Tutorial: What I learned from building small Bases

by Josua Lai

Less is more 

Sounds simple but this turned out to be the hardest point of all to understand and master. Why so?
Try to think of famous brands and they're logo. What have all these logos in common quite surely? They are simple, cut down to a simplicity where only that thing is left that matters in case of the logos the name or the brand. Due the simplicity of them,don't get me wrong simple does not means easy to creat, the logos they are easily recognisable.
How can we implement this on your dioramas and bases now? 

I often see scenes and dioramas that have a great story to tell but the way they are build or constructed does not really help to build up or carry the story. They are to crowded or to busy for example, which is not a bad thing done on purpose. This is why I forced myself to cut down on the essentials. Asking me with every element I added does it help the story or scene. By doing that I felt the experience I gained with every piece I finished.

Keep it "simple"  

On the firsts sight sounds pretty close to my first point. But let me explain... If I build a scene my goal is to tell a story. The story could just start for example a lone survivor is leaving his vault. The story could also end for example a Dark Elf hunter is hunting down his prey and just hit the deadly arrow right into the target. But you get also the option where the story has no real start or a real end and that for me is often the sweet spot. Lets talk about with my mini diorama of the cat swimming on a piece of wood in the ocean. Now try to think about a start and an end for this story. I am 99% sure you would tell a different start and end of a story then I would. And exactly that is what I am striving for. I want the viewer to feel something I want him or her to care about the Story and I personally feel like this happens in a special way when the story is not to complex and pretty clear. This does not mean that you not have to think about how you transfer the story. This means that you have to think about how you could guide the viewer and make him feel certain ways, indicating some things. For example the rather big waves around the cat are giving an indicator about the surrounding. The colours are chosen to be rather cold on purpose etc. To break it down:

Keep your story simple and visible. It is not a bad thing to not tell the start or the end of a story. Use colour or surroundings to softly indicate what is happening. Guide the viewers eye softly but guide it!


Another rather big word when it comes to creating stuff. I want to focus on consistency in size. I learned that if you build minimalistic and small bases you have to be aware of the dimensions of things like stones, twigs and other elements. It goes hand in hand with all the above points. Rethink if it is necessary or not and use elements wisely instead of just placing random stuff.

Consistency is also a big thing for me regarding the whole process of building especially when it comes to the finish of a plinth, this means that I also pay attention in areas that are not on the main base itself. If I have sides to sand down or plasticcard areas that going along with a wooden plinth I putt at least the same amount of attention to make them smooth and appealing to the eye as I would for the main area where the action is going on. If I look at it as a whole it should be non irritating things around the scene, at least that is and will be an important thing to me.

Keep it simple!



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