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Monday, January 19, 2015

+ inload: Ice basing +

+ inload: Ice basing +

+ Brr! It's cold enough to freeze the hydrogen welds from a steel-carbon alloy servitor. What better time than to show the results of a bit of experimentation in the field (ho ho) of snow basing? +

+ A few years back I saw a second-hand Realm of Battle board being sold cheaply. It was painted with a snow theme, and I've been basing my current crop of Ultramarines to fit in. Up until recently, I'd been using Games Workshop's textured paint, Mourn Mountain Snow, and giving it a light drybrush of Vallejo white. That gave the following effect:

+ Effective from a distance, but a bit dull, and not very attractive. It does have the benefit of being quick and easy, but I wasn't really very happy with it, so I've been looking for a way to update the force before I get too far. Here's my findings:

+ Bring on the cold + 

+ Using the following four paints: Vallejo Model Colour White, Citadel Mourn Mountain Snow, Skavenblight Dinge and Dryad Bark, I painted four bases. +

+ From left: Skavenblight Dinge and Dryad Bark directly onto the base; Mourn Mountain Snow drybrushed white; Mourn Mountain Snow with diluted Skavenblight Dinge and Dryad Bark washed over; Mourn Mountain Snow overlaid with Skavenblight Dinge and Dryad Bark. +

+ I then mixed up my snow. Using an old blister pack as a palette, I squeezed out a small amount of PVA and diluted it with a few drops of water. I then poured on some Bicarbonate of Soda (note this is not the same as baking powder) and used an old brush to mix it up. The consistency was fluid, but slightly gritty – a bit like toothpaste directly from the tube. +

+ This was then applied to the bases using the same old brush. I lifted over a fair amount, then smeared it over the base. I found wetting the brush allowed me to create smoother drifts, while using a dry brush allowed for more textural effects. +

+ The applied 'snow', applied over the dried bases above (just paint; just textured paint, textured paint washed with colours, textured paint overlaid with colour). This was then allowed to dry overnight. +

+ Once dry, I ended up with the following. As you can see, they're all fairly similar. I was anticipating that the results would be crumbly or fragile, but in fact it's dried rock-hard. So hard, in fact, that it's going to be a pain to trim these back to get figures on them! I'd recommend that you finish you figure and base before applying the snow. It's not particularly sticky while wet, so it's easy to brush off your model if some gets in the wrong place. +

+ Pure paint created a smooth result; but I think I prefer the textured ones as they give a better sense of scale. My favourite is the one on the right; overpainted textured paint. Here's a close-up of that one:

+ So, a successful experiment, all done with bits and pieces from around the house. +

+ Snow bases +

+ Here's a shot of the same technique in place on miniatures:


  1. Love the models to start. Also liking the snow effect as use it myself, just wanted to note that I found using the cheapy own brand stuff from UK supermarkets you get a slightly smoother consistency, less grit.
    Might not be what you're after but just in case.

    1. Ta for that. I'd heard a few comments that own brand bicarb is just as good as the dedicated stuff. It certainly seems to give more convincing effects than the GW white flock stuff, in my opinion.

  2. saw your snow effect and i love it! I overdid the water the first time round but i manage to drain some away to get to it


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