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Step-by-step tutorial: cheap Terrorgheist swamp/tar-pit base

Borgnine

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True Blood
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Jun 15, 2013
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1,904
#1
So! When I started doing my terrogheist base with the intention of using what I already have at home I thought - why not document all the process and make it a tutorial? So, here it is xD The TG base is kinda specific, but some tricks could be helpful in other areas ;)

What is used in this tutorial:
- 100x150 base
- pva glue
- 3mm x 3mm balsawood sticks
- wooden dust [I'll explain below]
- plasticine
- small greenstuff balls
- tissues
- super glue
- sand & pebbles
- citadel paints & 'ardcoat
- TG bits and optional decorative bits

Okay. On the first picture you can see the basic framework. I already positioned the stones on which the TG is standing - and made a place for the optional SGK to stand - inspired, once again by Rob Hawkins. It's supposed to work like THIS. I positioned the 20mm base where I thought he would not interfere with the TG and glued 3mm x 3mm balsa sticks there - I also use them to build my unit trays. I also placed some decorative bits, glued to stones to set the range of the swamp pool and outlined it with a pencil.



After that - as you can see still on the picture above - I cut/filed the edges of the balsawood square, to make it slope easier into the rest of the base. After that I build the hill to cover the balsawood and some additional mounds with plasticine. I know it doesn't harden by itself like Milliput or GS, but we'll make it sturdy soon enough and the base isn't exactly a heavyworking construction element ;)



Next - I covered the plasticine with single layer of common tissue.



And then - I put super glue on the tissue - it absorbs the glue, hardens, joins with the plasticine and makes a rough surface to which sand glues neatly.



Next thing - my pva-glue-woodendust mix ;) At first I mixed pva glue with a bit of water - about 3:1 and then started adding the dust.

About the dust - my father had stored much of it after some sawing/filing so it was easy for me, but it is easy to make by filing a twig to a container. When it mixes with pva glue it becomes lightweight wood-concrete xD It makes very rough shapes - I used it to create a border for the swamp pool, but I think that it would also make a very sweet cave floor for night goblins army or something xD

The mixture needs to be wet to actually spread and build with it, but also solid enough to not collapse into a puddle under it's own weight - after some trying it is easily attainable.



And using it I made a border for the pool.

You can also see that I added GS - small greenstuff balls which I cut into kinda-halfs and then glued to the base where the pool will be. The wooden dust takes some time to dry so it's a good moment to add this.



It becomes darker as it hardens and dries and looks not unlike cookie dough being cooked :rolleyes: I tried to speed the process using the heat of my lamp, but the plasticine started to 'sweat' from beneath the tissues - I don't know what that was, but I didn't like it - so be warned :)

In the meantime I also glued some larger pebbles onto the base - it makes it more interesting ;)



When it's ready it's time to sand the base as you would normally - I only did it in phases so that the glue won't dry while I was still applying it ;)



When that dries - it's time for paint! I did my usual routine for the bases:
- spraycoat black / painted black
- heavy, heavy, 'wet' drybrush of raw umber acrylic paint - I use it because it's cheaper that citadels - it's similiar to Scorched Brown.
- heavy drybrush of Mournfang / Bestial Brown
- drybrush of Steel Legion Drab / Graveyard Earth
- light drybrush of Ushabti / Bleached Bone

Stones get the same treatment with the difference that the Bone drybrush is heavier and then there's also White drybrush.

On the last picture you can see that I painted the scenery too - I wanted to have everything painted before I stared adding the swamp.



And now it's time for the swamp/tarpit!

I am using a water + pva glue mixture to get the liquid for the base. At first I tried using a 1:1 mix and then 2:1 with more glue, but that wasn't a good idea. I'll explain later why.



All the swamp painted with watered glue:



And after drying - as you can see - it was way to watery, pooled close to the bubbles, stones and scenery and didn't leave almost anything on the actual surface.



So, the next mixture was more like 3:1 or 4:1 with less water than glue. It became more viscous and seemed kinda uneven at first.



Beware of the glueswamp, little zombies - one mistake and you could be stuck forever!



And after drying - it's much better, but there is still some base-texture there.



So I added yet another layer of thick mixture - and this time, after it dried - it was good enough for me. :thumbsup: Using so much water made it stick very much to anything in the swamp so it looks very thick and viscous - but it's all right when it's tar - you need to use more glue and less water when trying to make something more less thick, like blood or normal swamp ;)



When it dried it's time for painting. I painted it black using a big brush - the glue absorbed water quickly so to make an even layer of paint you need to brush kinda quickly - but even if there are some faults, you can always paint it once again ;)

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Too much blackness was kinda dull, so I decided to go all watercolour on it. I washed all the swamp with water and then mixed some greenish and watered-down paint and then put little splotches of it onto the water - it flows and dissolves in the paint, creating watery/swampy effects.

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And after that is done it's time for the 'Ardcoat - or any glossy varnish to be precise. It's important here to use a soft and big brush and also to water down the varnish a bit - it need to flow freely and make an even surface. I did three layers of it. The last one was pure varnish straight out of the pot with water added later - I poured some drops of water on it and then tilted it until water created a smooth surface. Be careful for anything to land in the varnish while it's drying - I got two small hairs inside and it's impossible to get it out without destroying large portion of the varnishing :slapface: Leave it on a even and horizontal surface and wait for it to dry - and it's ready! xD

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I'll add static grass after all the model is done and I'll update the tutorial accordingly.

Now it only misses the terrorgheist ;) I'll glue it here later and repaint a little the stones on which it's connected.

I'm sorry if I was a little too verbose - but I hope I'll help with this at least someone, if not with a terrorgheist base, then maybe with some other tricks presented here.
 

Theerteen

Cheerful Cranium
True Blood
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,431
#5
This is so going to be my TG base as well!

Are you sure you don't wanna marry me? I have long hair and can cook, if this is the problem:ghost:
 

Borgnine

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Jun 15, 2013
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#6
I'm very glad that you like it :) Thank you all for the comments.

and Theerteen... please do show your base when it's finished, but the other issue - you're surely a persistent one ;) If you want my works, wouldn't it be easier to wait a bit for when I'll start doing warhammer things for money, rather than exchanging lifelong supply of wifely services for them? xD
 

Borgnine

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Jun 15, 2013
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#8
And so do I [isn't that quite an undead thing to do?] - and I think we can still be friends ;)
 
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
360
#9
@Borgnine
probably a silly question but, where do you get sand? I've never tried to use sand. I tried cat litter at first and it was a nightmare. I used basing gravel but its all the exact same size and looks bad. Now I use texture paint. You have this mixed grain sand that looks great, not sure how I could get that, maybe I need to plan a vacation to the beach .. lol.
 

Borgnine

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Jun 15, 2013
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#10
I surely didn't expect to see a reply in this thread!

My sand comes from a beach, literally. I still use one my brother brought me years ago - even if you cannot go visit a beach, there may be some friends who could help bringing a plastic jar of sand ;) If that's not available, you can always look outside - there's soil of various kinds everywhere. When I found my sand too uniform, I mixed some pebbles found 2 metres from the door of my house. There's always some sand by building sites too. It shouldn't be hard to find.

Other than that, I think I've seen some non-uniform-size sand in a wargaming store, on the same shelf where they keep static grass.
 
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
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#11
@Borgnine
This base is amazing. Its no less relevant than the day you posted it.

I'm trying to get better with basing. Its tough, you don't want to take focus away from your model, but you want to frame it by making it stand in awesome scenery. Mainly I just use texture paint and cork to make 'muddy dirt' bases and rocks.
I want to do a wet-muddy graveyard look but I don't really know how to pull it off. I've seen some tutorials with water effects.

I love the buried weapon look. Funny - I actually did this a little on a durthu base I was working on a couple weeks ago:


But yours is so much better with multiple buried weapons. The shield sinking in the bog is so cool. I think that I will try a swamp base for my custom zombie dragon.
 

Borgnine

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#12
At this point, maybe I should post the finished version:

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I think that no matter how elaborate your basing is, the miniature is still standing way higher than everything else and there's no problem of overshadowing, that's why I try to make my bases at least as good and fancy as the model themselves. When the base is much bigger, it's most often a diorama or a scenic competition piece - and those go by other set of rules than tabletop miniatures.

If you want to make a swamp base I can show you THIS tutorial, done by @Leithel It's pretty elaborate, but the general principles still apply. I messes around with water effects only once and it wasn't much of a success. I used vallejo water effect - it has only one element and it cures when exposed to air - unfortunately it shrinks when dries and needs an assload of layers, I wouldn't recommend it. If you want to have an opaque swamp, doing something like I showed in this tutorial should work nicely.

As for the weapons, I also like the effect they give, especially when you'll make a 'field of blades' of sorts. I tried it on my Necrosphinx. If arranged rightly, they can create a nice composition for a character. The main problem is finding 'free' weapons without any hands - or scraping away those ;)
 
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