How to select a base colour for your miniature

Warhammer 40k Inquisitor and RetinueHow to select a base colour for your miniature? Choosing a base colour for your miniature can be a tricky issue as well. From a straight forward point of view, one can always choose any colour one likes.

But however, if its from a perspective of colours, choosing a base colour can have certain effects on how the miniature would feel overall. We usually want our wargaming miniatures to stand out in the battlefield, so the colour scheme between the miniature and the base colour should have a contrast feel of light and dark to the overall presentation. For my general rule of thumb, I would choose a base colour scheme to match the opposite colour scheme of the miniature. This would create a contrast to the overall presentation feel. At the same time, besides the colour choice, one should also take into consideration the theme / race of the army as well.

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Warhammer 40k Inquisition, Demonhunters and Fantasy Empire Army
For my Demonhunters army and Empire army, I went along with the Citadel Goblin Green base. The base colour and the theme colour of the army brings out the colour contrast. The Goblin Green base makes the miniature having a glowing feel at the base and it creates an outstanding feel. Well, its the Inquisition, they should be arriving at the battle field with a glow feel, right? Haha… Below are some of the colour scheme choice which creates a different feel each.

inquisitor base colour selection

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guards
For my Imperial Guards, the base colour I went along with Citadel Catachan Green. The colour scheme of my guardmen were of the Bleached Bone / Graveyard Earth colour scheme. Because the base is of a darker colour vs the guardmen in Bleached Bone / Graveyard Earth which is of a lighter colour, this in sort of brings out the contrast in the colour scheme of light and dark. Below are some of the colour scheme choice which creates a different feel each.

imperial guards base colour selection

Warhammer Fantasy Vampire Counts
For my Vampire army, the base I went along with Khemri Brown. I did not want to create too much contrast between the base colour and the miniature overall colour scheme was because it is an undead army. It should sort of feel a bit dark to it, not like the good guys with glory and glows, but still it should have a slight contrast in the colour scheme. Below are some of the colour scheme choice which creates a different feel each.

necromancer base colour selection

Generally, just remember to choose a colour scheme that will create a contrast of light and dark, this in terms will definitely bring out the shine in the miniature. On the hand, if the army are the bad guys, you dont want make then too bright, but at the same time, it should feel dark but with a slight contrast to the colour scheme.

In any case if you are ever undecided, you can always take a picture and edit it with any digital imaging program to see the effect before actually painting it. Cheers!


2 Responses to How to select a base colour for your miniature

  1. i want to start collecting vampire counts and i have a winged vampire lord im not a very good painter and do not want to muck up my model and i do not know what colour scheme to go with please answer me I am in need of desperate help

  2. hi, nice to hear from you. Check out my post on the Winged Vampire Lord. For mine, I chose a very beastial colour feel to the vampire lord. Its sort of like human skin colour turning to darker brown. For the armour and such, its black metal armour with gold lining. More of like special armour feel for a lord. Maybe do a research online for picture of vampire, reference to movies, games animation, and see how they portray vampires and their colour scheme. Pay attention to the skin colours and the armour colour choice. Cheers! Let me know…