Relic Knights: Basing
by Dave Taylor
In all miniatures-based games, you need something to keep your models upright and ready for action, like a base. In many games there is also a requirement for standardized base size, and these base sizes play a role in the game’s mechanics. Relic Knights is just such a game, and all models are supplied with their gaming-appropriate base size (in very cool purple).
You could just leave your bases plain – leaving them purple, painting them black, etc. – or you could take them a couple of steps further and integrate them into the universe of Relic Knights. In this article I’ll cover various ways you can base your Relic Knights models.
BUYING PRE-CAST BASES
One way to immediately create a setting for your models is to mount them on pre-cast resin bases. There are many different companies out there who make these resin bases (our favorites include Secret Weapon Miniatures and Dragon Forge Design), so take a look around until you find the theme that suits your faction and your gaming table (although buying a set of bases you like and then building a table around them is another way you could go).
Alien Temple – Secret Weapon Miniatures
The first set of bases we have here are the Alien Temple theme from Secret Weapon Miniatures. They are designed with large, flat surfaces with flowing curves and sharp edges juxtaposed against smaller, rounded cobblestones. This gives the bases a sense of belonging to a grand, yet somehow alien, place of worship.
Obviously they can be painted up any number of ways, from a light sandstone-type look to a dark obsidian feel. I’ve chosen to go with the warmer sand color to offset the cool greys and blues of this Shattered Sword Swordsworn minion.
Urban Streets – Secret Weapon Miniatures
The next set shown here are the Urban Streets range, also from Secret Weapon Miniatures.
The troops of the Black Diamond faction have a very dark and grim look to them, so I felt they matched perfectly with the ruined streets and sidewalks. Rather than create a contrasting look for the bases, I echoed many of the same greys and purples from the Diamond Corps minion shown here.
Tau Ceti – Secret Weapon Miniatures
These Tau Ceti bases (again from Secret Weapon Miniatures) simply scream hi-tech sci-fi goodness, so I chose them as the bases for my Cerci Speed Circuit faction.
I wanted to paint them up to match the Relic Knights studio models, so they’re standing on some kind of cool material that could be coated metal, or something else much more durable. The desaturated, pale greys are a great contrast for the bright and vibrant colors of the Cerci models, the example here being a Pit Crew minion, and the glowing green lights match the Esper color associated with the girls of the Speed Circuit.
Tech-Decking – Dragon Forge Design
This final set of pre-cast resin bases are from the Tech-Decking range from Dragon Forge Design. The various flooring textures, bolt heads, pipes, and conduits really gave me the impression of the interior of a space-faring vessel – just perfect for basing the Star Nebula Corsairs.
I’ve gone for a fairly dark and neutral set of colors/metallics for these bases, to better help the piratical flair of the models “pop.” If you wanted to, you could paint the metals in a bright and shiny, “fresh from the docks” look or take them in more of a grimy, oily, dark direction too. Of course, hazard stripes are always a great thing for adding a little bit of color!
BUILDING YOUR OWN BASES
Basic dirt and rocks.
Of course, there’s no need to buy resin bases, and you can very simply create your own looks. In this set of bases, created for the Doctrine faction, I simply glued down some fine basing grit, added some small chips of slate for a different texture, and painted them brown with a couple of grey drybrush layers on top. To link them with the Doctrine models, I added some yellow crystals from the packs from our friends at Secret Weapon Miniatures. I like to think they give the impression that this Novitiate minion is investigating the appearance of Esper crystals on a desolate planets. There are six different packs of crystals available from SWM, one appropriate for each faction.
Creating some height.
And finally, for my Noh group, I decided to try and match the look of the Relic Knights studio models. These have the appearance of large slabs of rock or concrete that have been pushed around in some kind of seismic upheaval. To make these bases I first purchased some cork tiles from my local hardware store, tore it into appropriately sized pieces, and started trimming up the fibrous edges. Cork is a great material for this kind of thing, as it is light and easy to work with, but it does suffer from the reality that once you’re done with it, it still looks like cork. To reduce some of that impression, I filled in the tops of my bases roughly with wood filler and glued the fine basing grit up the sides of the “outcrop.”
Once dry, I painted the bases with a dark purple and drybrushed them with a couple of layers of increasingly lighter grey, both to tie them into the purple pants on my Noh models, and give an additionally alien feel to the ground.
Basing can be great fun, creating lots of little worlds for your painted models to stand on. You’ll notice that throughout this article I painted all of the bases and models separately, before mounting them together. This was so that I could concentrate on each part without worrying if any drybrushing or ashes were going to bleed over from one part to the other. Of course, if you’d prefer to glue them together before you paint them, that’s just fine too.