Scenic Base Overkill? - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    The Pacifist Wargamer Quick's Avatar
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    Scenic Base Overkill?

    Maybe this just a general feeling, but I have been seeing more and more scenic bases becoming more and more outrageous lately. I see some WM/Hordes armies where every single model is standing on at least an inch of cork and gravel; every model is almost like a miniature diorama in itself.

    Some bases in progress I've seen have been so nice, their owner is loath to actually mount a figure on it, and just keep the base as is, a miniature Zen garden, one inch square.

    I suspect the craze derives from trying to get that little bit extra out of a piece to capture a judge's attention at a painting contest. The differences between two NMM blends may be subtle, but standing on a sculpted, simulated lava flow certainly isn't.

    Now I'm all for adding a little bit beyond the usual sand and grass job, but at what point does the base overshadow the figure itself?

    (Lately, I've been going in the opposite direction, downplaying my bases with models mounted on tiled floors, cracked, dry riverbeds, the planks of a ship's deck, etc.)



    WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons

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  3. #2
    I'm Back! Koss's Avatar
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    Yeah i hate it when people do an overly impressive base... like that one guy who made the Flying chaos lord mounted on a mound of decapitated Cadian heads... wait a second, that guy was me!

    seriously though i know what you mean, i espcially hate it when people mound dead bodies on their bases and then paint it all gory in an overly dramatic fashion.
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    Thread Killer! slorak's Avatar
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    To me a base is too much when it crosses the threshold of telling a story. If you look at a figure and start wondering about the base - what it is, why something is there, etc. etc. and miss the figure that is a good clue that too much is there....

    I really dislike a plain base and think that there is nothing wrong with a good base if it helps tell the story of the miniature. I like to think of it as a slice of life. I envision my models being in an environment.

    Having a lot of details on a base is not a problem if they blend in and add to the figure as a whole. If you have a jumbled mess with parts just heaped on for the hell of it. That is too much.

    Personally I don't mind spending as much time on my basing as I do painting the figure.

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  5. #4
    Wher dat naked blue chik? Jaffar_Hasad's Avatar
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    I think this thread would be better off in either the Modeling or Scenery forums. I'll just get that for you... oh wait, my powers haven't developed yet.

    Yeah sometimes a base is too extreme in certain cases. I find nothing wrong with a blood thirster stomping on a few marines, or a Shas'O diving over a broken wall, but mini dioramas on the little circle base are just too ridiculous. If you check the (Conversion of the Week)Conversion of the Day thread (link) you might find a few cases of this. I have seen one on coolminiornot where it is just a running Death Korps of Krieg infantry running, but the base is of a wall with bullets exploding out behind him. WAY too extravagant.
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  6. #5
    Fury of the Ages Solo's Avatar
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    I think it depends upon what the maker was intending. If they wanted to portray a scene using the whole mini, or if he wanted to "display" the miniature itself, or just tie the whole army together.

    If you want to create an emotive scene, then I think that the base can be as extravagant as you want, but should still have visual balance. It should evoke feelings in the person looking at it and "explain the situation somewhat".
    Just don't put an Eldar guardian standing on a pile of dead bezerkers on a monstrous creature base, he's just not big enough.

    If you want to display the miniature itself, the base really should draw your eye up to the model itself. This includes being visually balanced, but it shouldn't really have any colours that don't fit the situation the model is in. And don't put the most impressive feature on the base.

    Tying in the army theme is self explanatory. I suppose in the end, I just like my bases to suit the situation the model is in, be that an army theme, or just a single mini.
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  7. #6
    The Alchemist Izzinatah's Avatar
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    I'm fine with it if it looks good, but too much can make close combat a nightmare.

    And shrubbery usually looks horrific for some reason.

  8. #7
    A bit of alright. Walex's Avatar
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    I try to make my bases as uninteresting as possible, I'm a miniature painter and they're what I want people to see. The base, in my opinion, should enhance the miniature by lightening it, darkening it or the like. A trophy is all well and good but to kick it around the battle, every battle seems foolish. Scenic bases are all well and good for competition/display bases for gaming the extent that I'll go to is a bit of debris on larger bases to break up the flatness or modelled bases for the whole army but following the above rules.
    Up, up and away!

  9. #8
    Senior Member The Watcher's Avatar
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    To me it is a matter of gaming or pure display minis.
    I give my gaming minis more or less just a layer of static grass (and sometimes a little more details), as it matches my gaming boards just fine (altough my GotC will get snow bases).
    Currently painting the Waaagh! of Warboss Borboss - Goff and Evil Sunz warband

  10. #9
    The Pacifist Wargamer Quick's Avatar
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    Pure display figures are dioramas. In that aspect, you can have a single Space Marine on a Monstrous Creature base sawing one Tyranid in half with a Chainsword while simultaneously shooting another Tyranid in the face with the other.
    I don't really call that a miniature, though. I call that a scene.

    I think a lot of people like to do scenic bases because it makes their paint jobs look a lot more professional without actually being all that difficult to do. Improving layering and blending is far more difficult.

    The best basing job I've ever seen is my friend's Tomb Kings army. It's all featureless desert, but it really does look like an army riding through the shifting sands of Khemri. It makes the whole army look like it's in the same place.


    WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons

  11. #10
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Cyric the Mad's Avatar
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    I'd say that overly scenic bases for armies are definitely too much. I like having bases that stand out a bit without being overly busy, but I don't know if there are many people crazy enough to base and entire army to GD standards.

    I'm in complete agreement that your base should tell some kind of story, even if the story is as simple as "this guy is standing in some rubble". The problem I think comes when the story told by your base is more interesting than the story told by the mini on the base.

    That said, in my opinion a boring base can ruin a well-painted mini just as easily as a base with too much going on. No matter how well-painted a figure is, if the base is bland and boring, the model as a whole is bland and boring. The mini may be what you want people to see, but the base is an inextricable part of the mini as a whole. Neglecting your base is the same as neglecting any other part of your mini.

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