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.
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…
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!
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.
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….”.
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.
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.
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.
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!