Terrain: Ammo Dump

Here’s my Imperial ammo dump. I wanted to have a couple of different features – general boxes, crates, missiles etc and for it to look a little used and abused, but not abandoned.

Finished Ammo Dump

Missile Rack

I started with some trips to car boot sales to pick up some random small boxes and crates. I got a few old Matchbox storage containers and the like, and also some big missiles (which apparently were from some Action Man set – got 3 of them for 10p!). I decided to make a missile rack, so used a little plastic card and a few sprues.

I then laid out the boxes, containers and missiles on A4 paper, marking it all up. This included placing a few miniatures on it as well, to make sure there was room to actually get models between the boxes! From that I made a hardboard base. I use 3mm thick hardboard for most of my terrain bases. When I cut it to size I prefer to keep it fairly rough, rather than measure exactly, so the edges of the bases aren’t too harsh. A bit of light sanding smooths out the edges and rounds off the corners. I then used PVA to stick all the parts onto the base.

Ammo Dump - Layout

I added a few small boxes, control panels on the storage containers and a spot light on top of one of the containers (whatever random bits I had in my bits box). Then I PVA’d the whole base and covered it in sand.

Next was the black undercoat, then a base coat of Regal Blue on the containers, Caliban green on the boxes and missiles and Vallejo Cold Grey on the crate. Then I drybrushed the containers with Ultramarine Blue and the boxes and missiles with Snot Green. The missile rack was drybrushed with Boltgun Metal.

Ammo Dump

For the base I generally do the same for all scenery – after the black undercoat I give it a fairly heavy drybrush with burnt sienna (often 2 coats, depending on how it looks). I use a cheap craft paint from Rymans (Royal & Langnickel). At £1.09 for 59ml that’s less than 2p per ml. Compared to GW’s 20p per ml it makes it a good choice for covering large areas. The quality is fine too (although not sure if I’d want to use it for the detail of a mini). I follow that up with a drybrush of grey (same cheap brand) and finally a drybrush of almond (same cheap brand, but you could use Bleached Bone/Ushabti Bone) to pick out the highlights (this picture only has the burnt sienna at this point).

I also added some transfers – plenty of Imperial Aquilas and a few random numbers – to give things a bit more of an Imperial look about it.

Ammo Dump - Weathered

Next I wanted to make it look a bit older, so I wanted to add some weathering and rust. I used the technique described here for weathering metal. I used a small piece of sponge (from a blister pack) and ‘dabbed’ black onto areas of the containers I wanted to look chipped and rusty. I then painted a little brown onto the black. Finally, I used sepia wash to give a final weathering. It’s really good for weathering/rust where rain would pool, and for streaking down the side where rain would gather and run down.

Ammo Dump - Transfers

Ammo Dump - Transfers

The transfers looked far too ‘clean’ and sharp, given the weathered look everywhere else, so I wanted to make them look like the paint had started to flake and chip off. I used a similar technique to the weathering on the containers. I dabbed the yellow transfers with Ultramarine Blue, so it looks like the yellow paint had worn away revealing the blue underneath.

I gave the missiles some numbers, Boltgun Metal heads and tails, and a generous sepia wash on the metal to weather it. I also added more sepia wash to the grey boxes and missile rack (see 3rd pic below), and generally anywhere else that needed to look a bit more tired/rusty/weathered.

Ammo Dump - Finished

Ammo Dump - Finished

Ammo Dump - Finished

The only thing missing from these pics, is that I gave the rim of the base a solid black coat.

I hope you like the end result. I’m pretty pleased with it!

Painting: Basic Stands

Completed Stand

This is not a paint tutorial! There are better painters out there, plenty of whom have tutorials too. These are more just my techniques, choices of colours etc.

I’ve gone for a gravely/rocky type base. I wanted to avoid green/grass as I have a Biel Tan Eldar army whose primary colour is green, so didn’t want to overdo it on the green!

Preparing

Before any painting, you need to make sure your base is ready. If it’s a slotta type stand, get that nasty slot filled in with some modelling putty/green stuff. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as you’ll be adding flock, but you want to get it relatively flat.

If you’re adding any rocks, skulls or other features, do that now. Then you can add the flock/scatter. You can vary the texture by using different types of flock. I use a fairly light/thin one. You could also use sand, but this can be pretty absorbent and eat up all your paint, but I do use it pretty successfully. I tend to use the lighter flock on figure bases, but sand on larger bases, especially terrain. Sand is pretty cheap (free if you fancy a trip to the beach!), so good for large areas. Whether using flock or sand, colour doesn’t matter as it’ll all get painted anyway.

To add the flock, ‘paint’ a thin layer of PVA glue over the stand, avoiding your figure’s feet as much as possible, and avoiding anywhere else you don’t want the flock. Don’t flock the rim of the stand, it just looks odd! I apply the glue with a piece of card or thin plastic. If you use a brush you’ll quickly ruin it! Then dunk the model into the flock. I keep the flock in an old plastic takeaway box so I can just pop a number of models in at a time. Leave them in for a few minutes and when you take them out, shake off the excess back into the box. You can then use a small paint brush to wipe away any excess flock still on the model, including any where you got over-excited with the PVA. Finally, I give the model a light tap against the table, just to shake off those last loose bits.

Once the glue is dry, you’re ready to paint!

Base Colour

Base-coated Stand

Straight forward – give the whole base a good coat of black. If you’ve undercoated in black, this step might not be necessary.

Main Colour

Main Colour Stand

I’ve gone for classic GW Codex Grey (which is now roughly GW’s Dawnstone, or Vallejo’s Cold Grey (050)). This is the main colour of the stones/rocks/gravel I’m going for.

Give the base a relatively heavy drybrush with this. Depending on the look you’re aiming for, you might want a second coat. You want this to be the ‘main’ colour on the base, with the black underneath there to give some good depth and shadows.

Note: I generally leave the painting of the stand to last. If you get a little stand colour on your figure’s boots, that’s just dirt/mud/whatever getting on their boots – adding realism. If you do it the other way round and get some of the boot colour onto the stand, that looks a tad less realistic!

Highlights

Highlighted Stand

For the highlights, I’ve used Bleached Bone (now Ushabti Bone or Vallejo Bonewhite (034)).

Drybrush the Bleached Bone over the whole stand, but a relatively light coat. Remember, the grey in the previous step is the main colour, the bleached bone is just picking out some detail.

The end result is only a subtle difference, but it is worth doing.

Finishing Touches

Completed Stand

I always give the stand a solid colour rim – in this case Codex/Cold Grey.

You might also want to add other finished touches here – a bit of grass, maybe a touch of Sepia/Umber Shade wash to give more depth, mud etc.

You might have noticed I got a little excited with the grey on the Wraithguard’s boot, so I’ve touched that up a little with green. But as I said earlier, it’s fine to get a little earth/gravel/mud on the model’s boots.

That’s it! Pretty simple really. Quite an easy technique and quick to do, but gives a decent look and consistency across your models. Should be no problem changing this to other colour schemes to give you grass, earth/mud, scorched earth, ice/arctic etc, etc.