yields a result that I can certainly live with.

Plunger/Roller tiles on the left. Ebay tiles on the right.

Since the paint part was working out, it was now time to really decide which option to go with. The Ebay tiles are pretty nice, sometimes have a few bubbles or flaws. The hand-crafted ones could technically turn out better, especially if I sunk even more time into them…but yea, time. It’s not something I have a lot of these days. So, it looks like the Ebay tiles will be winning out for now. Someday I might go back and play with the roller and plunger more. Quite possibly different materials as well. Green Stuff World recommends FIMO (polymer clay), which I hadn’t tried yet**. I do have some in the house, and maybe we will make some Christmas ornaments again this year…and then Daddy will make some dungeon bases at the same time….hahaha….

I also discovered that you can throw just about any spot color you want on the stone. This was in part to a Black Magic Craft video I stumbled upon one day, where he added various colors to the tiles he is making.

I tried some green, yellow, brown, etc. The yellow popped a little more than I liked, but I found a couple extra washes of Agrax Earthshade brought that back into place nicely.

** EDIT: Since writing the post originally, I was able to get around to trying out the FIMO clay. It actually worked really well, and I was able to roll out a good number of bases during our Christmas ornament making. I haven’t painted the ones below yet, but there is a good chance this will be my method in the future.

FIMO/Green Stuff roller bases

All in all, I’m happy to have a nice little method for getting some dungeon bases for the fantasy minis.

Up Next: Something to Go On the Bases!

17 thoughts on “Fantasy – Stone Bases

    1. Thanks man! And thanks for the heads up on those too. I remember I was inbetween ordering two brands, and ended up getting the same ones you did. GMTA!


    1. Thanks TIM! I think you might have mentioned that before, but I must have forgot. The FIMO works wonders though and doesn’t stick, so that’s likely my goto for awhile.

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  1. Great exploration into different methods of base making and painting. Whenever using greenstuff, always remember to wet the tool thourghly to prevent any sticking, but if the Fimo is working for you go for it

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    1. Cheers Dave. Yep, good advice. I do so with my other tools, but neglected to ok the roller. Give my the rollers material, I’m not sure how well they would hold water. But then again, I always dip metal sculpting tools into water and that helps. So I should give that a try with the rollers too.

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      1. As greenstuff was developed as a plumbers putty it has to be resilient to water, so is the best lubricant with tools. if the rollers are plastic or silicone based should be fine holding enough moisture to stop the green from sticking.

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    1. Yea, we don’t use it much in our hobby. I’ve used it to make boardgame pieces, and it’s pretty easy to work with. The hard part is that you have to cure it an oven, so you can’t mix it with other materials very easily. Like I wouldn’t want to throw it on the bases before putting it in the oven for sure!

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  2. Every time I’ve gone to comment on this post (about half a dozen times now) I’ve ended up on ebay looking for basing stuff and lost track of what I was doing. However I’ve managed it at last! Anyway, I like what you’re doing with these bases – and as you can tell you’ve given me plenty of inspiration and food for thought. 🙂

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    1. Sorry to make you head off to Ebay old chap! There is definitely some nice stuff out there, though I think I’m pretty set on the FIMO method now. I might even want some different types of rollers to make some more unique bases, since the stone turned out pretty nice. An old temple pattern would be really nice for a Blood Bowl Lizardmen team.

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