Sunday, July 03, 2011

Base of the Matter

Recently a friend of mine asked me if I would paint up some bases for him. I quickly accepted, and before I knew it, the bases were in the mail and arrived the next day from Winnipeg to Toronto overnight. Incredible! Ah, but that was before the 1 month postal strike/lockout...

The bases he sent me were a sampling of bases from a company called Battle Ready Figs, who my friend says sounded a lot like a Basement Business when he met the owner at Adepticon. They are mostly 25mm bases, with a 60mm base, which my friend is planning to use for his new Tau army that he is painting in a bright tan, blue, grey, and white scheme. He had no specifications for how to paint them, so I decided that to help make his Tau pop I would go for something dark. And the bases he provided definitely suit the darker colours.

Bases as I received them, primed and with a few thin washes.... ready to be painted!

When I first opened the little bubble pack mailer, I was not very impressed. Not because my friend already tried his hand at painting them and got frustrated, and for which he was embarrassed, but because the bases were actually quite simple. And the pictures at the website of painted versions really were not inspiring. In fact, I think the colour schemes selected for the manufacturer's store were not well suited, and actually clash.

But I could see the inherently simple designs could be turned into some really nice bases, and when the models get mounted to them, the simpleness of these bases would actually help. I figured, by restricting the colour palette to a few basic colours, I could make them work.

For the tiles and cobblestones, I chose naturalistic colours, working up from Games Workshop's Charadon Granite, to Scorched Brown, Calthan Brown, Graveyard Earth, and a variety of other tans and greys. This I overbrushed in multiple layers, blending the colours here and there to create uneven aging and colour patterns.

The brick and gravel I painted with Games Workshop's Scab Red over a base of Adeptus Battlegrey. I then highlighted with Astronomican Grey and Dheneb stone.

This helped give each base type some colour variety. But because of the commonalities, they all work well together. But ruined cities like this are often dusty and grimy, and tend to get a uniform colouration regardless of the material as dust settles on everything. So I gave everything several thin washes of Devlan Mud, followed by Badab Black, which muted the bright colours enough to make it look aged and ruinous. I finally finished up by giving everything a light drybrush dusting of Astronomican Grey followed by Skull White.

I also picked out some of the extra details, like the girder and the sewer grate. I took them as an opportunity to add another complimentary colour to the naturalistic tones on the bases. By rusting out the girder and sliming up the grate, I was able to introduce some additional visual interest to the bases.

This is the end result.

Completed bases. Though they are simple, they have a couple of surprising little details, like the grate, and the girder...
Overall, I'm satisfied with the bases. They may seem too simple at first, but while painting them I noticed the quality of them was actually quite good and they had a couple of nice little details. The castings are generally clean, with very little in the way of flash.

The overall quality of these bases is quite good. The manufacturer took the time to sand the bottoms so they are flat, though some concavity was noticed. This also helps reduce the rim flash commonly found on "Garage/Basement Moulded" bases. There was very little evidence of airholes, also common in resin casting, except in the areas were dirt and debris were piled, as the texture tends to trap air. But with simple drybrushing, they have little effect on the overall finish.

Now, I'm off to the post office to get these back to my friend. I hope he likes them!

UPDATE: Battleready Figs no longer seems to have a web presence, and do not seem to be in business any longer. If you have information contrary to this, please comment below with their contact info or web address and I'll update this post.


Games Workshop

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