I finally had a bit of time to experiment some more with my basing scheme. My typical base color, Apple Barrel 'Territorial Beige', is too dark in my opinion, so off to Michael's we went to find something more suitable. Feawin and I looked at several colors, and in the end we picked 2 - Americana 'Fawn' and FolkArt 'Camel'.
And, here they are - 'Camel' on the left, 'Fawn' in the center, and just for comparison 'Territorial Beige' on the right. To my eyes, 'Camel' is too yellow for my purposes, but 'Fawn' looks like a winner.
This side-by-side comparison confirms that opinion. I do like the comtrast between the 'Fawn' and the 'Territorial Beige', and I might use the 'Territorial Beige' and the base color for any rocky formations when I finally start making some terrain pieces.
One more comparison:
This is a heavily fooled-around-with but still poor pic of the test bases on the felt that will be the terrain cloth for my first games. 'Fawn' actually does look good on the felt, just not in that pic!
After some thought, I decided that I would stick with a slight variation of my usual base decorating strategy, which is as follows:
1. After gluing down the minis, paint the base in the selected color - 'Fawn' in this case
2. Once the paint is dry, spread white (PVA) glue on the base
3. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle various types of basing materials on the glue, starting with the most coarse and ending with the finest grain material.
I considered using a different technique, where the base is coated with the rocks and sandy materials first and then inked/painted up to the desired colors - as exemplified on the Olicanalad's Games page - but I am not a very skilled drybrusher, therefore the old technique is the one that will be used.
Here is the array of material I am considering to use on the bases:
1. Crushed walnut shells - I found this stuff while wandering around the local pet store. It is normally used for bird cages, but it should make a great basing material. And, it is cheap - $10 for a 7 pound bag! The size and sharp edges might be better suited to 15mm rubble, but the color is perfect.
2. Woodland Scenics fine tan talus
4. Woodland Scenics fine brown ballast
The ? materials, unfortunately, are just perfect for the job, but I need to hunt around here for some info on what they are! I purchased most of these items 12 years ago or so, and have held onto them ever since. Some were used on other projects, especially 40K minis, but never in a large scale. I do remember buying the ? materials from a now-closed train/hobby shop in Spokane... I should have the package labels here someplace (I'm a pack-rat for paperwork).
This is an example of what I'm trying to achieve. This is the 'Fawn' test piece from above, with various amounts of the 6 jars of materials as shown above. I like it so far; I might add some bits of light green foliage in the future.