Are 40K bases really that important? This caused a quite the dilemma when it came to our latest commission…
That’s right, the order came with a specific ‘don’t do the bases’ clause. This makes sense as the Imperial Knight’s owner James will paint them to match his existing army. This is a very sound strategy.
Being a smarty-pants, I did take this opportunity to write little jokes on them.
So, are bases that important when it comes to miniatures? Short answer is yes. Long answer is also yes.
It’s no secret: I love bases. That’s I wrote countless posts on how to make awesome ones, and published a handful of dollar e-books available on Kindle.
Even the most amazing model with a crappy base will look average at best. And, just as important, great bases can bring an average model to a Wow! status.
What Makes 40K Bases Awesome?
Now that we can all agree on their importance, how do we make warhammer bases look awesome?
Here are 2 easy ways to make your model stand out with awesome base work:
Muted bases that showcase a model.
This method works great when you have vibrant and colorful models.
A muted and dark base will showcase those colors. This eldar army is a great example: if the bases were light, the vibrant red and turquoise would get lost.
The dark bases make your eyes drawn to the models first.
Contrasting bases that create a theme
This is my method of choice for dark or speed painted models, like these Chaos Daemons.
With bold bases, the models just blend in the army as a whole.
The Great Camo Dilemma
These 2 tricks will work with pretty much everything you will paint except camo armies.
While a handful of scouts with camo cloaks are not enough to affect your paint scheme, armies full of camo, like a lot of Imperial guard regiments require some tweak.
It would make very little sense to have the turban warriors of Tallarn in beige and tan fighting on swamp bases.
To break of the monochrome feel of models and bases painted in the same colors, we need to add something contrasting. You can do so on the models or on the bases themselves.
For models, it can be something like OSL. What’s important is that this color is on a majority of the models, not just a select few. So every lenses, gems, and force/energy weapons can be that poping color.
If your army doesn’t have something like this, or you’d rather keep your models truly camo, you can add the same type of element to the bases.
While OSL is somewhat harder to pull on bases, something like ruins, rocks, or leaves can give you a good break. With elements from the bases like this, you can hamme rin your theme on your display board to tie everything together.