Bases 40k - how to make character bases?

Bases 40k - how to make character bases?

One of the universal things not only in Warhammer 40k made by Games Workshop but also in almost every wargame is undoubtedly the base. Bases have a significant impact both on the rules and visual side of this hobby.

Although in practice, from the gameplay point of view, character ones don’t differ from any others - not from regular troops bases, nor monsters and vehicles - it’s completely understandable that this type is the one with the highest probability of being converted, upgraded, or decorated. After all, the characters are the ones who lead whole armies - they’re the favorites, which we usually want to distinguish from the rest. Believe us - here, at Kromlech - we’re practicing such habits. This article is for you if you require some advice or inspiration for making a character base for Warhammer 40k.

What materials do you need to make a character base

It may sound obvious, but to make a character base, you need to have one in the first place. It’s up to you whether it’ll be a plastic base, HDF-one, resin, or clear acrylic.

In the case of the last example, choosing it is technically the end of your work. That’s because the usual practice is using clear acrylic bases if you aren’t keen on decorating them. Nonetheless, the intent of this article was quite different, so we leave you with the knowledge of this possibility’s existence and focus on more complex ways of making a character base.

If you want to gather some solid fundamentals for your rising creation, please look at our cafeteria of bases. You’ll find all the types we wrote about in the previous paragraph among this wide range of products. Choosing the desired shape (round, square, oval, or else) and size is up to you and the model you wish to grant with a new, finely detailed base. Although just for the conversion itself, you can choose whichever you want, it’s good to remember that if you’re planning to play your upgraded character miniature, it should have a suitable base from the rules point of view.

Don’t forget that square bases aren’t as popular as round ones and usually are associated with Warhammer Fantasy Battle. On the contrary, Warhammer 40k miniatures are traditionally placed on round and oval bases. Thanks to our offer, you can afford as many of them as you need. Some (resin ones, for example) might be available in not-that-large sets containing the exact amount required for the most typical single conversions. If you would like to make yourself a little stock for future projects, search for the more extensive sets of bases (mostly made from HDF, but also plastic).

Warriors of Gore Legion on bases matching the environment

The base that will become a base for your future… base isn’t everything. We might have pointed out a few things, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still at the very beginning of the creation process.

Besides the base itself, you’ll need to collect more materials useful during the conversion process. Of course, if you haven’t any, it’s good to think about glue and a hobby knife in the first place. No matter how complex (or straightforward) your character base will be, every modeler tells you that these tools are unnecessary.

If you manage to get some glue and a knife, then it’s probably a natural next step to find something to assemble and cut with these tools respectfully. When we add one more condition to this mixture - that it has to be a thing that might be found practical on a character base - we’ll get an answer. Or - more precisely - answers. To name a few, in our rich modeling and basing offer (where you’ll also find glue and knives, which we wrote about earlier), there are Plasticard and Cork sheets, Cork Scatter, Basing Sand, Static Grass, Clump Foliage, Coarse Turf, Weathering Powders, and even Hobby Magnets and Chains.

It might not be clearly visible right now, but later, you can find all these items very helpful. Nonetheless - after all - it’s always your decision whether to add something to your creation or not. That’s why gathering everything at once - without certainty of its usefulness - doesn’t have to be the most excellent idea (especially if you want to make only one base for one character).

Try to think about it before you start collecting a handful of items. Do a pre-selection. Base (pun intended) on your thoughts and feelings. What would you like to accomplish? Which materials will imitate a particular feature best? These are just examples of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers can help you save money and dodge the necessity of handling too many accessories.

How to make the base - step by step instructions

Making the base depends on the look of your primary base. As we stated earlier, in the case of clear acrylic one, there is - honestly - no process. The task of this kind of base is to create an illusion that there is no base at all. That’s its whole point!

Static Grass - one of the most commonly used basing features

Before we move to the main dish - plastic and HDF bases, which you practically customize similarly - let’s give a moment to resin bases. These are also available at our webstore, and - such as there - they usually aren’t plain or flat. Resin bases are often sculpted to have a specific shape - to imitate some forest scenery, desert, rocky plains, etc.

If you decide to use a resin base for your character model, a significant portion of the work is behind you. When you pick the one that you genuinely enjoy, all you have to do is to paint it. Even then, you have various options - you can paint the forest to look like it’s a winter forest or make the desert red so it seems like it’s a martian desert.

When some resin base catches your eye but is still not perfect enough for you, worry not. Even though it’s a ready-to-paint piece of wargaming model, there are no restrictions on whether you can mix it up a little bit. Adding something to your resin base (or cutting something off) can only benefit the overall look of your desired conversion.

And finally, the plastic and HDF bases. Here we can give you a closer look at the process of making such extras for the most beloved characters within your army. Let’s revise an example of customizing a base for the hero model step by step.

Let’s assume that you already picked a base in the right shape and size, and it’s either plastic or HDF. First of all, you need to clean it of any mold lines, dust, etc. Besides improving the look of the base, such cleaning can also positively impact the soon-to-come gluing process - it makes the surface of the base more smooth.

Secondly, add to the base any terrain feature you wish. Glue pieces of Cork so they resemble tiny rocks, or use some Basing Sand or Static Grass. You can mix several solutions if you possess enough space on your miniature base. Adding some stones to your desert terrain can help it look like it’s a martian surface, while combining grass with Clump Foliage gives you a feeling that your miniature is advancing through a dense, dangerous forest.

Instead of designing the terrain portrayed on the base by yourself, the other way is to use some of our Base Toppers. These practical overlays are a perfect finishing touch. They make even a clean base almost instantly ready to play. What’s more, they offer many unique patterns dedicated to factions that operate in - for example - a grim dark future.

Suppose you want to achieve a similar effect to our Base Topper but are not necessarily interested in affording it. In that case, you can always try to make some futuristic spaceship surface from Plasticard. With the addition of some bits and a hobby chain, it could become a realistic floor on the commanding deck.

The third step of the “making the base” process is to paint your creation. If you remember some tips we gave earlier when writing about resin bases, you shouldn’t have any inconveniences during that part of converting the model.

Base Toppers can make your life much more simple. And they’re looking good doing so

And finally, here comes the final - fourth, optional - step that includes any finishing touches. If you haven’t minded doing so, consider using our Weathering Powders. These modeling accessories can quickly bring a new life to your already impressive base, making it more natural and more “dirty.” 

Tips for painting and decorating your character base

During the painting step itself, there is little to correct. The most significant moment is before painting when you’re wondering about what you want to achieve. It’s vital to have a plan before we start painting - doing some research can happen to be really helpful. Thanks to that, there is a much smaller chance that you’ll yield in the meantime. Remember - even though during painting, it may seem that the final effect won’t look like you’ve imagined, it doesn’t mean that it’ll look like this for sure. The ability to see the results of the activity in your mind can significantly boost your morale.

As for decorating, it’s always nice to incorporate some bits onto your base - especially when we have in mind the base of a hero that needs to outshine everyone else. Whether you would like a skull or a helmet, for such add-ons, look at our Kromlech 3D Workshop category, and print them for yourself in the needed quantity.

Ideas for displaying your character base

The last subject to consider is how to display your character and its new base. If we have in mind the gaming side of our hobby, it’s good to think about some gaming accessories. After all, the model and its base would look way better, surrounded by professionally-looking tokens, markers, templates, etc.

And what about displaying your miniature on a shelf? You may find some of our terrains from Tabletop Scenics fitting for that quest. If you manage to afford a piece of terrain that will match the design of your freshly made base, you’ll achieve a nice, immersive effect. And even if not, it’s always more satisfying to display a figure with a beautiful building or scenery in the background.

Typically, such a mighty hero deserves as much attention as possible. Maybe one day, his whole, numerous army will stand proudly by his side on a shelf. Perhaps all of them will possess matching bases - each and everyone made with unmatched precision and dedication. Who knows what the future can bring? Who knows…?

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