Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What a difference a base can make

I have a really well painted chaplain in TDA that I painted awhile back.  He is really slick if I do say so my self.  He is kind of accidentally one of the best models I have painted.  What I mean by this is as I painted him, he just began to develop on his own it seemed.  So, here are a few pics of him:

As you can see, he is a great model, one of GW's better scuplts, but he was just missing something...a good base.  Luckily, Jeff from Dragon Forge has sent me over some bases to check out.  You can see the array of bases he sent me in this post.  Not only am I impressed by his handiwork, but Jeff seems to be an all around agreeable guy.  You have to give his site a look-see.  Well, I am using the stonework 40mm base for a Lone Wolf conversion project, so I used the tech deck base he gave me for my chappy.  The one I am using is the one in the upper lefthand corner of the picture below:
This is a really solid looking base that requires very little to make it look nice. It is all metal.  So, here are my impressions on using Dragon Forge bases. First, they are very sturdy.  I have worked with resin bases before that feel almost like the consistency of a bar of soap. I worry about their integrity.  Not so with the Dragon Forge base.  It felt sturdy.  Second, it was easy to prime and base.  I use Rustoleum dark grey auto primer and it adhered to the base very well and took a relatively normal amount of time to dry even in the small crevasses of the grill work.  Third, paint adhered easily to the base.  A quick drybrushing followed by an additional highlight and finally some washes were all it took to make the base look nice.  Finally, the base, while sturdy is easy to drill into.  I have learned from many a past experience that it is generally good practice to pin models to resin bases.  It was simple to use my pin vise to drill into the base, add a pin and glue the model onto the base.  Ultimately, I would give the Dragon Forge an "A" for ease of use, look and quality.  It was an easy fix for my model and now he looks great!  Check out the pictures below.

As you can see, by simply adding a base, you can add a lot of "feeling" or gravitas to your model.  When I look at this base, I think of a Templar crusade involved in a boarding action on a space hulk or some such.  I really like the base. 

Which leads me to a few points about using bases to make a model really pop.

1)  Base your models!  It is that simple.  Don't leave them on a plain black base like I did above.  At the very least flock them.

2) Flocking is an easy way to cover a base and give it texture, but paint over the basing material and highlight/wash your bases.  This really only requires a bit of drybrushing to do and it makes your model look a lot better.  Again, your base gives a lot of feeling and environment to your models.

3) Keep basing schemes consistent.  Don't change up your method in the middle of painting your army.  Make sure the entire army is based the same as they are fighting on the same battlefield, theoretically. 

4) If you don't like flocking and basing yourself, buy resin bases!  I recommend Dragon Forge's stuff.  It is high quality and easy to work with.  Plus, most resin bases add some really cool details to give your army more character.  I can't sculpt that well on my own, so I am going to let someone else do it for me. 

5) Use hot and cold colors to make models pop.  Many may not know this but colors can be hot and bright or cool and muted.  If you model is mostly cool (see above) try adding warmer, brighter colors to the base to make the model stand out.  If nothing else, try not to paint your base and your model the same overall color as this tend to make the model blend in and get lost.  You want your work to stand out.  For instance, if I were painting a Blood Angel model with lots of red, I would try to incorporate muted blue, gray, and green tones in the basing to make him stand out more.  Check out a link on color theory for more information.

That about does it for this post.  Thanks for reading.  I should have a Black Templar HQ review up soon.


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