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Basing Your Models for the Best Effect

Basing-models

Often it seems that my posts are in a reaction to something Rob has posted (yes, I am that petty), but I like to think they’re also good techniques that you can employ to improve your miniatures as well.

Rob posted a blog post about using the bases of your models for baiting your opponent (found here), but I tend to think more about what serves the model.

Basing is a very important part of finishing off your model, and it’s important to chose your colours wisely. I always try and think about what colours would work with the model. A good way of doing this is by thinking about the colour wheel (which you can find online, or in any good art shop).  For example, If you’ve got a red model, then adding a little bit of green to the base colours will contrast the base and model, meaning that the model will stand out so much more.

Below I have an example of some Mechanicum Thallaxi models that I painted in a bronze finish. At first I painted the bases in a Martian red colour, take a look:Basing-models

Now, this looks good, but it’s a very similar colour to the reddish bronze of the Thallaxi. If we compare it to below:Basing-models

Now we can see quite a difference. The grey/white in these bases is what some painters call a free colour – it doesn’t go on the colour wheel – but what we see now is that the models are more striking, the bronze sticks out a lot more and all of a sudden the models look cooler and more menacing. (I haven’t done anything, but repaint the bases!)
I hope this shows how much difference a base can make. I found the difference quite surprising.
Another example below is the Adeptus Custodes Contemptor Dreadnought I painted. At first I gave it a white marble base, but as you can see, this was far too distracting for the model (it tends to draw the eye to the base):Basing-models

So I repainted it in a brown colour, which is a sort of opposite of the greens and reds on the model. What it does is make your eye focus on the model. Again there is no difference to the model itself, but a different colour base makes a big difference.
Basing-models
Thanks for reading.
If you want any more tips on this, or have any questions, please comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. PhortKnight

    This was an unfortunately short article. Despite its brevity is was extremely insightful. I’m about to start basing my Iron Warriors, was thinking a desert theme. Think it would offset the cool metal.

    • Hi PhortKnight (I see what you did there!), I’m sorry the post is quite short. I had intended to add more examples, but I couldn’t really get anything together that showed it as well as these. I think browns would probably work quite well with Iron Warriors. You’re in luck that silver is a bit of a free colour, meaning that it doesn’t really contrast with anything too much, so you can combine it with whichever colour’s you like.
      If there’s anything else you would like some advice on do let us know, and thanks for commenting.

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