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Workshop Wednesday: Urban Bases

After what is probably months of hiatus, I figure I should start Workshop Wednesdays again, as a way to get back into the swing of painting and modelling things. Workshop Wednesdays will be a combination of modelling and painting tips, walkthroughs, as well as reviews and WIPs of all the things I’m currently working on. As long as it’s painting and modelling, it’ll be on Workshop Wednesdays.

So welcome back to Workshop Wednesdays, and I hope you guys like what you see here! We start off with something all bases should have, nice scenic bases. Sometimes I go with your basic sand and flock, but usually nice large bases clamour out for something a little bit more exciting. I did a sort of urban base with some barbed wire for my Beast 09, and here I’ll walk you guys through how I’ll do something similar for some 40k bases I’m working on for my Ork army.

First up, you’ll want to throw in some points of interest. Random bits are probably one of the best and easiest ways to do so; you usually have some store of bits that you’ve accumulated over the years that you don’t know what to do with, so just throw some in! If you don’t have any spare bits, you can always, grab them off your friends (who might not know what to do with them), buy them online (a slightly more expensive proposition) or find a modelling store that sells historical miniatures. These usually sell sprue kits of random waterbottles, sacks and the like which you can use on your minis. If you want you can even buy a tank to hack apart. As you can see here I just threw in a tank from a burna boy. This can also easily be applied to Warmachine, Flames of War or any other urban type miniatures game. All you need to do is just switch any game specific bits out.

You can also make your own urban terrain with sprues and plasticard. Clipping up sprues will get you short rectangles of plastic, which can easily be passed off as bricks or rubble. Your local hobby store may also sell specialty plasticard sheets or tubes. The sheets have texture allowing you to pass it off as metal grating and the like. In this case I got plasticard I-beams, which I cut out and epoxied to the base in the form of tank traps.

Speaking of tank traps, urban bases can always be spruced up with a little bit of barbed wire. You can buy barbed wire, but you can also make it easily enough.

Go buy some jewelry wire, then fashion it into a loop, tying one end in a knot. Take two long sticks (I just used brushes) and put one in each end of the loop. And then twist!

Eventually you’ll get it all twisted up like so.

Find something nice to coil it around, and then snip off whatever length you need, and you’re done! Glue sand down to the base (maybe with some extra rocks like I did), and you can start priming and painting it up!

Well, I hope you like 2011’s return to Workshop Wednesdays, and that this was useful to you. If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them!


Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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