How to make scenic cityfight rubble bases.

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I recently organized two terrain workshops at our local gaming store where me and some people from the community built and painted city fight terrain for a small tournament.  Building and painting sci-fi terrain really brought back some good memories from my youth, I think my last game of 40k was back in the last days of the fourth edition of the game. With less than a week until the release of 7th edition, and since I love the universe and lore, I figured I’d give the game a go again. I dug up these city fight bases (picture above) which I built some time ago for fun. They will fit my new Necron project themed mainly around canoptek units perfect. In this post I will explain how I build my scenic bases and how to achieve a natural look of your post apocalyptic rubble.

In the picture below you’ll get a small glimpse of my hobby OCD behavior. I sort and collect all my bits in plastic boxes meant for screws and nails, divided into different boxes for different armies and manufacturers (i.e one for whfb Empire, another for 40k Dark Eldar and a third for general terrain and basing materials). This helps me find the right stuff for the right project, if you have another way of organizing your chaos please let me know in the comment section.
For these bases I picked out a couple of bits I found fitting. I used spare vehicle parts, bits from damaged communications equipment and other gear. I tend to avoid leaving weapons and dead bodies on my bases since those are things that either gets looted at first sight or decays after a while. Make sure to add some battle damage using a hobby knife/file/drill so the rubble wont look like it’s fresh out of manufacturing.

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GaleForceNine sells a great kit which includes pipes, tubes and construction beams of different sizes but you can get cheap building materials by keeping an eye out. This red plastic tube for example is left over from a lollipop and will serve well as an iron pipe once painted.

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Start by building your rubble up from below. We want to avoid a look where the scrap is simply laying flat on the ground. Stones and waste pile up alot and by building our piles of rubble from below we can add elements that break the angle of the flat surface of the base. Since sewage pipes are mainly underground this is a perfect time to use those plastic pipes!

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The next step is to add concrete blocks and large stones which will form the main wreckage. I use pieces of cork which can be bought from second hand stores for almost nothing. I payed about 1 euro for three large pieces of regular table underlays for pans. Once again we want to avoid symmetries: no piece of concrete debris is perfectly rectangular. Play around with the shape of the cork by simply ripping off parts of the edges. If you find the cork too thick for your taste cut it in half with a hobby knife.

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I then cut one edge of the cork at an angle so that the whole piece “breaks out of” the base rather than lying flat on the surface. Don’t mind the area where the cork is glued to the base since we will add sand later on to hide any rough edges. I then add any bits of equipment or leftover parts I find fitting for the theme. This is the final layer and represent debris from vehicles and buildings or equipment from soldiers which is mixed with the surface gravel. Your base should now look something like this:

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The final step is to cover the base in a layer of sand. I use a mixture of different sized gravel to get an even more naturalistic look and texture. Make sure that the white glue covers the lower parts of our rubble. This will create an illusion of the debris sticking out of the sand rather than just laying flat on top of it.

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Here is another example of how to play around with angels that break off from the regular base surface.

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There you go! Just repeat these simple steps, adding different types of debris and bits to your bases, and you’ll end up with a really nice looking city fighting force that will definitely stick out next to models that are just based with plain sand.

/Fredrik

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