The Killer Guide to Basing Large Figures

Large figures demand bases which show them to their full potential.  Whether you are working in 54mm scale, or 80mm scale or even larger, a scenic base caps off all of your hard work.


Geologists have a saying - rocks remember.  Neil Armstrong

Our own planet has wild stretches covered by rocky outcroppings.   Pictures sent back from Mars give us another look at the same kind of terrain.   It seems like rocks are everywhere. 

You can can use Terrain Wizard Visual Reference guides to help you capture the essence of rocky terrain:

Then you can study this excellent tutorial --  How To Make A Stone Base.

Stone Base

You Might Only Get Massive Lifeform Readings on Dagobah

Massive forests and swamps defined the ecology of  the outer rim planet. 

You can can use these visual reference guides to help you capture the essence of a marsh or swamp:

Then you can use the techniques in How To Make A Swamp? to create you base.

These large figure bases might even be big enough to crash land on.

Swamp Base

Add Some Cattails To Create Even More Interest

Swamps and marshes are complex ecosystems.   Adding in selected details can help the viewer imagine the entire scene.

The mind can fill in details that are only suggested by the elements in a base.  Learn how to create impressions in -- Simple dipped flowers for scenic bases.



How To Model Tatooine

Need to make that perfect base for Sand People?  Perhaps you need a dry riverbed or dried marsh flats.  

You can use these visual reference guides: 

Basing large figures requires a scale which creates a context for a figure.   Something a small base cannot do. 

You can almost smell the sun burnt dust in this instructional - How to make a desert base?

Desert Base

Splish Splash

For some of us water is so abundant it falls from the  sky. When it does we can enjoy the fun. 

Large bases give you enough room to tell a story.  C'Tan shows us how to add action to our bases.

Just listen to the rhythm of the falling rain in this  instructional - How to make splashing water.


Right After the Rain - Flowers

You can drive yourself nuts looking for realistic small plants and flowers.  Railroad terrain material does cut it.  Neither does dollhouse scale material.

Plus there is nothing for fantasy landscapes.  If you are basing large figures which need otherworldly plants you'll want to pay close attention to -- Creating unique plants and flowers.


Making Bases With Natural Material

There is no shortage of artificial material in the modeling world.  Everything from fake rocks to fake grass and water. 

Sometime the real material works the best.  Michał "ARBAL" Walczak uses natural material, like moss, roots and stones to bring a tableau to life in How to make a base with real moss?

Real Moss Base

Making Japanese Bases

This base uses a wonderful technique to add depth.  It doesn't limit itself to the boundaries of the base.  It adds both vertical and horizontal depth to the base.  

First, it creates vertical depth by carving out space under the bridge, which it later fills with delightful detail.

Second,  it creates additional horizontal depth by placing the bridge diagonally across the base.  This breaks the visual limitations of the base and creates a greater sense of size.

Learn how from The Workshop of The Slave of Paint.  This French painter intelligently breaks some rules in Pas à pas socle ambiance japonaise

We also have a Terrain Wizard Quick Guide to Making Japanese Bases which translates the article into English.

You can can use these visual reference guides to help you capture the essence of a Japanese garden:


Your Figure Can Stand On Mustafar

This base is built from a mold.  It brings ready made texture to the party.  Yet it allows unique touches to make it your own. 

The surface detail lets you show off your airbrush prowess.  Plus you can learn how to add personal touches to the back and sides which make this uniquely your own.

You will learn how to use terrain paste to bring another dimension to this already rugged base.

Dirk shows how to combine these techniques on his blog Baraks Hobbyeck as he creates his Tutorial Lava - Base.

We also have a Terrain Wizard Quick Guide to Making a Lava Base which translates the article into English.

You can can use these visual reference guides to help you capture the essence of a lava field:

Lava Base

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