Monday 28 October 2013

Goblin Green, and lots of it! Orlygg's Old School Basing Tutorial

It is half term for me this week. That means an entire week off with the wife and kids, and considering that over half of the Oldhammerers at the Foundry Event too were teachers, I suspect a lot of other folk are off to. This give me plenty of time to blog, paint and game. The trouble is, I have just bought a new top of the range computer and have found Steam. Skyrim is digging deep into my time once again. Even so, I have found time to finish my Adventurer's Cart and work is beginning to wind down on the Nightmare Legion too. 

It will be soon time to paint something different!

I have been asked by a number of people to do a tutorial about how I do my retro bases. So I have used the fact that I have no lessons to prepare for to whip up something that should explain clearly how to produce quick, effective (I think so anyway) old school style bases. My method is based on the Old School 'Eavy Metal one; Goblin Green with a Bilious Green drybrush over the top. Bang and you are done! But I was never satisfied with the result, yet wanted something quick and easy that allows for variation but didn't take hours of fiddly work to complete. 

Right, let's have a look at my method.

Step One: For this you will need a good green (Wooodland, Goblin or any similar colour - you can see I am using AP green at the moment for mine), a brighter green (here I use Bilious), Bleached Bone and White. A brown ink and a yellow ink are also essential. Oh, and sand! I use my own mixture of sands from beaches, fishtanks and Reception Class sand trays.
Step Two: Stick your sand down on your base using whatever method you use. I use superglue or PVA depending how soon I want the base to dry. Depending on how well the sand has stuck down, I sometimes give the base a watery wash of PVA as an additional assurance that the sand isn't going to fall off later.
Step Three: Paint your base colour all over your base. Depending on the size of the grains of sand you are using, I occasionally use a little PVA in this mix. It can initially change the tone of the paint, but by the time the stuff has dried you cannot even tell its been used. 
Step Four: The classic drybrush of Bilious Green is here! In fact, this was where a lot of old school mini's basing stopped actually. I can see why, imagining doing this for blocks of 20, or 30 troops in one go! You would be there all day!
Step Five: Time to use the ink. Mix the yellow 4:1 with water, though different proportions achieve differing effects, and splodge the stuff on in a fairly naturalistic, blobbing way. Don't worry if the tone seems shocking and un-natural, as it dries the ink will lose its vibrancy and blend with the green.
Step Six: Before the yellow ink begins to dry, apply the brown ink around the outside of the base and irregularly splodge around. Again, try and be naturalist here. The two inks will blend in places and a controlled amount of this is good. Try not to merge the two inks too much though, or you will end up with a muddy, unsightly colour.
Step Seven: When the ink is totally dry, your next job is to drybrush Bleached Bone over the top of the whole base. I tend to use a big, old brush from this job as it can be quite knackering on your kit. Allow this to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next stage.
Step Eight: Apply a final drybrush of white over the whole base, but not quite as thoroughly as before. I usually focus my efforts on the rim of the base and work inwards here. Then wait for the white paint to dry well.
Step Nine: Return to the yellow ink once more, again with the 4:1 mix with water. Splodge on the ink with more random aplomb but don't worry about following any particular pattern. Again, the tone will seem quite bright so leave the ink to dry thoroughly before painting the rim of the base in whatever way your prefer.
Completed Base: And you are done!
Well, what do you think?



  1. Excellent! I've been wondering what technique you used to get the results you do and now I know, gonna have to give it a shot myself!

  2. Looks fantastic and not a speck of flock. Very interesting.