Wednesday, May 18, 2011

[The Rogue Trader] Bone Field Bases from Secret Weapon

I'd always thought Grey Knights were one of the cooler/fluffier chapters, and was really happy when the new codex was confirmed.  I'd been working my way through various Black Library offerings and picked up the Grey Knights book at this huge used book store near where I work.  It was a good read, but that is for another post.  The main thing was the memorable start where the Knights are attacking across barrow mounds, the dirt churning as the bones of the dead and undead come back to the surface.  Possessed and now trying, sometimes successfully, to drag the attacking Grey Knights beneath the blood soaked surface.

And then, Secret Weapon miniatures release Bone Field bases, one of the first of their recessed bases.  The whole point I take from these is that once painted and your miniature is mounted you can then liquid fill the base to give the concept of them trudging through water.  Or blood and bones in this case.

I got my order last wednesday and was able to make the first 10 over the weekend.  The initial process was easy, but it is slow as there is a long drying time if you want deep liquid.  I started by just priming them all brown, bleached bone onto the bones, a payne's gray wash and then drybrush.  The drybrush was white on the bones, snakebite leather on the dirt.  All quick and easy and to be honest they looked pretty damn good then.

If you want a good video of the 'blood' application process, Mr Justin has one here.  I'll also add my own photos and comments in this post.

I mixed a decent batch or realistic water and added a few drops of Secret Weapon Ruby wash (GW Baal Red would be fine too) and mixed it in (time to break out crappy brushes).  The initial color looked a bit off, cloudy and kind of purple/brown.  This all fixed itself once dry however.  It was then just a case of generously brushing the mix onto the bases.  I went heavy on the deeper bases, and just a light coating on the shallower ones.  The deeper bases took quite a few revisits to build up enough depth and I gave them plenty of time to dry in between.

I did have one minor disappointment, although not from any fault in the product.  Like I mentioned, the idea was for the Grey Knights to be wading through the blood on the bases.  Now look at the pose all your Knights and other marines stand in.  Legs spread, toes overhanging the sides of the bases.  That tells you one thing, for the most part your minis will be standing on the bones, not wading through anything.  It also means you'll have pretty small contact areas for gluing as the feet will often just be touching the thin edges of the bases.  I ended up putting pins in the feet (easy to do with soft plastic and resin) for some extra strength.  This won't be a problem for Terminators who are smaller in relation to their bases, any marines in a running pose, or models such as guardsmen who have smaller feet.  For normal marine models and similar though, you'll need to think about how you base these.

Apologies for the lack of quality on this photo of it all together.  Need to grab my camera rather than using my phone.  And, I need to finish painting the knights, they aren't completely done yet as you can see.  Once its all done I'll break out the light box and the macro and get some good shots.

The dreadnoughts I'd picked up I have on the regular GW dread bases as I like how they look.  Bringing them in line with these bone field bases is also easy.  I've got plenty of skulls from the SW Sack o' skulls to add detail.  Then, make up a bit more of the Realistic water/Ruby mix and fill the crevices on the base with that.  

All said and done, I'm definitely happy with these and will pick up more to complete the army.  I've got 30 troops and 5 terminators, plus a few characters.  Shouldn't take too long to get everything on these bases.  They look really good and provide an unusual and distinct theme.



  1. Love the article, Marcus. I had a thought that might help you out in getting the idea of wading through blood across. Lightly paint/splatter some base color red on the boots and greaves of your marines and then wash with reds and purples. This will give the idea of them having splashed through blood and grime regardless of whether they are currently standing in it. I think the idea has real merit and could look really slick.

  2. Good thought, thanks. I think once I'm done painting them that will be a really good final touch.

  3. How many skeletons do you get for one of those sets? I might pick one of those up for trophies for my army.

  4. Marcus, thanks for the great write-up of my bases!

    Dave has the right idea for blending your models into the base - bring that blood up onto their legs. I recommend using paint first and then only a small amount of the Realistic Water mix so you get a blend of dry and wet blood.

    @Stillfrosty: The "Human Skeletons" gives you two complete skeletons sans hands, feet and lower jaw. The "Sack O' Skulls" is a 1 ounce bag with 66+ skulls in it.

    We can't do an exact number for the skulls because each weighs less than 0.015 ounces and that's as low as the scale goes. 1/0.015 is 66 though so...

    Thanks again!

  5. I am so getting those for my WE!!!