Painting Mechanicus Bases Quick and Dirty.

Painting Mechanicus Bases Quick and Dirty.

I’m trying to finish up the latest batch of Salamanders between commissions, and part of that is basing them.

If you want more your bases to look more interesting than just flock, pre-made bases like these are the easiest solution. There are lots of interesting ones out there made by third parties, but I’ve had trouble with them being out of stock when I need them. Plus you have to wait for them to ship… These on the other hand are available at lots of stores in town, they look great, and are priced pretty fairly per base. I do wish I could get the different sizes individually though.

I started off just spraying them down with some rustoleum. I’d never use it for miniatures, but it’s cheap and I’m not worried about detail loss because these are just bases. It’s also about the right color. If you can find something a little darker it might work a bit better though.

Then it’s time for some salt weathering. I use my airbrush to spray water on all the bases before sprinkling them with a generous amount of salt. The water helps the salt stick a little and if it dissolves and re-crystallizes some when it dries it can help with the corroded look. I used a fancy chunky salt but in the past I’ve just used regular table salt and in hindsight I think I prefer it.

Here it is once the water has dried.

Then I airbrush on a yellow ochre. I mixed it to match a vallejo color that came as part of a set but that I’ve been unable to find individually.

Then a blast of white to add a little variety.

Once the paint has dried I run them under the sink and scratch off the salt with a wire brush. The scratches this leaves are definitely considered to be a bonus.

I tried to get a lot some variety on the scratches for this picture but as you can see I prefer lots of them. Too many though and there’s really no point so don’t go too crazy.

If you want you can stop at the last step, but I decided to keep going with a wash of Agrax Earth. I did this while the bases were still wet from being washed in the sink. It helps cut down on the ink used just a bit, and will help make sure it coats evenly.

Unfortunately it sometimes seems to create another problem. I’ve noticed lately that GWs washes sometimes leave a white layer when they dry. Sometimes they even crack like some of their effects paints. I’m still trying to figure out a workaround for this because I don’t really know what I’d do without these washes. Agrax Earth doesn’t seem to be particularly bad about doing this, but proceed with caution.

While the ink is still wet I dab on a little Trollslayer Orange for rust. I think I used a bit much this time since it bled out to cover the whole base while drying. It looks more interesting when limited to a smaller area.

Here they are after drying. They were very wet so it took all night. This is why I began on these bases before I’d completely finished the Salamanders. I was still working on them while these were drying.

The last step was to very gently drybrush them with Menoth White Highlight. GW doesn’t make anything that quite matches this off white. White Scar will probably work about as well.

This was enough for me, but if you want to add a little more variety you could try drybrushing just a few areas with something like Fenrisian Gray in just a few areas before going for the white. Or you could experiment with different colored inks. Obviously you could take the time to paint all the metal bits individually but I think they look ok without it. The time it would take to work my brush in between all those cracks and pick out all those pipes and cables is more than I’m willing to invest in bases for a tabletop army.

I always like to glue the models to the bases before I cut them out. There’s not much of a practical reason for this other than it makes them all a little easier to hold on to.

~Hope that was helpful for whatever project you were working on. I should have pictures of finished wave 4 Salamanders soon.

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