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Basing Urban Tutorial

Posted by Benjamin Lin on

This tutorial is mean to show how to base your minis in an urban setting where you wanna have realistic looking rubble. I use the product from Gale Force 9 called urban Rubble, which is sold on this website

Depth and three different kinds of rubble

The set comes with big concrete looking chunks, and three different sized rubble. This may seem extreme and overdone but lemme explain why it is great for what it does.

Alot like highlighting model, gradients create depth which attract our eye. Thus, we know that with three shades of the same colour, the eye is tricked into thinking there is more depth than really there. 

Thats the same reason you need three different sized rubble, it gives the illusion of reality and randomness because the eye wouldn't pick up on it all being roughly the same. 

1. Pumice

So i use Vallejo Pumice, an amazing product which comes coloured in several different colours which is amazing because it save you the extra step of painting it. Yes, i know you can get it cheap by mixing sand with PVA and paint but this is the lazy mans approach so i buy pumice already in the colour i like. One tub of pumice is pricey but can last you about 3 armies at 15 mm and more if you aren't a klutz like me and drop it sometimes :P dont tell the wife

I do generally pumice layer first with hole of where the guys are and i use a tamiya stirrer for this. I then glue down the men and use an old brush to move the pumice over their lead bases. I hate seeing the obvious round bases they are on so I go to lengths to get around it and hide it to makethem look like one model.

The model can then be left to cure for a day or so.

2. Big objects

So if you are like me and an amatuer painter, then you are going to want to use the basing to cover up your lazy work, this is great by adding in detail such as the case for these Berlin boys. I added from Peter Pig a piano, some mattresses and a cupboard. Put these guys on with the pumice so it looks like the rubble later on piled up around them.

3. The largest bits of rubble to smallest

Inside the GFS905 rubble kit, you will find the large bits of concrete slabs which are great for breaking with your hand, its quite brittle and slapping them on in a random fashion. After that, you apply PVA around where you want the rubble to be.

Then you go from the largest kind of rubble to the smallest. This order ensures all of them should get the needed surface area on PVA. The smallest having access, you should do it on a piece of paper to save it and pour it pack into the pack. The plastic cover on Flames of war Blister work nicely too (TY Clam packaging works too). 

From the Left, you can see the large slabs, the middle section has the whole PVA areas, note how i go about almost all their legs and rounded bases so later on, you wont be able to see there feet. The last piece on the right is done for the basing bit.

You can see here, I show all three levels of it. Bear in mind, I am sure there are many ways and orders to do it. This is just mine because i try to get the most out of it and i try and clear whole companies of guys from my table in 3- 5 sessions and try to make it as simple as possible. you can always fix issues when it comes to modelling but i find advance planning helps you weed out alot of them.

After all is said and done, it should look something liks above. remember to put on some of the rubble on the items like concrete slabs and such to make it look random. After this, another round of waiting for it to dry.

Once you wait a day for the PVA to cure, you come back and splash a healthy dose of Washes over the rubble, this forms your under coat and shading layer right away, I used European Dust colour here which has a brownish tinge. this is because i plan on using grey and red as highlight layers later on.

4. Painting rubble

I haven't found a perfect way to do this but i just use a dry brush

As  you can see, I dry brush all of it Light grey, you can already kind of see the difference between it and then floor colur, and the concrete slabs. I also painted the mattresses a bright colour. to make them pop. I put these nice posters which i just printed onto paper with colour and put them all over the place. A nice touch but i forgot that the varnish would ruin them and it just made all the paper white so i had to go over them with squiggly lines to make them newspaper like later on.

Put up some posters of the Fuhrer who left these men to fight on their own against the red horde.

5. Last touches

So finally I then the bigger pieces of rubble a Maroon Red which has a good contrast against the grey. As you can see below, I then do some final highlights on the models. But you can see the final photos show a melded picture of a gun crew trying to fight in less than ideal situations. Their guns look stuck in the positions they are in and they will fight until overrun without any real option of withdrawal.


I did the mattresses with blue lines and after a good dark wash to make it dirty, looks perfect.

I am quite happy with it overall. I think the brass rounds suit the grey bases nicely and the figure still pop despite being so close to the base colour. Historically I think the Germans were out of brass and so used other dull metals for rounds but a metal tone for those would have made the whole model looks meh.

Anyhow, thanks for reading and i hope you enjoy it. I will be doing some Japanese next and/or hitlerjugend although those would be based similar to this. If you are interested in buying the Gale force nine rubble kit, we have it here on the store and we do worldwide free shipping if you order over 90 SGD which really isn't hard when you are a wargamer lol.


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