My regular gaming group has all coalesced around playing Games Workshop’s Age of Sigmar 2.0. I still enjoy Kings of War, but I really game in order to hang out with my buddies, so likely this is the last season I will play KoW. On the plus side, I am definitely going to go out with some style: I’ll be playing in the US Masters for the Pacific Northwest region, and I’ve decided to multibase my trusty Elves and refresh their paint jobs along the way.
This article is something of a guide on how I created my multibases (or movement trays, or bases, depending on which game you’re playing – a multibase in this case is just a base for multiple miniatures), why I made the choices I did, and lots of pictures to follow along so you can see how they progressed.
- 3mm MDF laser cut trays
- Sculpey clay
- Ancestral Recall roller
- PVA glue and super glue
- Sand / Gravel (mine is black, from a big box hobby store)
- Resin tree stumps
- Cork tiles
1. Cork – Forest Floor
I tore a cork tile into rough organic shapes and stuck them to the MDF using superglue. The larger areas I gave two layers, as they are going to be for infantry models who are more easily positioned at multiple levels. The rest are for cavalry or large infantry, so I stuck with just one layer. The cork will be for a look of the forest floor – compressed mud and plant matter. I mostly used the edges of the tile so that I could line up edges with the edges of the MDF, particularly good for the corners.
2. Clay – Paving Stones
I rolled out some Sculpey until it was about 2mm thick and then used the Ancestral Recall roller to imprint paving stones on the pieces. I made enough pieces to entirely cover all the bases, as it’s easier to make a lot at once because it needs to be baked in the oven. A few points to note here: I used rubber rings on the plain rolling pin in order to try to get it as flat and even as possible before rolling with the textured pin. I needed to experiment a few times to try and get as flat as possible. 15 minutes or so in the oven and this stage was ready to apply to the MDF. I scratched the back of the Sculpey with a hobby knife before gluing, to help with adhesion.
3. Tree Stumps (aka handles)
The resin tree stumps work as great handles to pick up the movement trays. One of the biggest issues I have is when I try to pick up the trays by the (often flimsy) models and then break a spear or an arm, so I wanted to have one or two big and visible handles to make sure I use them. I’ll paint it in a color that’s not otherwise used in the army.
4. Sand – Moss & Leaves
A healthy layer of PVA glue in most if not all of the cracks provides an adhesive surface for the black sand. I’m using this both as a way to create another texture and color, and as a way to cover up straight edges and any other modeling that doesn’t look quite natural enough.
5. Primer – Black, Airbrush
This is the majority of the rest of the photos, as I have one for each layer that I put on. However, before I started applying any colors I did what any of us do when we’re coming up with a new paint scheme: I made a test model.
A couple of things to call out: one is that the roller is actually etched in lines or perhaps 3D printed, because you can see there are lines highlighted by the light gray (it’s particularly noticeable just above the red stone). The second is that the sand only vaguely looks like plant life at this point – I’ll reinforce that look later with other modeling elements.
In the table below, I’ve listed out the colors used for each layer. To help keep the color palette muted and bring the colors close to each other, I use a common shade (in this case, black primer) and a common highlight (Bone White). I also try to only drybrush one color at a time, and given that multiple colors are used in multiple areas, I’ve numbered the stages at which I painted each layer. There’s a picture for each layer which you can see by scrolling down.
All the paints are Vallejo Game Color. It’s pretty easy to find a color conversion chart for your particular varieties if you’re trying to do something similar, but most of the pictures include photos of the paint to help get an approximate color too.
Finally, entries in bold mean use very heavy drybrushing, italic entries are very light drybrushing, and regular means a medium amount.
|Paving||Moss & Leaves||Ground||Trees|
|1. Cold Gray|
|3. Dark Green|
|4. Camo Green |
/ Goblin Green
|5. Sun Yellow|
|6. Charred Brown||6. Charred Brown|
|7. Earth||7. Earth|
|8. Stonewall Gray||8. Stonewall Gray|
|9. Bone White||9. Bone White||9. Bone White||9. Bone White|
|10. Ghost Gray|
|11. Pale Flesh|
|12. Dead White||12. Dead White|
|13. Camo Green|
7. Sepia Glaze
I applied a very thin glaze of Sepia Shade to the pavers. It’s important not to let the glaze pool or dry up in the cracks between the pavers or else it ruins the look. If that’s happening, dry off your brush a bit more before applying. I used probably 2:1 mix of water to shade.
8. Static Grass
I added some static grass along all the various breaks and bumps where the moss is. I used three different sizes, in two colors: 4mm dark, 6mm medium, and 12mm medium. The camouflage green is similar to the medium color, and the goblin green similar to the highlight of the dark static. This helps to make the green painted sand look like plant life and adds a soft texture to the base.
9. Red Tiles
For the final stage before putting on the models, I added a little visual detail by coloring a few of the small tiles red. In Kings of War, each unit has a Unit Strength (from 1-3) so I put the appropriate number of red tiles on each base to denote that strength. Red is also the primary detail color for the troops in my army (a few models are included in some photos, just by chance) which helps bring bases and models together.
10. The Final Look
Thanks for reading this far! If you do end up using this tutorial, even just to help inspire your own multibasing efforts, please let me know! You can comment here, or hit me up on Twitter @godswearhats.