as the naval arms race is heating up and more ships are leaving dock, I will have to prepare some Bases for them. I´m using Hallmark/Figureheadd 1/6000 ships that come with their own metal base, but I´ve been tinkering with another solution. What I´ve seen in most battlereports that feature naval gaming and painted bases is that somehow they never blend well with the background sea - either they are too dark or too light, and even if you somehow manage to blend the ship bases into your gaming table/mat, everything is moot as soon as you take your ships to another table with different background.
That´s why I´ve been looking for solutions to have the ships independant of the background waters, chamäleon style. One could just leave the ship unbased entirely, but that makes it difficult to tell which model is which ship exactly and probably confuses things for larger battles. The alternative is transparent basing:
Two test versions of transparent bases - one with waves and foam of the ship plowing through the water (Invincible) and one completely blank (Göben). I´ve taken several shots to demonstrate the effect under different lighting and camera angle.
You can see that the base is still visibly, but barely so - the upside is that names can be easily applied to the base, so ships can be dinstinguished even with several models of the same class in a row.
Right now, artistically, I prefer the Invincible-Option with waves of silicone and painted white foam, however, the silicone still reflects light very much and makes the base stand out a little more. I´m wondering if this effect can be reduces by applying a matte varnish? I´ve none at hand right now, but I´ll have to get some sooner or later, as the ships definitely need some varnish to survive with their painting intact.
Option 3 is to take the blank base (Göben-style) and paint stylised foam on it without applying waves of silicone for the 3d-effect. I might do another test-base with this solution...