Good eyes and faces give a figurine character, they can cover a multitude of sins on the rest of the piece. Good bases ground the figure into their world.
This post covers the preparation work, along with some of my theory about bases.
First the prep...
Along the top Row...
1. This is a typical 30mm round base, common to many games at the moment (Warmachine and Malifaux are the two I'm most familiar with). These bases are also an exact match for the Sci-fi Reaper Bones squad I'm painting up.
2. I don't particularly like hollow plastic bases, because I like to drill things into them, and the plastic can be a bit flimsy when figures see regular use. For this reason, I mould up my own bases in resin, or buy custom bases that fit the theme I'm working with. The depicted base here uses a dungeon floor design.
3. Once I've moulded up a base, it needs to be primed. As I said earlier, I tend to use a grey primer because it's pretty cheap and readily available, and it lends itself to both light and dark shades pretty easily.
4. The figures I'll be using sit in the middle circle of the base. So I don't need to worry too much about painting this section. The outer ring, I paint in white to go with the theme I'm playing with for this team.
A single coat of white doesn't cover they grey as well as I'd hoped...
5. ...so I add a second coat of white to the outer edge.
(The larger base below the top 5 will be used for the Warforged/Cyborg who has been added to the team.)
I could add the figures straight to these bases, but most of my figures have something special about their bases. Each team/squad has something distinct that they stand on; and if multiple squads make up an army, a common theme spreads across all the different bases.
Sometimes I even add names to the troops, to add a bit of individuality and maybe tell a bit of a story when they hit the battlefield. This is probably a throwback to Mordheim/Necromunda days.