How to paint a Desert Base

Quick guide on how I paint the desert bases for my Tomb Kings.

The paints I used are listed below. All are from Citadel unless otherwise noted.

BaseShadeLayer
Mounfang BrownAgrax EarthshadeBalor Brown
Abaddon BlackScreaming Skull

Model used is a Wargames Atlantic Classic Fantasy Skeleton Warrior.


1 – Before priming the model, put down a layer of basing material. I use Vallejo Dark Earth texture for my bases but using hobby sand of a different texture will work too. Every now and again I’ll add a rock to a base to help with variety.

2 – After the model is painted, apply your basecoat of Balor Brown to the base. As we are going over a black primer this will take a few coats. I’ve found that three thin coats gives me the coverage I need. I went with Balor Brown as it provides a warm tone that contrasts nicely with the dry white bones of the Skeleton.

3 – If you have any rocks on the base, paint them Mournfang Brown.

4 – Give the rocks, and only the rocks, a wash of Agrax Eathshade.

5 – Once the wash has dried, hit the entire base with a drybrush of Screaming Skull. As with all drybrushing, start light and build up as desired. You can always add more drybrush, but it’s a major process to take it away.

6 – Paint the rim of the base Abaddon Black and you are done!


And that’s it! Quick and easy desert basing. For the units with larger bases (Chariots, Tomb Scorpion, Ushabti, Bone Giant) I add one a few extra bits like skulls or bits of shield to help break up the sand. Uniform basing is one of the best ways to tie an army together and it always a key component to creating an army color scheme / paint plan.

I hope this helps! As always, please let me know if you any questions.

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