Call it a dias, an altar or a pedestal... it's the thing that holds the shrines up so they don't fall over.
I do a fair amount of painting and showing here on Hammerblog. There are two things about my work which I think are very important to understand: First, I think it's a good idea to show how something is done in a blog like this. What's the point of saying "TA-DAHH!" and not giving any idea of the gestation process? Any learning or sharing there is to be had comes from the observation of the process, not the end result. Second, I don't consider myself to be a gifted or extraordinary modeler/painter/whatever. I am not so blind to see that I fall somewhere in the middle between neophyte and virtuoso. And I'm fine with that. What I don't want you to think is that by showing how to do what I do that I am suggesting everyone will automatically want to reap the benefit of my great wisdom, blah blah blah. It's something I provide so that you can take whatever you like from the repository of my experience as a budding modeler and use it to your own benefit, possibly with greater skill and talent than mine.
Ok? Ok. With that, let me show you how to make the Shrine Pedestal.
Make a circular hunk of foam by using an empty container of instant Kimchee to trace a circle on said foam. Use a wire cutter to hack it out, sand down the edges.
Establish where the center is by measuring the width and halving it. This will take a bit of practice, but stick with it. Make a dot with a felt marker in the middle (not a ball point or something that will make an impression on the foam). Then put a small flying base over it and trace it with a ball point or something that will make an impression on the foam (not a marker).
Do the same thing with the bigger flying base.
Next, a roll of masking tape. Trace the INSIDE of the roll as well as out.
There's a number of ways to draw a straight line, but I used the plastic trowel thingie I got from Home Depot (intended for use with drywall compound) to make straight lines. Make sure you get the right angle between the up-down line and the left-right line bang on or it'll look funny. I used the corner of a sheet of plasticard to make sure I got it right. Other things around the house will do it, but make sure you don't cheat on getting that right angle just so.
I also skipped one outer ring and the center circle when drawing the line. This is more in keeping with ornate circular floor tile and makes it look fancier.
I eyeballed the "X" lines (but used that plasticard again to make sure those right angles were also straight), and made more lines.
I used the ball point to draw a typical Eldar rune into the center. This part is purely optional, of course.
Just before I started painting it black with the Canadian Tire acrylic, I broke a chunk off to create the illusion that it was damaged. A good way (but not the only way) to do this is to make a couple cuts with an xacto blade which follow the grooves between the tiles. That way it'll break off in a believable manner.
When painting, the important thing is to make sure the black goes into the grooves. It's important to get black all over, of course, but you'll drybrush several layers over the flat surfaces; the black in the grooves will remain and has to be opaque. You can't have someone looking between the tiles and seeing pink. If you are having trouble accomplishing this, water the black down and add several layers.
Most paint takes more than one coat to cover the pink. Don't give up!
Now it's starting to look like something.
Drybrush first with Shadow Grey, then with Space Wolves Grey, then with Bleached Bone, then with Skull White. Notice how the "stone" just comes to life when you do this.
And that's how I do it, folks.