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