Tutorial – cork rocky bases

I’ve been using a simple and quick method for making my multibases lately that has raised a few questions as to what and how, so I thought a quick tutorial would be the best answer.

After using various expensive packaged basing materials and getting caught out when I used it all, I decided to work out my own supply.

I went to B&Q and bought a damaged sack of builder’s sand. It cost a whopping £1 and will last me years.

To prepare the sand, I scoop out a small bowl full of sand to dry naturally. Then I sieve it into two containers. One for the fine sand, one for the small stones. At first I was binning the stones, but I quickly realised they are ideal to use too.

Sand and Stones

There are all sorts of cork tiles available in kitchen and batchroom shops, which tear up nicely into a rocky texture.

Cork texture

Wickes sell thin tiles and The Range sell thicker tiles.

Cork thickness

You can study rock formations and tundra landscapes to get ideas for how to arrange your bases, but I find it’s better to just do it adhoc for the models you are using.


I plan a rough footprint of where models will occupy and try to provide a surface that the model will stand naturally, mixing pieces of each cork and also just leaving areas blank to add sand. Pinch a few rocks and drop them randomly onto the base, then scatter a few areas with loose sand..

Kings of War Longhorns

I wouldn’t recommend gluing a whole unit to a base before painting, but when have I ever done the sensible?

The strength of using natural materials is that you can simply glaze the material rather than paint it a base coat. That’s not always an option though and it’s very easy to drybrush these materials.


I am still learning and experimenting with these bases, but there’s such a big selection of grass tufts, foliage and flock out there, there’s always something new to try.


Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Martin Hawk says:

    Nice tutorial man :).

    Could you tell me what material you use for the movement tray? Ist it MDF or a thick plastic card?

    Best regards

  2. Rusty Dice says:

    That’s the old Games Workshop movement tray, which you got in large grids and cut to size.

    I also use thick platicard on my other units.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *