How to paint classic goblin green bases

13 May 2023

Tutorial: Old-School Bases
By Graham Pickett
In a world of pretentious bases, suffocated in bits of cork- Graham is here to rescue us all as we return to proper, old-school model bases.

I’m pretty sure we’d all agree that without bases your armies would look like piles of scattered bodies and doesn’t set the scene for the battle itself but an aftermath instead.    

So, let’s start with the base, most people tend to favour the old school ‘Goblin Green, 20mm square base’. I originally painted every base in green but then got lost in the idea of dwarf miners in tunnel fight scenarios, defending the stronghold against goblin attacks. This got me to thinking that there wouldn’t be much, if any grass in the tunnels so I’ve included a stone effect base too.

Traditional method.

1. File down any rough edges and excess sprue.


2. Apply a grey primer and leave to dry.


3. Use a fairly wide brush (pictured) and apply two thin coats of green. I use 3 parts paint to 1 part water mix.

4. This step is optional but I now use a gloss varnish. This protects the paintwork from the grease in your
fingers and saves you having to apply a third coat. 

5. Apply an even coat of PVA glue on the top of the base and place face down into a pot of flock/static grass. Leave for 8 hours or until dry. Push flock down onto base. If you find any bald areas add a little glue and apply more flock.

6.Use a spray matt varnish to help prevent flock coming loose over time.


Texture paint method.

1. Repeat step 1 above.

2. Spread a layer of texture paint on the top of the base.

3. Dry overnight, and apply grey primer.

4. Apply a coat of green over the whole base followed
by a dry brushed coat of lighter green, and once dry a top coat of dry brushed yellow on just the top of the base.

5. Apply a wash of Green ink and once dry add grass tufts for decoration.

Lovely stuff Graham! Make sure to keep an eye on the blog for more hobby tips!