How to base miniatures is something that I have spent a lot of time thinking about. I still haven’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I have seen some really great themed bases. But when those themed bases, say a snow theme, is placed on a table top with a different theme, or an army with differently themed bases, the result is incongruous.
Sometimes IMHO, for example Death Korps of Kreig, people go a little overboard. A base drowning in mud distracts from the miniature. Sometimes, for example Salamanders, the bases don’t make much sense. Why would anyone stand on magma? Even in terminator armour. I want something that compliments, or at least doesn’t clash with, my color scheme. I also want something that makes sense fluff wise and will work with different tabletops.
I considered using clear bases with the rim painted black. The effect is striking but subtle. The problem is that clear bases are not much fun and so many miniatures come moulded with elements attached to their feet, you still have the same problem. Also, unless I pin the models to the bases, which might be very noticeable, they will snap off every time they are dropped. Also, I guess that the clear plastic will eventually pick up dirt and scratches, ruining the effect.
I considered buying some aftermarket bases. The problem is that I don’t really like what I have seen. Some of it is OK but for the price, I want to be a bit more excited about them. Also, scenic bases come in sets and most sets only have a few good bases and are pretty derivative in general.
So, given that this is a hobby, I think I’d like to make my own bases. That leaves me with the same problem of theme. In the future, I’d like to make some terrain and that will almost certainly be classic ruined city terrain. So, I think that, given the grimdark nature of the 40K universe, urban bases are probably the way to go.
Also, after this small Sauroters force is completed, I would like to collect some other factions. Specifically, the Genestealer Brood from the Deathwatch Overkill boxset and some Death Korps of Kreig. To round it out to four, I’d also like to create a Chaos warband. So, I’d like to have complementary bases for each faction.
The Genestealer Brood features a model with a very elaborate base; a Patriarch crouching on a pipe. So, a kind of Underhive, Necromundaesque theme seems appropriate. I want to paint the DKoK in a light blue WWI French theme. I’m imagining them as a kind of sinister UN style paramilitary force doing urban clearance. So, a war-torn city theme seems to fit. As, for the Chaos warband, I’m really not sure yet.
For my Sauroters I would like a dark color scheme for their bases. So, I think I’m going to go with stone. The kind of flagstones a fortress monastery might have. I am thinking black rather than grey and well worn. I have found a tutorial I like from Dr Faust’s Painting Clinic which can be seem here.