Getting to the bottom of it: Brilliant bases

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A good base finishes off a model properly, and consistent bases tie a squad or unit together.

Black Templars by Jonathan Shaw

Too many people forget about bases, not even thinking about them till the minis are painted – and then resort to something simple like sand or flock. There’s nothing wrong with this, at least the minis are based – but a little creativity will make your minis stand out on the gaming table. Applying the same thought, care and attention to detail that you do with painting, to the base will take your minis to a new level.

Bases don’t have to be complex, time consuming to make, or difficult if you don’t want them to be, in fact one of the best solutions to the basing problem is to purchase shaped resin bases. Below, we look at some of what’s available, and then move onto great tutorials for making your own bases.

Resin bases for sale

There are lots of companies making sculpted bases now, and you can find pretty much any style you’re after, here are a few from companies that SI members have used over the past year.

Dragon Forge Design

From 25mm up to 120mm round and oval, as well as bike bases, Jeff has a huge range of useful bases. From ancient ruins to tech deck, trench boards to parched earth, these resin bases should cover your needs. With handy packs containing 10 different bases (see example above), your units will look consistent, but have enough variety to really make your army unique.

Dark Art Miniatures

UK based D.A.M is run by SI member Klaus Teschner, and his popular bases come in 4 main themes, Lava, Rocky, Urban and Infested. With sizes from 25mm to 60mm, there is plenty to choose from. Like Dragon Forge, D.A.M bases can be bought in a variety pack of 10, plus they sell a Core base pack, with 20x 25mm, 5x40mm and a 60mm base at a bargain price. Klaus also makes display bases, with a removable 25mm base, so you can really showcase your finest pieces, or enter then into a competition, without loosing them from your army.

Issue 1 of Irregular Magazine features a tutorial for painting these lava bases.

Black Cat Bases

Another UK company, Black Cat are a great stall to find at a show, stocking a wide range of metal and resin bases you’ll find yourself leaving the stand with your wallet lightened and a smile on your face. One of their popular ranges includes skulls, as shown in the image above, they come in all sizes from 20mm, and in both round and square shapes. Their range is huge – but the website does not feature photos of them looking their best, don’t be put off though, as they are really quite lovely, and a company worth checking out.

base from Black Cat, mini from Wyrd painted by Boristfrog

These 3 have been popular with SI members this past year, but there are other companies making great bases too.

Scibor

40mm chaos carnage base

With a unique spin on the traditional, Scibor produces round a square bases in the usual variety of sizes, but with a very dramatic look to them. These are bases that will make your minis stand on on the gaming table. The Chaos Carnage range (shown above) is just one example of how much scenery is included on a base, the only downside is making sure there’s room for your model to stand, although the Ruins range probably has the most room. Definitely a company to have a look at if you want to do something special with your models.

Secret Weapon

Rather new on the scene, this company has had some very convincing posts on CoolMiniOrNot recently. Their bases come in three ranges, Lava Flow, Trench Works and Urban Streets. Like the other companies mentioned, the bases come in packs of 10, and the sizes are a fairly standard 25mm, 40mm and 60mm. One thing that SW do that makes them stand out is their Squad Display set.

Certainly not useful for gaming, but a fantastic way to display a small squad, especially for entering into a painting competition, or showing off in a display cabinet.

Making your own bases

Not interested in buying bases, and would rather make your own? It’s a great opportunity for showing a bit of creative spirit than devising a scheme for your army’s bases.

Jeff from Dragon Forge has a couple of simple articles on his site for making your own bases, on his page, Base work 101. This covers materials, basic and advanced groundwork techniques.

Necromancer Tales (Necrotales.com) has a good collection of base making tutorials on their site:

  • Crafting a rock base is an in depth, step by step tutorial with helpful images and tips.
  • Mushrooms and Plants & Vegetation are both advanced tutorials for adding details to your base. With stunning results, these do both require a lot of time and patience, and would not be recommended for getting an army finished in a short space of time.
  • Swamps, craters and the illusion of depth is more of a scenery tutorial, but the same approach could be taken to individual bases, especially for larger elements of your army.

Basing miniatures tutorial on The One Ring

The One Ring site, has an amazing collection of base tutorials, with fantastic step by step photos From basic to advanced techniques, these cover selecting and preparing the base, choosing materials, using household objects and even moulding your own scenery. Well worth a look.

Base blanks in mould form

This next site, briefly details how to mould your own resin bases.

Fantasy base by JRN

Jakob Rune Neilson has a fantastic tutorial on his site for Creating a Classic Fantasy Base. Showing how to build up the base from plastic card and putty, and then use various materials to get the look shown above, this is well worth a read.

painted by Jonathan Shaw of BMF painting

In the Winter issue of Irregular Magazine, Jonathan Shaw of BMF painting will be guiding us through the steps to make urban bases for your army. This issue will be available to download for FREE on January 9th.

So, that covers bases to buy, and tutorials on how to make your own – so why not make it a resolution to make sure your army gets based well this year, and vow never to field minis with bases that look like this again:

painted by Boristfrog

Have we missed off your favourite company? Got a great link to a base tutorial? Share with us using the comments below.

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4 Responses to “Getting to the bottom of it: Brilliant bases”

  1. Joshua Says:

    I don’t know whether you’ve heard of them or not, but I see them everywhere so was suprised when you didn’t mention them;
    http://www.microartstudio.com/
    Ordered from them in the past and they’ve being phenomenal in both speed and quality πŸ™‚

  2. estuvel Says:

    I needed this article!
    I shall add “pay more attention to basing miniatures” to my list of New Year’s Resolutions!

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