I recently came across a great product from AK interactive which is giving me great (and fast) results on my bases and I wanted to share in case it helps anyone else here.
AK Interactive have a whole range of diorama terrain textures designed to simulate just about anything from mud, swamp, water, dirt, desert sand, snow - you name it, they probably have it.
In my head, my armies are battling it out across an arid red desert world (looks a lot like something from Mad Max... or outback Australia!) and my traditional method of glue + flock, paint, wash, paint etc was just taking ages.
So, I picked up two different textures from AK - 1) rough terrain, which is gritty and can be shaped into mounds etc and 2) light earth, which has a finer sandier texture. The real plus for me here is that the grains looks like sand should look to a 28/32mm scale dude, not our scale.
Another (major) plus - the price point is also amazing. GW sell their texture paints for $14 AUD per 24ml pot. AK's product comes at $19 AUD for 250ml. Two... hundred... and... fifty... mills. Obviously those prices will change around the globe depending on where you are but I would imagine the comparison would be similar if not the same.
Here you can see the size difference between the products:
The stuff is acrylic, so it just goes on with a brush (or paddlepop stick, toothpick etc) and you can water it down for different finishes, blending and so forth. The AK channel on YouTube has some great tutorials that show what this stuff can do in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing (I just know enough to be dangerous).
It dries fairly quickly as well meaning you can get on the the fun stuff quickly (painting!). And it sets rock solid. I found my flock/glue would sometimes lift if it got soaked with washes, but not this stuff.
The photos below are a bit rough but hopefully enough to give you an idea of the texture. All up, applying the texture to this base took about 5 minutes. Then roughly an hour of trial and error with washes, various rust pigments and applying bits from my garden. I used probably half a teaspoon worth of product so this stuff will go a long way.