WotC Halfling Rogue – A study in composition

I really enjoyed the kind of scenic bases people are doing more and more to support their miniatures. I was never much into this and went for very plain bases most of the time. I thought that it was time to get away from this an to experiment with scenic bases. In the following, I will share my thoughts about the process of composing this base.

The purpose of this miniature was to practice and to experiment. Thus, I selected a very simple small mini that would be quick to paint. This old D&D Halfling rogue seemed just right. The cast was somewhat bad and the pressure of the mold deformed the right half of the face quite a bit. However I like the mini for its dynamic pose and simplicity.


At first I thought about what would be important to make a good scenic base. From art and photography I knew that the golden ratio and the rule of thirds are often applied to give a picture some interest. So I decided to try to apply these principles in three dimensions while composing the little scene on the base.

First, I decided which components should be in the scene. The comonents for the scene are the miniature itself, a tree, and a steep rock. The reason for the tree was that I really wanted to try to build one from scratch. I chose to add the steep rock to support the dynamic pose of the miniature and to give it something it was running downward in a charging motion.


The model uses a round base. Thus, when dividing it according to the golden ratio, you end up with a pentagram and the points of interests would be the intersections of the lines. It turned out, that these points were too close to each other in this case. So the rolden ratio was not applicable with good results in this case.

So I divided the surface of the base into thirds horizontally and vertically. The intersection points were the points of interest according to the rule of thirds. I positioned the tree on the rear right point and the miniatures axis over the front left point. This was my layout for this plane.

Then I considered the look of the piece when inspected from the front. I decided to frame the scene by the border of the base and a line defined by the branches of the tree. As you can see in the pictures above, I tried to scale the objects in a way that the miniature was on one line, with the head at an intersection, and the tree on the other line. This was not absolutely precise, however, I think it worked out fine.

Also note that the resulting scene also creates a feeling of dynamic by breaking the straight lines with the diagonal from the upper left to the lower right.

Over all, I am quite pleased with the result of approaching the composition of the piece in such a systematic way.

The tree was scratch built from wire and modeling putty. The foliage is a miniNatur product. The paintjob is just straight forward and nothing spectacular at all. However, I tried to choose the colors in a way, that the miniature itself would stand out by using a complimentary color contrast. Well, the tree is still a little bit overwhelming, and maybe I should have made it a little smaller.


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