Hobby How-To: DIY Space Hulk Bases

In 2022, Games Workshop released the Boarding Actions gameplay type, which changes the battle setting from a ruined-covered battlefield to the tight confines of a space hulk. I’d been thinking of making a small army with a ship interior basing scheme for some time, and the release of the Boarding Actions kick started my brain. Was I going to buy the space hulk-themed bases that GW offered? Of course not! I was going to spend hours brainstorming how to make them myself, and maybe spend a tad less than just buying them. I had the zip ties and rubber-coated wire lying around my garage. I think the plastic mesh sheets cost me $3.

Step By Step

  1. Go to the sewing section of your closest large store (Wal-Mart in my case) and buy some plastic mesh canvas sheets. This mimics an industrial floor once painted a metallic gray.
  2. Collect an assortment of zip ties of various sizes and widths.
  3. Find some rubber-coated wire.
  4. Take the bases that come with your miniatures and super glue the top of them to the plastic mesh.
  1. Leave them to fully dry, probably an hour or so, and flip them over.
  1. Using a utility or hobby knife, roughly cut the plastic mesh away from the bases.
  1. Now more carefully, trim away the excess until you only have the top of the base covered with the plastic mesh. I found this easier by turning the base upside down.
  1. Make random patterns on the floor by cutting up your wire and zip ties, then super glue them to the base. I thought it looked best if I aligned them with the grid layout. I used a piece of sprue as well to add variety.
  1. Prime it in flat black.
  1. Drybrush a gunmetal gray over the top of the grate pattern and zip ties, and paint the wire any color you like.
  1. Generously coat the base in a wash of your choice. I used Army Painter Strong Tone, a dark brown wash. I think a black wash would also work just as well.
  1. To brighten it back up a bit, lightly drybrush a silver metallic over the grate pattern and zip ties.
  2. Randomly drybrush an orange color here and there to add a few rust spots.
  3. Wanting some leaking green ooze coming from some cabling, I applied some bright green paint in a line on a spot on each cable.
  1. Pat yourself on the back for making an awesome base. Super glue your miniature to it and enjoy!

The End Result

Here are some Black Legion Chaos Space Marines venturing out into a space hulk.


I live in rural New Hampshire with my wife, our son, two cats, two dogs, no more chickens because they all got eaten, too many fantasy books, some miniature models, and my wife says I have too many keyboards (only three). Small and steady hobby progress wins the race when you have a toddler.

Clay’s contributions