Project diary: 1177 B.C. - 02

by David

Hey all,

welcome back to my project diary. If you're wondering what this is, please check the announcement post, in which I explain the motivation and general goals of the diary. At the bottom of that post, you will find a link to all parts of this series (constantly updated as soon as new articles are published).

Today, I want to talk a bit about the general concept for the base. This will be relatively brief, sketching some ideas and explaining central ideas in a few words. If you want to dive deep into the principles and practice of base design, I cannot but recommend you take a look into Marijn van Gil's book "Dioramas FAQ 1.3", which I reviewed here in the Massive Voodoo jungle not too long ago.

The cover of Marijn's book

But back to the project. For me, the base is usually the most important aspect for my projects. The base literally provides the foundation for the miniature, it sets the scene, provides much of the athmosphere, and thus shoulders a huge part of telling the story! Consequently, I usually know exactly in which environment I want to portray a miniature, and it is a rare project where I did not have a very clear idea about the base and scenery even before I started on the mini. Ideally, I would like the base to be able to have an effect on its own, being interesting to look at and giving a tiny window into the world pictured in the project scene even without the miniature.

A couple of examples, ...
... in which I tried to make...
... the base tell most of the story.

Keeping this in mind, what should the base for my Bronze Age warrior look like? As noted in the previous entry I want to protray him just having arrived at the beach. So, I envision a beach scene with sand and a little bit of some kind of water effect. Of course, before I start working on the base, I need to consider the space I will have for the scene. I put my single 1/72 minis almost exclusively on simple wooden plinths (later painted black) with a surface area of 2x2 cm, and a height of about 4 cm. So, I need the beach scene to fit on a 2x2 cm area. To see how that could look like, I first did a few impressions of how the mini would look on that naked plinth:

Testing the angles...
... this is probably how the figure will end up.

Then, I drafted the beach scene on a sheet of paper, posing the mini on it to get an idea how that would look like. You can see that I defined the front side of the mini (which will be the main perspective the final project will be viewed), the rough angle of direction which I think the mini should face (labeled "view"), and a few lines on what will later be the beach, indicating where I wanted to have a bit of "deep" water effect and some wave ripples on the sand.

A few quick sketched lines...
... and with the mini on top. In the end, the waves will be less parallel to each other and to the mini's stance.

Once that was done, I had a pretty good impression of the overall design and composition of the base and based on that sketch, I can work on the base. This will include two steps: one before I start painting the mini, the second at the end, when the mini is basically done.

Thanks for reading. The next installment of the project diary will cover preparation of the mini.

As always, let me know, in the comments, if you have questions. See you in a bit!

Best, D.


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