Scenic Bases Part 2 – Quick and Easy Paint Job

By: Kitbasha Jay

On Monday we built some scenic bases for our 40k or AoS armies. Today I’m going to show you some simple painting techniques. We’re going to take cork and sand and turn it into some awesome looking rocky bases.

As a primer and basecoat I always start with a “Burnt Umber” colour. In this case I’m using Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Satin Espresso. I purchased a large can of it specifically for terrain projects. The first step is getting them covered with the rust paint. Just like the PVA glue in Monday’s blog, make sure to paint both the tops and bottoms of your bases to ensure that it doesn’t warp. It might still warp a little but this technique will ensure that it is minimized.

painted brown

Leave this stuff overnight to dry. It probably only takes a few hours but I like to do stuff like this before bed so that it gets a chance to dry and harden overnight. Once we have a good layer of rust paint on the bases we can really begin painting.

The first colour we’re going to use is Dawnstone. I take a standard brush and with an overbrush technique, paint all of the cork areas that didn’t get covered with sand. This is basically the area around the rim of each cork layer. Also paint any areas on the flat areas on top that didn’t get sand.

rock areas painted grey

Next we’re going to paint the flat sand areas. For this I use Mornfang Brown. With a heavy dry brush go over all of the areas that have sand on them. This will bring up the brown another layer before we add the final highlight. You can use any medium brown colour for this step. I like Mornfang. You could also use Baneblade Brown or Snakebite Leather or something in that range. It totally depends on what colour palette you like.

base with Mornfang Brown drybrush

The final step is probably predictable if you regularly follow my Terrain Tutorials. We’re going to do a very light drybrush of Ushabti Bone on the entire base. This unites all the colours and completes the base with a nice bright highlight. It’s this step that really makes the base pop.

Ushabti Bone drybrush

Pro Tip: Make sure that when you’re at this stage you do a really light drybrush. It’s better to go on too light and have to go over it again than go on too heavy at first and ruin your previous steps.

Finally we’re going to add some static grass into the mix. For these bases I chose a desert grass. The only motivation for this was that I have an abundance of it and rarely use it. In fact, I didn’t originally plan to make these desert bases. If I had I would have used different colours for the rocks. But this will look absolutely amazing anyway and it’s the easiest way I can recommend you paint bases and still have them look awesome.

Pro Tip: Use the static grass to cover any mistakes or areas of the base that you’re not really happy with. Any spots that got too heavy of a drybrush or lack of one. Also cover any areas where the original colour of the sand might still be showing through.

Final Product

I hope you all enjoyed this little project for this week. I’d love to see what you guys produce as a result of reading this week’s articles. Also I’d love to hear other techniques that people employ when making scenic bases for their models.

Please comment on this blog or leave a comment on our Facebook or Instagram pages. Also feel free to email me at

This was my cheap and quick way of basing a large number of models with scenic bases. It took some time but the entire bunch more or less cost me about $5. So make yourself some sweet scenic bases. You won’t have to break the bank.

Until our next Encounter!

Leave a Reply