Step1: base coat the sand and plaster with a health coat of acrylic house paint. You can use just about any paint – but the buck a quart oops from Home Depot is about as cheap as paint can get. If you don’t have the good fortune to pick up miss-matched paint – think about buying a quart. Model paint is far too expensive to use for terrain work and even those large bottles of craft paint well be used up before you know it.
The sand is coated in a layer of Black, the plaster earth works gets a layer of medium grey.
Step 2: Dry brush the sand. For a muddy look, I first use Folk Art:Dark Brown, followed by a light brush of Folk Art: Mushroom.
Step 3: Wash the plaster with a bit of black/brown. For terrain work, I use a formula of 50% water & 50% Future floor polish, with Michael’s Powder Paint as the colorant. Once again, cheap is the primary concern. At $5 each, the two jars of powered paint have been used on dozens of projects and I’ve hardly used a quarter of the paint. Add half a tea spoon black + half a tea spoon brown to a table spoon of water/Future. This will give a gritty black wash. For browns, go with 90% brown with just a touch of black paint.
Step 4: Clean up the wash with a light dry brush of Folk Art: Sandstone. I like to add a bit of Woodland Scenics blended turf as a mossy covering to the piece. To apply the turf, paint on a bit of Elmer’s white glue with a medium detail brush & shake the turf over the piece. It’s handy to have an empty box to work over – the turf makes a bit of a mess when dumped on. While it might not always be appropriate to have grass & moss on a battle field, but I find the green breaks up the monotony of an all black/grey project.