How to Make Realistic Cracked Ice Bases for Miniatures & Wargames Models – 2019
Last Updated on November 1, 2019 by FauxHammer
This is an older Brushstroke tutorial. We’re covering how to make realistic Cracked Ice Bases. This method can be applied to any type of base you can get your hands on.
I also made a post on Static Grass bases, which may be worth a look.
If you want to check out my updated, video version of this guide, please see below.
How to Make Realistic Cracked Ice Bases – Paints & Tools
How to Make Realistic Cracked Ice Bases – Tutorial
Start by cutting the middle out of your base.
Paint the inside of the base rim white, as this will be visible through your ice and the original black plastic will look ugly.
Glue the base to a piece of thin clear plastic. The plastic from a blister pack, for example, would be perfect.
Once the glue is fully set and you’re sure it is sealed all the way around, trim the excess plastic from the base.
Fill the base with Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, leaving a 1mm gap from the top to allow for the crackle paint later.
Allow at least 24 hours for the resin to fully set fully and become completely clear.
Once the Woodland Scenics Realistic Water has set, Use some dilute wash to tint it. I opted for a Turquoise Ink from P3.
Once the wash has dried, fill the remaining space in the base with clear crackle paint. I used Distress Crackle Paint by Ranger.
The crackle paint does shrink, as you might expect, so it is advised to allow for this by adding enough paint so it is actually domed above the top of the base.
When set it will reduce down to no longer be domed.
Allow at least 24 hours for the crackle paint to fully set and for the cracks to finish forming.
Glaze all of the crackle paint with a dilute wash to match the under layer.
Apply neat wash to the deeper cracks. A good tip to do the deeper cracks is to load your brush with wash and simply touch it to the crack where it meets the base rim. This allows the wash to run down the crack and fill it nicely.
Drybrush the surface with white to give a frosted look. You can add as much or as little white drybrush as you want at this stage, just build it up slowly until you reach a look you’re happy with.
As a final step, paint the rim colour to compliment your miniature. I opted for black, to give a strong contrast against the ice effect.
And that’s it!
Give it a go yourself and be sure to send me pics of how you get on.
You can now choose to use this as the base for your miniatures or build up more element from here. I went on to add an overhanging rock with snow and icicles to act as a platform for my mini, leaving the cracked ice showing underneath.
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