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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!