How to create lava bases

I'm all about that base, that base, no model...

Sorry, bad joke. Nevermind, my singing-voice is pretty shit anyway :P

So, I saw this video over on Youtube, featured on top of this post, which showed how to create "cracked earth" results. Pretty neat, pretty excited, and then I saw that bonus in the end (starting at 08.39 minutes)... Mind Blown!

What an amazing effect!

Having receive my Daemons and special characters from Rob - where I asked him NOT to do the bases, because of this very reason - I figured I better start testing with them.

I had already picked up some fluorescent paints, which I think will get the job done perfectly, so all set :)

Paint I used

Paints used

Just a quick list.

Spray cans

  • Citadel Chaos Black
  • Citadel Mechanicus Standard Grey

Yellow bases

  • Base: Vallejo Model Color Golden Yellow
  • Glaze: Citadel Lamenters Yellow
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Yellow Fluo
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Orange Fluo

Red/Orange bases

  • Base: Vallejo Model Color Flat Red
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Orange Red
  • Glaze: Citadel Lamenters Yellow
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Orange Fluo
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Yellow Fluo

Green bases

  • Base: Citadel Elysian Green
  • Glaze: Citadel Waywatcher Green
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Green Fluo
  • Layer: Vallejo Model Color Yellow Fluo

Cracked Earth paint

  • Citadel Agrellan Earth -- Note: Do NOT water down this paint with inks/washes/paints !!! It will result in a thinner solution - Duh! - and lesser elasticity, which in turn results in smaller cracks...



First, I used the Chaos Black as a primer.

Base paint

Then I applied the base paints. I did this with some mildly thinned paint, 3 layers. The green seems rather meh, the yellow and red seem promising.

1st layer fluo

The first layer of "painted" fluo paint is onthere. Not to thrilled. It's "flat", not "sparkling".

I opted to use standard forms, like lines, squares, triangles, crosses, circles, to not get set in an even pattern. I want it to be chaotic, random in combination with the texture paint.

1st layer fluo

The second layer I "dabbed" on top of it. Not a nice even spread, but much more eye-catching! :)

fluo filler

I decided to create a contrast, as to make the primary color stand out.

fluo filler

As I put on the texture paint - thickly, I wanted big cracks - I noticed it started to dry up before I finished the same base... So therefore I hurried outside when I had 4 done and spray painted them like mad, and hence, no pictures of the process... Sorry!

This picture shows them like 15 minutes in, and I noticed that the spray paint didn't stick in some places!!? Oh shit....

dried and cracked up 1

dried and cracked up

This is the morning after, so like 15 hours after putting them on the radiator.

The green disk is a failure. I see breaklines, but hardly any cracks... The other 3? Superb!!! Totally random and the paint comes through nicely!!

You can actually still detect which of the forms are underneath. But, if you don't know that up front, it's totally chaotic what happens on the base, color-wise.


  • Grey paint, bright yellow: Circle
  • Grey paint, Orange/yellow: Cross
  • Black paint, Orange/yellow: Double line

yellow bunched up

The yellow stays very bright the day after, I like :)

Orange bunched up

The orange/red seems to loose its "power", turns a bit stale.

Green bunched up

Not too thrilled here.


I totally dig the yellow/orange combination!!! The other two, not so much...

Perhaps the red base should be used in combination with Blood for the Bloodgod paint, to make that pop more?

Not sure about the green. Perhaps I should do the entire base with multiple layers of the fluo to retain its strength?

Also, I don't know why in the video the painting of the texture worked better than it did for me. Possibly the composition of the airbrush paint opposed to my semi-primer? Would the acrylic airbrush paint have more elasticity and stay put, whereas the primer becomes sturdy? I don't feel like buying an airbrush especially for this reason, so next time I will wait a bit longer before I use the spray can...


While waiting for all those layers to dry, and having the spray cans anyway, plus beautiful weather, I decided to start with some of the - yet to be featured - models I will use on my terrain.

I purchased a small can of Revell spray paint for the desert brown taste. It was all seales, shaken it for minutes, it wasn't too cold, I read the instructions, and then... This...

Revell cockup 1

Revell cockup 2

The result on the models wasn't bad, but a few splotches here and there.

I contacted the company, and they replied: "Clean the head, it should be fine". Not buying any of their paints in the foreseeable future, that's for sure!!

Peace out,