Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hobby Guide: Ravenwing Basing - Cork Ruins

Hi guys - Sorry no post all week, I've been very busy with work but you folks don't care about that! Instead,  I have been making some excellent progress with my Ravenwing army.

The army is all airbrushed now with a good fade that I am happy with. It took 30 odd bikes to get there, but we got there! Lol

What I wanted to do with this army was to base it properly. With such a low model count I figured it was well worth putting the effort in, more than just using flock that is..

So I decided to keep it simple but effective and after scouting a few options on the Internet, decided for cork ruins.

I watched an excellent tutorial on YouTube (which I will try to find and edit in here later), and with this done....I ordered my cork.

The cork board I used was bought from Amazon UK (it was literally the first stuff I came across) and only cost about £4. Perfect when I am trying to keep this army cheap - it's mainly based on models I already own.. The only new models are the new Ravenwing bikes that I just had to use to replace my old bikers..

The cork basing.

We take our cork board as can be seen in the image above, and we just draw quickly around the outline of a bike base.

This is only a rough guide and the ruin pieces could either hang off the edge of the base or could be smaller and inside the frame of the plastic base. Your choice.

I decided to keep mine more or less the same size as the GW plastic base.

Once this has been done once, figure out how many bases you need and then rinse and repeat.
Draw as many as you need.

I left some reasonable space inbetween the outlines as I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed - did I want the ruins to hang over, how irregular did I want the ruins to be.. Etc..

After doing this, I swiftly cut around the outlines of each base, leaving the corners angular so I could neaten them up and "irregularise" them later.

I really wanted each base to be individual and therefore I cut all of them out first, then left them ready to play.

Once I had them all done, I started to cut them up and bevel the edge in a very rough and ready fashion. This was a simple process, each ruin taking maybe a minute maximum.

I cut some pieces "broken" like the piece to the right, whilst others were kept simple with rough edging.

Once I had cut the bases to the size and shape I wanted, I used wood glue to attach the ruin to the bases.

In order to keep them individual, I wanted to insert plastic tubing to create sewerage or random industrial piping in the midst of the ruins.

I just made small cuts using the hobby knife and inserted
lengths of plasticard tubing that I bought from Evergreen Scale Models. Perfect for the job. I bought a pack of random assorted thicknesses to increase the  variety between the models.

The process took maybe a hour, an hour and a half tops.. And it has produced some excellent and individual ruined bases for the Ravenwing to zoom over.

The next stage is to use the airbrush to base coat them black, then grey, then a single fade highlight... Some pigment for a final finish and boom..they will be done!

The 'Wing will then get pinned into them and army done... :)

I encourage you guys to have a go at cork basing. It is far far cheaper than resin bases, takes just a couple of hours for an army and makes you feel like you not just a tournament playing goon! I'm loving a bit of hobby nonsense at the minute. You can also see how much spare material I have from a single sheet costing £4! It's off camera, but there is enough to also make a decent sized 40k ruin terrain piece.. Plus some scatter terrain from what you see spare as off cuts. Bargain.

I'll update the finished pieces later in the week, with an almost finished Ravenwing force.. I am just awaiting a FW Jetbike for my Librarian and some more Death Korps dudes for my Blob IG Allied force.. 


  1. Great tips. Love it.

    Its a great way to make your army look 1 notch greater, but so simple to achieve.

    Much like my deathwing basing, its striking, but not time consuming but draws peoples eyes in to your force.

    I don't know if you found this Ven, but I find doing a "nice base" not as monotonous and boring as flocking, and the small extra time investment was easier as the reward was much greater.

    I personally cant stand flocking, I've always "painted" my bases (using flock at times, but only for texture, not the finish).

    Whats brilliant is cork board is quite cheap, and your stone effect looks much like what you would pay £2 per base for a resin cast one.

    You could do flag stones, rocky out cropping and many other styles looking at this.

    1. Those were almost exactly my thoughts Bull.. I did not want to pay £2-£4 per base for a resin one if I could replicate something similar for far less.

      It was also far more rewarding to create these bases than just dunking dudes in pots of flock..

      You could do almost anything with the cork board sheets.. I've already got ideas on using cork board to create stunning bases for a craft world Eldar army I am thinking on.. And as revamping my Tau is the next hobby project, I'm thinking of ways to replicate the Tau "greater good" symbol on all their bases..especially for crisis suits..

    2. Thats what I was thinking with flagstones - you just "bore" out the symbols / patterns you need. You could put a healthy dose of PVE glue over the top if you want to create a smooth effect, or keep the stone feeling with the cork board.

      This ties into an article I want to do on simple but effective tricks I learned - especially if I start painting again I'll focus on it from this POV.