Friday Quick Tip: Tile Basing

After Jim wrote about Advanced Basing materials, I started searching out some of the things we all talked about afterward that were not covered in the article proper. It started with Cork a few weeks back and I'm continuing with Tile this week! I've used floor tiles before on wargaming projects, most notably my City Fight mini display table. On that project I used them to create realistic sidewalks with curbs, concrete lines, and breaks. The tile worked like a charm, and should I ever get back to city-scapes, I'll definitely be bringing it back. But after it was mentioned in reference to basing, I just HAD to give it a try.

The materials you'll need are simple, a tile from a DIY shop like Home Depot, a base, some glue, a bit of sand material, a brush and a hobby knife. This tile cost me all of 49 Cents to pick up, and could easily base an entire army.

I started off trying to break the tile up using my hands, but the pieces proved to be a bit too large, so I quickly resolved the issue by snagging my handy tweezers and broke it up into small chunks that could easily fit on the base. Get a few larger chunks and a bunch of little ones. Start arranging them much the same as you saw me do in the cork basing how to, find an aesthetic that works for you and run with it.

Here you can see I just went with something simple, but you can easily build this stuff up to fit whatever look you are going for. I've again added some fine sand to the base as well to add additional textures. Use whatever works for you, but you'll definitely want to use at least something to break it up a bit.

Go back in with your hobby knife and score some of the surface and carve the tile down how you like. The beauty of the tile is it is great at taking carved details. Also scoring where you want the model to be placed and the bottom of their foot can help hold the model in place.

I went for a simple 40k city rubble color, Codex Grey drybrush, followed by Fortress Grey, and finally a very light dusting of Skull White along some of the fine sand and edges of the tile.

The different types of terrain this material can mimic is really limited to your imagination. Just carve it to the detail you want and paint! I can easily see myself using this stuff far more often now. It's easy, it's quick, it's worth your time! Give it a go.

Alternate basing materials are always fun to learn about, anyone have anything new they've been using?


  1. Ah, the tweezers are a great idea. I didn't want to bust out my trusty blender for this.

    It wouldn't take long to break down a big chunk of tile and store it is a little tin so you can use them whenever you need it for a little different texture.

  2. looks very cool, but what kind of tile is that? Obviously not ceramic... linoleum? inquiring minds want to know! (seriously, i need to base up some orks and that would look perfect)

  3. I'm pretty certain it's linoleum tile. I couldn't find a direct link on HomeDepot.com though, so hopefully folks can find it in the shop.

  4. Try using a piece of slate tile. $1.50 at the home depot.
    Wash all the dirty remnants off of it, wrap it in a towel, then hit it with a hammer a few times.

    It breaks REALLY well, and gives the impression of fallen walls and broken streets. It breaks into both large and small pieces perfect for piling up.

    It's my current favorite basing material. And combined with texture gel, gives a great look.