Basing with Vallejo Earth Texture

Since I’ve started doing more painting that involves roleplaying games and less that involves Warhammer 40K, I’ve been thinking about basing more lately.  For many years my basing consisted of some sand with maybe a rock here and there, and the occasional yellow shrub.  I don’t see the majority of the miniatures I’m painting or thinking of painting these days being desert themed, so I figure it might be a good idea to experiment with some different bases.*

I noticed that Baron John Varnish wrote about some bases he did using Vallejo Earth Texture, that look easy so after conferring with him a bit on the subject (thanks, John!) I thought I might give it a whirl myself.

Finally found a use for those square bases.

Turns out I really like this Vallejo texture.  You get a good-sized pot for the price, and all I had to do was slather it on.  No priming or prep work of any kind needed.  I did two bases and washed the larger base on the left with Agrax Earthshade and the smaller base on the right with a 50/50 mix of Agrax and Nuln Oil.

One thing I quickly found was that you only need a little Nuln Oil to darken whatever you mix it with.  My half-and-half mix ended up looking like straight Nuln Oil.  I noticed that the Earth Texture has a lot of orange and retains its orange highlights even with a couple of doses of Agrax.  Now that is fine if you are trying to model, say, clay from a riverbank or what have you, but for the most part I think I’d rather have the tone look more like the smaller base on the right.**

Same texture, different washes.

I wanted to continue along the same likes as John so I finished off the base by dry brushing with Gorthor Brown and adding an Army Painter winter tuft and some static grass.***  The result below isn’t too bad, I think, considering how little work it all took.  Tonight I’m going to put some Agrax on the static grass to make it look a bit matted down and dirty.  I’ll post another picture of that probably next time, along with my first finished dwarf.

I am almost done with the blond guy and all that I have left is shading his red cloak and tiding up the base.  After that I’ll probably finish the orange-bearded one.  I also bought a pot of Celestra Grey so I can base the cloth on my friend’s pig demon.  Will post more pictures once that is done.

Unicursal hexagram 100 wide

* For instance, I don’t see my dwarves as being a bunch of pseudo-Bedouin hanging out with Durin of Arabia!

** I decided to buy some Vallejo Dark Earth Texture (26.218) as well.  Once I get a chance to try it out I’ll report what I think.  That orange “clay” does remind me of northern Maine.  That stuff is pretty common up there.

*** John only reluctantly admits to maybe possessing a couple of ancient, encrusted bottles of GW washes, no doubt scavenged many years ago from a now long extinct FLGS, since as I understand he runs in certain, rarified painting cabals where GW products are heretical.  My discussion here in no way is meant to imply that John endorses, approves of, owns, or tolerates GW products in general.

27 responses to “Basing with Vallejo Earth Texture”

  1. […] I have been thinking for awhile now about how to base my miniatures because for the past five years or so I have almost exclusively based my figures by simply gluing sand and maybe putting in a rock or bush somewhere.  I’m painting things now that I don’t want to put in the sand, like dwarves, so I’ve trying out some different things. […]


    • Heh, it is good stuff though. You’ll be glad you parted with the brass! I have another practice base I did that I’m going to put up as part of my next post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post Ann! Reading this at just the right time, as I’m nearly out of Astrogranite already, and don’t want o keep spending $7+ per pot! Sure, I could go down the make-your-own route, but I’d rather use a premade cost-effective alternative. I ordered Dark Earth and Grey Pumice. Figured the Grey Pumice can be colored for other uses and the Dark Earth will hopefully be an out of the pot solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say the Dark Earth does need to be washed and dry brushed, but I’ve found that texture-wise it is definitely an out-of-the-pot solution and while not as cheap, I’m sure, as makiong your own stuff it is a lot cheaper than GW products. I was looking at the base on my Great Unclean One and wondering, for example, if one of those “large” pots of GW texture would even cover it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Anne ,that Vallejo stuff is so good! John put me onto it as he uses it to base his figures having said that I have found it good to use on my dioramas when putting my figures in position instead of mixing my own concoctions that I can never remember what went into them!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. I am finding that I love the stuff; I’m glad that I read about in John’s post and tried it out. Heh, yeah, I know what you mean about doing stuff and then wondering a year later how the heck I did it. Sometimes in my blog I detail what I do figuring that maybe someone might be interested, but as much because I have an easy place to go back in the future and see how I did something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The idea of putting details up on the blog is great , for others and as you say looking back to see how you scribed something .I never make notes as I generally work it out as I go so I’m going to be doing a bit more how to from now on , for others who have asked and as this old brain isn’t going to get better at remember ing so I have a record to refer to.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done the same with the Dust and found it seemed to work ok. Mostly for desert I’ve been just using the glue and sand method because that is what I started my daemons with and I want my guys to match. I’m thinking that eventually I might give the Vallejo desert texture a try and see what I think of it. The stuff certainly ends up looking great in the tutorials when used by people who seem to know what they are doing with it.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’d be curious, when you do your destroyed earth bases to see them and read about how you did them. I haven’t tried anything like that myself, though I figure that some some rocks or something and then some putty over that, which can be shaped, and then some texture paste over all of that might work?

          As for myself, I just finished doing another practice/test base of somewhat wet, dark earth. I think I’d like to do something similar for the next time but for another experiment try making a little mud puddle as well.


    • Thanks. I love how super easy it was. I paid $12.99 US for it with Amazon Prime, fulfilled by Vallejo. I don’t know much about how to use the stuff so I poked around and listened to some tutorials. I like, in addition, that you can use it as a sort of cement. One of the tutorials talked about using it to affix tanks and such to dioramas. I also liked some of the effects I saw in the tutorials where they added water to it to simulate dirt on treads and other surfaces. I might do that myself to see how it works as a substitute for GW’s Typhus Corrosion.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks for the mention, Ann, and the pretty thorough *** disclaimer! I’ll be honest, your bases have come out way better than mine ever do, and I particularly like the one on the right! I’m maybe going to have to try a wash over the texture now and see how I get on! Will be watching for your progress on the darker earth as well. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Certainly! I’m glad you liked the disclaimer; hopefully that will cover you with the Painting Cabal. 🙂

      I don’t know about my bases being better. I liked yours — how they looked and the ease of making them inspired me to do these ones. The wash does help them a lot. I got my pot of Dark Earth (26.218) so I’m looking forward to trying out a test base of that soon. Working furiously on the dwarves. I’ll probably finish one of them tonight and the second one over the weekend.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s amazing what a wash will do!
    The Vallejo Earth Textures are great, but I feel like I never make the most of them, though I’ve recently been experimenting by mixing them with sand to get a grittier finish, which seems to work well.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the wash really transforms the texture and gives it needed depth, that’s for sure. Interesting, I might have to try mixing some sand with mine too to see what happens. I suspect that it’ll be some work on my end as well to get the most out of them, but the learning process is a lot of fun.

      Liked by 2 people

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