Well it looks like clear bases are go for the next stage.
I’ve been playing about with a set of clear acrylic bases I got from those nice folk at Fenris Games. Now they normally sell these as 2mm thicknesses, but as you know I want the bases to do the best job they can of disappearing into the scenery, so I asked for some thinner versions as well, just to see what they looked like and how strong they were. No point in having thin and unobtrusive bases if they snap all the time.
But they don’t.
I’ve tried to snap them and haven’t been able to do so with my bare hands. Didn’t even stay bent. I assume I could with some tools, but that’s not what I’m expecting them to resist so I didn’t bother trying. Why waste bases just to prove something I don’t need to know (and can guess anyway)?
I also assume that larger bases will be more prone to bending or snapping, so we’ll have to see how they hold up when I get some. Currently I have up to 25mm round and square, and that’s fine for most armies including the Orcs. It’s just what happens with big monsters and chariots and the like.
So, after some tinkering I’ve decided to go for 1mm clear acrylic as a baseline and see where we get to. I’ll be ordering some big bases too.
And just for amusement value, here are a few photos I took while I was messing about with them on my desk. They illustrate the point of the clear bases rather nicely.
First, on green.
As you can see, I’ve deliberately not zoomed in. After all, the impression I’m after is when the army is on the tabletop, not on the end of your nose. Here we have a model with a flocked green base. Looks OK on a flocked bit of scenery. The clear base looks fine too. Even here I’d say it’s less obtrusive than the normal base because of the edge. Whatever colour you paint it it’s unlikely to blend in well (unless your tabletop is a flat colour too).
When the fighting moves to the ruined temple, the clear base still looks great! The green base, on the other hand looks rather out of place.
Even down the dungeon the clear base is doing fine – showing off all the fancy art it’s standing on. Again, no matter how nicely you’ve modelled your green base, it’s going to look wrong here. The same is true for any opaque modelled base: it looks wrong in any but a very specific setting. In fact, the fancier your base the narrower the setting it fits with.
My thinking isn’t that modelling is bad, far from it. Instead, I’d suggest spending the time modelling a really nice set of terrain and then letting every model benefit from standing by it on a clear base.
Well, it’s a theory.