Using bark to simulate broken marble on bases

Since I started trying this painting technique with my Bloodthirster Bloodbath commission, I decided to give it a go on a slightly smaller scale and with a different material to see how well it translated.

Using pieces of bark (free from my backyard) to simulate two huge pieces of marble, I figured I could use the same painting technique here to make it look like this guy is standing on what's left of some monument now destroyed.

What I learned:
1. That bark does work for simulating broken marble.
You need the chip kind and not the shredded stuff though. I attached it to the base with superglue and once that was dry, I coated the whole piece of bark with more superglue and let all that soak in. It made the bark rock solid and less prone to chipping.

2. The painting technique works with different palettes.
In this case, I was using a warm palette and stuck to using Devlan Mud, Gryphonne Sepia and Ogryn Flesh for my wash colors.

3. You can go heavy with the washes if you want to.
I went heavy with the washes, sometimes not diluting them at all to get a higher contrast marble in the end. I think you have to look at the model and use what fits best.

4. You can add other colors too.
I went in towards the end with a dark brown paint and used that to add some real high contrast lines on the face of the marble.

All in all, I think I've been able to improve on my previous attempts and would consider this a success. And, it takes no additional costly materials.

Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Basing using free stuff from around your home
Basing in the simplest form possible
Basing and using the "right" stuff

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I like the color that turned out in the bark it feels natural, definitibly I will give it a try.

  2. ahh. I wondered how you did the bases on the GKT's and Lustwing.

    I will have to try some of this in the future.

  3. Time to raid the forrest for bark! Any more advice on how you applied the paint? Just making little puddles? Base color?

    I love little tips like this one. Trying them out makes me feel very creative:)

  4. I have a funny question, does the bark decay/smell after a long time?

    That is the only concern I have when dealing with natural stuff...

  5. That is pure brilliance Ron - thanks for the tip!

  6. Very interesting stuff Ron, I've been meaning to try this out for a while myself. The layered texture of certain barks just seemed right for marble. One question though, isn't the bark going to decay over time? Or did you dry and seal it first?

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I like the way bark has a really rocky effect, strange.

    I based my chaos army using cork, I've since found out that if you don't pint models to stuff like cork, and just use super glue they don't stay on long while painting.

    -Green Stuff Sculpting

  8. I would love to see a step by step guide on applying the colors to get that marble affect. Great idea on the bark!

  9. Thanks for the questions guys.

    I will do an expanded post on this next week and go step by step through the whole process to answer the questions here.
    If you've got any more, make sure to let me know so I can add them.


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