Crafting Realistic Miniature Bases: The Best Basing Materials

August 8, 2023 By joseph Off
The Best Miniature Basing Materials

Creating stunning miniatures is a rewarding hobby that allows enthusiasts to bring their imagination to life. One crucial aspect of miniature crafting is the basing material, which provides a foundation for the miniature and sets the scene for the story it tells. Whether you’re a veteran hobbyist or just starting, choosing the right basing materials can elevate your miniatures to new levels of realism and immersion. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the best basing materials available, each offering unique textures, effects, and opportunities for customization.

Natural Rocks and Debris

Natural rocks, pebbles, and debris are prized by hobbyists for their unique textures and irregular shapes. These materials bring a touch of the outdoors to your tabletop, lending a sense of scale and immersion that can’t be replicated with manufactured materials. Their diverse forms can be used to depict everything from rocky terrains to urban battlefields, making them versatile choices for a range of settings. You can also blend them into the piece with a variety of different materials.

Sand and Gravel Miniature Basing Materials

Creating immersive and lifelike miniature bases can be a challenge, but sand and gravel are two materials that can transform a plain surface into a textured and visually captivating landscape. Sand and gravel are popular basing materials due to their natural appearance and versatility. They can be used to represent a wide range of terrain types, from arid deserts to rocky wastelands, and everything in between. Their fine textures add depth to your bases and can serve as a foundation for other detailing materials like grass, foliage, and debris.

Static Grasses

When it comes to basing, one material that stands out for its ability to add a touch of realism and natural beauty is static grass. Static grass is a finely cut synthetic material that mimics the appearance of real grass. It gets its name from the static charge it carries, which makes the individual strands stand upright when applied to a surface treated with static electricity. This effect simulates the look of actual grass, with varying heights and a natural, textured appearance. For added realism, consider mixing different lengths and shades of static grass to mimic a natural field. You can also add small rocks, fallen leaves, or other tiny details to create diversity on the base.  The miniature below was painted by elliottpaintsminis. Be sure to follow Elliott on Instagram for more content!

Fighter Miniature Spaceship Back View - The Xylen Fleet of Bio-Organic A Billion Suns

Flocking & Flock Basing Materials

In the realm of miniature modeling and wargaming, attention to detail can turn a good project into a great one. Basing is a critical aspect of this craft, allowing hobbyists to create immersive environments that enhance the storytelling of their miniatures. Flocking and flock materials are versatile tools that add texture, color, and depth to your bases, enabling you to craft scenes that feel realistic. Flocking is the process of applying small, textured particles to a surface to create a textured and colored effect. Flock materials come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and sizes, making them suitable for a range of terrains, from lush forests to desolate wastelands. They provide an easy way to add depth and dimension to your bases while enhancing the overall aesthetic of your miniatures.

Miniature Terrain Glue PVA Trees & Flock

Misc Miniature Vegetation Grasses & Shrubs

To truly bring your miniatures to life, incorporating miniature vegetation, such as grasses and shrubs, is a powerful way to create lifelike scenes that captivate the eye. Miniature vegetation, which includes grasses, shrubs, and other flora, adds depth and realism to your bases, transforming them from mere platforms into intricate environments. These elements not only provide visual interest but also allow you to convey the setting and mood of your miniatures’ stories.

Wes from the Wesardry channel has an awesome video showing you how to make a bunch of different grasses & shrubs that’s definitely worth checking out. Be sure to subscribe!


Cork is a versatile and readily available material that adds an element of organic texture to your bases. Its unique surface resembles natural terrain, making it a superb choice for a wide range of settings, from ancient ruins to forest glades. Cork’s irregular shapes and rugged edges help create a realistic sense of uneven ground, and its porous surface accepts paints and glues exceptionally well.

Resin Water & Other Effects

Resin effects, with their ability to mimic water, lava, or other liquids, can add a layer of realism and drama to your miniatures. These effects allow you to create dynamic scenes that capture the essence of the world you’re portraying. In this article, we’ll explore the art of using resin effects to elevate your miniature bases and create captivating and immersive dioramas. Resin effects are specialized materials that, when properly applied and cured, create the illusion of various liquids, from clear water to bubbling lava. These effects can add depth, dimension, and a sense of movement to your miniature bases, immersing viewers in the environments you’ve crafted.

Miniature Bits & Scraps

One way to add depth, character, and a touch of narrative to your miniature bases is by using miniature bits and scraps. These tiny components, whether salvaged from other models, model kits, or everyday objects, can elevate your miniatures to new levels of creativity and storytelling. Bits and scraps are like treasure troves for hobbyists, offering an assortment of miniature components with limitless potential. These items can include weapon parts, shields, helmets, chains, mechanical pieces, and more. By incorporating these bits into your bases, you can customize the narrative of your miniatures and create truly unique scenes.

Miniature Texture Paints

The bases upon which your miniatures stand play a crucial role in telling the story of your models and immersing viewers in the world you’ve created. Acrylic miniature texture paints are a fantastic tool that allows hobbyists to effortlessly transform plain bases into dynamic and visually appealing landscapes. Texture paints are a specialized type of acrylic paint that contains granular materials to create realistic textures once dry. These paints are formulated to provide instant texture, eliminating the need for additional sculpting or layering. With a range of textures available, from snow & rough ground to cracked volcanic texture paints simplify the process of achieving intricate basing effects.

wesardry nightmare landscapes snow effects

Exploring The World Of Miniature Basing Materials

In the world of miniature crafting, the basing materials you choose can make a world of difference in the final look and feel of your projects. Whether you’re aiming for a lush fantasy landscape or a gritty sci-fi battleground, there’s a wide array of materials available to suit your creative vision. Experiment, combine, and layer these materials to achieve stunning and personalized results that enhance the storytelling aspect of your miniatures. Remember, the key is to let your imagination run wild and have fun as you bring your miniature worlds to life.