One of the things I find most useful when deciding on basing is to think a lot about what environment your army is supposed to be from and doing battle in. A lot of basing is being consistent with your technique throughout an army and matching your basing to something that can fool the eye into thinking that could actually exist in the real world.
When I picked up my Skaven army last fall, I thought quite a bit about how I wanted the basing and army display board to come together and help tie a story and theme together with this army. I thought a lot about where the Skaven live and what their primary enemies are and came up with the idea that this army will have recently struck down a dwarf hold and that the basing would represent the ruined landscape of halls that have been under battle with bits of the battle and the structure of the mines strewn about.
There are a couple of things that I want to try to keep in mind with basing.
- Natural surfaces aren’t flat. If it’s man made and a structure then and only then do you expect true flat surfaces.
- Basing needs to compliment the color scheme and help to make the model stand out
As you can see in the picture to the left, I started this project with a rat ogre. There are two reasons I chose this guy. First, the larger base then my standard infantry rats would let me do more and explore options that I won’t have on those models. The second reason is that, at least in today’s Warhammer, Rat Ogres aren’t that good so if the project ends up turning out in a way I don’t like, well once I have the army built up I won’t be using him much.
In this project, I also decided that rather then building up the bases, that I would stick to a fairly flat basing with some cork to add a little elevation here and there. I had some scrap cork laying around on the desk and started trimming it with a hobby knife so that the edges were angled more naturally and started playing with positions on the base before gluing it in place.
As I was shaping the pieces of cork, I realized they made an interesting little valley that made sense that the dwarfs may have added some planks to make it easier for them to cross rather then climbing over the two larger rocks on their way to the tunnels. These were made from basic balsa wood. I did a little shaping with my hobby knife again to give the boards a worn appearance, as if they had been there for some time and seen a lot of use.
Once things were sorted, I used sandbox sand which has an interesting mix of different textures and glued it to exposed areas to give the base a complete coverage. I also glued the boards into place and made sure that my Rat Ogre would stand on them appropriately.
Finally, the rat ogre just didn’t look impressive enough so in his free hand I added a bit of plastic chain that I figured the frenzied beast would whip around for added damage and glued that in place on both the model and on the basing. I noticed that this helped break up a little of the flat area on the base and gave the overall model more appeal.
Well, I can say that I was impressed with the final project. This guy was pretty sharp and even after paint, I am very happy with the model. He’s seen a lot of table time as I need to field the two rat ogres I have painted up currently in order to make my 2000 point lists. I can’t say I have been overly impressed with their abilities in game, but the two of them when they were finished up are an impressive pair.
Good luck and I hope this helps you out with basing your next army project.