There are a million different ways you could paint your bases, from flowering fields to ravaged urban zones. Sometimes it’s a little more fun to come up with something slightly more creative though.
The base in this guide is very much inspired by the shadowy, underwater cavern setting of Warhammer Underworlds seasons Harrowdeep and Nethermaze.
Harrowdeep is an ancient structure of inscrutable purpose buried deep beneath the floor of the Shadowsea, that’s part winding labyrinth, part ominous pit.
Located deep beneath the seabed, Harrowdeep is described by locals as the place where the light dies.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Even if you don’t play Underworlds, I’m hoping this guide will come in handy, whether you want to portray the actual underwater environment of the Idoneth Deepkin, or perhaps a gloomy alien world for a Tyranid army.
First, start off with a dark blue undercoat. Kantor blue makes for a nice rich tone which we can add highlights to and shade in the next steps.
The next step is to pick out the colours of other items on the base. On these Warhammer Underworlds bases from The Shadeborn, there are some broken statue parts, some skulls and roots, however your own bases may have different items on.
The recipe for this step is fairly open. Just pick the colour you think each element would be normally and mix the paint with Kantor Blue before applying. The brighter the colour, the more obvious it will be on the final base. As you can see, the roots and bones in ours are a little darker than the golden statue, which means the statue will stand out more on the final result.
Next we want to start applying a bit of a gradient effect, making the centre of the base slightly brighter, and the outsides slightly darker. The first thing we’re going to do to achieve this is to drybrush the central area with Caledor Sky.
After lightening the center, we want to selectively apply a wash of Drakenhof Nighshade to the outer region of the base. You want to leave the majority of the base as it is, and just start to darken the outsides.
If you’re using the same colours as this guide, then usually the wash will have a smooth enough transition that you can apply it directly and let it dry. If you find the wash is leaving a line, then just have a dry or damp brush on hand to ‘feather’ the transition a little.
Once the previous layer is dry, we’re going to do the same thing again, but this time covering even less area and staying closer to the base rim.
You should now be seeing the gradient of colour, but we’re going to push it a tiny bit more with a light drybrush of Temple Guard Blue right at the center.
If you’ve kept your model separate like we have here, then now’s the time to add your model and paint the base rim. If you want some more base inspiration check out how I built and then paint some colourful tiled bases for my Soulblight Direwolves.
If you give it a go, let me know! Leave a comment here or tag me on Instagram at @ajb_minis.
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