I recently came across a tutorial about using cork board to make a more interesting base for your mini. I liked this process because it was quick, inexpensive and made for some great bases. The same day I watched the tutorial, I went out and bought some cork board and a hot glue gun. I had variations of the rest of the supplies, so I set to work on a mini. I recently purchased a discount unit of Hordes' Pyg Bushwhackers on a whim. I always like them and the Trollblood army, but never really invested in them. After seeing the tutorial I knew exactly what I wanted to do though. This is the finished version of the base and how far I got on the Bushwhacker.
I decided that this was going to be what I did for all my Trollbloods. When I get them that is. I only own the one unit of Bushwhackers and the Merc unit BoomHowler and Co. for now. I use Boomhowler for my Khador and Cephalyx forces but since they're Trollblood, I'm going to give them lush forest floor bases. I want to eventually try snow / ice bases, but one step at a time. I am going to cover making the bases for my ten Boomhowler and Co. models.
My process is pretty straight forward. I tear out pieces of cork board that are close to the base size. If you want to play the model, keep the shape as tight as possible. Save the pieces that get torn away. I made my first attempt two or three layers tall. I don't think I'll do this with too many models. Probably just my favorites. For Boomhowler and Co. I just used one layer of cork board. I then paint on watered down wood or pve glue and sprinkle my rocks and dirt on. Agter drying, I drop some super glue in the cracks of the larger rocks that are loose and add more if needed.
I then primer the base. I used black the first time and it worked really well. I later tried a blue-grey primer and really liked how the lighter primer worked out. So I would now suggest a blue-grey primer. I will say that it does take a bit longer and a bit more paint to get some areas and the crevasse's though. The deep spots became a real pain. So it is a bit of a trade off. Your call.
After the primer dries basecoat the gravely areas with a dark brown and the rocky surfaces with a dark grey. I base the larger loose rocks with the dark grey. Adding splotches of a lighter brown can add some variation and mixing a small amount of brown into the dark grey will harmonize the colors a bit.