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December 20, 2012

Warmachine: Making a Custom Base for Hyperion

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An epic paint job on an epic model deserves a suitably epic base.  In this article award-winning painter Steven Garcia (Torka-Thor) continues his work on the Hyperion explaining how he made the custom base that took his Hyperion up an extra notch.  

After looking through the Retribution artwork, I wanted his base to be a combination of crumbled Iosan architecture and forest overgrowth leaning more toward the architecture . After drawing out a rough layout I went to work....

I used thicker sheets of hardboard as the base of the stairs and an additional layer of plasticard to create a lip for added extravagance...Elves are always making fancy things. With Hyperion being so top heavy and to preserve the paint job, as much as a gaming model can be preserved lol, the back of the base was intended to be a rock sheet to give me something to grab ahold of and save on materials in the bases construction. The visible hardboard in the pic is where the rocks will be built up. 

 The Iosan sigil was drawn out on a thinner sheet of plasticard, almost paper thin, to break up the flat area of the top stair(....and because Elves are fancy) before being cut out and centered on the base. The initial placement of the rocks was also set using pink foam using fine basalt to fill in some of the gaps as the glue dries. At this point I'm not too worried about how this looks because it'll have another layer of foam put down along with a layer of Milliput to give it the strength needed to use as a handling point for Hyperion. 

Continuing to build up and shape the rocks I put another layer of foam on them to fill out their bulk before giving them a basic shape. I applied Milliput to fill in all the gaps between the base and two layers of foam. To add some more texture and variance to the base, I stuck a cast elven head to represent a fallen statue on the base (thanks for the original to cast Kurt). 

Another layer of Milliput went onto the foam. I used a piece of bark and a rock to press in the texture.

After all the Milliput dried, I used an exacto knife and file to add in some hard cuts and lines into the rock mass. To finish up the base, I broke up some GaleForce9 concrete rubble pieces, added patches of fine basalt and applied a layer of textured spray paint to the whole base to give it additional texture and add to the fallen/derelict feel of the whole thing. Most textured spray paints come out pretty heavy so just do one or two short “bursts” from about a foot out from the model itself.

 The base was primed flat black and the base colors were airbrushed on. 

Iosan Marble: 50/50 P3 CoalBlack/Menoth White Base 
Rocks: Citadel Foundation Khermi Brown 
Dirt: P3 Umbral Umber

Iosan Marble: P3 Menoth Base light drybrush followed by a heavier stipple. 
Rocks: Citadel Agrax Earthshade Wash followed by 50/50 Khermi Brown/Menoth White Base drybrush 
Dirt: Menoth White Base drybrush
Using Menoth White as the mid tone for so many of the base elements cuts down on time and helps to unify the base scheme, also helping it not overwhelm Hyperion once he’s mounted.

Iosan Marble: P3 Menoth White Highlight drybrush
Rocks: 1/3 Khermi Brown/Menoth White Base drybrush 
Dirt: Menoth White Highlight light drybrush
Iosan Marble: P3 Morrow White drybrush; P3 Coal Black watered down for the veins of the marble. On these it's best to start with a really watered down mix (8:1 water:paint) and twist the brush in irregular patterns as it's drawn across the surface. The twists will accumulate more pigment and lay the foundation for the darker tones in the lines. From here you can add more paint into the mix and darken those spots to your liking.
Rocks: Menoth White Base drybrush
Dirt: Citadel Agrax Earthshade wash

Iosan Marble: Agrax Earthshade wash; use this to add in soft shadows and that “tinge” of dirt that marble exposed to the elements and general wear and tear produce.
Rocks: Citadel Biel-Tan Green wash to the deepest recesses 
Dirt: Citadel Nuln Oil Wash in deepest recesses and along edges were it meets the marble to help separate the two further.
-GF9 Winter static grass was applied sparingly. Its shade adds to the aged look and dulls the base down so it doesnt hog the attention from Hyperion.
-Oregano leaves were applied.

~ Hopefully this will inspire some more awesome Colossal bases from the rest of you hobbyists out there.
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