How to: Lava Bases

Decided to put together a little post detailing how I’m doing the lava bases on my new Adeptus Mechanicus army. Lava bases are nothing new. I’m following a fairly standard formula really but for anyone interested, read on!

I didn’t remember to take actual step-by-step photos, so in some steps I may jump a few stages at a time.

Step one


Good old cork comes first. I use a couple of different thicknesses to create a tiered look on the larger bases. After that a bit of filler to merge some of the gaps.

To create ‘bubbles’ in the lava I roll small balls of greenstuff, wait for them to harden, and then cut them in half.

After all that is dry the flat area of the base is covered in two or three layers of Vallejo water texture. Credit to @TerryPike84 for advise on using this product. You could use simple PVA glue if you wanted as well.

Step two


After a hit with Black Undercoat I then spray on two different colours. The first is Gris Grafeno and the second is Graphite by Scale75, the former is a solid coat and the latter is done from a higher angle.


Step three


Next we move onto the reds. Khorne Red first, Mephiston Red second, and then finally a hit with Troll Slayer Orange. Originally I added a layer of yellow after this but I found it made the whole effect too bright.


Step four


At this stage I attach the models to the bases. I kept them separate up until now as I didn’t want over-spray issues with the airbrush when I did the bone on the models themselves. Once they’re attached I added a layer of Astrogranite Debris.


Finally a quick drybrush of Dawnstone and then Longbeard Grey. Base edges are done in black although I am considering a change to a a dark grey of some kind.

I will be adding a layer of Gloss Varnish over the lava but it will be the last thing I do after I paint the models themselves. I might also look for some small burnt grass tufts. I’ve used them before and I think they will go well on these bases.

If people want more of this kind of stuff then please let me know! Ask questions about something you see that I’ve done and I’ll do my best to explain.

That’s it for now. If you’ve made it this far then as always thanks for reading.

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