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Grim

All about the base (basing advice for a custom mini)

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So I've been working on this guy for about two months now - I've bought a house and moved in there so that's why it has been taking so long.  I tried doing a WIP on this fellow, but I lost so many of the "in progess" pictures there just wasn't any point.  I'm going to set the circumstance before sharing the pictures.

 

I'm playing a Goliath Monk in a 3.5 D&D game.  I originally painted Uglunuk for my character - he's a poor match since he's clearly a fighter or barbarian, but he made a good substitute and I didn't feel like my customization skills were good enough.  I did buy another one of the fig to customize at a later date. 

 

That later date came about last year.  I did some pretty heavy customization - my Monk is armed with a kama (a 1 hand sickle, basically,) and has the "flaming fist" feat, so that led to what to do with the hands.  I filed down some of the more conspicous armor, and customized the belt to look more like an ivory artifact belt my character wears.  Here is the result:

 

post-12963-0-66035800-1423073800_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-36842100-1423073802_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-22797200-1423073804_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-73399100-1423073805_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-42015100-1423073807_thumb.jpg

 

The first picture is before some touch-ups I did to the skin, but it shows off the kama nicer than the rest, so I decided to keep it.  Anyway, this leads me to my question:

 

I'm going to base him on a slotted circular base I got from Wyrd, it has a recessed area about 1" in diameter that you need to fill.  How do you think I should base him?  I'm not looking to do anything hugely complicated, but I'd be interested to see what people think.  In particular, what sort of base do you think would provide a nice contrast or highlight to the colors of the figure?

 

Right now we're doing a bunch of extra-planar elemental adventures, but I think more fire would be distracting.

 

So I'd be interested in people's opinions.  Also, I haven't seal-coated him yet, so if anyone has any comments please share...

 

P.S. The pictures are friggin' huge, so feel free to click on them and see all the tiny flaws!

Edited by Grim
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I usually ask myself:

Where is he from?

Where does he usually like to adventure?

What would "fit" his personality?

 

If you can answer any of those questions, you have a great idea for what kind of custom base to make for him.

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I would also add to make him seem "at home" on the base, use some of the same colors you used on the mini on the base.  It tends to look more harmonious that way.  Great job so far!

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Ice is an interesting idea - we are adventuring around elemental plains and that could give him some good contrast without being too elaborate.  I wonder if I could cut up some of my excess Bones to make jutting crystals...

 

He would be from a monastery himself, though his race are mountain-dwellers.  I could do a rocky terrain for the base, but I think it would match him a little too much.

Edited by Grim
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Wow, this has been some time, eh?  I figured I'd go with an update, since I started work on this earlier this week but just didn't have time to do much.  I decided to go with the "ice base" idea - we did go to that plane and it provides a nice contrast.  Besides, it lets me work on my crystals.

 

My idea was him standing on a sheet of ice with a nest of crystals jutting up from his feet.  I had an idea for this - use leftover bits of Bones bases cut into the shape of crystals, then glue them onto the base, and use green stuff to level out the field, give it some texture, and make the ice sheet.

 

Some of the "crystals" ended up with a bit too much texture from the top and bottom (the raised print and all,) I initially tried to file it smooth, then just found it easier to cut it with a hobby knife.  Basically I just cut them to shape - it was extremely easy as the Bones is perfect for cutting with an X-acto - soft enough so you don't slip.

 

Here's the result.  There's some texture around the crystals that are a bit hard to see, I'll just have to angle it better when I do the "show off" picture:

 

post-12963-0-82438400-1423862395_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-48518500-1423862396_thumb.jpg

 

I'm excited about painting it. :)

Edited by Grim
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Wow, this has been some time, eh?

 

No, it really hasn't. There are quite a few WIP threads that get abandoned for months, or even years, before they're picked up again. This is something I'm guilty of.  ::D:

 

I like the base idea, and I will be following this closely, as ice/snow basing is one thing I've never done, so I'm keen to see how you tackle it.

Edited by tarlen
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This is true.  Anyway, I did some work on the base this weekend.   I very much enjoyed painting it, even if it took a long time for me.  I covered the thing in primer, then blue liner - I wanted a sort of bluish grey so Gauthi (my monk) would look less out of place.  I then used Ashen Blue to bring up parts of it, finally edging the crystals and making highlights in Ashen blue and Pure White.

 

The end result was definitely dark - it looked cook but definitely more like dark blue crystal than ice.  I decided to add a distinct "blue" character to it - I used Vallejo's Andrea Blue (a very vivid middle blue) in varying quantities with the Ashen blue, and brought a lot more blue to the table and lightened it up as well.  Because I was making crystals, in particular I made sure the edges of the crystals were much brighter than the more internal portions.

 

Here's the result - it is still very dark, but I do want it to be on the dark side to blend in better with the very dark mini.  I took some pictures on my painting stand, then a bit higher up to get more of the top-down angle, finally with the mini in place on it:

 

post-12963-0-00693700-1424103403_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-18015500-1424103420_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-08891600-1424103438_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-92326100-1424103466_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-04197800-1424103497_thumb.jpgpost-12963-0-24718700-1424103520_thumb.jpg

 

Any comments before I attach the guy to the base?

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