I've been working on a new space wolf army and I thought I'd share how I do my snow bases. I found a fairly simple and cheap way and I'm quite pleased with the effect.
Let me know what you think.
Step 1: Take some cork board about 0.5cm thick, and tear off some irregular chunks of various sizes. Try to make sure the edges look ragged and uneven. If you tear it right it's easy to do, and you can use a modelling knife to help. When you have several chunks of varying size, glue them randomly to the model base with superglue. You can put some smaller chunks on top of larger chunks in places.
Don't worry about large flat areas, you'll cover those in step 3 with texture paint.
Step 2: Prime the base with black spray. This will help the texture paint adhere to the cork. If you're in a rush you can skip to step 3.
Step 3: Paint the flat areas of the base with citadel texture paint or regular paint mixed with course grade sand. Just blob it on thickly. The colour doesn't matter as you'll cover it later anyway.
Step 4: Once dry, paint over the whole base with black, then drybrush it with dark grey, followed by very light grey on the very edges.
Step 5: Prepare the snow mix. I used a roughly 50/50 mix of PVA glue and citadel snow flock. Other modelling snow would work just as well. You can also apparently use bicarbonate of soda and PVA but apparently this can discolour over time. Add water until you have a thick blobby consistency. I've done my best to show you the right consistency in the pictures...
Step 6: This is the fun part. Blob the snow mix thickly onto the base. Concentrate most of it around the edges of the cork, as snow is more likely to accumulate in the cracks and crevasses of the rock. Tease it around with the brush until it looks patchy and thick. Then dust it with a thin layer of snow flock and shake off the excess.
Finally, load a paint brush with water and paint the water over the flatter areas of the rock. As the water soaks into the snow mix it turns it more slushy and translucent, so it looks like the snow is starting to melt on the raised areas. Aim to have less water in the places in shade so the snow looks fluffier and fresher there.
I apologise for my poor camera but I've done my best to show you what I mean in the picture. The lighting isn't the best...
Step 7: Add the model (I pinned mine to the cork to help it stick) and paint the edge of the base black.