Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How To: Snow Basing

Keeping with the hopes of making this site an instructional tool, I've decided to take the camera on a little trip with me as I finished a commission for a customer. These Ogres were painted for one of our better customers, who I will refer to simply as "The Bartender".

For this project, you'll need Elmer's Glue, Snow Flock (I've used Woodland Scenics' snow flock, pictured above), Static Grass, a throwaway brush and a small tray to mix in.

To begin, you'll need some finished models to work with. Have everything painted, based and sealed before you begin the process.

Once you have some models to play with, you'll want to lay out a rough patching of flock on them. Any color flock can work, as long as it fits your models color scheme. Here, I've used Gale Force 9's "Parched Straw" static grass (shown above).

Next, you'll want to mix up your snow. Dump some snow flock and glue into your mixing tray and use the back of your brush to mix the two togeather, adding water as needed. There is no golden ratio to this step, the best way to describe the desired mix is: "Mix to a mashed potato consistency". Your mix should look like this:

Once you have your mix ready, take your brush and start dabbing it on the base of the model. Don't worry about getting the snow mixed in with the static grass; on the contrary, you want it to look like the snow has been caked and matted into the grassy patches. If you're gotten your mix right, you'll notice the snow start to level out on its own once you dab it down (shown below).

After you have your mix dabbed onto the model, you'll want to grab a pinch of your un-mixed snow flock. Sprinkle this over the still wet mix you've just laid down on the model. This will give the snow more texture since, as mentioned above, the mix tends to flatten itself out and become too smooth looking (sprinkled base shown below).

Repeat this process for the rest of your models; dabbing on the mix and then sprinkling them with the snow flock.

Your results should look a little something like this:

I hope this tutorial has given a little confidence to those who need it. Trying a new basing technique on models you've spent hours painting is always daunting.

As with all skills though, practice makes perfect. Get out there and try this on a few test models until you feel confident enough in your ability to turn out consistent results.

It should be noted that you can seal the snow after you've finished the process, but I've gotten varying results on how this affects the grass and the overall look of the snow.

As always, comments and questions are welcome and, indeed, helpfull.

Special thanks to "The Bartender" for the use of his models.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been petrified of doing Snow Basing, since I always assumed there was a golden ratio of snow, glue and water... I will have to give this a try on some of my new Space Wolves. Thanks for the tips.

    Those guys in the background (of the last picture) don't look too much like Ogres... it looks a bit more like an Ork Dread Mob army... Sheesh, what cheesy bum would play that? (The grot tanks look awesome.)