Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Water Effects Bases

I was flicking through old White Dwarf editions the other day and I came across the Urdek Refinery board in the October 2012 edition (the Chaos Marines release). This board features murky water, a crashed Aquila Lander, a wrecked bridge and an impressive building in the background. But these awesome features weren't what caught my attention. Rather, it was a pretty small feature of the 6ft x 4ft board that made me stop and think.
Image from White Dwarf October 2012
 This is how water should look. If I did my bases how I was going to do them, just with water effects, the water would just be still and flat, even if a mini had his foot in it. This is not realistic. Try putting a foot in a puddle or pool and not disturb the water. It doesn't happen. Take this guy:
Image from Secret Weapon Miniatures
He's running through a swamp/marsh and has just stepped in a pool of water... which stayed completely smooth and level. Don't get me wrong, it's a great mini by "misterjustin", his bases and basing kits look great and I'm sure they'll be great when they arrive(I ordered them a few days ago). But this model looks "wrong" because of the lack of a splash.
In my search for a solution I employed extensive research, my numerous investigative contacts and no small amount of sifting through sheaves of dusty paper (in combination with a quick Google search). My efforts came to fruition when I found these two links with splashing water:
Step by step water splash effect
This is the kind of thing that I want but the second link is the only one of the two to say what he used and that was a water effect. I'm planning on getting one from Secret Weapon Miniatures when I get my bases so I don't want to buy a second bottle from a second company. I needed something else so I went back to the source of this post, my White Dwarf. I found that the texture on the water was done using a clear sealant. Hmmm....
A quick pop into my local hardware store while walking my dog and I got the cheapest bottle of clear silicone sealant I could find (€3.99 for 300ml). This stuff smells really, really strong, so I'll use it outside if I can in future but at least with a window open. It's not too easy to work with as it sticks to everything it touches, but about 5-10 minutes with it and my sculpting tool, and I had a pretty good splashing effect on a blank base:

The only problem is that it is pretty soft and flexible, bending when touched. It is silicone after all: it's supposed to be like that. No big deal, a quick coat of super glue and it was plenty hard enough to use. If using it to base an actual model, I'd paint the base first (obviously) so you can see the colour through it and I'd coat it with water effects to blend it into the water on the rest of the base. Please tell me what you think below.


  1. That is excellent work, man! Really dig how the splash effect turned out - I'm going to have to give that a try!