General Oadius was skeptical when I first told him I wanted to base his army in Mud. I am sure things got worse on his side of the conversation when I then told him I didn't know how, but would figure it out. Some spackle, water, and inks or dyes I said then. Pretty sure he did not believe me then, I remember talking about tall grass that night...
We were on the lookout for something to put the finishing touch on the Army of General Oadius. We were kicking ass and taking names at Great Escape Games, Sacramento and made it back up into the mountains with a huge pile of loot. Besides a few Blood Angels and Dark Eldars along the way, we stocked up on Secret Weapon Products using our hard earned winnings - and right there in front of our faces was the Mud & Water bundle, it was obviously exactly what we wanted!
Very easy to use and compared to other basing kits and the raw materials, its dirt cheap ($21.50 online.) If you are interested, you can find a full tutorial at the Secret Weapon Miniatures website. It comes with plaster, sand, realistic water, and 3 brown pigments. You slap it down in easy frosting like layers and drop in the water where you like, and presto, you have very realistic mud and water. I am sure I would have ended up with something similar but not as great - for at least two or three times the cost if I had gone with the raw materials in my original idea.
After completely finishing General Oadius' 2500pt+ army and 5 Tablewar Army case model trays, I have around 1/3rd of the kit left to mud even more stuff, like the next 2000pts of the Grey Knight menace. You can see the finished product, a long with a review and sample of a few other Secret Weapon products here:
I based the entire army one night and the model trays the next day. Starting with a small batch, the three dreads, the vindicare, the techmarine, and the objective markers. I already worked out a test run on a couple terminators.
The main tip I learned was that the real key was the Realistic water. How much or how little is really the main control on how thick your mixture is and how fast it drys. Plaster/sand ratio matter also, but to a lesser degree.
I used a couple measuring spoons to keep my various layers consistent in color and consistency from batch to batch. Also distilled water to mix up each batch, and then add in to some of the larger mixes later when the plaster starts to setup. You get the hang of it real quick.
I ended up with 4 layers on all of the small bases and a 5th layer on the larger dreadnought and stormraven bases. The "stand alone" objective markers also got a little of the fifth layer to stand them out a bit. I used tiny drops of the realistic water during the 1st and 2nd layers to install the leaking and pooled water.
On some of the larger bases and model trays I needed more then drops of the realistic water, and then pulled the stuff around in many instances to get the final effect. Everything changes color as it drys, and its still workable in many respects until fully setup. By the time I got to the large model trays I had quite a bit of practice, so it was easy and fun to work with knowing where I was going with each part of the process.
I kept the vehicles nearby, as you apply the mud effects in opposite order on a operational vehicle, and also so I could drive the chimera through the mud on the stormraven and a couple of the model trays. I also had a spare terminator and dreadnought leg/foot around to help make some of the imprints and pooling in the mud.
Most of these pictures are taken wet. The mud on the trays is also not dry yet, you can see through the layers how the mud builds up, and the texture and color changes.
The final layer of "Clay brown" is basically dabbed on and is a very wet mixture, then I pushed/pulled it around a little with a stiff brush. These are the raised, dry crusty areas on the larger bases.
All in all the Mud & Water bundle is an awesome product with a huge range of possibilities. Lucky for me it turned out to be exactly what I envisioned, which is really the default baseline of what you could do with this stuff. We have two HUGE vehicle trays that need landscaping for the Grey Knight army in the Tablewar case, that will be an amazing followup project for everyone...
Get some stuff from Secret Weapon Miniatures, make sure to tell them the Wolfbrothers sent you!