Thursday, August 6, 2009

bases loaded

Ok, so today we are going to talk about basing.
First lets get this going from the begining. Why base? well the simple answer is that it looks good. just as a painted model look far superior to an unpainted one (no matter the skill of the painter) the same is true for the base. the base is a part of your model i mean what would your space marines look like if you didn't paint their bolters? they would look imcomplete right. the same is true for the base. a painted model on a unpainted base is just a little plastic or metal figure. once you paint the base it becomes a little unique character.
As you can see from this mediocre picture of two decent models the basing adds something to the whole model. it makes it look like its on the battle field and not just sitting on your game table.

now you dont have to get all fancy with the base, though it is fun and a great way to add character to your models, you can simple just give them the look of the environment you want your forces to be in. whether it be in a forest, a hive city, a space hulk, or a desolate waste land any thing can go and most are simple enough to do.

now some important things you might want to consider when deciding on how to do your basing are the general environment, positive and negative space, focal point and complimentary color useage. now all of these are concepts that will help you make a good base and can be used by a modeler of any level to make their stuff look good (i mean I'm an average painter and modeler at best but this little concepts deffinatly help me out a lot and can probably help you too).

ok so our first concept is basic environment. now this is an easy one for most people it really just comes down to a fluff question of "where do your forces usually fight"? now with some paint schemes you can do whatever you want like big yellow imperial fists on a snow land scape. but other times you might play say a guard or tau army which use stealth and camo to their adantage so your gonna want to choose a terrain style for your base that matched your army's color scheme. like have guys in forest camo on an urban base looks kind of weird, though if maybe part of the fluffiness of your army is that they are usually jungle fighters and have been deployed improperly equiped in a urban setting thats fine and dandy just think about this stuff before hand. ok so here we see two examdddples of trying to match our paint scheme to our base.

on the left we see some SM sniper scouts with their camo-cloaks and bases painted to match what this does is show proper use of camo for them and gives us an all around nice see tieing our whole model together. now the second picture shows some IG in an urban camo design. now since there are alot of colors going on in their camo scheme (4 to be exact) we have to try and show i would say at least 2 of the colors on the base (try not to get to caried away though with the color matching because that can lead to a base that is just far too busy). so we can see that the black grey and white of their uniforms are represented in the black/white road design and the ruble at their feet. now before we talk more about color lets move on to positive and negative space.

Now for those who don't know what i mean by positive and negative space (+/- for now on) let me explain or at least sum up. in any picture or sculpture you see this concept is usually apart of it (if its good anyways lol) its really just an idea of balanceing your positive space of your subject matter (ie your model) with the negative space around it (i.e. its base, the area around it so on and so forth). when balanced right you'll have a clean attractive model. when off you'll either have a model with too much going on around it or well a empty base.

Now here we have an example of poor use of +/- space. this guy is a very short and broad model so our paoitive space is very very tight and then is we add this big hand thing (which will make an appearce some where latter on i hope) it first covers a huge chunk of the models back side and makes the whole thing a little too busy so for this guy what we really want is a rather flat base one that doesnt take up his space. like this one here.
As you can see here the model has lots of space for him self and looks far less busy which lest your focus more on him and less on his surrondings. speaking of focus lets move on to the next point we are going to talk about Focal Point.
for the most part focal point is where you look first when look at a piece of art and then the "flow" of looking you do after, the goal is to get your audieance to look at one spot first and then to move from that point to the rest of the picture, or again in this case our mini. using the example picture above what do you look at first? ok now really look at that point and then just let your self flow through the mini, hopefully if i did my job right your eyes will move across the whole mini from point to point untill you look a basically the whole thing. now i dont know what your focal point on this is becasue it differs from person to person i usually focus on his head or ammo clip first and then make my way in a circle. the whole point of this is to basically get the audiance to see the whole picture an enjoy all the little details. now how does this have anything to d with basing? well you base can add points to look through on your trip through the mini I'm sure some of you eventually made your way down to the skull at his feet and then back up. and thats the point the base is there to help the viewer look around the whole mini and really look at it and its surrondings.

look at these three guys, they all have the same basic equpiment, and practically the same stance but with slightly different bases you get a whole different view of each and your eyes will see different things when looking at them. for the most part with all of them i go right for that orange but then with the first guy i go up to his face and then make my way to the feet with the second guy i see the gun first again and then get pulled down by the little metal spire and then the hand below him and then get led back up to his face and the final guy is like a counter-clockwise circle going gun, face, knee ground and up again.

for our final point we have complimentary color usage. this is just chooseing afew colors to either blend into your model or make it stand out. the camo pics earlier show the whole blending in concept pretty well just matching colors to make the base and mini feel like one thing. but we can also choose a few well placed colors that we dont see on the mini to give it a little "pazaas".

Ok check these guys out. again two models that are basically identical. heck they both event have similar base ideas but one (guy on left) uses a color on his base that mixes with the rest of him with that little bolt metal deally on the ground while the guy on the right has this little bronze bit which really just adds a whole other feel to the mini. it adds some brightness ehich is good with this rather dark color scheme and just adds a little bit of extra something. now im not say the guy oin the left is bad, i like how he came out, i'm just showing you what differance a little bit of non matching color use can do.

So in closing i hope this brought any one who read it a little incite. sorry if my writing is alittle hectic and stuff, but it is late, i'm sick, and i hate proof reading hehehe. anyways i'll work on makeing that better. and sorry for the IG heavy pics i just happen to be working on them and really trying to base them all because its the right thing to do.

anyways remember a unfinished base is like a baseball field with a tarp on it..

It's just no fun =).
(had to do it the one time i go to a base ball game in like 10 years and it rains so i took a pics.. stupid mets)

Emperor Protect

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