For starters I'll go over the paints used in this tutorial (regarding the basic painting of the ground texture.) These paints are all from the Citaldel/GW line. Astrogranite, Dawnstone, Pallid Wych Flesh, Ceramite White, Agrax Earthshade, Seraphim Sepia, Nuln Oil, Abbadon Black.
I'm using a flat 30mm base from Wyrd for this demonstration, but you can use a slotted base by simply covering the slot with some tape or filling in the slot with some cork and super glue!
We will begin by covering the base with a layer of Astrogranite. I found that taking a liberal amount out with a brush and roughly spreading it around on the base helps to build up texture. I then took the side of my brush (as shown) and "stamped" all around the base to remove and clumps and create some more texture while the texture paint was drying.
Once this had dried I went back over the texture paint with a little more Astrogranite, this time with less paint on my brush just to build up some more texture in spots that were lagging a little. (I would recommend using a hairdryer in between each layer as it helps to speed the drying time immensely!)
After this second layer had dried I took a medium dry-brush and some Dawnstone paint and lightly went over the base 2-3 times in many different directions to build up a highlight along the upper edges of the texture.
Once this had dried I moved on to dry-brushing Pallid Wych Flesh (this time lighter than the Dawnstone) in many directions across the base to give it even more of a 3 dimensional look.
For the final highlight I lightly (and I mean lightly!) dry-brushed some Ceramite White over the base to get just the very ends of the texture. Once we begin shading the base it will become more apparent why it is key to highlight all the way to white as it will become much more dulled down with the shading!
The first shade begins by washing Nuln Oil over the base, mainly focusing on the recesses. Don't go too heavy handed here as we have a few more layers of shading to add. (It's much easier to add more shading if the base looks like it needs it in the end, but it isn't so easy to re-highlight after washing! This can create inconsistencies in your base)
Once this has dried I added another shade using Agrax Earthshade. Once again I focused on an even smaller area trying to mainly target the recesses of the base and along the edge line. Using different colors such as browns and sepia on your grey bases can add more character and interest to the base and scheme of your army, and isn't hard to do either!
The final shade is to take some Seraphim Sepia and almost trace the outline of your Agrax Earthshade to create some more interest and different colors on the base. This can make the base look like it has some oil or some other sort of caked compound that is stuck into the dirt. It also adds a nice transitional barrier between the black and brown areas left by the Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade.
Voila! With these easy steps you can paint a quick space / snow / city scape base for your table top army. With a few extra touches (such as static grass, snow, and BLOOD!) you can really make your base come alive! I'll eventually get around to doing a tutorial on blood effects, snow, and different types of static grass you can use on your bases in the future. Thanks for tuning in!