[Surprise Attack!] Realistic Rocks

Okay, so this time we have a technique for painting your rocks so they actually look like…rocks. One of the most common things you’ll see on bases and in terrain, but one that gives some people a major pain in the butt trying to paint them up. Full disclosure, it’s very likely I ripped it off from the tutorials section from Secret Weapon, but either way I’m going to share it with you today. Because sharing is caring, friends. Group hug! This is something that’s fast, looks good, and is cheap. WIN.
First up, you’ll need a few oil-based paints, the fancy-schmancy stuff that “real painters” use. Those pretty boys think they’re so awesome with their “fun” and their “fan clubs” and their “active sex lives”, but we’ll show them! 

We’ll show them all!
This guy got mad pussycats. For real. 

The recommended stuff is as seen below, the Windsor and Newton series of water-based oil paint. Pretty cheap. I think they go for about $3 each at fine hobby stores everywhere. I got mine at a Michaels. These are the five colors I use: Lamp Black, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Payne’s Gray, and Phtahlo Green. All of them look like their wrappers, except Payne’s Gray who is really a dark blue that hasn’t come out of the closet.

This is approximately a lifetime supply.

Squeeze a small, pea-sized bit out onto a palette and use a crappy brush to start blotting dots in the cracks. You won’t need much. Here is Lamp Black hard at work.

Following this, use some of the other colors and mix it into the rest of the rocks. Cover everything.

Take a paper towel and wipe it off. Done. Yeah, that fast and you’re done.

By going heavier on the different colors you can throw in strong tones of green, brown, whatever, to break up the monotony of, say, an artic camo’d Infinity figure on a snow covered base. It’s a great way to “cheat” and get more color on your figure.

Here they are with the rest of the base done.

The variables here are the colors you choose and how hard you wipe them off when you’re done. If you want stronger colors just wipe off with less pressure. Seen above is an example of light pressure, and varying colors.

For the one below I used a mix of Lamp Black and Burned Sienna, then wiped it off with a lot of pressure to give it that gray look.

Here’s a mix of a few. Even though it’s not very “real” I love the rocks on the sniper. Lots of color to balance out the snow camo he’ll have later. If it’s too bright just add some snow effect on top of the rock and that will tone it down.

Get it? “Tone” it down…

Damn it, Kanye! I thought I told you to get lost!

Douche. Anyways, here’s one that’s mostly gray with a little green and blue.

This works best on smoother rocks, so if you use it on something like the one above it will be tough to get the paint out of the cracks. Use a Q-tip, but beware that the jagged edges will snag and tear your paper towels, and Q-tips will leave little white fuzzies everywhere that you will have to blow off or pick out.

Here’s the assembled masses, ready for their snow.

 That’s it, right now I’m probably getting my ass handed to me at Certs’ tourney in Virginia, wish me luck but if you’re placing bets I’m definitely the dark horse. Just sayin’.


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