In our How to Paint Everything series, we take a look at how to paint different models, armies, and materials, and different approaches to painting them. In this article, we’re hopping in the time machine and exploring the only basing that truly goes with everything: Goblin Green bases.
If you look at any models from Games Workshop’s fabled “Red Period”, a colloquial term for the packaging and studio paintjobs from the early-mid 90s, you’ll notice they all share a basing scheme. For whatever reason, almost everything was based to look like it was fighting over Hole 9 on Planet Fairway. Whether they were soldiers of the Empire, rampaging Tyranids, or some poor underhive ganger on Necromunda, they all sported bright green grassy bases. Today we’ll be exploring not one, not two, but three(!) different approaches you can take to get your preferred shade of Goblin Green base. Tragically, GW no longer makes Goblin Green, but I’ve picked a few colors from their current line that match it fairly closely.
First off, you will need some PVA glue and fine basing ballast. Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast is my go-to here, as bases at the time were fairly uniformly textured. Brush some ever-so-slightly thinned PVA glue over your base, dip the base in ballast, shake off the excess, and wait for it to dry. I also usually run my finger around the base rim to remove any overhanging bits. Once dry, prime your model. To be truly era-appropriate you’ll want to prime white, but I used Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer as that’s what I had on hand. From here we’re going to try three different schemes to get a variety of finishes.
This is the green I used for my retro Ultramarines army, and I stand by it. Some Oldhammer nerds got mad at me that the basing grit wasn’t fine enough and that the green was too bright for 1995, but I’ve written an entire article about that kind of person. Anywhomst, this is extremely simple so here goes next to nothing:
Bright Green Basing:
- Warboss Green, slightly thinned to reach into the recesses. This may take two coats
- Heavy drybrush of Skarsnik Green
- Light drybrush of Dorn Yellow
- After miniature is complete, Warboss Green on the base rim. Doing this last means you won’t be handling wet paint or rubbing it off
I wanted to try something a bit more muted and use some of my favorite greens to come out of GW on this one. Some early 90s/late 80s paintjobs use a less vibrant green on their bases and I wanted to replicate that as well. The process is the same as the Bright Green Basing, but with some different colors.
Medium Green Basing:
- Loren Forest slightly thinned to reach into the recesses. This may take two coats
- Heavy drybrush of Straken Green
- Light drybrush of Skarsnik Green
- Loren Forest on the base rim
The Third Approach
I figure some people may not be comfortable using PVA glue and model railroad supplies for their basing and would rather stick to some of the newer tools of the trade – namely GW’s Texture Paints. This yields a slightly darker green than the Medium Green recipe, but the process is largely similar.
Texture Paint Method:
- Lustrian Undergrowth texture paint, evenly spread over the surface of the base
- Heavy drybrush of Loren Forest
- Light drybrush of Straken Green
- Loren Forest on the base rim
If you wanted to combine some of the techniques you could try the third approach then paint over the texture paint with another color. A while back I mixed in some Warboss Green with Lustrian Undergrowth to get a more vibrant green, which helped when I had to navigate around two painted models on a single base. Regardless, these are easy techniques with plenty of room for experimentation, so I encourage you to try them out!
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