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How do you choose your figure's base.

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by JD64, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. JD64 New Member

    Morning everyone,
    I have a bit of a dilemma. Being new to this side of the hobby, having spent almost fifty years painting wargames figure's. I'm at a bit of a loss as to how I should be choosing bases for the figure's I'm currently working on. Do you choose based on figure size, color scheme of uniform, environment or a combination of everything. Also how do you choose a base size in comparison to the figure scale. I realize people have their own personal preference but any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Warren SMITH Well-Known Member

    Hi Joe, I'm no expert, but there would be a lot of differing ways to pic a base.... Space in the cabinet, figure size, what your ground work consists of, adding of a plaque, cost etc....
    I would trust this site being all about figures and have a look at what other members have done to start with.. Then maybe google the figure your planning to paint and see how others have presented it...
    I'm really lucky as a friend of mine is a retired carpenter with a lathe, so he has done me up about a hundred wood turned bases in different sizes so I have plenty of choice as long as its a round base...(y)
    winfield likes this.
  3. Blind Pew A Fixture

    This is a really good question. Time was, I used to complete a figure, then think, "Oh dear, I need a piece of timber to nail it to now!" Then wonder why my stuff used to look awful. Some will say it still does.

    I won't do a figure now unless I know I can 'base it' pretty well. I take into account the following
    * Scale - It's important, I feel to get the ratio base:figure right. I've seen figures get lost on bases, while others look like they'll topple over.
    *Pose - I have ended up with swords / bayonets etc hanging over bases - asking for trouble!
    *Potential for ground work. The other two factors speak for themselves. How good are you at groundwork? An expert like MoboShreuder, or a berk like me who is no good.

    Especially as well, try to use the most of the space. One thing that sets the likes of Mike Blank apart is that he uses all the space well. No 'dead space', which is the enemy of a good vignette or figure.
    winfield and Babelfish like this.
  4. Babelfish A Fixture

    A nerd can never have too many bases. So my rather random - and probably very uneconomical - method is just to buy nice-looking bases and then worry later about what I'm going to put on them.

    This means that when it come to a particular figure's turn on the bench, I rummage through my large collection of bases and if I can't find one suitable, I end up buying yet another.

    - Steve
    Tommy Atkins, winfield and Blind Pew like this.
  5. MrBMB A Fixture

    I love to go into the $2 op shops, kitchenware shops, picture frame shops and find bases that weren't designed to be bases. Like Steve, I worry about what I will put on them later.
    Mirofsoft likes this.
  6. John Bowery A Fixture

    I also have a collection of bases purchased at various shows. If I know that a base vendor will be at a show I will look at which kits I might be tempted to finish next and ans measure the base size of the included base. Then I jot the sizes down and look for the these sizes at the vendor table and purchase and write the model name on the sticker on the bottom. Then I pick up any base that suits my fancy as well for the stash. If the vendor does not have the size or colour or shaped, I am sure that he would be happy to make exactly what you want as I have the names of a couple who I use for special sizes and shapes. I also like a lot the bases that have an indented front or raw facing edge that can be made to look like waterfalls or rocks or both.

    example: https://www.planetfigure.com/threads/old-codger.119249/

    Some times I use the figure's base and sometimes not. I like my bases to have a pedestal step at the bottom for stability. (see above picture) I like my groundwork to cover the entire top surface of the block. I try to leave as little dead space as possible, in some cases just adding a tree stump can fill the space.


    I try not to let the subject over power the base or vice-a-versus unless that is the effect I am striving for. On a personal note: I think a block of wood looks just like a block of wood?
    As you can see by the above it is just my preferences for my modeling fun and the base is as much fun as the model itself and on occasion more fun.

    Enjoy and Cheers
    winfield and Blind Pew like this.
  7. Wayneb A Fixture

    I totally agree with all of the above..... However, having worked with wood for a long time and have the proper equipment I make my own. But even so, I have only been painting miniatures for a relatively short time. I think it's all about visual balance. Every piece is different; You don't want the piece to dominate the base and vice versa ( damn..I just looked up and John said the same thing.). Anyway, a miniature is a miniature;.. Visualize the finished piece and you'll be on your way.
    John Bowery, winfield and Blind Pew like this.
  8. loosehead Active Member

    Hi Joe
    Agree with the guys here my advice though find a local woodturner get him to turn up a few 50mmm 75 mm 90mm round and square bases bit of a step on the bottom varying heights
    maybe show him some pictures from magazines etc most of the time they have scraps might cost a couple of slabs of beer or something this was how I started eventually brought my own lathe, router, now bases everywhere, just remember you would not put the Mona Lisa in a plastic frame so why settle for any old base ………...
    John Bowery and Blind Pew like this.
  9. JD64 New Member

    Hello everyone,
    thank you for the suggestions. Lots to think about, already made my first mistake, figure was to big for the base. But I'm learning. Really appreciate everyone taking the time to help. Thanks again.

    Blind Pew, John Bowery and winfield like this.

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