• It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more and sign-up! here.
Why Snow Basing? Well it all started when I first joined CN. I'd just completed my Winged Vampire Lord (for the thread click here) for my Games Workshop's Brotherhood of the Brush Painting competition.

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Many of you fell in love with the model, but more importantly, as many fell in love with the base. Boo asked me to write some tutorials which I was happy to do (the skin tutorial can be found here). Unfortunately, life got in the way of the snow basing and so it got pushed to one side. Story over, let us get on with the show!


You will need:
  • Bases - ready to go with the scatter and paint of your choice!
  • PVA Glue
  • Bicarbonate of Soda (N.B. This is not the same as baking powder) or Snow Scatter
  • White Filler/Tile Adhesive/Grout etc
  • A palette
  • Mixing/Application tools
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and finally...

SotF said:
Before you start with the snow, consider how you're basing it to start with. Pick additions to it that fit the season though there are a minor handful of exceptions). You can't simply use the same green flock you would for other seasons grass or leaves.

This is a key point that SotF raises. You can't just bash snow onto a summer themed Wood Elf. It would just look ridiculous. It's really important to tailor the base accordingly, both in the colour palette and the kind of foliage you might be using. This would mean adding foliage that falls more towards the late autumn/winter side of things. You can get some great materials online, from dead leaves to different flocks and scatters.

My personal favourite is a site called Antenociti's Workshop. They offer a fantastic range of products for scratch building, modelling, painting and basing.
The Army Painter also has some great products that are extremely useful.

Shop around, but don't be adverse to looking at what you have at home first. There are often surprises hidden in your spice rack!

Some examples of materials are below:

Early Autumn Tufts - These are probably a little too green!

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Imaged sourced from Antenociti's Workshop

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Image of Antenociti's Workshop Products @ Mywargaming.files.wordpress.com

So with basing done, you are now ready to make your models all wintery!

The different types of snow

We all know that snow comes in various different forms, depths and temperatures. Alpine snow for example, is light and powdery and often very deep. British snow on the other hand tends to be much wetter, mushier snow.
  • So firstly you need to decide on a consistency for your snow. You may need to experiment first to find one you like.
  • Secondly once you've decided how you want it to look, you need to decide on the type of scatter.
For the richer of you, this may be a scatter from GW or Woodland Scenics. These tend to be quite good as they're designed for this purpose, but they are a little on the pricey side. If like me you want cheap, you can still get great effects with Sodium Bicarbonate (a.k.a Bicarbonate of Soda). As mentioned earlier this is NOT Baking Powder/Soda. Unless you want your snow to turn yellow over time, stay well away from this. It may also be important to mention that if you're using anything other than PVA, make sure it's acid free as this will make the soda foam (it being an alkali). Some PVA glues mix better than others so it might be worthwhile experimenting.

The Process

Ok, so you've got your bases done and you're ready to mount your army.
  • Firstly, you need to think about how you want your snow to look. The key to changing how your snow looks, depends entire on the ratio of glue to scatter. More glue gives a wetter looking snow, and less gives a dryer snow. Like I said earlier, you're probably going to have to play to find one that suits you.
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  • Secondly, you need to mix your scatter into the glue to the consistency you're after. Once you've done that you need to apply it to the bases. Think about how the snow will look in real life. The wetter it is, the more likely it will be on flatter surfaces or near the ground.
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  • To make deep powder - Use the filler to apply a nice thick layer over the area you wish to cover. Once this is dry, use a semi-dry (about 50:50) snow mix and apply this over the top. Whilst the mix is still wet, sprinkle some snow scatter directly of the top and gently blow away any excess.
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  • To make slush - You need to use a very gluey mix for this as it will look more watery when it dries. Use a little more glue around the edges to make it look like it's melting.
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  • To make light snow - For this you will need to simply apply glue to the base and sprinkle the snow scatter on top. Easy!
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  • Here are some others.
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And Finally...

The real trick is to play around. Try out different consistencies, maybe even on the same base if it's big enough. Finally, use your imagination. You may have noticed the icicles on my Vampire's base. This was simply the lip from a box of screws I shaved with a scalpel into a point. You could also use flying bases, although these are rather brittle and don't appreciate going too thin.

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I've also seen frozen lakes done by painting an area on your base and then supergluing a piece from a blister pack onto the top. When the glue sets, it goes cloudy in places. With some of the snow techniques as well, it looks really effective.

Once you've based you miniatures, keep them in a dust free area. The one problem with a vivid white surface is that it attracts dust like flies to the proverbial!

Have a go, play around and remember, the bigger the base, the more you can do! If you have a go, please share your stories and photos!

Happy Basing!
Last edited by a moderator:

Disciple of Nagash

Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
The final effect on this is brilliant, I could imagine doing this with a purple tinge for those cold areas of Shyish...

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