Power up your Warhammer 40k and Star Wars wargaming projects with Epic Basing's biggest superpower; Re-imagination!
Today, we're going over how to plan and build cool coral themed alien planets using great non-warhammer 40k inspiration!
Before Epic Basing, you were mostly limited to coloured sand and boring barren wasteland planets like:
- Mars? -> Red sand
- Ash Waste? -> Grey sand
- Tomb World? -> Black sand
🥱 💤 Not very fun... and certainly not going to do much to level up your awesome minis!
GO BEYOND Warhammer and Games Workshop universe art for inspiration because they just don't have a lot that conveys the actual ecosystems and world.
We get it, desolate dirt planets are "Grimdark", but this is also a hobby and should be fun! Empty dirt basing is so boring!
Here is what we did for two of our project ideas...
Alpharius & Omegon Forgeworld Primarch diorama
We want it set on a strange alien planet. We were playing a bunch of Monster Hunter at the time, which has an entire setting called the Coral Highlands, so we got the idea of a sea inspired coral sci-fi planet!
Star Wars Legion
More recently, while watching Star Wars Clone Wars the animated show, we discovered the amazing coral moon of Rugosa. A perfect basing challenge for our new found interest in Star Wars Legion!
Using our Mood board building strategy, we put these together to explore the colours, mood and overall look of the planets.
PICKING YOUR EPIC BASING BITS!
We started the diorama way back before this new release of sea bits, so we didn't have all the amazing new Sea Rocks, Giant Corallium & Bush Coral, the revised Tube Sponges, or even the Dragon Stone. All of which would likely make this diorama an even better piece (should we start over?! 😱)
How we interpret the coral bits for non sea basing:
- Corallium, great substitute for bushes/trees
- Bush Coral, feels kinda like magical fungus or fruity, can also sub for trees
- Tube Sponges, nice vertical element, the texture feels organic yet rocky
- Sea Rock, nice porous rock
- Dragon Stone, very sharp and organic looking rock
- Brain Coral, already looks sci-fi!
Can you use other stuff? For sure!
We've tried out fungus, plants, even pumpkins! We have avoided using too much seaweed, I think it's an either or. If you want seaweeds avoid corals, and if you want corals, avoid seaweeds!
BUILD YOUR BASES
We use mostly the same process for all of our wargaming bases. It's super fast, easy and gets you awesome results.
Here's an example of Redxotica on a 40mm base sample. Same rules apply to 25mm and 30mm bases, just have a bit more room to work with on 40mm.
And another quick build sample with Seaweeds instead of corals to show that version works as well!
COLOURING SCI-FI BASES
The biggest part of making these bases look sci-fi is to get creative with colour schemes.
Starting with Rugosa, we focused on the dryer daytime look with warmer looking ground and no greens.
We used an orange primer, coupled with adding orange to the highlights of the purple and the blues to soften them. These would look excellent with a droid separatist army or a clone trooper force!
Next, we have Redxotica, as the name suggests it's heavily biased towards reds. We started with a Teal primer to contrast the reds, while keeping it feel cool. All the plants and such are exclusively in the cool red/blue range.
These bases would look amazing with Aeldari, Drukhari, Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Adeptus Mechanicus or maybe even the new Votann!
For the next one, we have Ivory Coast, the idea was to make it feel soft and somewhat majestic. We kept the colours minimal, mostly using colour as accents. The teal primer gave us some coolness that brings out the orange in the beige we used. It kinda makes it feel a bit icey or pearly, and helps reinforce the crystal nature of the idea we think!
We think this look is perfect for basing you Aeldari, Drukhari, Astra Militarum or Space Marines.
Here we have something more in tune with the Monster Hunter landscape that was the closest exploration of what we planned for the Alpharius dio.
This one used a mix of orange primer (light) and ultramarine primer (shadow).
We went for minor contrast on rocks vs ground, which allowed us to focus on bringing in the most colour through the elements. We played with different tones, but the Bush Coral could likely have done better in a nicer blue or violet, or make it more glowy even?
These were originally being done for a Deathwatch Kill Team, but they'd work great for basing your Tyranids, Genestealer Cult, Orks, Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus, or Necrons.
And finally, the rough colour plan for the Alpharius diorama. We ended up using a mix of Redxotica and Coral Highlands ideas in the colours. We might do the bush coral in the same white as the tubes to bring more of it into the scene.
The red coral is working nicely, and once the characters get colour they should help their blue-greens stand out even more.
Hopefully these examples get your pumped about approaching your next project just a little bit differently!
We'll catch up with you again soon with more Epic Basing ideas!