The days of simply covering bases with green flock or sand dry brushed to look like green flock are gone for the most part. The past few years most hobbyists who take the time to finish the bases on their models go for something more elaborate and with more depth. As the variety of materials and availability of ideas for scenic basing have grown enormously over the past few years, the ability to showcase one’s models with great looking bases is now limited only by the imagination of the hobbyists. Well, that and one other thing, time. Which is to say, as much as many of us like to scenic base our models with custom cut, built and arranged bits of scenery, the fact is that doing so takes time. For example, the bases I created for my Deathwing Command Squad pictured above were lovingly and laboriously constructed bit by individual bit. The results were fun and rewarding, but the amount of time it took to do this would be prohibitive for the dozens or even one hundred models or more many of us plan for our armies. When building a large army, the time to custom base every model really adds up. A great solution to this problem is to purchase manufactured scenic bases.
Now, there are a number of companies making scenic bases out there. However, the quality and style can vary considerably from one manufacturer to the next. As I’ve been doing a lot of scenic basing myself over the past few years, I have considerable interest in this topic and I pay close attention whenever anyone introduces me to a new scenic basing product.
Below is a short list of companies who manufacture scenic bases. I have personally seen the products made by each of these companies and I was genuinely impressed by their quality and consistency. If scenic basing is something that interests you, please take a look at the products listed below and if they are to your liking you might wish to seriously consider giving them a try. Additionally, if you know of a good manufacturer of scenic bases that is not listed here, please leave their name and a link in the comments area below so that word gets out about them to the hobby community (including me!). Most of the companies dabbling in making this type of product are small and can use all the support they can get.
Note that with resin bases super glue is needed and pinning is often helpful or necessary, especially for metal models. Notice that the bases from Champ are made of plastic, so if you’re putting plastic models on them you can use plastic cement.
Regarding pinning metal models to resin bases, I often drill straight up through the bottom of the base directly into the foot of the model, thus ensuring the holes in both the base and the model are in perfect alignment. Obviously, the metal tab on the feet of the model that is there for use with GW “slotta-bases” has to go, so I just cut that off. For lighter plastic models, I sometimes just super glue them right to the resin base, though a pin can be helpful here too for the sake of stability.
I have a gigantic amount of Tau stuff just sitting around in boxes waiting to be assembled and painted and I think some of these manufactured scenic bases will be just the right thing for the Tau when I get around to them. I might even try some of these bases out with a few of the new units I plan to add to my existing Imperial Guard army this year. Anything that saves time and helps me finish more models more quickly while providing a high level of visual quality is a welcome product.