When I decided to start a team of Dark Angels about half a year ago I was hoping for cool, realistic poses with my conversions and a very gritty, kick-ass look. I started with a plasma gunner and…
…well, I couldn’t resist the joke. I wanted the figures to look very grimdark at first glance, but I’m not really that grimdark of a guy. So I gave a zombie head some plasma-glowing eyes and glued it on there.
This gave me the idea of doing bases on the figures representing the various foes the team had defeated. I have a somewhat developed backstory for the Eremoi (Hermits), which I may share at some point when I need a break from fantasy town. Here are some ideas for how you might add interest to your figures’ bases by dipping into your bits box and reaching for your trusty hobby knife.
These are gaming figures, so the tiny dioramas had to be both tight enough to fit on a normal tactical marine base and sturdy enough to withstand (minimal!) abuse.
Some are very simple. A cool hand holding a bloodthirster head led to the inclusion of the bronze Khorne symbol lying in the dirt. A skull, a bit of wire, and a little plastic cutting adds some more 40k atmosphere.
Sometimes I like to break off the base a touch, using the black rim as a cheeky little zone for scenery. The plague zombie’s arm does protrude a bit, but the stout metal I-beam gives it a pretty safe nook to hide in.
Sometimes it’s as easy as painting something funny onto an unaltered base. It’s hard to read in a static shot (it’s easier if you can turn it in your hand), but the barrel says ‘KRILL.’ I thought it would be appropriate if the suffering millions of the 41st Millenium ate… tiny little gross shrimp and stuff.
This guy’s a real go-getter, so he’s bounding over a half-buried jug of Guilliman’s X-Treme Ultra-Ade. I think Ultramarines are pretty stupid, and I think the ridiculous names of sports/energy drinks are pretty stupid, too. Seemed like a good fit.
Sometimes the base & the figure are one! This was a really fun challenge. I had to fit a whole prone tactical marine onto his base. The key was to use plenty of nubbins to cover up the parts that would shatter the illusion.
This is definitely one of my favorites. Again, the challenge was getting the right arrangement of goblin parts beneath the foot that’s squashing him as he crawls out from some hole in the ground.
My brother-in-law Will, whom you’ve met in numerous battle reports, started his Kill Team collection with T’au. Well, he had to be trolled, didn’t he?!
This one uses the rim, features a nice bit of chopchop to create the casualty pose, and sneaks quite a bit of scenic ‘information’ onto the base.
But why stop there? A little Greenstuff easily gives a lolling tongue on a dead T’au. It doesn’t really matter if the head looks almost like a hood ornament for the model, it looks cool and the goal is storytelling, not verisimilitude.
Thanks for taking a look at these fun little mini-scenes that live on the bases of my Eremoi. I have a lot of fun solving the puzzle of building a complex, ‘readable’ scene on such a tiny surface, and I’ll bet you will too!