Dirty Tile Bases (Malifaux)

Basing is a huge part of painting miniatures and there are a lot of options out there for us hobbyists.  Whether you use gravel and rock, cork, plastic bits, or pre-sculpted custom resin bases, you can take your models to the next level easily by having a nice looking base.  

When you're painting an entire army, its easy - keep it simple and try to make a uniform style of some sort.  I recently started painting some models for my Malifaux crew and wanted something that catered to the style of the Malifaux realm while being simple and easy to paint.  These aren't competition models but I wanted the bases to stand out.  

The following step-by-step will show you how to paint a dirty, grimy tile floor with very little effort, while still producing a great looking base.  The bases I've used for this tutorial come from Dragonforge designs and can be found here.  

Very few paints/supplies are needed for this step-by-step. Below is what I have used, though you could swap out brands pretty easily in this case.  

P3 Menoth White Highlight
Citadel Abaddon Black 
Citadel Xereus Purple
Forge World Dark Earth Weathering Pigment
Forge World Medium Earth Weathering Pigment
MIG Pigment Fixer
Plastic dropper


After priming black with a spray of white, base the tiles with Menoth White Highlight.  You may need a couple of layers here as you want to have a pretty smooth coat on the tiles.  Otherwise the final effect may look a lot more sloppy, even though this step-by-step is a pretty sloppy technique.  In this step, don't worry about staying in the lines or anything - you are going to clean it up in a later step.  


For my Neverborn crew, I wanted a bit of purple to tie them in together and just to add a little bit of their prescribed uniform color.  I used Xereus purple to pick out random tiles.  Again, be sure to have a smooth coat - I needed about three layers. 

Next, I picked out a few more random tiles with Abaddon black. Black and purple go very well together and it helps break up the bases.  


Water down the Abaddon black a little bit and very carefully paint blacklines between the tiles.  Watering down is important to help the paint flow from the tip of the brush and avoid getting paint on the edges of the tiles.  This is the hardest you're going to have to work when you are painting these bases, so tough through it.  It should take you all of about 5 minutes :)


Here comes the magic part.  I applied Dark Earth pigment powders (Dry) to the bases.  I dipped the large brush into a cup with some dry powders and brushed it on the bases in various patterns - some like I was drybrushing, some stippling, and some mashing it down into the cracks.  This is the part that really brings it home - be sure to keep this as random as possible and don't over do it.  


If the tiles you are working on have broken pieces with exposed rock and dirt, mix up a medium earth color in a small cup with your pigment fixer and apply it like a wash to the exposed ground underneath.  Keep this away from the tiles.

After that (if applicable), take your dropper tool and just drop some pigment fixer over the whole bases.  This will seal and provide a nice finish to the dry powders that you applied earlier.  This will take a few hours to dry.  


Once dry, paint the rim black (or your color of choice) and mount your model on the base.  Hey, that was easy!!!



I've included some examples of finished models on the bases.  Thanks for reading and Happy painting!