Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tutorial: Building custom industrial bases

In this tutorial I will show you how I built some simple and effective industrial bases for a Necromunda gang I am currently assembling. These bases were made primarily out of plasticard with some greenstuff used for the toxic water. The bases were then painted using a brush and airbrush. This tutorial will show you how to quickly make these bases.

-bases (25mm round bases used in this tutorial)
-plasticard of various thicknesses
-greenstuff (optional)
-1/16" hole punch (optional)
-utility knife
-decals (optional)
-plastic glue (for proper sheet styrene)
-super glue (for plasticard from for sale signs)
-Citadel sprue clipping tool

These are the materials I used. You can substitute in parts for most of the different parts used. I used a mix of Evergreen styrene (thicker plasticard, tubes, pipes, etc) and cheap plasticard from for sale signs ($1 each at a dollar store). You can get a 1/16" hole punch from hobby stores like Michaels (in Canada and the US). Otherwise, you can use greenstuff or beads or plastic rod to create rivets.

Step 1
Cut out plasticard shapes to cover part or all of your base. I tried to create interesting shapes using right angles. Plan out approximately what you think each base might look like. Use multiple layers to create depth and interest. Add pipes and pipes cut in half. Use super glue for gluing for sale sign plastic. Plastic glue will work for high quality plasticard.

Step 2
Trim the plasticard. I used the citadel clipping tool or a pair of craft wire clippers to clip the plasticard off around the outside of the base. Try to get it close to flush with the base. Be careful to cut only a small section at a time. Next, use your utility knife to trim the edges of the plastic further. You want to get it as smooth as possible using the knife. Be careful not to cut yourself! Finally, use a file to file the plasticard smooth (I tried using sandpaper but it roughed up the edge of the base too much).

Step 3
Add details to your base. I used the 1/16" hole punch to punch out rivets from some plasticard and then glued them on using super glue. I cut some chips out of the plasticard and scored the plasticard in some places.

Step 4
Add greenstuff water and details. I used greenstuff to create some small water sections on the bases. I also used it to create a band over the pipe in one section.

Step 5
Prime your bases as normal and paint them as you like. I experimented with using my airbrush for a lot of the painting. I used the airbrush to paint the grey, yellow, and green water and to add the dirt and shading on the bases. I added a few decals from the Cadian box set. To airbrush the water I based it in Vallejo Model Air Olive Drab and highlighted up to a mix of Citadel (old) Camo Green and white. The decking was painted with Vallejo grey primer, USA grey, and light grey. The dirt weathering was added with Vallejo Model Air Dark Earth. I washed the metal with Gryphon Sepia. I did chips with a dark brown with some dots of metal in the middle.

After this is all finished I will mount the models by drilling small holes and pinning the models in place. I will then matte varnish the bases and paint gloss varnish over the water areas.

Thanks for visiting. Please post any questions you have and I will be happy to answer them. What do you think of the areas where the water extends onto the lip of the base? I would love to hear some opinions on it. I am planning to keep it as it looks different and interesting but I am curious to hear what others think of it. Thanks.


  1. So effective - and the colour scheme is great - I hadn't thought of using the airbrush to paint bases before.

  2. same as easy as fast way to build and paint, but looks line an airbrush lack of accuracy and fine detail, but anyway it is fast and smooth.
    by the way, i've been wondering: are you making bases and then posing a miniature to match it or vice versa?

  3. Wow, that is spectacular, now I kinda want to put some serious work into my CSM basing.

  4. Thanks everyone.

    Rogue Pom-I'm not sure if it was faster or not. I've been trying to use it for more detail work though.

    Pijamas Gagarin-Yes, the airbrush is not as precise as using a brush. THe dirt was not as precise as I wanted, but overall I am pleased with the effect. I will fit the models to the bases once they are painted. I built them in a way that it shouldn't be too hard to fit them on.

    Ian-Glad you like them. It would be quite a lot of work for a full army.

  5. Really nice tutorial, those bases look awesome.

    I used mostly the same materials to make the industrial base on my Arbitrator conversion.

    I used my circle punch to put a layer of plasticard on the bottom of the base so that I could cut into the top and create recessed details.

    The only problem I ran in to was the need to paint that area first, then affix the mesh over it and paint the rest of the base afterward.

    Absolutely loving your blog so far, so many great conversions/sculpts.

    Keep it up.

  6. That's a great tutorial!
    I'll add you to my blog roll to spread this tutorial around!


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